By Tamara Irminger Underwood
We almost made it to 2022 feeling like the worst of the pandemic was behind us when, WHAM! Enter Omicron! By now, most of us are used to the yo-yo effect of the pandemic. Two steps forward, one step back. By now we’ve learned that we don’t need to put the emergency brakes on and that businesses can continue to progress, even though we aren’t moving in a linear manner. As we’ve done in the past, we like to look forward to the market research trends we anticipate for the new year.
We expect that Covid-19, and its many variants, will continue to influence and shape qualitative research studies, purchasing decisions, marketing strategies, and in-person focus groups.
Supply Chain Issues and Inflation
When the pandemic first wreaked havoc and forced communities into hard lockdowns, the strain on e-commerce systems became immediately apparent. Suddenly container ships were in all the wrong places and dock workers and truck drivers were in short supply. Two years later, and the systems that support a global supply chain and the growth of e-commerce continue to plague consumers and businesses. Such disruptions mean that it is critical for organizations and brands to understand how consumer behavior and expectations are changing. Market research studies are the best ways for companies to understand the ‘why and how’ behind consumer choices, and it will be imperative for brands to continue with ongoing qualitative research to keep up with how consumer behavior is changing in response to the pandemic. Inflationary pressures will also affect purchasing decisions, which is why market research studies will remain a critical source of information for companies to develop communication and marketing strategies. Companies can’t get caught flat-footed by not being ‘in the know.’ 2022 will be the year of market research studies.
The social media company Hootsuite recently released its 2022 Social Trends report. The report is full of great tidbits and interesting insights, but one that caught our attention was the importance of social media listening campaigns.
Just because in-person focus groups, and other qualitative market research studies, were restricted because of the pandemic, doesn’t mean that companies don’t have effective tools to gain deeper insights. Social listening has many advantages, and we anticipate that it will gain in popularity in the coming year, especially as companies develop their social media strategies for 2022.
We are a huge fan of employing mobile ethnographies into our market research studies. Depending on the focus of the study, including mobile ethnographies can be a great way to capture real-time insights from users. We conducted a successful study for Delta Air Lines to help it create ways to reduce stress for passengers when flying. Using a mobile ethnography app was invaluable to our research for this study. We’ve used mobile ethnographies in many of our client studies, all with great success.
Don’t get left behind in 2022 by thinking you can figure out how to navigate the quickly changing consumer landscape. Market research has a proven track record in helping companies understand what customers really want and need. 2022 doesn’t have to be a bumpy ride for brands. Partnering with a market research firm experienced in getting working with consumers can be a guiding light during these dark times.