Market research is an everchanging industry and the landscape is becoming more diverse with specialists in behavioral science, social intelligence, CX/UX, analytics, and AI. At the same time, the shopping landscape is also ever changing with the boom of omnichannel and especially e-commerce shopping.
Each day, there are new entrants into the marketplace. Each with their own routes to insights and inspiration. There is an explosive growth in the Research Technology (ResTech) space, which is acting as the catalyst for many of these new ventures. This is creating a big dilemma for brands and retailers: how to take advantage of this new opportunity? Where to even start sorting through this space?
In the past, research was mostly a manual process. Today, there are over 1,200 software companies in the research industry. Automated platforms and DIY with lower costs, faster results, and a simple route to insights. For the agency, the “win” is clear: saving time means improved operating margins. For brands and retailers, it’s more with less. Though the benefits are tempting, there are still potential risks.
Here are 5 key questions as you develop and assess the next digital insights innovation including:
- What is the problem this tech solves?
How will this new tech help fill in the gaps that were missing and how can it save time and costs. Is this data going to add or substitute? How have we managed without it up to now?
- Where does this fit into our workflow?
Who will actually manage this process? The tech will still need human supervision in the end and therefore, that responsibility needs to be delegated to someone. Also, what support are we going to need? So often, the training, onboarding, and role of the customer success team will determine adoption.
- How does this connect with existing processes?
Successful tech often needs connection to other programs such as through an API (application programming interface) to realize the full value. The process of connecting programs together can be complicated and demanding on resources. How secure is that development resource to ensure the product can fully integrate, can be maintained, and continue to improve?
- Who owns what and where?
ResTech is super clear on the ownership of the data and the IP associated with the product. It’s normally all laid in the contract, but review those contracts carefully so that you’ve got that clarity going in.
- Could this tech be scaled further?
It’s a great start once the program is up and running and pilots have gone well. But remember, it has delivered only given the context of the first test. Still, what’s the evidence that it can improve your business enterprise-wide and where would we anticipate challenges rolling this to a wider setting? Where are the likely challenges that may arise and how would we solve them?
Experimentation needs to run with sound business and processes in place. Too often, the commercial and operational thinking is missing. When ResTech delivers real impact, it has buy-in and multiple points of connection across the enterprise.
Ask the questions, involve others, and of course, employ critical judgment. Then you’re good to go!
Any questions? Contact us today!
Adrian Sanger helps insight start-ups, scale-ups, and established agencies bring winning products to market. He is a Director at eFluence™, the technology division of Behaviorally. He has helped in the build of Flash.PDP™, from the very beginning and now works with clients to shape the program and realize the value. He is a classically trained researcher, assisting C-level Insight teams in tackling their biggest growth challenges, including finding market opportunity, elevating their product strategy, and positioning, and developing winning go-to-market. Connect with Adrian on LinkedIn.