When you’re thinking about beginning an internal research transformation by adopting an automated market research solution, you’re likely to feel stumped by the sheer number of options on offer.

It’s important to understand software differentiators and key features when comparing automated offerings – you’ll want to opt for the tools that most appeal to your business goals.

We’ve established five vital questions that are worth asking sales reps before parting with your hard-earned cash. Don’t buy anything without considering the implications of not obtaining answers to the following queries.

1. Is Market Research Automation Right for Your Business?

Fast-moving

As budgets and timelines are squeezed, businesses need to be more agile and keep up with the increasingly fast pace of consumer preferences.

  • Automation is faster, cheaper, and scalable: Market research automation allows for overnight testing, quick decisions, and predictable results. It’ll save you save money if you’re currently using traditional market research providers, and with it, you’ll be able to store reporting in one place across different geographies and departments.
  • It’s more consistent: Market research automation shortens development cycles, avoids costly decisions going unvalidated, and helps users make better decisions by involving consumers early on in the process – saving time and money.

2. What Are the Drawbacks of Using Automation?

Stop light

As with all things in life, market research automation is not a silver bullet and will not solve all your problems in one fell swoop. Even if you do sign with an automation partner, not all research can be automated. For instance, in-person studies require alternative solutions.

  • You can’t customize every element: If the tools you opt for are expert-led solutions, there must be a level of trust between the user and the architect.
  • It’s also difficult to communicate to the business: There may be some upheaval in adopting a new method of research and change management can be a real challenge. Market research automation requires more strategic thinking and a focus on consistency and scalability over absolute fluidity.  

3. Which Key Technologies Are Most Helpful to Your Business?

Technology

Consider the objectives and goals for bringing on a market research provider. Which features are most important to you? Low-cost, ready-to-go resources, or easily accessible data? Determine whether you want a provider that performs ad-hoc tests or a subscription model.

  • Traditional methodologies v.s. new thinking: While it may be easier to get buy-in from your organization by adopting traditional methodologies, new platform-owned approaches tend to be cheaper.
  • Try to guarantee ongoing support: Before signing on with a new market research automation provider, make sure you understand how they support their clients. It will be challenging to ensure its seamless integration adoption across your teams.
  • Is the technology all it’s cracked up to be? Some “automation” providers are overnight programming services, which means you’ll miss out on some of the deeper analytics, cross-project comparison, and central storage capabilities.
  • Look beyond buzzwords: If an organization uses terms like Artificial Intelligence, big data, or blockchain, we recommend you get an understanding of what they mean by it, how they’re using it, and how it will impact your use of the platform.

4. Are There Any Reporting Features You Consider Essential?

Research results

Understanding what you can do with the data you receive is important in vetting the usefulness of software. Beyond cutting costs and time, the biggest benefit of using automated market research should be in its extended functionality and clarity.

  • You may want to export all of your data: How simple is it to get reports from the data? Is the data provided for each report static or can you manipulate it, filter it, and slice it as you see fit?
  • Can you pull information from multiple projects into one report? Powerful meta-analysis is unlocked with the right kinds of automated research options.

5. What Does the Future Look Like Alongside Your Provider?

Change

Ask for the future tech roadmap of your provider to make sure you’re choosing an organization you can grow with.

  • Does your provider shape the future of their industry? Strive to work with an organization whose service has a history of leading the herd. Is their technology likely to advance at the same pace as your business and beyond?
  • Try to be involved in their innovation process: Like any good market researcher, you’ll want your provider to include your perspective and experiences as they decide which features to include or upgrade.

We recommend scheduling demos with your top selections before making a final decision. If you’re still not sure that market research automation is right for you, click here to schedule a meeting and learn more about Zappi’s market research automation platform.


Key Takeaways

  • Automation might not be the solution you’re after but ask the questions most relevant to your business; it might be able to help you in ways you didn’t think were possible.
  • Chase the most forward-thinking technology, support your colleagues, and do your best to keep up to speed with a rapidly transforming industry.
  • Ask: how can you use your data now and in the future – it’s important your new provider will achieve the level of flexibility you’re desperate for.

Read in more detail about automated market research options and what’s available on the market right now in our advanced purchasing guide.

A James Hodges

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A James Hodges

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