According to a First Research Inc. report, the global market research industry earns $45 billion in revenue each year. Investopedia defines market research as the “process of determining the viability of a new service or product through research conducted directly with potential customers”. Market research companies design and execute qualitative and quantitative studies using focus groups, questionnaires, individual interviews and surveys to gather information on specific markets, interpret it, and help companies make good decisions that give them a competitive edge. Business transcription services play a significant role in the process by ensuring that the audio recordings of these interactions are converted into accurate data for analysis and interpretation by market research analysts.
A recent marketresearch.com article discusses the critical role of the market research industry in 2021. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many industries, market research will be important for industries to understand consumer trends and take strategic decisions. Here are the opinions of two experts that the article references:
“Quality and objective market research will enable industry players and market analysts to keep their eye on the larger and longer-term picture, as it unfolds” says David Sprinkle, Publisher, Packaged Facts.
“Companies will have to get ever closer to the consumer in 2021. Agility, innovation, and bold choices will be needed in order to identify growth opportunities. In this environment, market research and the actionable insights it provides, are even more crucial than ever”, notes Sarah Boumphrey, Global Research Director, Euromonitor International.
Market research helps companies identify their target market and get feedback from consumers about their products and services. Despite its importance for the business world, market research comes with several challenges:
- Selecting the Correct Research Methodology: There are different types of market research techniques and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. The first decision to be taken is whether to conduct qualitative or quantitative research. Qualitative methods include focus groups, in-person and telephone interviews, minigroups, triads, shop-alongs, and observation, and online discussion forums. When online methods are used, video and digital transcription allows analysts to observe respondents’ nonverbal communication. Qualitative techniques are used when it is essential to understand thoughts, feelings and behaviors and gain an insight into the factors that are influencing consumer behavior. Quantitative market research methods measure the results of qualitative research. They quantify the specific thoughts, feelings and behaviors in the customer group. Analysts need to select the right method and technique to get the answers to their questions.
- Overcoming the Pitfalls of Various Research Techniques: While each of the qualitative methods come with many advantages, they also have their pitfalls. For instance, with focus groups, you get a broad idea of the participants thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and the group dynamic can be used to assess issues in a way that would be more difficult with individual interviews. People in a group stimulate one another’s thoughts. However, focus groups pose problems – some people may be unduly influenced by others in the group, especially by those with overriding personalities. Without a strong moderator, the respondent with the strong personality can take control of the discussion. Similarly, individual interviews can be time consuming and results may be so varied that they would provide no definitive results. Getting the in-depth information is needed to gain useful insights for answers to strategic questions. Furthermore, the nonverbal communication of research respondents must be correctly interpreted.
- Getting Quality Data: Market research involves a lot of statistical analyses to evaluate study findings. The problems associated with market research techniques and collection of large volumes of information increase the risk of poor-quality data. As an entrepreneur.com article observes, manual errors can seep in due to human fatigue. Data mining results will be affected by poor quality data.
- Increased Client Expectations: With the complex business scenario, companies need actionable insights into their markets to stay competitive. Clients expect market research companies to provide business reports with strategic information that can help them take quick informed business decisions. Delivering quality reports within specified timelines is becoming an increasing challenge for global market research companies, notes entrepreneur.com.
- Need to use Innovative, Cutting-edge Research Techniques: With advances in technology, the field of market research is continually evolving. Market research companies need to use critical thinking and innovative techniques to understand consumer trends. “Technology is increasingly enabling integration of data collection and attendant analysis, letting researchers move fluidly between BI, quantitative to qualitative. The ultimate impact is being able to develop business insight faster and more comprehensively than previously possible” – Steve August, Chief Innovation Officer of FocusVision Worldwide on marketresearch.com.
Market research is a critical tool that helps businesses understand consumer needs to develop products that cater to those needs, and maintain a competitive advantage. The research process involves surveys, product testing, and focus groups that need to be transcribed accurately and in a timely manner. Skilled transcribers can transcribe audio recordings of interviews, focus group discussions and more into accurate data sets using top tools and software. Business transcription services allow market researchers to focus on using the right techniques to provide their clients with faster, accurate strategic insights from data extracted.