Technology and commercialization have sparked global change, but change brings with it dozens of new difficulties and opportunities that all industries must adapt to. The use of digital technology to solve problems, modify processes and policies, and evolve into a better functioning organisation and industry is what digital transformation is all about.
Because digital transformation affects all industries, we must evolve in tandem with other organisations and industries. The insights sector has come a long way, incorporating a range of technology into our operations to expand into an industry that gives data and insights to other industries facing problems and challenges.
All industries are affected by digital transformation, resulting in a global shift. Our evolution reflects the challenges of technology integration as the insights industry responds to the needs of other industries.
Effect 1: Fast-Paced Just Got Faster
Simply said, the goal of market research is to give actionable insights at the speed of business; however, with the integration of technological processes and the shift to online research, the speed of business has increased dramatically. Because traditional data gathering and analysis approaches couldn't keep up, the insights we initially generated quickly lost their relevance and value as soon as they were on the desks of stakeholders.
In our fast-paced, technology-driven society, nothing remains relevant for long. With the longest-running consumer trends lasting at most a few months and at most a few years. In order to keep up and preserve value, the insights sector has to innovate. New technology-based methodologies and analytical processes for market research were developed to embrace digital transformation.
Online technologies and automation have enabled insight specialists to speed up research initiatives, substantially reducing timeframes and enhancing research capacity and proficiency, thanks to these new methodologies and processes. This novel methodology arose from a requirement for a variety of research activities to keep participants engaged as more research is undertaken, and have included methodologies drawn from behavioural science, virtual reality, bioscience studies, and many others!
The reporting methods accessible are one part of the insight sector that has yet to be altered by digital. We're still writing pages and pages of written reports every day, full of the data and insights we've gathered, only for our audience to skim read or forget critical information once they've finished. This is something we're attempting to rectify. Insights and data are intrinsically fascinating and have the ability to alter entire sectors, but only if they are relevant and presented in a way that attracts important stakeholders' attention.
Effect 2: Boundless Communication
Transcontinental borders have been removed thanks to technological advancements. With just a few taps/clicks of a button, we can speak with someone on the other side of the planet, and this has had significant repercussions.
One implication is that the globe appears to shrink. We are now forming thousands of online groups on various platforms around the world and are accustomed to talking with others quickly regardless of location, making the world a much more connected place. We may utilise this in market research to communicate with customers and participants at any time, creating and sharing high-quality data and insights within hours of commission. We've also begun to leverage those consumer-created groups as a secondary source of passive data collecting, studying consumer trends as they emerge in a natural setting and supplementing our findings with additional information.
Another consequence is that we may now involve more people than ever before in multiple research projects at the same time. The more traditional face-to-face research we conducted in qualitative focus groups was constrained by geographical and time-based restrictions, as it was dependent on where the research was conducted and when the closest people were available to participate. While enticing participants might have become harder, we are able to send a myriad of different research tasks, from online gamified surveys to eye tracking UX studies, as well as whatever incentives we might offer all through technology from our own digital transformation efforts.
Both of these repercussions and effects demonstrate the power we are beginning to wield with purpose now that we have infinite access to consumers and the ability to transform experiences for all insight professionals, enterprises, and participants.
Effect 3: Transforms Market Research Experience
It's not easy to change experiences for all three of those groups, but with the help of insights, we've found ways to evolve and engage all three, regardless of what additional obstacles may arise.
Through the power of digital transformation, both employee and participant experiences are transforming at the same time, becoming more personalised and intriguing to better engage each audience in research and insights; however, insight professionals now face the challenge of learning new skills, attitudes, and behaviours in order to keep up with our rapidly expanding arsenal of methodologies, moderation, and tools.
Naturally, these skills will vary depending on your specialisation and the tools available to you, but some new skills to keep up with could include gamification techniques for more engaging research tasks across the board, basic coding for any website or tool issues, good knowledge of social media platforms so you can tell where the best external data would be, and image/video editing skills. There are clearly many more skills, like as digital ethnography and understanding mobile-first research, that can significantly improve your chances of becoming a great insight specialist in a quickly expanding sector.
Would it be better to strive to get a larger grasp of all the new abilities and behaviours that researchers should aspire to comprehend, if not adopt, or an in-depth understanding of a select few? Of course, there isn't a single correct response. Specializing in a particular aspect of market research will establish you as an expert in that sector; but, gaining a wide understanding of all abilities will position you as a solid all-rounder who can effortlessly switch between activities.
The market research industry, as well as the experts who work in it, are at the mercy of the businesses and customers who surround us. We must adapt to deliver engaging, helpful information appropriate to their circumstances at the time when other sectors change around us. When consumers evolve, we need to create new ways to distribute research so that accurate and rich data can be returned for meaningful insight generation.
Technological catalysts have the capacity to revolutionise all industries and customers, but the digital transformation that comes with it is nothing to be afraid of. It opens up new possibilities for us to progress alongside the rest of the world, allowing us to benefit from new abilities and experiences.