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The New Reality Blurring the Lines Between Marketing and Research

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

The consumer behavior is constantly evolving. As a result of this, companies have to align their market research and marketing practices.

About 20 years back, it was difficult for market research and marketing to crossover as the distinctions were quite well-defined. It was more like, “you carry a different role, and I carry a different one”.

However, these silos are slowly going away and at the same time, the bright lines are getting blurred.

In a traditional sense, marketing deals with the actions of promotion, along with the selling of services and products. On the other hand, market research is used to gather information regarding the preferences of the target audience along with their needs. Hence, market research has been used to provide some basis for marketing.

While these distinctions in the basic functions of the two still remain quite clear, the landscape is quickly evolving into a more homogenous one. There are a number of reasons for this.

The digital ecosystem

The digital connectivity is constantly rising as the use of portable devices connected with each other is becoming more common. As a result of this, it is very difficult for people involved with market research, to engage with potential research respondents.

At the same time, the data is being shared among people in a number of venues and across many different platforms, both passively and actively. As a result of this, one of the core value propositions of market research is taken away. As previously, market researchers used to be the only providers of consumer insights. However, now, all of this data gets connected with online interactions.

The demands for speed are met by the integration

The consumer landscape is now driven digitally, for the most part. The need for speed, in this case, is huge. As a result of this, delivery of the findings, a linear research process, campaign development, and consumer outreach will not suffice. Rather, brands require all the information as quickly as possible in order to execute immediately. This will allow the brands to reach out to the already distracted target audience. After all, what is relevant today may not be relevant tomorrow.

As a result of this, those companies who do not have an integrated platform will have a competitive disadvantage in terms of the cost and speed.

Looking for new revenue opportunities

As a result of these changes, the research suppliers are pursuing new growth avenues. This is because online research is just growing modestly. Hence, it is natural for the research suppliers to look into the broader marketing ecosystem in order to find new and better opportunities. The use of first-party data for activation and targeting is perhaps the most promising opportunity. In this, there is a lot of revenue potential. So instead of giving the data off to marketing firms, companies may be using the data for direct promotions to their consumers.

Hence, the total needs of the clients will be met. As a result of this, the traditional gap between marketing functions and marketing research will be blurred out completely.

Author: Austin Stanfel

Stanfel Media





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