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With thousands of new products being released each year, product innovation should be of paramount concern for businesses looking to stand out and remain competitive in the market.
Market research is an indispensable asset for such businesses, providing valuable consumer insights that drive successful product development. As competition increases, so does the strain placed on insights and marketing teams, who must now deliver more results at a faster pace to align with today’s level of demand. This, combined with the rapid pace of digital transformation has seen automated market research emerge, enabling faster, more efficient processes with higher accuracy.
Market research automation is the use of technology to complete research tasks that are usually performed by humans to reduce or eliminate the amount of tasks performed manually, speeding up the research process. Automating research is undoubtedly the way of the future, eliminating time wasted on menial tasks to be better spent on developing superior products and services to the market.
However, automation tools have few perceived challenges surrounding their use. This article explores the nature of market research automation, addressing common misconceptions and the truth behind them.
Some researchers may object to automated tools as they feel they do not offer the breadth of functionality required for their research.
Whilst complex projects will inevitably require customisation, for most everyday research categories such as claims testing, pricing, and packaging selection, automation actually enhances their effectiveness. For example, Conjoint.ly has refined the methodologies used for such projects to create a range of tools with specialised purposes, improving the accuracy and quality of results and outputs.
As many automated research tools are DIY or “self-serve”, many users may be discouraged towards leaving their research in the hands of a machine. Whilst automation removes the human element from many repetitive tasks during the research process, it does not remove the researcher’s role entirely. In fact, it allows researchers to redirect their efforts to more meaningful tasks such as idea generation, feedback alignment, and product development. Automation tools may be slightly difficult to adapt to at first but once realised as reliable, ultimately allow for more in-depth research.
Automation of the sampling process can be cause for concern due to risks of fraud, known as “ghost completes”. Ghost completes occur when a respondent identifies the survey completion redirect link and can bypass the survey to receive the incentive. Whilst this is a legitimate issue for panel platform providers, there are solutions in place to combat its prevalence. AI is used to help identify suspicious behaviour, mitigation methods such as server-to-server callbacks and link encryption help to detect and mitigate redirect link fraud.
There are many specific tools available for different research purposes such as data collection, data analysis, and data visualisation and the researcher can quickly be overwhelmed by the abundance of standalone solutions. It can also be difficult to link each of these elements together to work fluidly. End-to-end platforms like Conjoint.ly offer a seamless experience, enabling researchers to perform tasks including finding respondents, survey design and launch, and analysis through a single tool, which speeds up each process and is more cost-effective.
The upfront costs involved with research automation tools can be a deterrent for potential users if they do not see the value. It is important to understand that automation tools save a great deal of time and money by allowing researchers to focus on more valuable tasks and by speeding up the research process. The sign-up costs for automated research tools can also prove to be relatively much less than additional costs associated with manual research such as design, collection, and analysis.
Using market research automation tools shifts control over certain aspects of the data collection and analysis process from the researcher to software, which can be stressful if something goes wrong. For example, if the researcher makes an input error or is unsure of certain software features, this could cause project delays. However, research automation platforms such as Conjoint.ly provide readily available user support and training and constantly update and tweak tools for user-friendliness and bug-free experiences. As with traditional research, ongoing user feedback is the most useful way of improving processes for future research.
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