Consumer Research: Marketers Want Data Integration

Published by John on

Here’s an infographic from consumer research firm, FocusVision, about a survey of marketers. The findings cover research methodologies used, and pain points when conducting market research. This an annual update, so it also compares answers from 2018-2019. It provides insight into how marketers are tackling the gathering of insights, and what they wish would improve. Let’s look at some eye-catching findings:

Observational Methods Are Increasing

Looking at methodologies marketers use to gather consumer data, three are dominant: surveys (90%), interviews (71%), and focus groups (63%). No big surprises there–surveys are one of the least expensive and most quantitative methods. Interviews and focus groups are time-honored methods. Focus groups fell off by 8% YOY, possibly due to cost.

Meanwhile, ethnography (44%) and usability studies (39%) are growing. That likely speaks to marketers wising up to the fact that consumers are not always great at describing (via survey, interview, etc.) how they behave. These observational methods are better at describing behavior than motivations.

As always, research methods are tools to answer strategic questions. Starting with the right questions and then picking tools is generally the right approach. So this isn’t a sign that focus groups are passé. In fact, It likely means marketers are currently grappling with different, more behavior-oriented questions. For example…

Customer Journey Research Is Popular

Marketers are using consumer research to figure out their customers’ path to purchase. This is an essential form of research. It helps businesses market in the right places, and smooth the friction points that keep people from buying. Companies are clearly on board, as it’s jumped 11% YOY.

Customer journey research requires a few data collection methods like interviews, observation, and potentially data from ad buys, eCommerce site analytics, etc. Marketers’ biggest research challenge relates to this data sprawl…

Marketers Want to Integrate Consumer Research Data Sources

Of the pain points that grew YOY, budget was clearly one. Beyond that, “integrating multiple data sources” saw the biggest jump (+11%). Marketers said they would like to see, “easier synthesis across multiple data sources” and “ability to combine data from different sources into a dashboard.”

Certainly, this is a technical problem that’s bigger than just consumer research. Getting data out of silos is a challenge across marketing, sales, and other departments. Any good research implementation will include a plan to socialize findings across the company. As platforms change, expect to see improvement in this area.

Overall, market research methods and needs continue to evolve. If your business would like help making sense of the changes, and applying them to your marketing challenges, reach out!


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