“The companies that are going to win are the ones who are using data, not guessing,” said Neil Hoynce, Chief Strategist of Google and Wharton Customer Analytics.
In our second instalment of AKINLive, we invited DNA Capitals data analytics expert, Catherine Khaw to share how market research can help businesses better understand their target audience. To determine the viability of a product, businesses conduct market research with potential customers to gather their feedback and gauge their degree of interest. As technology advances, vast amounts of data are being generated daily. Data collection coupled with analytics can help marketers obtain insights into market trends and shifts. Similarly, businesses can obtain potential decision-making insights and data-driven strategies to propel their business forward.
The global pandemic has changed the way businesses conduct market research as some forms of data analytics have been rendered obsolete with the change in consumer behaviour. For instance, it is projected that by 2022, businesses will move away from third-party data and into first-party data. This change is to establish a direct relationship with consumers and ensure transparency with their data collected as there has been a rise in privacy regulations. Therein lies the big question: how do we utilise data to yield actionable insights and create meaningful value for businesses in a post-pandemic world?
What should businesses look out for during data collection?
The collection of data to generate insights is not new. But what exactly should businesses look out for when collecting and reviewing data? Our suggestion is to focus on the decision-making process of customers and understand consumer buying behaviour.
The COVID-19 outbreak has reshaped the consumer journey. In response to the pandemic, consumers have shifted their priorities to the purchase of essentials and its impact on the global issue of sustainability.
Based on a survey by Accenture, 60% of respondents were more environmentally friendly and sustainable since the start of the pandemic. This has accelerated several long-term trends including a growing emphasis on health, a rise in conscious consumption and a surge in local consumption.
For example, businesses can adopt sustainable practices and strive for an ethical value chain narrative to cater to the conscious consumer. By understanding these trends, businesses can change either their product or marketing strategy to better cater to their selected group of target audience.
In order to understand the specific needs of consumers, businesses need to conduct market research with clear objectives. Such objectives include researching a consumer’s perception and values or finding ways to increase brand awareness. Conducting objective market research is vital as it helps businesses identify the impact of the pandemic on their brand and pivots them toward new market niches and solutions. This may be crucial for businesses trying to navigate and adapt to the uncertainty of the pandemic and beyond.
How should businesses conduct effective data collection?
To help marketers dig deeper into a consumer’s mindset, market surveys are conducted via different quantitative and qualitative methods such as surveys, interviews, focus groups and observation to collect potential customer data. Creating business value goes beyond understanding how the pandemic has disrupted market research.
According to a McKinsey survey, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by several years. Market research has also leveraged on automation platforms as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) help to process and analyse data collected, providing further support for marketing analyses. The acceleration of technology has enabled the integration of data and advanced analytics to help businesses make more strategic decisions in a shorter period.
How does technology affect the future of market research?
Aside from simulating human abilities, AI also possesses the ability to process vast amounts of data quickly and predict outcomes more accurately than humans. With such rapid technological advancements, one might question if the future of market research will solely rely on technology.
Undeniably powerful, AI and ML will aid the process of data collection. Aside from helping businesses be more agile, such tools grant businesses the flexibility to adapt rapidly to any environment.
However, AI can still create social, reputational and regulatory risks. There needs to be a data analytics team to continuously monitor and evaluate the data for bias and potential error. To create business value, the translation of data will still require a human touch and interpretation to generate actionable insights for a business. Although technology can help develop marketing and business insights at a faster rate and more comprehensively, over-reliance is not the way of the future.
To ensure your business keeps up with the transformation of a post-pandemic world, it is crucial to look towards the adoption of digitisation methods such as AI and ML in all forms of market research. However, businesses should still engage an analytics team to avoid over reliance on digitised methods. An analytics team will help translate collected data into actionable insights within a shorter amount of time, ultimately increasing their business value. Hopefully, we’ve managed to help you understand the importance of market research and its role in creating business value in a post-pandemic world.
Here at AKIN, we design marketing strategies for a restless digital generation by uncovering consumer and cultural truths to help brands articulate their purpose. We design impact-driven marketing campaigns based on data and sound analysis. Possessing a tech-first mindset, we build digital solutions that bring businesses closer to their audiences. Above all, our goal is to help brands nurture consumer relationships that will stand the test of time.
If this sounds like what your business is looking for, do reach out to us at www.helloakin.com.
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Written by Nicolette Wee