Importance of Market Research to Organizations in an Age of Unpredictability

Market Research in the Age of Unpredictability

We are living in an age of unpredictability. With sales forecasts and marketing projections going haywire, organizations find themselves unable to have a “grip on the present” and a “vision for the future”.

Further, they also find that any forecast or projections about consumer behavior invariably turns out to be upended by fast-changing consumer preferences and tastes.

Thus, there is an acute need for reliable and accurate if not relevant and timely forecasts that would ensure that organizations can plan product releases and brand launches that are timely and in tune with the prevailing market sentiment.

This is where market research becomes that much more important to organizations as it ensures that organizations stay on “top of the game” and “be ahead of the curve”.

In addition, timely and accurate as well as relevant and pertinent market research forecasts can help organizations “ride the waves” of consumer preferences. In short, what organizations need are for marketers to develop market research tools and methods that would help them beat their competitors for market share and ensure that their product launches and brand releases “click” with their customer base.

What is Market Research and Why it is so Important to Organizations

Before we proceed further, it would be pertinent to understand what market research and why it is so important especially, in this age of unpredictability.

To start with, market research is the art and science of making forecasts for the future based on the present trends as well as past consumer behavior.

By keeping tabs on the present trends, market research extrapolates these into the future and makes predictions accordingly.

Also, by studying past behavior, market research understands how consumers are likely to behave in the future.

Further, market research is as much about scientific predictions based on data as it is about gut feel and intuition.

In other words, the best market researchers are those who employ data that is gathered through rigorous methodologies and statistical theories to make predictions that are also complemented and supplemented by gut feel and a sense of intuiting which way the “wind would blow” and which way the “tide would turn”.

Gut Feel and Intuition are also Important

Indeed, much like Stockbrokers who have a “feel for the market”, market researchers must employ their innate sense of intuition to make forecasts about the future.

In our experience, we have found that the best market researchers usually add a note about their predictions that are based on data with the note containing thoughts on how the market would move in the future.

As mentioned earlier, market research is both an art and a science and the former is based on experience and foresight, and the latter is based on rigorous statistical analysis as well as deep theoretical basis grounded in data.

Market Research using Big Data and AI

Market research in recent years has adapted to the latest technologies such as Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence powered software wherein such technologies are increasingly being applied to market research predictions.

Indeed, the use of such technologies and tools has reduced the margin of error that market research usually contains as well as eliminated the need for lengthy wait times for the reports to appear.

By automating data collection, market researchers no longer have to “go out into the field” as much as they did earlier and instead, can gather data from multiple data stores that are enabled and powered by software.

For instance, in earlier years, market researchers used to spend time and effort in gathering data from consumers by contacting them in person. Now, they use tools and websites such as Survey Monkey as well as targeted data collection gathered from multiple websites enabled by AI and Big Data.

In addition, market research has also become more intuitive wherein experienced market researchers use their gut feel to make predictions.

Successful Market Researchers are Important to Organizations

For instance, the gurus of market research such as Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight.com often analyze multiple data sets and collate the data and then use advanced tools to arrive at the Big Picture.

However, the Big Picture that ensues is also complemented by the innate feel that market researchers have about the future and hence, market research in the present times can be thought to be highly advanced.

Indeed, this is the reason why most organizations are paying more attention and giving more importance to market researchers when compared to earlier. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, with so much unpredictability and volatility, it is important for organizations to have a market research team in place that can aid and enable business decision making instead of relying on external agencies alone.

This is the reason why many consumer and retail giants now have in-house market research teams in place when compared to the earlier practice of outsourcing market research requirements to external agencies.

Conclusion

Lastly, the way in which the market might move in the future and how the “cookie crumbles” can be extremely useful to any organization and especially those that are mass consumer dependent.

In other words, for organizations that cater to a large and diversified consumer base, it is very important to understand future movements and hence, market research in the present times is often an invaluable component of the overall marketing efforts.

To conclude, market research has indeed come a long way from collecting data on sheets of paper to the present when large datasets are run through algorithms that detect patterns and make predictions.


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The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.