From the desk of Kathy Doyle
I had the pleasure of attending IIeX North America in Atlanta June 13-15. It has become a “go to” market research conference for me, always providing a window into the future of our industry, from both the client’s and research partner’s perspective.
This year, what I heard over and over was that clients expect their research partners to provide results cheaper, faster AND better. For years, standard wisdom has been that clients could expect two of three, but never all three. If you wanted the research to be better, you would have to sacrifice either cost or speed. That is about to change.
Taking a peek into the (not so distant) future, the market research industry is beginning to embrace automation. It is now possible to get machine translation of a multitude of languages almost instantly, and a human translation within 24 hours. Audio and video clips can be instantly transcribed, allowing researchers to quickly search for and clip highlights to incorporate into a final deliverable. Text analytics is getting so robust that I actually heard clients say, in effect, “ if a machine can write the report, let it. I am hiring you for study design, and for finding the insights and translating them into a story that helps us make decisions.”
DIY recruiting, DIY mobile surveys, automated incentive payments… exhibitors offering each of these was present at the conference, and their offerings were impressive.
So, while I still believe you get what you pay for, it is in our best interests as research partners to automate any activities that are repetitive, and that hinder us from being thinkers vs. doers.