It just wasn’t possible in the past. We all knew that as a guiding principle, cheaper things were not as good as more expensive things. A tradesperson offering a cheaper deal was probably not as competent or used inferior materials. A piece of hardware wouldn’t last as long if it were a lower price because it cut corners. A cheap wine wouldn’t taste as good as a more expensive one because it hadn’t matured as long. Cheap market research could be poor calibre or worse, misleading.
But this paradigm has changed. Private label, in general, is as good quality as a brand, often better. It’s cheaper mainly because it isn’t burdened with as high a marketing requirement per category. Uber is both cheaper and better than booking a regular Taxi; because it’s a more efficient system. Airlines now charge tiny fares for flying because they have stripped out most of the massive overheads that used to burden the traveller. WhatsApp allows you to communicate efficiently and remotely, and free of charge.
This paradigm shift also applies to Market Research. Many clients are now expecting to get more insights at a lower cost. And rightly so. Many emerging research approaches have reduced the fixed cost and/or “reinvented the system” to get more for less. Some of the game changers include
– Faster easier access to respondents via cell phones and the internet
– Automated analysis – no more hours of juniors crunching ppt charts
– Reduced staffing means lower overheads
– Automated text analysis
At the same time as reducing costs, results come in faster and by accessing more significant samples, often better too. And that’s before AI truly kicks in.
Shopper Intelligence adds a further dimension – benchmarking. While, yes, we save client’s (a lot of) money by sharing the fixed costs of our programs, we add a critical extra value element – the explicit ability to compare your category data with the others. It’s a powerful driver of additional insights.