With the future of market research in front of us, we thought it would be helpful to take a look back at some of the latest trends and developments that will shape this year’s research. Here are four top trends you’ll see shaping next year’s market research

1- Big Data

Big Data is the term given to data sets so large that they are difficult to process using traditional data processing applications.

By the early 2020s, companies are grappling with the issue of how to securely store, process, analyze, and ultimately leverage so-called ‘big data.’ Powered by advances in AI, Machine Learning, and big data analysis technologies, companies are looking to build solutions for not just the assessment of market performance, but also optimization of products, processes, and processes that involve the use of data, and the improvement of operations and processes.

Hence, the need for innovative market research tools developing by and for companies in advance of the inevitable need for AI.

During the Fall 2018 Global Information Services Conference, IBM’s engagement with user research blew the lid open on 2021’s role in the organization.

Insight Series What will 2021 bring for BI & Big Data Talks with IBM
What do you think of IBM’s approach to user research Did you learn anything new Let us know in the comments!

Building new infographics can help build trust on social media and Linkedin. Leaving out important information in infographics blunts the power of your message.
2020 has not been kind to businesses that rely on social media to engage with consumers daily. Consumer distrust likely contributed to the $159 billion total reach loss for U.S. brands’ social media accounts in 2020, per the Deloitte Digital Customer Insights.

Infographics which can speak directly to consumers without the need for an introduction are key pieces of content for any brand engaging on social media.
If you are a marketer trying to grow your community or position your company in the public eye through infographics or video content, you need to think outside the box.

2- Online vs face-to-face discussions

There are different kinds of discussions online and offline and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Online discussions are great for building your brand and fostering an online community. You can use them to generate content and build trust and rapport with your audience. In an online community, you get to know your audience better and share your expertise and knowledge with them. It’s a virtual dialogue that builds trust and community.

Collaborative research is the process of gathering information and data from multiple viewpoints to teach yourself a new subject and uncover new insights. One of the best ways to gather such research is through online discussion forums, comment threads, and web search queries. Often this kind of research supports ideas to present a unified perspective at different events or publications.

Collaborative research is not just about having two people promoting an idea and sharing a link — additional people can also be involved in gathering information.
You can generate ideas from every form of online communication and collab. Comment threads, while viewed by some as anonymous places for fatty or troll-ish discussions, are a great way to input collective and even anonymous ideas into a topic.

Comment threads have several benefits and drawbacks simultaneously. First, they help you hone in on the core of an idea and avoid outliers and whatnot. Second, they invite participation from several sources so that everyone contributes to the conversation. Another drawback you may face is the fact that online discussion threads can quickly devolve into flame wars. Combining these forces, comment threads have their pros and cons depending on your needs.

When it comes to informal research, gathering information through online sources is viable and has its own set of benefits. You can find out information more quickly by going directly to the source instead of conducting homework. Furthermore, you gain the ability to pull the best ideas from multiple users and multiple influences. Another drawback you might face is the fact that you can no longer conduct a proper evaluation of a given idea when done online.

3- Real-time market research

If you’re in product or service development, a great way to get real-time market research is by posting a picture of your product on Instagram or Twitter and asking people what they think about it. This is a great way to get critical feedback and real-time market research without spending a dime.

Recent statistics show that approximately 80 percent of marketers use Instagram’s hashtag feature to talk to potential customers.

If you want to get a real-time snapshot of the current market and consumer opinions, you can post a picture of your product on Twitter or Instagram or talk about it in Instagram Direct Messages. Ask people about their thoughts and opinions on your product through direct messages on social media, and you’ll have a snapshot of the learning market at hand.

While many businesses and organizations are moving to more user-centric marketing strategies, asking a barrage of questions for a lengthy response whilst truthfully engaging with people is a proven way to capture a far more effective and genuinely pleasurable marketing experience.

With the increasing utilization of voice recognition technology, marketers can ask a question and have a user respond, virtually. This eliminates the need for further questions. On the other hand, if you post your question in bulk, you’re masking your actual presence, giving you all sorts of excuses if people don’t engage.
You can also talk to customers about their future needs and prospects. This process doubles as another chance to engage with your potential customers and a great way to define your customer goals and survey user behavior to realize your customer insights.

To help market research on your behalf, set up diary prompts, quizzes, and polls to post in Instagram Direct Messages in advance of key dates.
For the next best’s poll, deploy a typical real-life scenario whereby your audience has a choice to vote on their real goal.

4- Wearables as a research tool

Wearables can be used as a research tool. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, wearables will be the next big technological revolution. Wearables allow companies to collect data from their consumers. For example, smartwatches can monitor how many steps you have taken and how many calories you have burned. These devices can also monitor your heart rate.

In addition, new gadgets such as watches with lanyards, neckbands, and bitcoin wallets make it easier to collect data and generate insights for users. This builds up the retail opportunities for companies that sell wearables. Perhaps most importantly, it positions these devices to be the next consumer health connectors. Not just fitness trackers, but also health-tracking bracelets are emerging.

As consumers wear more wearable devices, it will become easier to obtain data on how consumers’ choices affect their health and well-being. As research adds to this emerging technology, companies with data scouting capabilities will gain a competitive advantage over the competition.

Fitbit already has a fragmented health and fitness tracking offering. By analyzing user data from its multiple products, Fitbit can gain insights into their user’s movements, health metrics, psychometric metrics, and triage issues. Fitbit now has an ecosystem of connected products and services to deliver fitness insights to consumers.

Fitbit’s brand was developed around wellness. Apple’s iWatch is building on Fitbit’s brand. The acquisition of Pebble is creating a platform for health-focused technology. Apple has positioned iWatch as a health and fitness-centric device compelling users to take control of their health.

In late 2013, Judge William H. Orrick III of the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Fitbit was infringing on the patents of Pebble, Inc. by making and selling smartwatches containing certain elements of the “Pebble Operating System.“

The operating system is a computerized operating system that is used to set up and control a smartwatch, Pebble’s business model was dependent upon wearing a digital watch connected to its smartphone, such that users’ smartphones would act as the portion of a personal computer.

Related: Marketing Research 2021 trends

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