Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Will market research have more or less influence in 10 years? Gina G. Scott of Citi Group answers

Leading up to The Market Research Event for Non Researchers, we'll be sharing some of the views and tips from the leaders who are participating in our event.  Consumer insights continues to be a consistent foundation for marketing strategy, business innovation and product development decisions.  These leaders  will help attendees translate market research into profitable business decisions.

Today, we're speaking with Gina G. Scott, VP, Business Development and Strategy/Research, Citgroup - Citi Retail Services, who will be participating in the session "Methodology Assessment: An End Users Guide to the Research Arsenal."

Will market research have more or less influence in 10 years?
Interesting question. Managers will always need market research. The point of research is to be able to make more informed decisions. Research for the sake of research is not going to be an effective use of time and resources. Research to satisfy a curiosity is not going to be an effective use of time and resources. Research to tap the market for information needed to make business decisions is the only real reason to conduct research. So as long as managers have incomplete information about what is wanted and needed in the marketplace, there will be market research. Given that, the research in 10 years will have a different look and feel than research does now. Ten years ago, much of the quantitative research was conducted via snail mail, over the phone or in person. The method of contacting the consumer has evolved as the percentage of average Americans who have access to email has increased. The labor intensive (read: expensive) phone interview has given way to a faster, simpler way to collect data. The snail mail approach has given way to a faster approach with a higher response rate. Even qualitative research taps into email in that recruiting can begin with email screening.

Even beyond email, the next game changer has already begun – social media. There are different ways of collecting data from the blogs and posts of people with strong opinions. Companies “crawl” the Internet for public comments with key words then sell the reports with new types of graphical representation of the results. Companies post comments in public forums asking specific questions and inviting people to participate in the discussion. Another way to gain feedback from consumers is to simply request it– think apps.

It is hard to imagine what will be the next technology or discovery to bring major changes to the field of marketing, but in 10 years, there will be market research and it will be different.

As an end user of research, it’s your responsibility to spot inaccuracies and opportunities that aren’t yet uncovered. But how do you do this when you’re not a trained researcher? For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us this November 12-14  in Boca Raton, register today and mention code NONMR12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

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