Many sectors of the global population are struggling to keep pace with uncertain and rapid changes brought to us by the Coronavirus outbreak, especially market research. While research firms try to find balance in their operations and financial standing, many projects are being put on hold as physical research starts to seem impossible.
Under these circumstances, ESOMAR’s guidelines are clear: online methodologies should be used whenever possible. Taking advantage of virtualization is recommended especially now that the long-term impact of this virus on consumer behavior and the insights industry is far from being thoroughly understood.
Qualitative researchers are quickly shifting to online marketing research solutions to conduct remote in-depth interviews and focus groups, and rightly so, given the urgency to conduct global market research so brands and organizations can swiftly adapt to the rapid transition of consumers to the new normal. But how do you make sure you are hearing from the right respondents properly?
We’ve identified some elements and crucial questions that would be helpful in navigating global market research online as we try to understand the changing consumer perception:
How has the pandemic changed the priorities of consumers? Is your client hoping to introduce a new product in the market? How will their existing customers react to it? Is it relevant or appropriate given the current global health crisis?
With most transactions shifting into online platforms, how can brands make sure that they get in front of their target market? It is important to consider the demography of consumers that are most active online. In what age bracket or social standing do these people belong? What would they be interested in? What changes can your client apply to adapt to the current demands of these people?
Change in Respondents’ Focus
The pandemic has no doubt had a significant influence on consumer purchasing habits. It’s important to carefully track and identify the trends that emerge. There could be unprecedented changes in their needs and wants so market researchers should be flexible in adjusting their survey questions and how they probe for insights to better understand the shift in their buying motivations.
Shift in Marketing Strategy
Market researchers can study if there’s a need for their clients to recalibrate their existing project plans in the light of the changing and uncertain circumstances. Look into the market if there’s a need to rebrand or redirect marketing efforts and offerings and see if these changes will better resonate and connect with customers all while also getting the interest of prospects.
Traditional to Online
Businesses like restaurants, shopping centers, entertainment venues, and locations for gatherings have been among the most affected industries, even bankrupting many of them. Meanwhile, some sectors have been lucky enough to be able to pivot digitally. Social media channels are experiencing a spike in ecommerce now more than ever. Everyone is trying to make everything available for purchase online. Market researchers ought to go along the upward trend of utilizing and relying on online platforms and mobile applications. Consumers are still significantly mobile dependent and mobile market research understandably remains on the uptrend.
Priorities and consumer behavior have significantly shifted due to the pandemic and the need to study these abrupt changes should be priority. If brands want to strengthen their position in the market, they should have already started to really dig deep into what kind of short and long term impact the pandemic has brought upon businesses and consumers.
Sources: intotheminds.com, blog.marketresearch.com, crrresearch.com, emi.rs.com, esomar.org, researchworld. Com