We are entering a golden age of market research, with technology and marketing automation providing researchers access to a wealth of information previously inaccessible.
Parton says the sheer speed of external technological developments over the past 10 years have left many questioning whether the market research industry will soon be rendered obsolete. However, he believes that researchers should be embracing and harnessing technology instead of fearing it.
“(T)echnology allows us to answer our clients’ problems faster and more accurately. (I)t is also providing us with the bandwidth to focus on the strategic services, which our clients value,” he writes. “As an industry, we must make the most of these opportunities to bolster our role as advisors in the boardrooms of our clients. And I believe that if we are to do this successfully, technology must play a central role.”
Parton says that, while technology can help deliver speed, there is still a critical role for the researcher to play.
“I believe that our researchers are central to the insight generation process; their ability to inject creativity or make an intellectual leap, help to unlock the client’s business problem. Whether they are looking at the data stream in isolation or as a wider data set, by adding a human dimension to the analysis, market researchers are still the game changers.
“Put simply, technology identifies the issues that market researchers alone can answer.”