Time for Disruption in Market Research

Bijon Islam
June 17, 2015

Who or what is the most important variable to your business? – Is it your business model or your competition? Or maybe it’s your product, strategy or team? Well, taking a step back in my opinion – the thing that matters most to your business is your “Customers”. No matter how much you have of everything unless you have customers who buys your product the business will run existential risks.
That is why companies spend millions of dollars each year in market research trying to understand what goes on in the mind space of their target market. What are their defining characteristics? What excites them and what would provide access to their psyche? However, traditional market research methods using offline surveys and focus groups are time consuming, expensive, prone to errors and possess quality issues.
So, is there a better way to do things? Well the answer lies in the intersection between “Market Research” and “Technology”. Think about it your consumers are already in the digital space and at ease with online content. So given there is self-serving platform where you can reach out and ask your target market for their opinion on your products, pricing, concepts, brand elements even before you go to the market – your life will become so much easier.
You can substantially reduce the time of your consumer research (months reduced to days), use digital content to make the survey experiences fun, use real time dash boards to look at results and save costs as well. For qualitative discussions you can moderate your own focus groups – ask them questions in real time online forums, give stimuli whenever you want and be a part of the research experience.
And the way forward possibilities are endless – you can have live conversations with your customers, even get to see how they interact with each other, pivot your survey stimuli based on results that you view live on your dashboard – in essence you are on the driving seat of your own consumer research.
Additionally, you can actively choose who you survey, ensure high quality (by monitoring time taken to respond) and above all gamify your surveys to make it fun and interactive for your consumers.
If consumers are on the digital space and interact with each other via online channels it’s only natural that getting insights in that space would yield the best results. So it’s time you start interacting with the digital side of your target market as with time that is where they will make their purchase decisions.

WRITTEN BY: Bijon Islam

Bijon is the co-founder and CEO of LightCastle Partners, an organization that focuses on creating data-driven opportunities for growth and impact for development partners, corporates, SMEs, and Startups. Over the last ten years, Bijon has led the company in engagements across 150+ businesses/development partners, 650+ SMEs/Startups, and 40+ accelerator programs in multiple industries including Technology, Agriculture, Health, Ed-tech, Energy, E-commerce, Logistics, and Manufacturing. Previously Bijon has worked with Citibank, N.A. and Citi Foundation and oversaw the execution of Bangladesh's first Interest Rate Swap, Equity Convertible Bonds, Largest IPO, Microfinance Securitization, and Block Equity Trades. Due to outstanding performance, Bijon received the CEO Excellence Awards for two years in the organization. He completed his BBA and MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.

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