As production and marketing processes are switching to the digital medium, so is research. Traditional approaches and methodologies are being replaced by faster and cheaper alternatives to gain consumer insights as accurately as possible. If you are a brand that wishes to keep up with the pace then there are plenty of reasons why you should surrender your traditional approach to market research.
1. Time consuming and expensive - Since traditional research requires face-to-face conversations or verbal interviews, extensive travel and time needs to be invested. Costs also include research moderation, analysis, respondent recruitment and research incentives. The entire research could take months and turn out to be an expensive exercise for the company to bear.
2. Higher chances of errors and inconsistencies - As survey sheets and questionnaires change several hands from the collection process to data entry to the final analysis, it is possible for errors and inconsistencies to creep in. Hence, there is no guarantee of complete accuracy in consumer insights, which in turn could affect the marketing strategy.
3. Requires more manpower - Any good research is based on information from a considerable sample size that covers a set of criteria and demographic preferences. To obtain this information, individuals need to be hired along the entire research process with specific skill sets. This requires additional management and supervision and is an added financial cost.
4. Limits flexibility and anonymity for participants - Participants taking online surveys as members of online focus groups, communities, and bulletin boards have the luxury of maintaining their anonymity. This helps them answer more honestly and without the fear of judgement. However, the traditional methods don’t allow for this flexibility since they are mostly based on direct interactions.
5. Restricts geographical reach - Sitting in one place, a researcher using digital platforms can engage audiences from anywhere in the world to answer survey questions for a brand. The geographical extent of the survey is however limited when face-to-face interviews and hard copy questionnaires are involved.
Those who still value the more personal traditional forms of research but also wish to obtain consumer insights quicker than before could perhaps combine the best of both worlds to suit their requirements. However, digital seems to be the future and keeping with the changing times might be more beneficial for the marketing strategy and the product in the long run.