Is our current global situation giving us the opportunity to understand consumers like never before?

All researchers have had to adapt to new ways of working this year. One of the biggest changes they’ve had to make is how they’ve gone about gathering audience insight – with virtually all researchers having to conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews via various technologies, such as video conferencing platforms.

Although being unable to conduct traditional ‘face-to-face’ interviews with participants could be seen as a drawback, conducting those same interviews via video conferencing technology, such as Zoom, is being seen as a major advantage for our industry.

Playing the long game for deeper insights

Our adoption of video conferencing technology to gain insight has a number of advantages over traditional methods – even despite the lack of physical proximity with research participants. Not only does it give the interviewer and interviewee more flexibility in terms of when an interview can be conducted; a more flexible approach can also be used to generate deeper insights, too.

For example, given the flexibility that video conferencing allows, interviews can be conducted much more rapidly and more often. This in itself could provide you with the opportunity to gauge consumer attitudes and interactions with your brand or products more easily over a much longer period of time. After all, their behaviour and thoughts will evolve as they become more familiar with a product or service.

This could never have been achieved at scale via the traditional, face-to-face interview model – the man hours and costs required to manage and source available dates and locations alone would be prohibitive for many. However, the new age of remote working and the connectivity afforded to us by video conferencing platforms means we can engage with key audiences much more easily and capture richer insight from our interviews.

Meeting consumers where they are

Another important aspect of using technology to conduct research remotely is that it allows us to connect with consumers whilst in their existing environments and frames of mind.

For instance, the fact that consumers can use mobile video technologies to give instant feedback on a product or service as they experience it for the first time is a major advantage for the industry. Coupling video feedback projects with ethnographic analytics tools allows us to capture true insights as they happen and prevents interviewees from post-rationalizing their experience two or three weeks after they’ve come into contact with a brand.

In fact, many of our clients ask customers to create ‘confessional’ style videos as part of ‘mystery shopper’ style feedback programs which show them consuming or interacting with a product and relaying their experiences to their cell phone camera in the moment. This sort of insight is invaluable if captured and analyzed effectively.

Easier access to ethnographic research methods

This year, Medallia LivingLens launched an integration with the video conferencing platform Zoom. This has been an important step forward for us and has been extremely timely (even prescient!) given the tumultuous year we’ve experienced as an industry.

The integration represents our firm belief that video is the gateway to producing deeper, richer insight. Video gives organizations the opportunity to take a much more investigative and ethnographic approach to insight gathering when coupled with the right analytics technologies and tools.

This is certainly the case when it comes to Zoom Edition. In practice, the integration allows organizations to push Zoom cloud recordings into a LivingLens channel for transcription and analysis, and centralizes those Zoom recordings in a single asset management platform.

Making use of our emotive AI and machine learning technology, any organization can use the platform to quickly analyze videos to gain a deeper understanding of consumer motivations and decision-making. For instance, our analytics tools examine the speech, sentiment and emotions of a participant and translate these quickly into qualitative and quantitative data and insights. The underlying themes within video interviews can also be easily tagged by researchers. Key moments within each video can be pulled quickly into a showreels that many researchers use to supplement their reports and put the consumer in front of stakeholders.

In this instance, video technology provides an easier, more effective way of doing ethnographic research that is truly representative. It provides researchers with an opportunity to deeply understand how people truly live and interact in their day-to-day lives.

The research industry of tomorrow

There’s no doubt, 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone in the market research industry and beyond. However, the silver lining is that as a result of our circumstances, the industry has been jolted and sped along a path to unparalleled growth. Given the uncertain future we face, it’s reassuring to know that a video-first approach to research isn’t just a short-term fix to remedy the physical restrictions we’re currently facing. It’s an innovative approach that will revolutionize market research for the better.

Get insights at your fingertips. Turn Zoom recordings into signals intelligence with Medallia LivingLens. Learn more.