All (digital) evolutions of marketing and market research are however triggered by a consumer trend. In this series of 4 posts, I will share my thoughts on the evolutions of the past years and the impact on market research. With this second post, I will focus on the daily information overload consumers experience.
With the world at our hands, media consumption has drastically changed. Twitter is our main source for news items, hearing something hours after it happened is considered ‘very late’. The amount of available information when looking into a potential purchase is almost unlimited: consumers face the challenge of selecting relevant information and messages.
Market research often ask consumers about their “path to purchase” or “media behavior” via established techniques such as CAWI, CAPI, CATI ... to help marketing departments understand advertisement impact. Exposure to digital banners, pre-rolls ... is however not always actively remembered (which online ads did you see today, yesterday, last week?), neither is online media consumption (which websites - ideally which website pages - did you visit when looking up information about your new microwave?).“The increasing amount of (digital) touchpoints causes an information overload for consumers.”
With our established techniques, we cannot measure the impact of unconscious media exposure. In order to tackle this challenge, we make the shift from claimed to observed behavior. Instead of surveying research participants we leverage today’s technology to actually observe and register their online behavior and ad exposure."Established research techniques don't capture what is not actively remembered"
One of the advantages of observed behavior is the ability to compare what consumers think they do (claimed behavior) with what they actually do. When researching cross-border purchase behavior, GfK found for example that for only 50% of online purchases, consumers could correctly tell whether it was purchased domestically or abroad.“By leveraging today’s technology, we make the shift from claimed to observed behavior”