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Podcast: Technology in market research and insights should be invisible

Michael Howard, our head of marketing, discusses how market research and insights technology is most successful when it is invisible, and how it can make the lives of market research and insights teams much easier.

  • Podcast
  • ResTech
November 30, 2022
Back to Resources / Podcast: Technology in market research and insights should be invisible

This episode of our "Now that's Significant" podcast was led by our Infotools head of marketing, Michael Howard. He discussed how market research and insights technology is most successful when it is invisible, the kinds of technology there are across the end-to-end processes of the market research industry, what success looks like when market research and insights technology is invisible, and considerations to make if you are looking into new market research technology.


Michael kicks off the show by declaring that market research and insights technology is most successful when it is invisible. He describes this as the carrying out a task, without feeling like you’re using technology. This can happen by automating tasks, and it can also be done by making the experience of using the technology a delight. He continues by defining, “for the market researcher, the tasks we’re thinking about are primarily the generation of insights - the understanding of consumers.” 

Michael shares that there are opportunities for technological improvement across the end-to-end processes of the market research industry. He describes six key steps of the research process as: 1) defining a challenge; 2) designing a program; 3) collecting the data; 4) investigating the data; 5) reporting the data; 6) acting on the data. While step three (collecting the data) is where we’ve primarily seen technology aiding the process, such as with online surveys and agile neuroscience platforms, Michael says that the last three steps of the process all have potential for growth with new technologies.

What does success look like when market research and insights technology are invisible? Michael shares, “when your market research and insights technology is invisible, you can simply get on with your job.” He continues by saying, “there’s nothing more frustrating than having to painstakingly work around the technology in your organization.”

When the technology is invisible, insights teams have more space for the ‘aha!’ moments. This is provided via more time for: investigating the data, asking questions of the findings, diving deeper than what was initially presented, and serving their organization with game-changing insights. Success can also come when tech automation renders previously lengthy tasks invisible, by doing the heavy lifting for insights professionals. 

If you are looking into new market research technology, Michael shared, “moving from one way of working to another will require some change. There will be some things that need to be learned, and some things that need to be unlearned.” This is mostly unavoidable. However, automating can also help remove human error. This adds effectiveness on top of the efficiency gains. “The design has to work just as hard as the data,” shares Michael. He recommends that you ask the questions: what is the experience we have when using the technology - does it feel like it’s there, is it in the way, is it pleasant? How easy is the technology to use? Does it actually help us make an impact for our customers? 

Opting for invisible market research and insights software can help you attract and retain top talent in the industry. When people are used to using tools and technology, they’ll rarely want to go backwards. Investing the latest market research software can actually help you not just understand your market better, but also hold on to talent. 

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