woensdag 28 september 2016

Digitization of market research: when digital is fully adopted, it disappears

The digitization of market research (and the society) has been a hot topic for a couple of years now: the year of mobile, the year of big data, the year of social ... we have had them all. Most organizations (and research agencies) have a digital department in some way.

All (digital) evolutions of marketing and market research are however triggered by a consumer trend. I have shared my thoughts on the evolutions of the past years and the impact on market research in 4 posts: market research as a gatekeeper, the age of information overload, the rise of mobile and the impact of device switching behavior.

Successful new technologies trigger new consumer behavior ... adapted by a minority or majority of consumers. Those consumers however don't think of themselves as 'digital', 'mobile' or 'social'. They pick out whatever mean suits their goal the best.

Consumers and customers do not care about the segment we put them in. They do not care whether companies or researchers call something a certain evolution, a gen Y characteristic or a result of society’s digitization. For them, a smooth and integrated experience is what counts - regardless the channel they prefer: when technology is fully adopted, it disappears. When digital is fully adopted, it disappears. It doesn't matter if you're talking about shopping, consuming media or (participating in) market research.

Manufacturers, retailers, media agencies ... and market research can only be truly digital when a digital mindset is adopted everywhere through the organization. It’s not about having a digital manager, a digital department, a digital researcher or digital marketeer, it’s about digital being a part of the mix in every single aspect of your internal and external strategies and daily work.

Breaking down the silos, connecting the dots ... are often used sentences, but it is rarely reality. Today, a digital team or department is needed to keep the pressure up (especially in more traditional organizations), but without having digital enthusiasts in every other department or layer of your organization, it will be hard to get there.

Over the past 2 years, I read some books about digital and its impact on consumers, society and business. Here are my 4 favorites:
  • Digital Transformation: a model to master digital disruption (Jo Caudron, Dado van Peteghem)
  • The Network Always Wins (Peter Hinssen)
  • When Digital Becomes Human (Steven van Belleghem)
  • The Rise of the Humans: how to outsmart the digital deluge (Dave Coplin)

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