4 Kasım 2012 Pazar

New Generation Research

The world of market research has a golden rule: The consumer will tell you all you need to know about him – as long as you know where to look for the answers...

Brands have not cut down on market research budgets in Turkey where the global economical crisis has had relatively little effect. However, brand managers have quite increased expectations on the return of every penny they spend.

Brand managers prefer to work with researchers who are clear on where to look for the answers within the new complicated world of marketing.

This pressure creates the need for a renewed definition of the role the market researcher has in the world of marketing.

Anyways, being good in conventional research has not been enough for a long time now.

In the new research world, building statistical models successfully is no longer an advantage but has become a hygiene factor. Accompanying digital and technological developments have carried the role research must undertake beyond that.

So where must the new generation researcher look for the answers?

To answer this question, one must look where change is mostly taking place.

We see that the change has been taking place in five main areas in the last ten years.

1) Information Integration
2) Technological Developments
3) Social Media
4) Distinguishing Behavior and Attitude
5) Choice Architecture

1) Information Integration

Brands would like a more holistic look from the new generation researchers so that work with high added value can be delivered.

While the brand manager plans his brand across 360 degrees, the fact, that he is obliged to learn the information setting the basis for this planning in bits and pieces, makes it hard for him to do his job properly.

Brand managers demand the integration of all the data because they know they can create the 1+1=3 effect only then.

In line with this change, the traditional categorization of market research, e.g. image research, usage and attitude research etc., is now left behind.

The new generation researchers do not place information at the center anymore.

When you place information at the center, information becomes the end rather than the means.

In that case, you confronted with market share data as one goal and brand image data as totally another.

It gets impossible to integrate such a data structure.

So what must the new generation researcher place in the center for integration to take place naturally?

Once understanding and managing client life cycle becomes fundamental for the new generation researcher, information becomes the means. It is then that integration takes place naturally.

2) Technological Developments

Neuroscience has all of a sudden become popular as a new research methodology for global brands.

However, it has lost its popularity very quickly due to misusage.

New generation researchers know that it is still possible for neuroscience to contribute to the brand in case it is applied correctly.

Neuroscience samples need to be limited due to budget and time constraints. That is why using neuroscience in lieu of quantitative research causes serious mistakes. Neuroscience should be a qualitative approach.

It is a tough methodology to use in research that will set the base for global decisions since cultural deviations are immense. New generation researchers use neuroscience as a local initiative only.

Neuroscience techniques should not be used by themselves. Even though there are advancements in tracking the neurons, we can still see only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the feelings behind neural ignition.

Neuroscience can provide unique and valuable additional information when it is used supplementary to the existing research techniques.

3) Social Media

Social media analysts will continue to develop their own methods against traditional market research models and they will raise their voices more bravely against traditional researchers each passing day.

Brands will feel no hesitation to knock on the doors of these analysts.

A research held at the Carnegie Mellon University has already shown that Twitter data stands out as a way to track public opinion reliably.

While traditional researchers criticize social media to be a closed and nonrepresentative medium, social media analysts know very well that “What happens in social media does not stay in social media”.

What takes place in social media is somehow carried on to main stream media and instantly becomes a mass phenomenon.

A good example of that is Aziz Yıldırım and the “Is that so Samet?” case.

4) Distinguishing Behavior and Attitude

In the last 50 years of marketing it has been believed that consumer behavior developed in line with attitude only.

The science of marketing focused entirely on changing attitude.

However, when all the brands in the category focus on changing attitude, the pressure applied on the consumer results in the consumer taking his attitude under preservation.

Whereas the new generation researchers know that when you change the consumer’s behavior without focusing on his attitude, the consumer will reconstruct his inner balance and consequently will also change his attitude over time.

That is the very reason why new generation researchers focus on the behavior they would like to change before focusing on brand preferences.

They do not find tracking attitude adequate and consult models that track behavior.

5) Choice Architecture

New generation researchers stand out as choice architects.

 “Choice architects” redesign the environments where people make choices, in order to understand those environments and to facilitate the decision in favor of the brand.

New generation researchers have started sparing substantial budgets for choice architecture projects.

Choice architects focus on four basic issues: facilitating the decision, understanding decision making mistakes, developing methodologies that enable feedback, and understanding how automated behavior is formed over time.

The new generation researcher, who considers choice architecture to be important, believes that current research models are unnecessarily complicated.

It is impossible to understand the easiness required by the consumer while making his choices, through ultra combined questionnaires.

The researcher that can identify the correct measurement criteria for easiness does not need 25-page questionnaires.

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