Ethically Sourced Data and Smart Market Research: Marketing Predictions for 2021

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2020 was the year that the currency of market research increased exponentially. COVID-19 saw a seismic shift in consumer behaviors, with no industry left untouched. The uncertainty, the unprecedentedness, of what was unfolding around us left many marketers dazed and confused. They rapidly tried to keep up—to grapple with how consumers were feeling and how those changing sentiments might impact their marketing strategies long-term.

Market research is only made possible through smart research technology, or ResTech. In 2021, ResTech will have the power to provide marketers with the road map to a successful future. Here are the three things marketers absolutely need to know as they continue 2021 planning and execution when it comes to effectively, and efficiently, relying on market research.

This is just the beginning of data privacy. The ethical sourcing of data is critical. Updates to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), newly emerging antitrust laws—2020 saw a great deal of changes concerning data privacy and protection. It was the year that platforms and brands alike were challenged to take a step back and truly understand why and how they were gathering and utilizing their data, and if it was for good.

2021 will be the impetus for the ethical sourcing of data. Consumers are more dialed in than ever before, and marketers are on an absolute mission to wrap their heads around changing consumer sentiments in a time of mass upheaval. Will there be a few stumbles along the way? Likely. With that said, it will be vital for data scientists to work with market researchers to ensure that any data collection and utilization is done properly.

Three key things to remember when it comes to data privacy: consent, transparency and accountability. Ensure users provide explicit consent to the use of their data, remain transparent with those consumers as to how and why you are using their data, and hold your team accountable through the process.

Quarterly updates? No more. Consumer sentiment changes too quickly. Researchers are still adapting to how quickly the world expects answers. Newsflash: It’s not slowing down anytime soon. CMOs can no longer afford to not be directly dialed into the pulse of sentiment surrounding their brand every single day. Things are moving too quickly with customers as they react to the changing dynamics around them.

The faster ResTech can accurately answer business questions, the more valuable those ResTech platforms will become to market researchers. ResTech puts customer sentiments into marketers’ hands to make sure that their messaging resonates regardless of how frequently attitudes change. 

Companies will have to be open-minded and nimble with strategy; let smart market research be your compass. It’s clear that the global disruption caused by the digitalization of every industry accelerated in 2020, and we will see that continue into 2021. Many of the efforts by companies to become more efficient and “tech-first” will come to fruition this year. Adapting an agile tech model will be key; gone are the days of brand marketers operating off a clearly defined road map or content calendar. The need to anticipate the unexpected, and pivot to execute on a new strategy on a dime is the new way of the world. This is where smart market research can serve as a compass. Let changing consumer sentiment guide your tactics. Staying on the pulse is no longer a catchphrase; it’s the number-one brand marketing strategy.

We are just at the beginning of a sea change in so many industries. The good news is that ResTech is ready to help decision makers understand the near-real-time changes in behavior and attitudes that their most important customers are making in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Patrick Comer is the founder and CEO of programmatic research technology platform Lucid.

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