Consumers are influencing market research practices

Because our industry is so close to the consumer, there are several new activities and behaviors that we will have to incorporate into our methodologies now and in the future. We write for the Insights Association.

As market researchers, it’s obvious that consumer behavior has changed drastically and continues to shift as current events ebb and flow. Because our industry is so close to the consumer, we will have to incorporate several new activities and behaviors into our methodologies now and in the future. Our Regional Engagement Director, Keri Vermaak, wrote about this reality in her article for the Insights Association, “Three new consumer activities that will endure, and what market research needs to do to keep up.” 

She writes that it is time for us to stop scrambling and start “baking our new-found strategies into some planning for the future.” While there are many changes, big and small, she identifies three key consumer activities that research must consider in the days to come. 

  • We are now living remote lives. In-person activities have moved online, and we are starting to become accustomed to this and even comfortable with the ease of conducting our daily activities virtually. Market research can take clues from newly online activities, such as telemedicine and school, to help us “connect on a deeper level.” She says, “Plan for better ways to reach your audiences digitally – they will expect it.”
  • Streaming is now a way of life. Video content is skyrocketing in popularity, from entertainment streaming to YouTube. Video overall is entering the realm of “comfortable” with consumers, so incorporating it into the “data collection toolkit” will be vital.
    “More surveys should include video content...and things like delivering insights via video, for example, may become the norm if this trend continues.”
  • Purchase behavior is permanently altered. How people are spending their money and making buying decisions are big concerns for consumer products. Clearly, they have moved much of their shopping activity online recently. Keri writes: “When understanding consumer purchase behavior is essential to your business, you must fully incorporate these shopping trends into your research. Surveys need to be enhanced specifically to address the new online and ordering behaviors.”

When the pandemic first began, many believed that things would soon go back to “normal.” Now, a few months in, it is becoming clear that we are facing an entirely different future than we anticipated way back when we made our 2020 New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that consumers won’t be willing to give up “discoveries and conveniences” that they’ve uncovered during the past few months.

Keri concludes: “As an industry that strives for a closer relationship with consumers to build understanding, we must start to future-proof our businesses by transforming our approaches and methods to fit the new consumer.”

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