Is it a question, statement or an argument?
Well I guess it is a bit of all here. From the past few days it has been a recurring thought in my mind – the growing redundancy of Market Researchers. Now what do I mean by it all? Let me quickly come to the point and rephrase the question – with growing technical advancement in the survey research tools – today even non-researchers can quickly and effectively field studies – so do I really need to hire a costly researcher who will serve out average inferences that are of no use to me?? Yes I agree that there will always be need for the ‘brainy’ high end research but are clients getting sick of the mediocrity submitted in the name of research findings? Let us all find out in this article!
I will first divide type of research requirements into 3 parts:
1- High end research – as already mentioned above will exist in the future too but probably not more than 2%-3% market researchers are qualified enough for it.
2- Quick research – where clients needs to make very fast decisions and tools like Survey Monkey and a online data collection vendor will serve the purpose.
3- Medium research – it is in between the above 2 types of research activities where proper planning and effective execution is required.
As you can guess most of the researchers are currently serving the 3rd type of research activities.
Now if we can broadly classify a research project it will comprise of 3 parts:
Part 1- Designing the questionnaire
Part 2 – Data collection
Part 3 – Analysis of the data
The Part 2 is taken care of by the data collection companies – therefore a researcher role is more of a passive manager of the activity.
The Part 3 can be to a certain extent covered by the state of the art research tools which can be fed raw data and a reasonably accurate information and subsequent inferences can be deduced.
For the Part 1 as we all know most of the researchers take help of the standard historical questionnaires available with minor customizations to suit the project requirements.
Now the MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION – as you can see in an activity where a researcher role can be made redundant – why does the client needs to shelve out a heavy amount to get work done???
Before you take out your pitch forks and put me on fire – let me ask you something:
Why is it that a substantially growing number of clients are complaining about the lack of ‘insights’ that they get from the research projects??
I do not claim that a market researcher is not capable of providing valuable information to the customer – on the contrary they are the only person who can actually do it!!
But market researchers now a days have become more of a data collection agents with implementing few tweaks to make the data look like an inference.
A researcher can CRIB about the lack of budget leverage but it is also a common sense that you get paid for what you serve and not what you THINK should be paid for.
Let me ask you a simple question – what if an online data collection company collaborates with research tools manufacturers and make it damn easy for a novice to conduct research project?? What will happen to the NEED of the market researchers for the clients??
This is not a fiction tale but a reality that will come very soon.
Let me elaborate:
Someone can create a tool/platform that will make researchers nearly redundant.
When you login to this platform you can select the type of study you want to conduct or the broad objective you want to achieve.
The platform thereby checks in the database as to the best questions and their sequence that suits the purpose.
The client just drags and drops the questions into a form and the questionnaire is designed. This platform will be smart enough to suggest changes/modifications that maybe required.
Now this platform is connected with multiple data collection vendors who will be informed about the study as soon as the client hits the PUBLISH button.
After the data is collected in real time the platform will provide customized reports to the clients based on which they can take informed decisions.
Some such platforms are available in the market although they need more customization but such an intelligent platform is very much possible.
I believe that for long market researchers have taken clients for granted but they don’t realize that TECHNOLOGY can wipe out their jobs!
Today is the right time to think hard as to how market researchers can concentrate more on analysis and less on data collection aspect of the research projects.
Akshay Kanyal writes survey research reviews on his popular blog Online MR. He’s an avid blogger, brand consultant and a content marketing expert, helping business owners to craft content that sells.
He provides content marketing advice to start-ups and innovation driven companies. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org