Innovation in Market Research: Are We Stuck in Previous Centuries or Changing with Times?


Innovation is the new buzz word… but when we think about ‘innovation’ in market research, what comes to mind?  Measuring how innovative a company or brand is? Innovative ways of implementing the research findings?

The question is – how innovative are the market research methodologies we are currently using? Did they evolve enough with the times or do we tend to get stuck in the past to ensure ‘statistical validity’ and ‘the ability to track results over time’?

Market Research in itself has always been innovative – but did it keep up with the times?:

Marketing research was developed in the latter half of the 20th century.  People were intercepted in the streets, asked if they read certain publications, and if they did, they were showed a magazine and asked if they recognised or remembered any of the ads – the birth of surveying or marketing research – innovation indeed!

In the 1980’s, research saw another leap in innovation when a US based market research company leveraged the current technology of W.A.T.S. telephone lines to conduct survey research.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the introduction of the online data collection methodology resulted in yet another innovation leap in market research.

Since the introduction of the online methodology, many innovative ways of collection data via various online platforms has been introduced – but is that enough?

Innovation Research Blog Picture 2 Nov 15

Is it time for another innovative leap in market research?

In the current fast paced, choice filled environment, research methodologies need to focus more and more on uncovering and exposing implicit (and even to date undefinable) needs and wants of customers.

In order to do this – the market research methodology (or even combination of methodologies) that we choose needs to be innovative and do more than just ask a straight question using a single methodology that will achieve statistically significant results.

We need to open up our thinking and combine methodologies such as observations over time, in-depth customer interviews, customer panels, digital data, diary studies, photographs etc.

Take the leap – don’t just rely on one piece of research or one methodology – look broader…