As featured on GreenBook: Op4G's Director of Brand Strategy discusses the need for speed in this industry and where it intersects with quality insights.

Indisputably, the entire consumer landscape has experienced a seismic shift. The whys behind a consumer’s path to purchase have taken a sharp left down a one-way freeway, when it was predicted they would safely stop at the red light. To be successful in the industry’s future, market researchers need to rethink their interactions with the audiences they serve. Ensuring they have good co-pilots in the passenger seat is crucial to navigating these uncertain times.

We’ve seen it in the real estate market, grocery store aisles, lumber yards, and now the sample space. This past year has stimulated unprecedented demand for certain products and services. If truth in insights is a commodity, then, as an industry, we are in short supply. Recalling grade school economics, you might remember that when demand increases and supply is low, prices rise. But in this race to provide the best sample at the fastest pace and cheapest rates, the industry has become the Wild West of bidding wars. We’ve forgotten that the true mission is to provide integrity in data that gives brands decision-making confidence. For that reason, we say goodbye to the days where you choose a vendor based on “better, faster, cheaper” and hello to partners based on trust, collaboration, and innovation.

Obtaining rich insights and premium data that clients can trust is a top concern amongst researchers. If you’ve been in the industry for as long as Op4G has, you know data quality isn’t just about the panelists; it starts with a smart survey design. When it comes to complex design and advanced analytics, clients need experienced partners who can execute the proper research and yield accurate results. It is more crucial than ever to choose a full-service research partner who is truly invested in navigating the overall process. Finding a partner who provides quality panelists, robust technology, and functionally sound consultation is a scarcity in this industry. Op4G is proud to differentiate ourselves by delivering on all three aspects of this trifecta. If trust is the concern, then collaborating with an expert partner can be the unswerving road map to richer data.

To fully capture the voice of the consumer, we need to balance filling the supply void without sacrificing data quality. This is a critical juncture where innovation comes into play. Instead of focusing on problems, an innovative partner isn’t afraid to try new methods that lead to better quality solutions. One of the perpetual challenges in our industry is communicating with hard-to-reach audiences who don’t typically take online surveys. When a survey incentive is a few dollars, potential respondents such as C-level executives and specialized tradespeople are not likely to sacrifice their time. Researchers can instead appeal to these niche audiences through their underlying values and intrinsic motivators. Tapping into the desire to inherently “do good” by giving back to nonprofits is something that appeals to any demographic. Researchers can use that as an incentive to capture the voices of those typically hard-to-reach or even marginalized audiences. We may refer to them as N=, but truly, we’re in the business of studying real humans. The best research recognizes that.

As we look towards the future, the road ahead may have its fair share of unexpected twists and turns. Choosing a research partner based on trust, collaboration, and innovation can help you weather any storm. Are you ready to put your foot on the gas and drive?


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