The Changing Face of Market Research

By Kieron Mathews, Global Head of Research at Kadence

The role of the market researcher is to assist a company in achieving a competitive advantage by generating and sharing market knowledge.  This was traditionally accomplished through the production of data which outlined the basic mechanics of a market.   As global economies have matured and technology advanced, such market statistics have become readily available to all who desire them; simple data is no longer enough to enable businesses to realise a sustainable competitive advantage. The increasing accessibility of data in countries such as Singapore has resulted in businesses seeking more from the facts and figures presented by a researcher.  Organisations today are asking how the market data generated is applicable to the future of their operations and their customers.  Businesses want ‘insight’. The delivery of insight is no easy task, but with clients asking researchers to ‘do more’ and ‘do it better’ to help drive their business success, researchers are starting to appreciate that delivering insight is no longer an ‘added value’ offering, but the reason that research is commissioned. Delivering insight Extracting meaning from numbers and translating it into a business context with understandable, easy to implement actions is challenging.  The key is developing a culture where researchers have the freedom to develop insight. In direct contrast to data generation, where agencies can churn out numbers quickly and cost effectively with no room for timeline interruption, delivering insight is a creative, exploratory and organic process.  Reaching dead ends should not be viewed as a disruption with a feeling of disappointment, but encourage and inspire the researcher to delve even deeper and ask even more questions to understand the significance of the findings. As insight generates a vast quantity of data which needs to be shared with the client during the debrief stages, communicating the key findings of a study alongside the actionable outcomes that can be strategically implemented, requires a great deal of planning.  Researchers must be careful to avoid ‘death by bar chart’ by ensuring clients can clearly identify how the data relates to their business. Successful insight presentations are short and simple.  The findings are carefully avodart online no prescription aligned with the client’s Key Performance Indicators, and any business actions highlighted.  The debrief must allow time for discussion so that the client can ask questions, discuss the findings and extract knowledge from the researcher.   To ensure this is achieved researchers should:

  • Think about the presentation early giving the team a structure to work towards throughout the study, and allowing sufficient time to brainstorm how more complex issues can be presented.
  • Invest time to ensure that an interesting presentation is created and no key messages missed.  Don’t ruin weeks of work at this vital final stage.
  • Ask a colleague that has not been involved in the project to check the relevance of every slide within the final presentation.  If the presenting team is unable to communicate the importance go back and do further analysis or delete the slide.
  • Make the presentation engaging and easy to understand so it can be shared easily with others within the organisation.  This reflects well on both the research provider and the client.

The Future of Market Research The increasing demand for insight does not mean that the data ‘tool’ has completely lost its value.  In many developing Asian economies where market statistics have not yet been extensively documented, this basic data is still sought after.  But as this information is being generated at an astounding pace, the data will soon become accessible to all and worthless to businesses striving to achieve a competitive advantage. As such, the move from data to insight is a long-term certainty for market research professionals, and the success of a provider in the future will be based on their ability to align operations to deliver the meaning behind the numbers. Unfortunately, insight is not something that a company can decide to offer overnight.  For larger organisations a new culture has to be created and everyone involved will need to adopt a different definition of market research.  It is therefore imperative that market research providers understand and react to this fundamental shift within the industry and view insight as its core offering.  Kick-starting this transition today will reflect in long-term profitability and global market success.

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