Alex de Carvalho/Wikimedia Commons

Alex de Carvalho/Wikimedia Commons

Market research is deeply rooted in the history of modern business institutions. Charles Coolidge Parling, considered the “father of marketing and commercial research”, first pioneered market research in the early 1920’s.

In the modern day however, a simple question emerges for the business owner and entrepreneur: how does one distill market research information into digestible and usable chunks?

Andrew Reid, founder and chief product officer of Vision Critical highlights the problem in a succinct manner: “Why do some market researchers still use 15-minute surveys and deliver 60-page reports that companies, their clients, have trouble digesting? Contemporary society is overloaded with information: The proliferation of articles, blogs, social media networks and apps have contributed to today’s extremely low attention spans.”

This difficulty between compiling too much complicated information and being able to accurately convey useful parcels of this collected information is based to an extent on the traditional model of market research. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, under the traditional model of market research, “For quite some time, market research firms relied heavily on consultants with sociology and economics degrees.” These consultants were well-versed with statistical methods and would execute expensive surveys that were compiled into white papers.

In the present day, a new strategy toward market research has taken place. Reid notes, “A whole new slew of customer-intelligence software companies, including my own, now provide proprietary software platforms so that companies can engage with tens of thousands of customers at once on an ongoing basis for feedback on products, services and ads.” One of the main advantages that comes with this strategy of utilizing web-based surveys is creating an overall appearance for the company of being receptive to consumers.

The main thing that hasn’t changed however, are the white papers summarizing these surveys conducted. “In a 140-character Twitter-powered universe, the data compiled by market researchers has to be to the point, easily understood by all staff, whether they’re customer-facing or on the board of directors. Instead of creating another lengthy report, researchers should present their results using infographics…or they…develop creative, concise presentations,” said Reid. 

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