A New Role for Market Researchers?
Posted January 7, 2013 by
Technology has enabled marketers to become part of a person’s daily life, and brands can now offer unique consumer experiences across devices. Likewise, Researchers can interact with consumers at any moment, through many devices and touch points. We will see the raise of a new generation of Tech savvy Researchers, and the born of a new enterprise role: the Chief Research Technology Officer (CRTO).
Yahoo Answers, Facebook Questions, Survey Monkey and Market Tools, IBM and SPSS, DYI, Mobile, Social Media, Big Data, and now Google Consumer Surveys... do we need any more proof that technology has invaded the MR space?
No, we don’t. The “Technomy” has affected almost all business areas and industries, and it couldn’t be different with Market Research and Marketing at all. Technology has enabled marketers to become part of a person’s daily life, and brands can now offer unique consumer experiences across numerous devices, at any time. Likewise, Researchers can interact with consumers at any moment, through many devices and touch points.
Consumers, everywhere and anywhere, are multi-tasking and having the world at their fingertips – information is now available on their mobile devices, social networks, websites and apps. Therefore, the purchase process has changed dramatically. The new challenge is about engaging people wherever they are, and brands have more options than ever to connect with consumers providing them relevant messages and offers. Researchers can take the opportunity to gather consumer insights, opinions and experiences at any time during the purchase journey.
As a consequence, on the corporate side, lines between Technology and Marketing are blurring. Marketing departments need to view Technology as both a delivery tool and as an analytics/measurement tool. Technology departments need to think about building-out big data and actionable analytics capabilities to support Marketing. Consumer insights and market data are now generated from several sources, channels and formats, structured and non-structured, overloading organizations with data coming from all over.
Therefore, companies need to shift from pushing their ideas and messages to listening and engaging more proactively with their ever-expanding community, and also deal with big data — everything from the data that shows who exactly comprises their target audience to the data that reveals how effective their marketing programs are. In this new corporate scenario, Market Researchers have a big opportunity to create value becoming the bridge between Marketers and Technologists.
My take is: we will see the raise of a new generation of Tech savvy Researchers, and the born of a new enterprise role: the Chief Research Technology Officer (CRTO), whose mission will be to help organizations evolve and meet the challenges of the new data driven economy. This new enterprise role could be fulfilled by Consumer Insights/ Market Research, Business Intelligence, Marketing or Technology professionals, but will require this new executive to have strong consultancy and business skills, to be data insight driven and have deep understanding of the tech ecosystem.
Whether we call it CRTO, CDO (Chief Data Officer), CMTO (Chief Marketing Technologist) or other name, the opportunity for this new role within enterprises is out there. Do you agree Researchers can develop into this new role? What do you think that role should look like?