Market research has shifted in the past ten years. If you’d have approached a market research firm 15 years ago, the solution would likely have been boots on the ground and the choice between a small sample size or a huge bill. In recent years, this has changed to digital solutions where larger numbers of respondents can be found at a cheaper rate.

However, the real revolution is now upon us. Both methods mentioned above have relied upon users telling you what they think. Whether digital or traditional in their collection method, market research has revolved around asking people questions such as:

  • What do you think of X?
  • How do you feel about Y?
  • Are you more likely to buy T after seeing B?

The obvious problem with this is that the person answering your questions will be influenced by a number of factors. These include elements like a fear of judgement, the environment, or group mentality if surveyed as part of a group.

Ultimately, what you get is unreliable at best, and just plain wrong at worst. For a great case study of this, just take a look at the opinion polling prior to the last few UK elections. The polls were way off every time, due to low sample sizes, those answering not stating their true feelings, and the samples used being misrepresentative of the overall population.

The New Age Of Market Research

At Clarity Stack, we’re at the forefront of the new age of market research. Namely, combining the types of data discussed above, with more passive information that is collected without having to directly ask the user a question that they may show a bias on.

For instance, when trying to establish brand awareness after an ad campaign, instead of simply asking:

  • Are you more likely to buy from John Lewis after seeing their latest Christmas advert?

We’d ask the above, and combine that data with the likes of:

  • Clickthrough rates on test ads for John Lewis amongst different audience segments. In practice that means running digital ads in a variety of formats (branded, unbranded, showing Christmas campaign, not showing Christmas campaign) to audiences who have seen the ad campaign, audiences who haven’t, audiences who follow John Lewis, and audiences who are new to the brand – combining all of this data to get a true picture of ad click bias based on the original ad campaign
  • Combining sales data from the brand in question with ad viewer frequencies – looking at geographies of stores and ad viewing statistics
  • Measuring the conversation around the ad campaign on social media – this still provides some biases like directly asking questions, however users have posted on their own free will and on mass, allowing a huge data-set to analyse

This is just a quick example, but it highlights the difference in what you can find out by going deeper and using the vast range of data that’s available.

The revolution in market research is in combining passive data sets, survey data, and action based test results to glean a higher level of insight from your target audience. This can be done at massive scale, meaning that when done correctly you can have more data that’s much more accurate, at a cost that’s usually much lower than a traditional market research project.

For brands, this is huge – it means you can generate genuine insight from your customers, or your target audience. Find out more about what we offer on our market research page, by clicking here.

Viva la revolución.

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