Beyond Intelligence Augmentation: The Next Phase of AI & Market Research

In the past few weeks, it has become clear that the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic will fundamentally change the way we live and work. The market research industry is not spared by this change. 

In order to measure the impact of this pandemic on our industry – and to provide crowdsourced, research community advice in these uncertain times – we conducted a Remesh conversation with more than 100 market research professionals, almost 70% of whom indicated that they expected research projects would be put on hold, or require a change in methodology. Among in-house insights teams, almost 80% expected an increased need for virtual methods and approaches towards research.


Screenshot from a Remesh conversation on the impact of COVID-19 on the market research industry


Of all the potential changes in research due to COVID-19 – from decreased participation to a shortage of participants – researchers are most concerned with behavioral change (70%) as the primary challenge in this new world. 

When broken down by consulting and market research agencies (MRA), consultants were most likely to agree with the statement that “if [participants are more] distracted, they're less likely to engage in research (unless it's topical e.g., about COVID-19).” On the other hand, agency researchers were most likely to agree with the statement “I'm speculating some may be more likely to participate having less to do now.”

To read the rest of our report, download The Impact of COVID-19 on Research (Report). For a list of our virtual resources, read on.


Screenshot from a Remesh conversation on the impact of COVID-19 on the market research industry



Because traditional, in-person research methods are difficult to implement for the foreseeable future, here is a collection of resources we think will help you conduct virtual customer research effectively.


Virtual Research Platforms

Virtual research platforms are crucial when looking to successfully conduct research in a digital environment. These platforms allow you to engage and gather information about your customers, without ever meeting your customer in person.

Online focus groups: Online focus groups vs traditional focus groups 

Online focus group platforms allow for brands and researchers to engage large numbers of customers in a live conversation. By collecting and analyzing large amounts of open-ended responses, these platforms allow you to gain qualitative insights at a quantitative scale.

Beyond online focus groups, you can also tap on various other platforms to complement your virtual research needs, such as:

  • Video feedback platforms, such as Voxpopme
  • Website heatmap tools, such as Hotjar
  • Receipt data for pricing research, like from FuelCycle


Virtual Customer Research Techniques

Beyond traditional channels, virtual research techniques can be used to extract insights on customer feedback & satisfaction. Understanding what customers already feel about your products and services can give you an indication of what needs to be improved, and what they might be looking for next.

Managing customer feedback: Customer feedback management: the ABC process

Collecting and managing feedback from customers, even when done in-person, can be an incredibly challenging and complex process. Using virtual research techniques, such as virtual user testing, can make it easier for your customers to provide useful feedback, while also allowing you to more effectively respond.

Measuring customer satisfaction: Agile alternatives to customer satisfaction surveys

Convincing customers to complete customer satisfaction surveys can often feel more difficult than getting them to purchase your products in the first place. Through the use of creative virtual techniques such as mobile ethnography and social media monitoring, you can still figure out how they really feel about your product.


Key Market Trends

Before diving into customer research, it’s important to understand key changes within the industry you’re operating in. Having a grasp of high-level industry trends can allow you to refine your research objectives, and hold more insightful conversations with your customers.

Retail: 9 Experiential Retail Trends 

Within the world of retail, experiential retail is taking the industry by storm, with brands from Nike to Zara and even Kraft finding ways to optimize their physical retail experiences. Some key trends include using augmented or virtual reality for customers to more easily visualize products.

CPG: 5 CPG industry Trends

Within the realm of consumer packaged goods, brands evolve quickly in adapting to changing customer needs. Some key trends here include increasing transparency in product and packaging, as well as a greater commitment to sustainable practices.


To read the full report, download The Impact of COVID-19 on Research (Report) now.