Today’s world is fast becoming a digital one, with more and more of us using smartphones, tablets, the Internet and more. The Internet of Things and machine learning are also playing huge roles in connecting brands and people.
And by 2020, we expect smartphone penetration to be approximately 40% — a huge number when you consider it in terms of the number of people who will have smartphones.
It is estimated that every 60 seconds, almost 4 million Google searches are made, nearly 30 million WhatsApp messages are sent, nearly half a million tweets are made, over 60,000 images are uploaded to Instagram and more than 500 hours of video get uploaded to YouTube.
Obviously, these numbers will differ for each region and the different demographics but we simply cannot ignore the influence that the Internet and devices connected to the Internet have on people and their relative importance to the field of market research. And what is the very best way of understanding people and what they want? Through the technology they hold in their hands.
Today, more than 80% of internet traffic comes from a desktop or a mobile connected to the Internet. And the insights industry is fast catching up. More than 50% of survey emails are opened on smart devices and nearly 25% of survey responses come from tablets or smartphones.
The opportunity is right there. But making the most of it is much easier said than it is done. And this is down to the unpredictability of human behavior.
The solution lies in technology and Borderless Access is one company that is experimenting, finding success in using technology to tackle their research challenges. It all started a few years ago when the company decided they were not happy with the current panel management software available to them. They opted to build their own intelligent management platform. They used the best recruitment, management, and engagement technology available to them, providing advanced predictive analysis in one neat package. Essentially, not just streamlining their research processes, but bringing forth significant reductions in cost at the same time.
Since then, their platform has been expanded and capability extended to healthcare market research.
Human Behavior Barriers
These days, consumers are exposed to vast amounts of information. And because of that, it is more important than ever that marketers and brands understand the triggers that sway behavior, decision-making and emotion.
The biggest question is this: How can you amalgamate all the various behaviors and emotions with the right technology to produce quantitative and qualitative results that really matter? According to Borderless Access, their solution works. It uses social media, behavioral data, and information from chat apps, combined with machine learning algorithms to try and understand the thoughts, emotions, ideas, and more that come from human behavior. The inputs come from images, text, videos, sound and more. And this has taken the research into emotion and behavior to the next level.
The Key to The Future
The market research industry is heading into a new era filled with new-age technology — virtual reality, IoT, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence — all of which hold the key to collecting data and gaining insights from it, from the millions of digital consumers the world over. With machine learning capabilities constantly being improved and AI-based sampling, market research companies are realizing much better, more informed, and faster results than ever before. And then using them to drive their campaigns and making them more targeted.
Back to Borderless Access. They have begun testing adaptive research, starting with a brand tracker study, carried out across Mexico. Two questionnaires were drawn up. A generic one lasting 15 minutes and a dynamic length one, designed to allow machine learning models to learn and improve.
They used machine learning models to work out when the best time for targeting respondents was, at a time when they would be more inclined to complete the questionnaire. That was followed by the questionnaires being divided into smaller samples and aimed at smaller subsections of respondents.
The outcome they got was what you would expect. But it still managed to surprise the research team. Average engagement time was up by 25% and turnaround time on survey completion dropped by 23%. In other words, this was a much more efficient way of engaging people.
The same can and is being done across the industry.
Market research and machine learning go hand in hand and the surface has only just been scratched. The future really does look exciting for market researchers. And it’s only a matter of time before the results start coming in — changing the way market research is done forever.