Informed decisions, decisions, decisions
Market research is a crucial step in making informed decisions in any marketing strategy. It provides our clients with insight into how a potential customer will perceive a brand, product, or service. The market research process can vary, but the results provide parties with additional information and assist them in making informed decisions for their business.
However, in the event of a pandemic, systems used for market research can significantly change. That was precisely our experience throughout 2020, and we have seen these shifts in market research continue well into 2021.
So, let’s break it down.
Typically, market research can be obtained through several techniques, including surveys that happen in-person, online, or even a mix of both, and focus groups, which are held on location to gather data on things like body language responses. Unfortunately, both options are not all available during a public health emergency.
As a result, the pandemic forced market research to pivot. Instead of an in-person interaction, surveys and focus groups became a fully digital experience, occasionally supplemented with individual digital or voice interviews. While these adjustments did not hurt research, they did create a shift in timelines and expectations.
Another challenge was that some demographics have an inherent natural bias working against them, specifically with access to digital devices and the internet. So, when researching niche audiences with low internet access, it would automatically be a difficult target that required working around those obstacles.
There is a silver lining in all of this change, though, that technology in research has evolved. As a result, more services have become available to easily allow digital focus groups to occur while still providing most of the amenities one would expect in an in-person session. In addition, participants are more willing to accommodate these new ways, especially if there is additional time to run through how the session will work in an online setting.
As the situation evolves, it will be interesting to see what new practices spring forward through the end of this year. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure: JP Marketing will be on top of whatever trends emerge. We are committed to continuing our streak of staying ahead of the curve in adapting technology to traditional marketing research methods for our clients.
Kevin Gordy — Account Manager/Research Specialist