I should start by saying that I, personally, think market research is cool every day. But, sometimes you come across something that just really excites you. As an MR professional, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s a really cool study or some fascinating data — and sometimes it’s an exciting new approach to market research. As an analyst, I attend a lot of briefings. Some are highly intriguing, and others . . . well, you get the idea. I thought today I’d share with you a couple of interesting companies that I’ve come across in the past couple of weeks. I encourage you to explore them on your own, but I’ll start you off with a few interesting tidbits.
The first company is Tobii Technology . It specializes in eye-tracking and eye-control studies. Its technologies are used in many scientific studies, but they are also used in market research applications. If you’re familiar with eye-tracking studies, you know that they’re not new by any means. However, Tobii has made the method more accessible and more convenient. Where it once involved huge, cumbersome glasses that took a long time to calibrate, Tobii has introduced a streamlined version that can be calibrated easily. The options for use are endless: shopping studies, media consumption, copy testing, ad placement — the list goes on.
On two occasions in the past few months, I’ve given a speech to members of Forrester’s Market Research Forrester Leadership Board about vendor management best practices, a topic I’m writing a report on.[i] With market research budgets increasingly shrinking and research expectations growing, we see that market researchers need to select, manage, and measure their vendors more efficiently.
The key to success here is to develop partnerships with your key vendors. Why? Because conversations with Market Research professionals at a variety of organizations show that partnering with research vendors leads to better projects, deeper insights, and lower costs. As one of my interviewees said: “It’s about intellectual ROI: You need to invest less time for each project. You build a lot of equity. You also get more of a team thing going — to me, this is very important. You work with these people on a daily basis, so finding the right vendor and contact is critical, as we see them as colleagues.”
To understand how Market Research professionals currently collaborate with their research vendors, we surveyed our Market Research Panel earlier this year. The majority of our panelists feel that they already have established partnerships with most vendors, and two-thirds state that price is less important than quality.