Technology Trends in MR

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.The Tablet Interview

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 InternetSo 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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About Brandscapes Worldwide

Brandscapes specializes in marketing analytics and insight consulting for consumer goods, services and the retail sectors. We leverage the power of advanced data mining tools and the practical marketing and communication planning expertise to distil actionable marketing insights.
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9 Responses to Technology Trends in MR

  1. Surabhi Jain says:

    Good Post. Its true that now more and more companies are looking to invest in research projects that have a quick turnaround time. They want real time consumer insights to have a first mover’s advantage. I think the pen and paper model will be a method of the past in a few years time.
    Look forward to more updates from the MR world 🙂

  2. Amit says:

    Interesting read. Market Research has been living in the past for too long and needs an infusion of such techniques to keep up with the times.

  3. While the academic world would find it hard to come to terms with new technology, tablets are definitely a must buy for a market research firm as they could use it frequently for all the on ground research for their clients.

  4. Mahabir says:

    Like this post. Very well written about the current affairs in the MR industry. Here in Atlanta, clients are curious to work with new Apps & tools for surveying. They think these are more convenient and informative as we can add pic & videos of recipient which adds value to the survey.
    Cheers to Bhawana!! Keep writing !!


  5. Rashmi says:

    I agree…market research is one field that’s going through a sea-change these days. Finally we have started harnessing technology in this field and the opportunities are in-numerous! Personally I love the “Mobile Ethnography” methodology – it would eventually appear like a scrapbook telling us the story of the respondent’s life. I have a feeling if we get that close to a respondent we may be able to join dots to understand a lot more about our consumers across the world!

  6. Pingback: Online Groceries – Here to stay? |

  7. My partner and I stumbled over here different website and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page for a second time.

  8. pravindaud says:

    Nice read,
    About Mobile Ethnography..There are many MR companies real time usage data of respondents across age groups. Eg ComScore, Informate Mobile Intelligence etc..


  9. pravindaud says:

    Nice Read.

    About Mobile Ethnography, there are many MR cos offering real time usage of their panelists like ComScore, Informate Mobile Intelligence. They are really riding the latest Technology in MR Space and are way ahead of rest in same space.

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