The market researcher of the future
The answer to the question above could be found (albeit between the lines) at the Research Inspiration Run, a joint event by BAQMaR and Febelmar. Below, you will find the 6 core competences of the market researcher of the future, like I experienced them at this fine event.
The market researcher of the future is lightning-fast. That is what the format of the Research Inspiration Run taught me. 10 presentations, 10 slides, 5 minutes. Zoefff, and it’s over!
The market researcher of the future is relevant. Jo Caudron, coining the term “relevance marketing” put the marketer back with his feet on the ground: don’t go tossing messages towards your consumer, but be there with a message when consumers have a need. Proxies for relevance can be location (Foursquare, Gowalla, Feest.je anyone?) and time of the day for instance. Maybe the researcher of tomorrow needs to focus his researching efforts on finding the sweet spots of relevance, and provide marketers with possibilities to become more relevant towards their consumers. And maybe the market researcher of the future will as such become more relevant himself? Because, in the words of Bart Baesens, data mining models should do more than only perform well in the statistical sense… They should be relevant! They should focus on giving valuable insights once again, something to guide decisions. Market researchers should focus on finding “the one number that needs to go up”, dixit Gerd Callewaert. When there is no correlation between metrics like for instance ad recall and actual purchase, who gives a damn?
The market researcher of the future is a careful data cruncher. As Dirk Milbou said, data is the new oil… And we need Light Sweet Crude oil in order to get the engine running! When simple models generally perform well, the largest increase in performance comes from data quality. On the other hand, when data is oil, privacy is its currency. In an era of free flowing information, privacy is an issue that will always be at the back of the people’s minds… And thus it should be at the front of the market researchers’ mind!
The market researcher of the future is in touch with the new generation. There is a lost generation of marketers, like Nicole Berx said, who urgently need to get in touch with all new marketing tools that are available. Benoît Vancauwenberghe & Steffen Vander Mynsbrugge understood this, and took it quite literally. They promoted the idea that sometimes, you have to give a bunch of youngsters the opportunity to reinvent your profession. In their case, that’s advertising, but why not market research too? Personally, I’m convinced that there are youngsters out there that are skilled enough to run market research projects in a whole new fashion. Let’s get in touch with them!
The market researcher of the future provides experiences. Experience marketing is not only applicable to coffee, like Joke Van Der Heyden illustrated. Also market researchers need to give their consumers, (the marketer) an experience, in order to get their message across. Percentages won’t do, stories will. Furthermore, when we ask questions to our participants, why can’t we find ways to gift-wrap it like an experience? There must be better ways to ask questions than 5-point likert scales, people!
Last but not least, the market researcher of the future is a visionary. Someone who dares to predict what is coming, who looks at what is coming tomorrow to be inspired in his work today, as Timothy Desmet put it. Someone who can fearlessly state that he knows what the digital natives are up to, like Brice Blévennec. In the end, it comes down to one thing for the market researcher of the future: he’ll have to find an answer to the question that Niels Schillewaert answered for himself:
What would I do if I would run the market research industry?