As overused as the term “innovation” may be in business, everyone desires to be viewed as innovative by colleagues and customers. After all, who wants to think of themselves (or be thought of by others) as unimaginative or uninspired? In the field of online market research, we certainly want our clients to view us as innovative. Ground-breaking. Resourceful. And more really positive adjectives like these.
Yet when it comes to leveraging the technologies available for data collection and analysis, many researchers are in fact laggards. Those in this category may be reluctant to see it that way – they would probably rank themselves as late majority or even early majority on the Diffusion of Innovations scale, but that is because no one wants to come in last place. For laggards and skeptics, the thought process is to allow someone else be the innovator or early adopter; let those groups test out the technology and wait to see what happens. Why waste time on a new concept until it is proven and mainstream – right?
Wrong. The problem with this strategy is that today the MR project lifecycle and the technologies that power it move much faster than ever before. Clients are demanding that their research and insights be delivered faster, cheaper and better. The market research industry is experiencing a bit of an identity crisis with the growing DIY movement, prolific social media, and the entrance of Google into the market research space. As we transform our collective value proposition and reinforce our relevance to clients, all researchers must assume the early adopter mentality. This means trying new strategies and utilizing new tools right away. Will every new methodology or technology prove worthwhile? No. Is every project a good fit for mobile execution, gamification or an online community? Of course not. But it is undeniable that survey design and delivery, panel management, and sampling practices are evolving as a result of new technologies, and the evolution must be embraced.
The implementation of new tools and data sources always includes a learning curve and often causes some initial discomfort. There are very real challenges – time, training, costs – associated with augmenting traditional research processes. But remaining in the laggard mindset will continue to diminish the quality and reliability of market research – and ultimately the value the industry provides. Kinesis was founded to drive market research innovation, and our software platform has always been ideally suited for those with an early adopter mindset. Reformed laggards – we would love for you to join us.