Which tool is most useful for doing research

Share this:

Market researchers are feeling the pressure. They need to provide valuable insights to help their companies succeed, but they don’t always have enough time or resources to do so. That’s where market research tools come in—they’re like the trusty sidekicks that help researchers do more with less and do it faster than ever before. So, which tool is most useful for doing research?

The answer depends on your specific needs, budgets, and even current setup. Let’s dive into the topic. This article covers:

What are market research tools?

Market research tools are software and platforms –  like the Delineate Proximity brand tracker – that help companies collect, analyze, and interpret data about their target audience, competitors, and market trends – something that can enable companies to drive more revenue.

Market research tools usually come as self-serve platforms, which is different from the traditional market research agency partner. Of course, many of them now have AI components as well.

Deciding on the use case

When deciding on the right tools, companies should consider their own needs and resources.

“If you are a data scientist and you want to dive into using the tools, you can,” said Charlie Butler, co-founder and co-CEO of Bounce Insights, on Episode 5 of the “Research Revolutionaries” podcast. “But if you are a marketing executive who is trying to understand how this crosstab works, you need to be able to provide them with a chatbot that allows them to just ask questions and get answers from that.”

Charlie emphasized the importance of transparency and collaboration between research technology providers and their clients. “If you’re fully transparent as a supplier, and the client is open-minded and asking why they’re doing things the way they are, I think that’s the ingredient or the catalyst for that sort of collaboration,” he said.

When to use MR tools

Tools can work well for specific methodologies, such as:

However, for more complex and varied research needs, such as agile quant projects, self-serve tools may not work as well if not implemented properly or other parts of the process take longer. Here’s an example.

Let’s say the data can be processed in a day, but the entire process – from designing the survey to presenting the insights – takes over a month. This includes two weeks to plan the survey, a day to collect the data, and another two weeks to analyse the results and create a presentation. In the end, it might have been just as easy to hire an agency to do the work.

To avoid this pitfall, Charlie suggests that research technology providers focus on offering recommendations and guidance on execution rather than simply providing a tool with endless possibilities. Corporate researchers can then map their needs against those recommendations.

Software to collaborate better

The advent of market research tools has accelerated the speed of insights and facilitated collaboration among market research teams across the globe, said Greg Pharo, Senior Director at the Coca-Cola Company, on “Research Revolutionaries.”

Coca-Cola tracks campaign performance in near real-time across more than 50 countries using Delineate Proximity.

“In the past, most of our advertising and experience tracking had been done on a very country-specific or regional-specific basis,” he noted. “We decided that we need to be able to bring it all together so that we can understand how all of our different brands are doing in all of the different markets that we’re in.”

The real-time nature of the insights generated has been a game-changer for Coca-Cola.

“Traditionally, tracking studies that have worked before were done on a much slower cadence. Typically, you collect data, and you get a readout at the end of the month,” he explained. “We realised that this just doesn’t work in a digital world. You have to be able to have information that is very current and is dynamic.”

This democratisation of data has been crucial in fostering collaboration and alignment among various stakeholders, from frontline marketing teams to global brand managers and bottling partners. By providing everyone with access to the same real-time insights, market research software has helped break down silos and enable more effective decision-making across the organisation.

As market research teams continue to embrace AI and other advanced technologies, the potential for global collaboration and real-time optimisation will only continue to grow. By leveraging these tools to their fullest potential, organisations can foster a culture of data-driven decision-making and agility, ultimately leading to better outcomes and a more competitive edge in the marketplace.

Human oversight

As AI and machine learning become more common in market research, human oversight is more important than ever.

Caroline Frankum, Global CEO of Kantar Profiles, on an episode of “Research Revolutionaries” emphasised the importance of human expertise in ensuring that AI-powered tools are used effectively and ethically, generating insights that are accurate, relevant, and free from bias.

While AI algorithms can process vast amounts of data and identify patterns at an unprecedented scale, they lack the contextual understanding and strategic thinking that human researchers bring to the table. Without proper human oversight, AI systems may generate insights that are superficial, misleading, or disconnected from the broader business objectives.

To reduce these risks, market research teams need to set clear rules for using AI tools. Human researchers should help design, implement, and monitor these systems to make sure they match research goals, data quality standards, and ethical principles.

One key area where human oversight is particularly crucial is in the validation and interpretation of AI-generated insights.

Being ready for the future

Looking to the future, Charlie believes that the research industry will continue to evolve, with agencies and technology tools moving beyond primary research to incorporate secondary data assets and provide more holistic insights to their clients.

“If you have an information gap or business question, the way you should answer that is, what do we already know,” he said. “Spot the gaps in that. Then identify primary research that can fill those specific gaps, gathering that data, analysing it, integrating it together, and providing a holistic summary to make a decision— that’s the utopia, that is what it should look like.”

At the end of the day, to determine which tool is most useful for doing research depends on whether it’s solving your problems today —and going forward.

“Researchers are problem solvers. Researchers are incredible listeners, and they’re great communicators,” Charlie said. And the right tools will help enhance those skills.

In conclusion, the most useful tool for doing research depends on a company’s specific needs, resources, and goals. The key is to find solutions that provide speed, efficiency, and actionable insights while maintaining the human touch and expertise that clients value. As AI and other technologies continue to transform the research process, it’s crucial for providers and clients alike to remain transparent, collaborative, and open to new ways of thinking to drive better decision-making and business outcomes.