Yes, the struggle is real for market researchers

We weigh in on Greenbook about the real struggle for market researchers and consumer insights professionals.

Yes, the struggle is real. The struggle that John Bird writes about in his most recent article is that one between technology and relationships. He explores how “keeping clients happy is often more complicated than offering the simplest technology solutions” and how human connections are still vital to doing our jobs well. The article, called “Technology vs. Relationships: The Struggle is Real,” appeared in the Greenbook blog, part of an industry-leading media company dedicated to providing insights professionals around the world with the tools and learning they need to succeed.

John dives into how new technologies are changing the industry and how, alongside the efficiencies they create, they are also shifting the dynamics of how we do business. The agency-client relationship is changing, swinging between extremes of clients doing a high number of tasks in-house to them relying even more on key external partners for their expertise and strategy. 

He says there are three key ways that market researchers should approach this new ecosystem, including:

  • More face time: “I believe a core benefit of increased technology usage – on both sides of the table – is that it is allowing us to spend more time on building important rapport and relationships.” He elaborates by diving into the complications of this new reality, and how entering a project well-prepared and with a deep understanding of goals can help outcomes. 
  • Greater transparency: This is a need that is permeating our social, cultural, and economic landscape, and the business world is no different. John encourages researchers to provide maximum visibility into projects. “We must work together to be transparent about values and processes, and create a sense of community—that we are all in this together.” 
  • Create a feedback loop: While this mechanism may look different in every relationship, it is vital to capturing “insights into the betterment of processes, acting on feedback, and making changes. In any good relationship, there is give and take; building informal ways to gather and process feedback on projects is important.”

He concludes: “The tension between technology and more traditional approaches needs to be put in perspective. They are not mutually exclusive and are, in fact, inexorably tied together.”

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