Market research is the process of analyzing your current business landscape and the new markets you plan to enter. This process involves gathering information on your target market’s needs, opinions, and preferences through surveys, focus groups, and interviews.
Some of these tactics have been around since the early 1900s. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with these strategies, there is a modern way to improve their effectiveness for brands and consumers.
Let’s discuss upgrading your market research tactics with tech-driven ones.
Importance of Market Research
Market research delivers valuable data about your business and target customers. But it’s just information. It’s what you do with the data that counts.
Here’s how you can use market research to enhance your operations:
- Identify opportunities for growth and areas for improvement
- Minimize investment risks and gauge whether a new product or service will succeed
- Gain insight into your customer’s sentiments, impressions, and expectations of your brand or products
- Make accurate and informed business decisions
- Stay on top of industry trends and remain relevant to target audience
This research can impact every area of your business including marketing, sales, branding, customer support, and product development. It all depends on how you leverage your collected data.
On top of that, there are many benefits to conducting market research and using it to guide your business endeavors, such as:
- Elevated customer experience and satisfaction
- Improved customer retention and customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Enhanced competitive edge in your market and industry
- Increased sales
Whatever goals you’re trying to achieve, market research is typically step number one. This information should serve as a foundation for your business efforts.
4 Tech-Driven Tactics for Conducting Market Research
Cost-savings, quicker turnaround time, and deeper insights – all sound good. But how can you achieve these benchmarks with a tech-focused business strategy?
Let’s take a look at 4 types of tech and how you can integrate them into your market research processes for better results.
1. Showcase Products Using Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive technology that overlays or integrates digital elements within the user’s physical environment in real time. While most people associate AR with gaming and entertainment tech, it is shifting towards industrial applications.
Some companies, like IKEA, have already started leveraging AR as a marketing and sales tactic. Consumers can use this technology to understand how the product looks and feels in their surroundings, leading to a 40% higher conversion rate. And it’s easy for customers to use as it’s accessible from their smartphones.
For these same reasons, augmented reality is an effective solution for those looking to cut the cost of market research while maintaining the quality of their results. Instead of shipping products to participants or organizing an in-person focus group, AR allows consumers to visualize the product in their personal space.
You can use AR for:
- Package testing
- Concept testing
- Feasibility analyses
- Innovation testing
- Production ideation
The result is not only more cost-effective, but companies also receive better feedback as it is more realistic than a picture or diagram. And the data collection process is much quicker, as you don’t have to wait for products to be shipped or coordinate a date and time for participants to show up. It’s available to consumers through their smart devices, making it more convenient and accessible.
2. Access Global Participants With Cloud Communications
To gain a balanced understanding of your target markets, you’ll want a mix of participants representing your different target segments or buyer personas. If you’re a global business, this means surveying users from different regions.
So, what do you do if you need an affordable way to collect quality data internationally?
Well, sending employees overseas or opening up temporary offices is out of the question, as these will dramatically increase your overhead costs. You might then arrive at online surveys as a solution. But unfortunately, these also typically include reduced response rates and unintentional biases.
There’s another viable option. Cloud communication.
This technology allows users to communicate using IP-based tools and services. Among its many capabilities, cloud communications solutions transmit your business calls using the Internet, instead of traditional phone lines.
As a result, you avoid outrageous international and long-distance calling fees. This way, you can conduct in-depth interviews with global participants cost-effectively.
You can even get a cloud-based local phone number in your different target regions to localize your market research efforts. Since these numbers are more recognizable than unknown or foreign phone numbers, participants are more likely to answer – increasing your response rates.
3. Optimize Your Efforts through Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to impact and expand to new industries. AI solutions aim to help businesses improve efficiency, increase accuracy, and scale their processes.
Market research is among the industries AI is transforming, as it offers automation capabilities, enhances data quality, reveals deeper insights, and enables teams to scale research efforts affordably.
For example, Andy Pandharikar, CEO and Founder of Commerce.AI, writes in a post:
“My company, a product data firm, used AI to scan billions of data points and generate 10,000 market reports. The cost savings generated by using AI is staggering: While it would take an army of analysts months or years to scan the same amount of data, AI can do so in minutes.”
And this is just the beginning of AI’s use cases in the market research field. Let’s take a look at other examples:
- Process large, unstructured datasets, such as open-ended responses or qualitative data, in seconds
- Handle market data in any language from a variety of sources and channels
- Remove bias, inaccurate, or low-quality results through data-cleaning abilities
- Reduce panel member churn by identifying disengaged members
4. Avoid Memory Bias With Real-Time Feedback
One of the biggest challenges of traditional market research methods is that they rely on the consumer’s memory, which deteriorates over time, making recall difficult or inaccurate. And even if a participant does remember their experience, memory biases still exist.
Fortunately, there is a solution and it’s called real-time feedback.
This type of qualitative market research allows you to receive live consumer feedback through website or app integrations. You can even use your live chat or chatbots to collect feedback in the moment.
You’re capturing the customer’s experience as it happens before any memory decay or bias creeps in. This method maintains the integrity and quality of the data, resulting in a better understanding of your target market.
The Future of Market Research
Historically, the market research field doesn’t change its methodologies. However, advancements in technology offer a way to optimize these processes, leading to better insights for decision-making.
These tech-driven strategies are not meant to fully replace traditional methods or researchers, but instead enhance them. And as these technologies continue to progress and evolve, they’ll add even more functionalities and capabilities to their existing ones.
About the Author
Kim Sayers has been a content creator for over 4 years – writing for small businesses, specifically focusing on marketing, sales, and communication. She works with telecom experts at United World Telecom to gain insights into how businesses can use communication tools to effectively run their business.