Imagine yourself lugging bags after a few hours of grocery shopping and a jovial guy approaches you with a bunch of papers and a pen in his hands. All your receptiveness goes down the drain once you figure out that you have to fill a survey – you politely decline and just walk away! Move to another scene, the same guy approaches you with a mobile/tablet for a survey and you go – Okay, looks interesting, let’s try!
This is exactly how Marketing Research is being reshaped with the advent of the Internet and Technology.
A mobile survey is just one tool. Let us have a look at some more new-age techniques that are revitalizing the market research space.
- Biometrics – Biometrics Research falls among the very complex and sophisticated research tools. In simple terms, these tools help in measuring the brain’s response and activities to certain stimuli. Some of the most used methods are facial analysis and eye tracking that track facial expressions and eye motions respectively.
So, the next time, a marketer wants to know how a consumer makes a choice among the plethora of juice packs on the store shelf, all one needs to do is hand them an eye-gear and leave them to shop the way they want. Their movements would be recorded and available for analysis later. The data is completely bias-free, but again these tools are a little heavy on the pocket.
- Online Surveys – The new-age mantra is the Internet – So how can market research innovators not ride on its advantages? We spoke about surveys on mobiles. Similar to them are online surveys. Respondents access the link and fill them at their will and the data is available immediately for researchers to view. We can have in-built logics linked to certain questions, making it unnecessary for the respondents to remember previous answers.
- Online Communities – Again, we all are accustomed to online chat-rooms. Compare a bunch of people sitting under a camera’s scrutiny to discuss about their shopping preferences vis-à-vis an online discussion, where they can discuss the same topic in the comfort of their natural surroundings. The latter helps in gaining access to real time data, with low operational and logistic involvement. That is the concept behind Market Research Online communities (MROCs) which is gaining ground these days.
Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and Forums, also give marketers a leeway into consumer thoughts and aspirations in their natural environment. Social Media analytic tools capture such online chatter to gain insights into consumer psychology and opinions.
According to GRIT report – Spring 2012, Internet-based tools like Social Media Analytics, MROCs and Online Surveys have become widely accepted and are slated to grow. They are a hit internationally, but given the relatively low internet penetration and usage, they need to be cautiously administered in India and other developing economies depending on the target consumers.
- Mobile Ethnography – Another highly efficient means of collecting moment-of-truth data is Mobile Ethnography. Consumer activities and thoughts can be recorded through text, audio and video through a mobile application as and when they occur i.e. on a real time basis. Traditional Research generally requires a respondent to go back to a situation and retrace his activities/ feelings. The possibility of collecting incorrect/ biased or half-baked information decreases with M-ethnography.So, the next time you want to know how teenagers feel about your new pack design, just equip them with a mobile app and get a peek into their minds.
Other interesting mobile and internet tools include Apps’ based research, Gamification methods, Internet/Text Focus Groups, Text analytics, Virtual Environments, etc. Watch this space for details!
We, at Brandscapes, are having an exciting time using some of these tools and delighting our clients. There is also a lot of buzz surrounding these novel real time technologies. How far do they penetrate into mainstream research is yet to be seen!
This blog post is written by Bhawana Khater, Associate Insight Consultant – Shopper & Retail, Brandscapes Worldwide. Bhawana, a typical Calcutta girl, loves puchkas and moori at anytime of the day, as long as they don’t have too much ‘jhaal’ (spice). 😛
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