3 trends set to shake up the market research industry

What’s the future of market research? Who better to ask than Roger Dooley who has been working in the industry for over a decade and is the author of the influential Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing. He spoke to the Mindlab Academy about three trends he believes will transform the industry.

Trend 1. Increasing acceptance

“Market researchers are recognising that simply asking people questions and doing focus groups isn’t enough, and can even result in misleading conclusions.

“Sometimes a survey is fine – you can get good answers if you’re asking questions like, “Where do you live?” or “What did you have for breakfast this morning?”. But when you start asking people more complex questions like, “Would you buy this product in the future if it was available?”, those are very, very hard for consumers to answer accurately.

“The predictive nature of neuromarketing is making it an increasingly popular market research option. That will only rise moving forward as companies are focusing a lot more on human behaviour than they were a decade ago. Now we’re seeing companies hire Chief Behavioural Officers who have marketing responsibilities but also support other groups like Human Resources who might need behavioural science intervention – for instance, to increase saving for retirement. It’s becoming an intrinsic part of the way we do business.”

Trend 2. Academic interest

“There have always been businesses that were really good at neuromarketing and lots of clients that were convinced they were getting revealing answers, but until recently there was still resistance from academics to categorising it as a science. That’s going away and we’re seeing more academic acceptance and we’ll see more studies into the area too.”

Trend 3. Falling costs

“Due to increasing tech options, the cost of neuromarketing is coming down – and will continue to do so. It’s not only the Coca-Colas and BMWs of the world that can now afford these studies. Mid-sized and even small businesses are starting to use it and that really opens everything up. Eventually, any marketing agency of any size will have a neuromarketer they work with either in-house or on a freelance basis.

“Wearables are a great example of how the use of tech will change the industry. With Apple watches and fitness trackers, people have biometric recording devices on them at any time and companies will piggyback off those devices (with permission) or create similar devices.”

What will happen as a result?

“These three trends are going to lead to a greater volume of neuromarketing insights, even more accurate tools and more refined ways to interpret data. This is an exciting time for the neuromarketing industry as it enters a new chapter that will see it grow and flourish.”

What advice do you have for marketers and insight managers?

“Define the exact question that needs to be answered because it determines the right technology and techniques. Then, when talking to neuromarketers, evaluate their work, see their case studies and make sure they can get to the crux of your issue. They won’t have a crystal ball but, compared to a survey or a focus group, they will give you a more accurate, more insightful response that actually speaks to human behaviour.”

Find out more about Roger Dooley on his website www.rogerdooley.com.

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