Ask an Innovation Consultant
From developments in methodologies and technology, the research world doesn’t look the same today as it did 20 or even five years ago. And it will undoubtedly continue to evolve in 2022 and beyond.
We checked in with our two top innovation consultants, Rick Candelaria and Carlijn Tummers, to hear their thoughts on the biggest developments in the industry, and the future to come.
You’ve been with MetrixLab for quite a few years. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the research world in that time (internally or externally)?
An easy answer would be the adoption and utilization of artificial intelligence, but I think the reason why there has been a proliferation of these approaches is the need for quicker insights. The expectations of how long it should take to be able to answer key marketing questions has decreased dramatically, in part due to the volume of business intelligence data that is now available almost real time.
At the same time, the demand to ‘humanize’ the data has also never been so high. That’s why solutions like our ‘Immerse’ (a live online group conversation supported by AI) resonate well clients. They use AI to speed up analysis but without losing the human touch. I think we’ll start seeing more qualitative solutions that have the ability to integrate qualitative, quantitative and social insights, to achieve speed and scale with a human element.
Can you explain some of the thinking behind the new solutions and methodologies we develop at MetrixLab?
Technology is rapidly evolving, so we’re constantly scanning the market for new solutions and technology – but those that really add value, not just because it’s a new hype. Understanding Gartner’s Hype Cycle – what is left after the peak of inflated expectations of new tech – is the ongoing challenge. Our advantage is that our platforms are built in a way that we can easily plug and play 3rd party technology, which makes us agile in experimenting new solutions.
What we’re ultimately after is to try to identify ways we can enhance the insights we provide to our clients. It’s one of the reasons we’re always questioning and challenging the way things have “been done.” The marketing/advertising world has gone through so much change over the last 20 years that doing things the same old way just doesn’t make sense. So we’re constantly looking for ways we can be more efficient, provide results quicker, maximize the value and impact of the data we collect and the insights we provide.
What’s your personal favorite development you’ve seen within MetrixLab?
Honestly, I’m not sure I have one specific favorite, but what I do like is how we’re approaching the integration and utilization of artificial intelligence. We’ve been actively working with AI for over four years now and have gotten to a place where we have a lot of knowledge about situations where it can be a great benefit. But we also know where its limitations are. Our focus has really been identifying how we can best combine the benefits of human and artificial intelligence together in order to enhance the end result of our research approaches and provide clients with better guidance and recommendations.
We have developed impressive tools and techniques over the year but the ones which we developed together with our clients are my favorite.
So what’s next? What do you think the coming years will bring for market research?
I think we’re going to start to see a period that is similar to the late 90’s/early 2000’s, where research was trying to figure out the whole Internet thing. All of the buzz around the metaverse is going to start to take clearer shape – and we’re already developing plans to be a leader when it comes to metaverse research. However, given all of the unknowns, it’s going to be very important to quickly establish the do’s and don’ts of metaverse research and I think being born in the digital age will help us, along with that challenger mentality.
The crystal ball says everything seems to be evolving but actually nothing is changing – we’ll all still be seeking to understand the magic of consumer behavior.