Reading Research Live’s interview with Steve Phillips (see here) prompted me to think again about the future of market research, and more specifically about customised quantitative research which is the backbone of the majority of global research agencies. Along with two other website’s Zappistore might hold the key to part of the future of market research.
Steve Phillip’s new venture appears to offer an intriguing combination of DIY research, best practice research design, online sample and automated reporting. All with cost and turn around time that should have many companies rubbing their hands with glee. Although initially targeted at SMEs and research users without the budgets of large corporations, there is no reason why anyone might not want to use the opportunity to do more with their research budget (apart from the drag of legacy KPIs and blackbox solutions). The bundling of these elements seems intuitively obvious, so congratulations to Steve Phillips for being the first to actually pull this together. It has already won one well deserved innovation prize.
Perhaps Google will be interested in zapping up the Zappistore, after also recently investing in Survey Monkey? It would make sense, as they are already on a trajectory which makes them an increasingly important part of the market research eco-system. Although they are already well known for their survey product, which continues to grow and develop, their ‘Think Insight’ website is also something for market researchers to check out. The site integrates information for marketers, advertisers and creatives with a bunch of useful tools (check here) including Google Trends, Consumer Barometer, Google Analytics, Youtube, Brand Impressions and a host of tools for online and mobile advertising and planning. This integration of consumer information is surely an important part of the future?
Finally, IBM’s vision for a smarter planet is starting to look more and more like a competitor to market research, although there website could do with a makeover and simplification. The main website and also the ‘Smarter Marketing‘ area are both full of interesting case studies on the use of data analytics to provide insight and business intelligence. All they need is a little behavioural insight to integrate with their analytics …
These are indeed interesting times for market research. What is clear is that automated tools will take over a large part of the quantitative research process, but will not take over the role of behavioural insight and creative thinking. If I were still working in quantitative research, I would be thinking hard about my next career move.