As organizations and companies look for more ways to conduct online market research, it is necessary to understand the methods that have worked in the past, and the changes that must be made in the future. For example, sending out a research team to administer surveys of random shoppers at your store might have worked wonderfully in the past, but as your company expands its online offerings and reaches customers around the globe, that might not be viable anymore. Learning about emerging trends in qualitative research allows you to spot areas for improvement in your strategy so you can continue to strengthen your relationship with your target audience. Additionally, these trends will help ensure your market research techniques remain effective and worthwhile.
Sentiment from Industry Experts
One of the best ways to understand the direction of the market research industry is to poll professionals about what does and doesn’t work. This is exactly what GreenBook does with its quarterly GRIT Report, which stands for GreenBook Research Industry Trends. The Fall 2014 GRIT Report examined responses from 3,175 participants, composed of industry suppliers and clients, and discovered the following trends:
- Increased use of tablets and smartphones is driving change in how research is conducted and analyzed.
- Qualitative market research continues to be an important tool to meet the needs of organizations.
- Research organizations and their clients must also explore new methodologies to adapt to change.
These responses show that as we move into 2015 and beyond, it is more important than ever to anticipate and adapt to changes in the customer landscape. To understand these changes and find out how your business can act to meet the needs of your customers, qualitative market research is the key.
Overcoming Market Research Limitations
Another area of focus for organizations is to find ways that allow them to conduct the qualitative market research they need within tighter budgets, or by using changing methods. With the shift toward mobile for customers, companies are taking advantage of online market research that uses focus groups to find out how consumers feel about a brand, and the reasons behind the purchases they make. Budgetary constraints are a tremendous obstacle for companies to overcome, and utilizing a focus group run online allows a business to save on staffing, materials, and travel costs.
When putting a market research plan into action, businesses also want to get the most value out of their time and money. Gaining access to as much insight and detail is critical so that information can be used as needed. Laddering and other focus group techniques probe for participant responses that will benefit product development, advertising, branding, distribution, and more.
Convenient Connection with Customers
At the end of the day, being able to connect with your customers in a way that is mutually convenient will help produce the most valuable data, especially from a qualitative standpoint. Online market research helps your team solicit feedback from customers around the world and gives them the opportunity to participate from the comfort of their own home. As a result, you’ll receive more candid responses with an online focus group and have the opportunity to run in-depth, multi-day discussions or real-time 90-minute sessions, according to your needs. To learn more about emerging trends in qualitative market research and how online focus groups can benefit your organization, contact a representative at e-FocusGroups at (707) 585-7363.