Technology is moving pretty rapidly, whether we want it to do so or not. This is pretty evident based on any part of the business world, but especially when it comes to marketing and that whole field. Market research in particular has been significantly impacted by the ways that technology has changed the landscape.
Now, it’s not like the field has become virtually unrecognizable. The tried-and-true ways of gathering data about customers are still around and working just fine. We can just add some additional tools to our belts now, which is pretty handy.
When we read articles like this one, we can start to see some of those ways that market research has evolved. Today, we’ll be delving into those specifics, so continue reading if that sounds interesting to you!
What is Market Research, anyway?
To start, let’s take a look at how we can define market research in the twenty-first century. Essentially, it’s when we study the ways that the economy and overall customer behavior impact our businesses and organizations. We can get a sense of who our customers are and what our target audience should be by doing this not just early on, but all throughout the lifespan of our organization.
How Has Technology Impacted Market Research?
Since we’ve covered the basics of how it works right now, let’s delve into how it’s changed as of late. As you can probably imagine, this is a field that is rapidly evolving (and has been for decades now, since the advent of the internet). We just have a lot more ways to get data that’s relevant!
In that sense, the impact of technology in market research is hard to put an exact finger on – the differences are all around us in ways that we may not have even realized. You see, customers leave behind something known as a “digital trail.” Obviously, we’re not harvesting personal data, but rather, we’re trying to get a sense for the habits that customers have as they peruse the internet at large and our specific websites.
The methods of doing this are much more advanced now. We can track how folks move their cursor, what advertisements they saw before visiting our website, and more – it just requires knowing what tools to use to access that information. Check out some of the resources we’ve provided if you aren’t really sure where to start.
Of course, the vastness of the internet also means that we have access to a repository of information right at our fingertips. We don’t have to do in-depth research about the economy on our own these days, and we can instead check for other researchers who have done that already and are consistently posting new information about that.
Social Media and Market Research
Unless you’ve been living under a bridge for the past fifteen years, then you’ve probably heard of social media. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve got an account, and hopefully your organization has one as well. They’re a huge tool for market research, as you can see here:
Why is that? Well, think of it this way: a lot of customers share all sorts of details about their personal lives on these platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This includes some of their buying habits, which are what we should be keeping a close eye on. We can keep tabs on overall shopping and spending habits, work lives, and even hobbies.
All of this is to get a better profile for our customers and to get a sense of who our target audience is (or should be). At the end of the day, while looking at data is nice, it’s implementing strategies based on that data that can really make a big difference for your organization or business. You have to use the information you gather if you want to be more successful.
Part of that process is to automate the collection of data so that you and your team can focus instead on analyzing it. There are a ton of ways to achieve that, of course, so don’t be afraid to expand your horizons and to explore your options.
What this Means for us as Businesses
What we’ve been getting at this whole time is that if you haven’t already started to implement more technology into your market research strategy, then it may be time to do so. While it may seem difficult to do at first, if you get the right people on your team, then it should be a breeze.
Consider looking at external options, too, if you don’t have anyone right now who’s got all of the skills necessary. After all, this is often a multi-person operation rather than just assigning one person to all of your market research.