Aref Munshi, Vice President, Sales & Research Services, has been working in market research since the late 1980s and has seen the technological evolution of the industry firsthand.
When Aref began his career in 1989, his work included both qualitative and quantitative research. The majority of this research took place in person, including in-office, in-store and in malls.
This would eventually evolve to include product and home-use testing for consumer goods, as well as face-face medical interviewing. But most of this was still done “offline.”
As technology evolved, it changed the way projects were being conducted. One of his challenges was encouraging some traditional clients to adapt to newer ways of collecting data that was equally meaningful. Some of that included changing from “offline” to “online.”
There have been a number of positive outcomes to relying on tech-driven methodologies. It is more cost-efficient, allows for quicker turnaround, and adds the ability to review results in real-time.
“If you can consistently deliver quality, actionable data,” Aref maintains, “methodological changes shouldn’t matter.”
He recognizes there are some limitations, too. For example, the touch-and-feel aspects of package testing is difficult to replicate online; body language is still important in face-to-face studies. There are also nuances in understanding what active and non-active group participants are saying and doing.
However, despite these missing pieces, Aref is excited to embrace these evolving changes and looks forward to integrating some of these technological advancements to future research.
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