Anybody who has kids of a certain age is familiar with the question: “Are we there yet?” The question that is being asked when taking the kids on a road trip or visiting parents & friends and everybody has reached their limit.
It is the same question most people are asking themselves now. Are we there yet?
The current health crisis has hit people hard and the various lock downs and limitations have not been easy. Yet it feels like the end is in sight, with a roll out of vaccines ongoing across the globe with varying success.
For the market research industry, we also slowly see a shift towards more “normality”. But there are some changes…
The crisis has led to an acceleration of the digitalization in qualitative market research, which in turn has led to new innovations coming onto the market with even the most resistant research agencies seeing the need to adopt a more digital mindset. There are some in the industry that see this digital shift as a bump in the road. A bump that will soon disappear when the world is back to normal.
But let’s look at it from a consumer viewpoint.
During the crisis I have seen my parents of 80+years old switch from a traditional shopping experience shift to a 100% e-commerce solution. And…they loved it! The convenience, no longer dragging the heavy groceries. They only missed human contact, the chat with people in the shops, their neighbours, etc..
Will they go back to how they were shopping before?
Absolutely not, they will pick out those elements they loved about the experience, the ease of ordering the weekly groceries, no more dragging the bags and combine it with an element they missed, a trip to the bakery where they have that necessary human contact. They are going hybrid.
What do our consumers expect?
They have been in touch with new ways of qualitative research, ways that did not require a physical presence, such zoom interviews, panel discussions or mobile interviews. They have seen the possibilities and the benefits. It is possible to do qualitative interviews remotely, at the time or place of their choosing, fully personalised on the device of their choice.
At the same time researchers and companies are seeing the benefits of increased digitalization to provide faster, more efficient and more cost effective actionable insight.
I grant you that a lot of our consumers and even researchers are zoom sick and are fed up with being locked up inside. And let’s be honest digitalization can only go so far, it cannot replace F2F qualitative research, but it can augment the research mix.
So what can we expect?
The qualitative market research industry will continue to integrate digitization in their insight mix at an accelerated level, picking the best of worlds. With clients choosing from a selection of different solutions that each provide a different type of insight and serve a specific need focussed on the natural behaviour of their consumers, be it a mobile ethnography solution such as Endeemo, Panel research such as Remesh or a Qualitative Interviews at Scale solution such as GoBright.
There is no either or. There is only the requirement to get the right actionable insight for our clients in the manner that best serves their consumer needs and behaviours.
We, for our part, very much look forward to adding our QIS solution to your qualitative research mix.