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How to Adapt your Market Research in 2024

Written by Alida

Published May 21, 2024

A Q&A with Chief Advisor for Insights & Development at Greenbook, Lenny Murphy

In an era of constant change, it can feel overwhelming to keep pace with evolving market trends and customer expectations. Today, data has become one of the most sought-after resources, offering unparalleled insights into customer needs and the potential to revolutionize business strategies. 

Ahead of his keynote at Alida’s Activate event on June 4-5, Lenny Murphy, Chief Advisor for Insights and Development at Greenbook, answers 5 questions on how researchers can proactively prepare for upcoming trends and elevate their research approaches to meet the ever-increasing demands of today's market. 


1. What trends do you believe will significantly impact the field of market research in 2024?

AI is a major trend disrupting the market research industry. We're already seeing AI revolutionize how we do things, making processes faster and cheaper as well as transforming our ability to enhance consumer engagement. It is helping us to ask better questions and dig deeper into the answers we get. This means market research isn't just about collecting data anymore, it's about understanding what that data is telling us. Platforms like Alida are leading the charge, making it easier to gather “last mile data”, the kind of insights that fill in the gaps of information that drive greater value. 

The second trend I am seeing is the continual decentralization of insights outside the market research organization. Now, teams like marketing, analytics, and product development are getting more involved, using tools like Alida and AI to understand their customers better and share their findings directly across the organization. Market research is evolving from a standalone function to something that everyone within an organization can use to make better decisions.


2. What's the most common mistake companies make in their research approach?

A mistake I see companies make in their research is not asking the right questions. There is a science to asking good questions as to try and minimize bias and extract the right information needed to answer the business question. While automation has been a prevailing trend, leveraging years of experience and best practices to generate valuable insights, it's important not to only rely on automated processes. Although tools like LLMs (Large Language Models) can provide valuable guardrails, they currently lack the human capacity for intuition, experience, and inspiration, which play a big role in not only asking the right questions but also for the interpretation of outcomes.

The real mistake then lies in complacency, assuming that automated processes alone suffice in providing the answers. While they can offer important findings, they may overlook nuances in your data, leaving valuable insights undiscovered. Researchers should be focusing on gathering the "last mile data" – the things we don’t know, the unknowns that aren’t obvious within our data sets. In an era marked by continuous disruptive change and unforeseen events, relying solely on past practices or assumptions is risky. Human intuition and the ability to ask insightful questions will remain crucial for navigating the evolving landscape of research. 


3. Should insights within an organization be centralized, decentralized, or a combo of both?

I believe there is no need to centralize how we engage with customers or prospects when answering their questions. What should be centralized is the information that comes from those interactions. It's important for all parts of an organization to be on the same page and use all the information we collect. Luckily, technology now allows us to do this more efficiently. This idea is what drove the big data movement. We've known for a long time that it's important, but we didn't have the tools to fully implement it until now. With Generative AI, we have what we need to centralize our data effectively and help us organize and analyze information based on different business needs. So, while we don't need to centralize how we ask questions, we definitely need to centralize how we answer them. 


4. Researchers intimately understand the importance of customer feedback in shaping business success but too often, these insights get stuck with their same team. How can researchers make sure everyone in the company benefits from this data?

Data is the new oil. And while we’ve known this for a very long time, now we really see the value. Similarly to oil, data has evolved from informing one isolated project to empowering a multitude of initiatives across an organization. For researchers, mastering three key skill sets will be crucial in navigating this rich landscape. 

First, the ability to ask the right questions is crucial. Second, choosing the appropriate tools and methods.  With a vast array of techniques available, from AI-enhanced qualitative methods to traditional quantitative approaches, knowing which tool to use in each situation is vital. The choice isn’t just about using a chatbot instead of a survey, it’s about understanding the strengths and limitations of each option. Third is the skill of turning data into actionable insights and recommendations that drive real impact. It's about more than just the ability to analyze, it's about being able to make sense of the data in a way that informs strategic decisions. By mastering these skills, insights professionals will thrive regardless of where they sit within an organization


5. Quality of respondents and recruitment continues to be a common challenge in the world of research. What steps can companies take to enhance the quality of their samples?

First, captivating participants' attention is crucial in a market saturated with competing businesses. To achieve this, researchers must start thinking like marketers, crafting compelling messages and incentives to stand out amidst the crowd. Second, rewarding research participants fairly is essential. Historically, the industry has not done a very good job compensating customers, but as technology advances continue to streamline research and reduce costs, reallocating resources to appropriately reward participants will become imperative. Third, strike a balance between anonymity and validation of identity. Utilizing methods like video submissions for example can authenticate participants while also preserving their privacy. 

And finally, make it a better user experience. While research may never feel like a game, simplifying processes, such as lengthy questionnaires, can go a very long way. Participants shouldn't feel their time is wasted. Compensating them for their time acknowledges the value they bring to the research. Community research platforms like Alida go far in addressing these principles because it's built into the model, but wider research strategies will still require a significant shift. 

To hear more from Lenny Murphy on how research teams can get ahead in today’s research landscape, join us for Alida’s global virtual event, Activate, on June 4-5. Visit here for more information and to register:

Alida Activate

June 4-5, 2024

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