Like all science, research began as an entirely manual process. Survey responses were collected in person or by mail in the 1940s, and the results were rigorously coded, tabulated, and analyzed for insight. Since then, the development of computer science and the Internet has enabled scientists to collect large-scale data quickly and inexpensively.
Today, thanks to further advances in data collection, researchers can collect insights from anywhere in the world (through various channels such as email, social media and websites). What’s more, they can harness the massive computing power of the cloud to explore billions of data points simultaneously – all made possible by market research software.
As SaaS market research platforms become widely available, we no longer need a team of researchers to conduct the research. Anyone in the organization, including marketers and product analysts, can initiate a study at the touch of a button and get real-time insights.
Let’s start with the basics and learn more about market research platforms and the role they play in today’s market research industry.
What is an integrated market research platform?
An integrated market research platform deals with comprehensive market research, including concept, recruitment, sampling, data collection and analysis. It simplifies market research methodology and processes into an online platform that makes it easy to use and continuously create insights.
Companies, individuals and research agencies use research platforms to collect and analyze data to help make decisions. Users can conduct research, generate results, and turn data into insights—all on one platform—with a combination of survey tools, analytics tools, and reporting tools.
Why do we need market research platforms?
Researchers are now less traditional than they used to be, thanks to the demands of today’s market research industry. Scientists are required to strike a balance between accuracy and speed. They are expected to embrace technology while staying true to research methodologies. They are asked to reveal richer insights, but to present them succinctly.
However, these demands are easier to fulfill than to fulfill.
Not only are these tasks extremely difficult and time consuming to accomplish, they also create obstacles to what could be a simple market research process using the tool.
Benefits of integrated market research platforms
Integrated research platforms provide several benefits that address the anticipated demands of today’s industry:
- For the convenience of each platform user, all tools needed for market research can be integrated in one place. For example, qualitative and quantitative research are used for different use cases and therefore require different tools. Thanks to the integrated market research tool, both functionalities can be consolidated.
- Because market research platforms are hosted online, they can be accessed anytime, anywhere, ensuring seamless collaboration between all stakeholders (thus streamlining the transformation of insights into action). Research indicates that the future is based on SaaS; according to Statista, the SaaS market was worth about $145.5 billion in 2021 and reached $172 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow further.
- Unlike various market research solutions, single platforms require no programming knowledge and are easy to use, thus eliminating the skill gap or training required to implement them.
- With direct access to pre-profiled participant panels, the integrated platforms are suited to both short-term and ongoing (long-term) research projects.
- By using the tool, you can conduct multiple studies at once and generate insights faster, increasing the likelihood that your ROI will increase. For example, a marketer can test different ads and run the one that is most interesting for the best reach.
Qualtrics’ Market Research Trends report suggests that 67% of organizations planned to acquire new market research technology in 2022 (up 7% from 2021).
Stages of implementing market research platforms
There are many market research tools available today. Here are some goals to keep in mind before implementing them:
- Prioritize speed and accuracy: In the era of shaky customer loyalty, generating insights is not enough. The key is to generate higher quality information faster – before your competitors pass you by.
- Take your consumer research online: To ensure maximum research speed and efficiency without compromising quality, moving research-based activities online is the solution in the digital age we live in today.
- Increase adoption with research and marketing teams: While it is true that scientists today are not so traditional, changes unfortunately are not fast enough to keep up with changes in the market. It is crucial to communicate the benefits of integrated market research software to research agencies and organizations to increase awareness and long-term adoption.
- Choose an integrated research platform: There is a difference between a market research platform and an integrated research platform. It is recommended to implement a tool that can be seamlessly integrated with current (and future) systems to ensure less development and deployment work and an overall smoother research process.
Because integrated platforms are naturally adaptable, they allow for continuous development and innovative evolution (since they can accommodate any future tools and methodologies). This means that companies can shape research platforms at any time to meet their specific requirements. New requirements can be accommodated as much as possible, allowing for longevity that other non-integrated platforms cannot achieve.
Streamlining processes such as researcher-participant communication, data reporting and visualization techniques, with full automation of research, is no longer just a concept, but an achievable reality thanks to integrated market research platforms.