The speed at which the market changes demands that businesses increase their pace in proportion, if they are to survive. This calls for faster decision making. Consequently, businesses need to have almost instantaneous access to the information they need to make informed decisions. Agile research to the rescue!
Modern businesses have adopted agile market research as an answer to the dynamic environment in which they operate. What does this mean; how is it different from traditional market research; and why should you do it? Let’s find out.
What Is Agile Market Research?
Agile market research is an approach designed to obtain consumer feedback quickly and continuously. It capitalizes on technologically advanced market research tools to collect, interpret, and act on consumer feedback.
In comparison, traditional research can only sustain periodic data collection due to the rigidity of the methods applied. It applies a one size fits all solution to a shape-shifting problem.
Modern market research platforms are built on advanced AI technology that works with existing structures (whatever state they currently exist in) to collect data in a regulated, convenient fashion.
Data mining allows businesses to find the potentially impactful data spread out all over the web – via structured and unstructured data sources – and process it to reveal insights. For example, natural language processing (NLP) can completely break down unstructured data to reveal the insights contained in natural speech.
Through automation, these technologies can create a running loop to monitor-discover-monitor data and set up alerts for important occurrences.
Benefits of Agile Research
In the end, agile research puts businesses in a better position to discover, predict, or react to events. How so? These are the benefits of agile research.
1. Shorter time-to-insight
Using modern market research platforms, businesses have access to vast data sources. However, with the advanced tools and techniques of agile research, they can reduce the amount of time it takes to move from having raw data to possessing actionable insights. And this time reduction is significant.
2. Enhanced team collaboration
One of the best features of agile research is efficient collaboration. Modern market research platforms are designed to facilitate teamwork through shared accounts, fast and secure communication lines, as well as integration with third-party tools. This offers a significant boost to productivity.
3. Research flexibility
Agile research allows iteration as new information becomes available. Thanks to modern market research technology, this is not only easy to do but also cost-efficient. The ability to quickly reorient the study means businesses can test out different hypotheses on the fly as they come to better understand the consumer.
When and How to Implement Agile Research Methods
Like traditional market research, there is a place for agile market research. While businesses can generally benefit from quick decision making, there are particular stages and projects that demand the use of agile research methods.
1. Product testing
A successful product launch is the crowning piece to a series of good decisions. However, even the most experienced business leaders struggle to make the right call without input from the target customers. Consumer feedback helps them assess the usefulness of a product before they decide to bring it to the masses.
Product testing is a great way to determine the market fitness of your product by having target users try it and give their thoughts. It can also help you fine-tune or pivot to make sure what you bring to the market is what’s actually needed.
Agile research platforms can help you identify test subjects through their online personas: How they describe themselves, the language they use in engagement, etc. Additionally, after launching, you can keep track of customer feedback through social media listening, customer review analysis, and customer relationship management (CRM).
Case study: BellyBuds, a company that initially targeted expecting moms, wanted to diversify its audience. The challenge of trying to establish a connection with a new audience without severing existing ties was clear.
After thinking it over, the company decided that the best way forward was through lifestyle content. However, the team didn’t determine its effectiveness until it got Rival IQ. Through the competitive intelligence platform, BellyBuds has been able to test and tweak its message to a point of increasing website traffic coming from social media by 55%.
2. Risk tracking
Risk has jumped to the forefront of business focus in recent years. Owing to the increase in the number of potential risks, businesses have had to make risk management a priority. The potential for risk has been augmented by the speed at which crises boil up today compared to the past.
As online communication becomes more efficient, the risk of being caught up in the wrong conversation has increased for businesses. This is why continuous tracking of such and related risks is important.
Agile research methods can patrol risky fields and uncover emerging situations that could lead to a crisis. Further, with these advanced platforms, businesses are able to monitor the development of such situations when they occur so that the damage is minimized.
Case study: Lloyds Banking Group is a large organization facing a vast number of potential risks to its brand health. Using NetBase Quid’s natural language processing and automation technologies, the organization can detect, evaluate, and report on the current state of brand health so that issues are identified in real time and corrected.
3. M&A due diligence
When businesses are in the process of establishing a partnership through a merger or acquisition, all parties need to conduct due diligence for a variety of critical reasons. And the due diligence process is better done with agile research methods.
Agile research can capture necessary information whether archived or emerging. Those last-minute titbits of information that might be missing from traditional market research may be what it takes to expose a bad potential deal.
On the other hand, the reassurance that you are getting what you were promised in an M&A is no less valuable.
Case study: In a recent webinar, NetBase Quid data scientists demonstrated to the audience how research data can be used to predict mergers and acquisitions in the market. This process can be engineered to help brands develop targets for potential partnerships.
4. Trend monitoring
Trends reveal what consumers are interested in at the moment and it helps predict what is coming in the near future. However, it can be difficult to separate solid trends from fads. To uncover and take advantage of the potential opportunities in a trend, modern organizations use agile research.
With this approach they can determine, right from the source, how strong the foundation of the trend is as well as discover emerging opportunities. The short time-to-insight allows them to capitalize on compelling trends early enough to be first movers, or at least never caught off guard by others who are.
Case study: Having noticed a trend in the circular economy where consumers seemed to embrace reselling and reusing of pre-owned products, Walmart wanted to ascertain that it was a ripe business opportunity. Using NetBase Quid®, the retail giant determined that people were indeed adopting recommerce (reverse commerce) in high numbers. The team at Walmart used the insights to direct the partnership with thredUP in 2020 and a successful launch of a new product category.
This is all par for the course, as NetBase Quid® is built on cutting edge AI technology with a view to offering the modern business the most unrestricted access possible in-line with current data access regulations.
We have automation features that allow you to keep an eye on your targets even in your sleep. Additionally, we offer reporting capabilities with a powerful dashboard and requisite sharing and exporting features.
If you would like to get a feel of the platform without making any upfront investment, reach out for a free demo today and one of our experts will guide you!