Lightspeed Blog

Big Data and Market Research: Separate Disciplines or Blended Opportunity?

Posted by Neha Jindal on Jun 22, 2015

Marketers and brand custodians today are bombarded with buzz words by the bucket load – big data, programmatic, search, analytics, social media, mobile behavior, etc. Add to this the insights generated from the marketing research industry and it can seem like mayhem is upon them with convoluted data sources all trying to decode the complex human behavior. What is imperative for all in this crowded space is the need to generate actionable information for the brand.

The ESOMAR Asia-Pacific conference in Singapore last month covered few of the new-age technologies that aim to make more sense of the range of sources and opportunities available to the data-driven world of marketing. From foresights into what future Google data analytics capabilities will hold to case studies on how tracking the behaviours of online mothers can help uncover tangible knowledge, the sessions demonstrated a much more interconnected world of research, in both quantitative and qualitative practices. Without question, we saw the door open to some very powerful tools and interesting technologies. But what can we absorb into our current functions?

Ultimately, marketing research as we know it is changing. Annual brand health surveys based on the collection of attitudinal measures alone are no longer enough. With an ever-changing marketplace and an increasing number of touchpoints, a brand has to be always switched on, understanding the pulse of customers constantly. However, this constant gathering of data also needs to avoid being too intrusive or labour intensive —always at the convenience of the customer. That has an implication in the way we conduct research and the approach that we follow.

So how can we achieve it? The answer lies in the following question – where do all these technologies converge? How can we track a person’s behaviour though search, social media, mobile and online primary surveys? How can I capture a complete understanding of a respondent through different lifecycles of purchase and brand interaction? Once I am able to get this data for a representative sample base, I can then start seeing trends in life purchase cycles, identify different segments/types of purchase behaviour. I can identify triggers for each segment and target them with my marketing plans accordingly. Bingo-that’s the heartland of big data and market research working together not in opposition of each other.

To date, there has been a tendency for marketers and researchers alike have considered Big Data and Market Research as separate disciplines, running in parallel and at times and sometimes acting as validation sources but very little more. But the real opportunity of making sense of big data is in market research itself.

At Lightspeed GMI, we understand this that the brand’s proprietary data and research needs have to collide and unite at a common objective in order to provide value to the decisions they drive. This space will continue to be an area of development where the best of technological advance available in the space powered with online research platforms combine to deliver powerful and enriching insights to our clients. This shift is one I personally look forward to and hope to see become less of a talking point and more of a proven point in the conferences and the projects in our industry over the coming years.

Topics: Big Data

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