Ray PoynterRay Poynter, with input from experts across the world of Market Research, has penned a far-reaching research report, with ZappiStore as its proud sponsor. ‘Automation and Market Research: A journey, not a destination’ is available now through NewMR.

The report uncovers the benefits and fears of an automated future; more can be achieved with less, more consistently, and at a faster speed, inevitably heralding significant shifts within the industry. Ray predicts 40-60% of existing market research jobs will evolve or disappear – replaced with new ones.

Detailing a technical evolution – from glass blowing to Uber – the report connects trials and tribulations from an era gone by with those that are faced by researchers today. Ray says, ‘Market Research has a long history of beating itself up about not being innovative – something I believe is more grounded in attitude than fact.’

The report incorporates the voices of those currently working with this new technology, including Stan Sthanunathan from Unilever, author Sue York, and GreenBook’s Lenny Murphy.

We, however, turned to our own Babita Earle for her opinion on the subject –
ZappiStore’s new Global Accounts and Partnership Director. Having come to us equipped with over eighteen years’ worth of experience in Market Research and consumer insights at GfK, Babita’s perspective is an invaluable source of optimism:

Babita Earle


Babita Earle, Global Accounts and Partnership Lead Director at ZappiStore

In Market Research, it has always been a challenge to add value at the right points in the process – in essence, maintaining a high level of interactivity with clients. Time has, historically, been spent making sure the sample is right, checking data quality, and ensuring fieldwork is managed correctly.

These processes make up about 80%-90% of a researcher’s time, whereas the final 10%-or-so is squeezed. Arguably, it’s these final moments that consist of the most crucial elements – deciphering what the resulting data means and what’s to be done about it. Real value sits here, in empowering clients to feel that they can demonstrate ROI for having spent on research in the first place.

WithRay Poynter's Automation Report automation, the nuts and bolts of market research are in place instantaneously. Ray’s report makes this clear; the longer it takes us to reach the finish line, the more likely businesses are to lose sight of their moment of action. Being able to compress this timeframe from months to hours means high-quality research can be delivered to the right people, at the right time, in the right ways, and at a fraction of the cost. Fast dissemination is one thing, but research presented to clients in such a way that its key themes and messages are clear is quite another.

We’ve moved from pen and paper to digital, from bog-standard PowerPoint charts to highly visual infographic-style results. In the blink of an eye, automated technology has transformed the pains of process into positives.

Now, anyone can deliberate the outcome of research – an entirely different experience compared to times gone by. Quicker than ever, clients can construct data-driven plans of action. This is the really exciting stuff – when clients say, ‘Wow!’. Automation brings us up to speed and creates more of these ‘Wow!’ moments; changing the face of an industry, opening new markets, and constantly evolving the creative space we work in. Ultimately, and honestly, this equates to improved job satisfaction for us all.

Market Research is diverse, energised, and tech-savvy. The future looks bright.

Andrew Hodges

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Andrew Hodges

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