New approaches in consumer research

From left to right: Dr. Steffen Schmidt, Pam Cusick, Holger Geißler, Sam Sudlow and Christian Dössel (Image: marktforschung.de)

One of the highlights of the second day of succeet22 was the panel discussion on new approaches to consumer research. The following four international experts debated, moderated by Holger Geisslermanaging director of marktforschung.de and succeet GmbH, on current trends and approaches in consumer behavior research:

  • Pam CusickSenior Vice President at Rare Patient Voice
  • Christian DosselSenior Vice President at Behaviorally
  • Dr Steffen SchmidtScience & Agile Insights Marketing Director at LINK
  • Sam SudlowDirector of Business Development at Premise Data

New approaches thanks to artificial intelligence

There are various new approaches in consumer research. Many are using AI to automate processes and get results faster. For example, testing of advertisements or other communication materials is done by trained AI, so no one is needed at this stage. The experts present were of the opinion that it was not a question of replacing humans with AI, but rather of supplementing traditional methods. Using AI enables better decisions to be made faster, but only if there is a well-trained AI. Nowadays everyone always wants faster data, data sets are also getting bigger and the use of artificial intelligence can help here. In some cases it makes sense to use a trained AI, but not in others, for example if there is not enough data to train the AI.

The role of the metaverse

Everyone is talking about VR and Metaverse, but so far they haven’t played a major role in market research. Will the metaverse become important for the insights industry? After asking the audience, it became clear that, for example, only a fraction have their own VR glasses. For this reason, Steffen Schmidt is skeptical about this trend for the DACH region, but he has more hope for Apple’s augmented reality glasses, which should appear in 2024. Pam Cusick adds that she does not see either more interest in the client-side Metaverse topic.

According to Sudlow and Dössel, one area where the metaverse could potentially be useful for market research would be Shopper Research. However, there are already other suitable methods for this. The panel also criticized the issue of data protection.

New opportunities thanks to Qual Mobile

In recent years, also reinforced by the corona pandemic, participation in qualitative surveys is increasingly taking place via smartphone. Pam Cusick finds in her work that it is truly helpful and rewarding for patients to participate in interviews or group discussions on the go. Experts claim that it is already widely used today and is an integral part of market research. Sam Sudlow explains that thanks to Qual Mobile, many people are ready to share things and ideas, like filming their daily routines, as part of ethnographic research. It is also very suitable for “Moment of Truths” interviews, according to Schmidt.

Are the boundaries between market research and real life blurring more and more?

There are now much more direct and personal approaches to consumer research, for example through community research. Sudlow explains that participants download an app to earn money through surveys, for example. However, this application is then also part of their daily life, they perform tasks and are happy to share information about the application on a daily basis. For him, the boundaries between market research and real life are becoming increasingly blurred.

Christian Dössel, on the other hand, says he does not see a big difference, since real-life people are also recruited into a panel. He sees the “blurring boundaries” mainly in niche or B2B target groups. Here it must be ensured that real-life people can be found, for example in community groups on Facebook.

In which trend to invest?

Finally, the experts are asked in which field of market research they would invest a million euros if they had the money at their disposal.

Christian Dössel would put money into improving quality control because a lot of trust is placed in the data. Gathering different data sources is also an important aspect for him.

Sam Sudlow would use the millions to make the user experience more interesting, including to better reach younger audiences, and to make sharing market research information more social and sociable.

Steffen Schmidt would invest in the creation of a “digital consumer brain” based on the collection of data on the Internet. Instead of qualitative interviews, tools like Neuroflash can be used for this, but these approaches still require additional steps, according to Schmidt. He would also use the money to develop more automated tools so a researcher could make fewer mistakes.

Pam Cusick would like to use the money to develop something that will reach the “inaccessible”. Because many do not know what market research is, what is its relevance and that their contribution is necessary.

Do you want to listen to the round table yourself?
Then go here for registration!

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