As I reach my third year as an insights analyst with the Fountainhead team, I can’t help but think back to my last year of undergrad. I knew the basics of market research. I knew that I was interested in people and their motivations. I knew that there was so much I didn’t know. The funny thing about learning on the job is you don’t notice how much you’ve learned until you take a second to reflect and think how little you knew before. Looking back now, here are five key awakenings I’ve had from my time with Fountainhead.
In the “Before Times,” October 24 through November 17, 2019, to be exact, Fountainhead fielded quantitative research among 1,221 people ages 16-22. While that’s not the whole of Gen Z (it’s largely defined to go down to people age 7 or 8), we believe that this upper age range was best equipped to share insights about their habits and their world.
Now more than ever, it’s critical that brands are trusted by consumers. Trust is foundational in any relationship, and it is of heightened importance at any time of uncertainty. Trust is both a logical and an emotional proposition. Trust is about transparency, but also predictability. But how is trust conveyed? Or better yet, how is trust earned?
We’ve been in this industry a long time. Longer than we really want to admit. And we’ve heard many objections to conducting research that are pretty easily overcome. We’re here is to assure you that consumer or customer research is your friend.
Once upon a time…
When you hear those four words, you tend to think of stories. From lullabies, fairy tales and cartoons to books, movies, videos and social media, we as humans are wired to engage with stories. But when was the last time you used a story to present insights? We usually don’t equate insight presentations with storytelling. However, stories are a powerful way of communicating information.
Recently, we were conducting ethnographies about restaurants. Interviews were in and around Atlanta. Moe’s Southwest Grill came up in a number of discussions. And each person that mentioned it also shouted, in the same tone of voice, “Welcome to Moe’s!” Moe’s signature greeting. Hence, Moe’s has a brand ritual.
We’re hearing a lot about blockchain these days, including a fair amount of buzz that it’s going to disrupt the market research industry as we know it. While it seems to us that blockchain technology has the potential to bring revolutionary change to our lives in the coming decade — similar to the magnitude of change that smartphones have brought over the past decade — the potential for disruptive impact on the research industry itself is much less clear.
Are insights “on demand” really within reach? Yes, indeed. Should you reach for them? It depends.
In marketing research, the common wisdom that has prevailed for decades is that for any initiative, there are inevitable trade-offs among cost, speed and quality. But rapidly evolving technology now offers us a dizzying array of well-priced options for blazingly fast data collection, both qualitative and quantitative. The promise of being able to conduct research that is “cheap,” “fast” and “good” without compromise is finally a reality!
Terms like “nonbinary” and “cisgender” may be unfamiliar to some, but the world is changing and those of us that work in data capture have to change right along with it. We should ensure that the questions we ask consumers incorporate the language and perspective of today. It’s only fair to them and the businesses and brands we represent.