Market research trends for 2022
May 25, 2022
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the metaphorical rug was pulled from under our feet. Like a bolt from the blue, we were jolted out of our comfort zones and thrust into unchartered territory.
The landscape of the working world was one such aspect of our lives that changed irreversibly. Every industry has in some way felt the aftershock of the pandemic’s seismic tremors, and the market research sector is no different.
New and exciting trends are surfacing at a rapid rate in the market research sphere, with the pandemic having paved the way for and cemented some of these changes. Long-gone are the days of traditional, cumbersome and old-fashioned research methods; a new age of automation and AI-powered insights is dawning. The dramatic advancement of Martech no doubt forms the backbone of many market trends post-2020, a breeding ground for innovative new developments.
Let’s dive into some of the key trends shaping the market research industry in 2022.
Out with the old, in with the new
Now more than ever, brands are drowning under an influx of data which is gushing in from countless streams and sources. In order to stay afloat, brands need to be able to swim against the current by adopting new automation and machine learning tools, which have the capacity to decipher and filter down a large volume of different data sets. By integrating new technologies into their market research, brands can juggle a large quantity of data and streamline their research practices to make them more efficient, by allocating more time to value-add tasks rather than spending it attempting to parse through a torrent of data.
Automation and AI are proving to be the catalysts for the extinction of traditional market research methodologies. When AI is capable of gauging human emotions on video, or monitoring huge volumes of data, conventional research practices such as focus groups and in-person surveys are falling short, and losing ground against their speedier, more efficient competitors. The adoption of AI and automation is proving to be the key to efficient and up-to-date market intelligence.
Finding the platforms that work for you
With all the technology developments happening at the moment, it’s easy to see how there’s a scramble to adopt the latest Martech. Like a kid at Christmas, you may become wide-eyed when you catch sight of the new, shiny toy being dangled in front of you when it’s plastered all over a storefront, and rush home to put it on your wish list. But arming yourself with an unnecessarily well-stocked arsenal of Martech isn’t necessarily going to work in your favour.
When it comes to Martech, less is more. There’s so much technology out there, but when you depend on too many platforms at once, it’ll begin to feel like you’re balancing a growing tower of books that’s one gust of wind away from toppling over. It’s easy to lose track of your insights when you’re constantly switching between numerous different analytics tools. Many of the platforms available boast similar features or tools, so it’s best to stick to a handful that work for you rather than overdoing it. You may become overwhelmed quite quickly by an excess of Martech, so be discerning when it comes to choosing what you work with.
Social listening as a treasure trove for insights
Whilst social listening isn’t a new trend per se (in fact, it’s been a pretty common practice in the realm of market research for a while now, since we’ve tapped into the power of social media), it’s becoming impossible to ignore the fact that it’s a pivotal component of any market researcher’s toolkit. Internet users on average spend two hours and 25 minutes per day on social media, so it really is the place to be when it comes to gauging customer opinion on your brand. Engaging indirectly with consumers is a fundamental means of fleshing out your market intelligence.
Social listening goes far beyond the tracking of ‘likes’ and ‘views’ on a brand’s social pages. It involves analysing conversations that revolve around the brand, whether it to be to do with a new product release or service offering, or simply to measure general sentiment towards the company. Using AI, brands can tackle social listening on a massive scale, as many tools analyse countless social media conversations and feed back with actionable metrics that paint an insightful picture of the public perception of the brand.
Aligning brand messaging to customer values
Consumers nowadays are highly conscious of issues such as sustainability and diversity, and tend to back the brands that align with their values. When it comes to important issues such as equality, inclusion, and sustainability, brands need to put their money where their mouth is. Whilst preaching that your brand supports certain causes is all well and good, it’s no longer enough. Brands have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
Customers are paying close attention to the way companies conduct their business, making sure that their practices align with their personal values. Market research is needed in order to figure out where a particular brand’s customers stand on certain issues, and how the brand can adapt their business practices to meet the expectations of their audience. Customers want to support brands who align with their ethics and morals, and accordingly, brands should be digging deep to find out what makes their audience tick.
Remote is here to stay
One thing is for certain: due to the pandemic, our attitude towards remote working has undergone a sea change.
Once upon a time, remote working was practically unheard of. Sitting on your sofa and cuddling your dog whilst attending a business meeting? Blasphemy.
As a consequence of lockdowns, many of us had no choice but to move to working exclusively from home for extended periods of time over the past two years. As a result, a vast amount of people have come to prefer this method of working, and in the market research industry, this has actually had a positive knock-on effect for market intelligence. Remote market research can be a huge benefit in the long-term.
Video-based research will remain at the forefront of research practices for the foreseeable. Through platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, interviews and surveys can be conducted at the click of a button, without the burden of a commute or long-haul journey. Beyond this, video-based research could actually lay the foundations for positive change on the sustainability and inclusivity front. With customers now highly invested in causes close to their heart, it’s important that brands react accordingly by aligning their values with that of their audience. Video-based research could support this endeavour twofold; for one thing, it makes research practices more sustainable, as it demands less travel and can be done from the comfort of home. Furthermore, it allows researchers to interview and survey a broader panel of people, making their research more representative and diverse. It’s a win-win.