Bringing back “Jeeves”: Fast answers to market research questions

Speed to answers is a big part of the transformation of the market research industry. As researchers, we must have data-based answers right away when clients ask a question

Who remembers the online “valet” to answer your most burning questions, “Ask Jeeves”? Innovative for its time, the service was meant to provide online users with answers to everyday questions using natural language. This kind of service has morphed extensively into voice-driven artificial intelligence like Siri and Alexa but has the same original goal: delivering fast answers. And, over the past 25 years since Ask Jeeves first came online, we’ve become less and less inclined to wait. 

Speed to answers is a big part of the transformation of the market research industry. As researchers, we must have data-based answers right away when clients ask a question. Stakeholders don’t wait to wait and, in many cases, can’t wait because of the fast-paced consumer ecosystem in which we are all operating. Historically, we could not answer on the fly - our systems and processes did not allow these kinds of fast turnarounds. 

Importance of fast answers during a crisis

When we look at this trend in the time of COVID-19, we can really start to see how critical “speed to insights” has become. Consumer behavior has changed dramatically over the course of the past two months and has continued to shift as we enter various stages of the pandemic. Many smart market researchers are releasing weekly studies to help guide specific industries during this transition. Industry associations and groups round up the data on their sites, such as this resource page from the Market Research Society and this page by ESOMAR

Behavior isn’t the only thing that brands need to track, the sentiment is also important, and insights about attitudes and emotions can help advise important actions and communications. As we covered in our recent article about empathy, “A deep understanding of human feelings can help us to navigate, and now that is even more important, both for our own humanity and for brands themselves. A misstep right now, with emotions at an all-time high, can break trust and goodwill quickly and irrevocably.” 

Technology can keep giving consumer insights answers.

The good news is that we now have a next-generation “Jeeves” built specifically for the market research industry. Our Harmoni platform can truly answer in real-time, allowing users to slice and dice data as the questions are asked, on the go. Using automation, Harmoni does everything from data processing to visualization with an intuitive, fast interface. And, we have decades of experience to back it up, with our expert team available to help you get the most out of your data. 

According to the latest GRIT report by Greenbook, speed is still one of the top three deliverables (53%) demanded by clients. Any delay is not tolerated, especially as the entire consumer landscape evolves during the crisis. Researchers must use the right mix of technology and expertise to help brands make data-based decisions and pivot to stay relevant to a consumer audience that has been disrupted and irrevocably changed.

While Jeeves may be dead, we say: “Ask Harmoni!”

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