Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Marketing Technology + Human Insights = Untapped Opportunities
New technology vendors are popping up every day offering CMO’s marketing automation tools that promise ‘smart data’ and improved analytics. For QRC’s these emerging technologies can provide new opportunities to provide services and expertise that augments this data. Lisa Horwich of Pallas Research Associates took attendees of the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference through how AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), BI (Business Intelligence) and other parts of the Marketing Technology (MarTech) stack are transforming the market research industry.
In her session, we explored how these tools are being used, and most importantly, their limitations. Marketing technology does provide businesses opportunities for greater return on investment (ROI) and growth, but they don’t do enough to provide human insights. This presents an important opportunity for us, qualitative consultants, to not only utilize these technologies, but share how our qualitative service offerings will enhance our customers’ marketing efforts.
As of 2018, marketing departments spent as much as IT departments on technology solutions. Marketing technology is selling the promise for ROI in a fast and more efficient way, including Real-Time Analytics, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (translation, speech recognition, decision making), and Machine Learning (the capacity for an algorithm to learn and improve its performance and output). All these tools provide solutions that help understand customer journeys in a more personalized way, increase customer retention and loyalty, and increase customer lifetime value.
These technologies also allow having multiple touch points of data (for example, if a customer is using a specific website through their mobile and then switch to an app but then decide to browse on their computer. While all these technologies are promising “better, faster, cheaper” results, there are some big limitations that for qualitative consultants presents an opportunity. The most important of these opportunities is that big data can tell you the WHAT in a very specific way, but the technology is not developed yet to explain the WHY behind those insights to marketers. Horwich presented these additional limitations (L) and opportunities (O) for qualitative consultants:
- (L) Decisions are made solely on data --> (O) Use the data as a launching point for deeper qualitative analysis
- (L) Existing data is not predictive enough --> (O) Create and maintain communities to identify predictive behavior
- (L) Need exponentially more content --> (O) Assist in narrowing target messaging
- (L) Insufficient 'training' data --> (O) Provide personas and other descriptive metrics to help 'train' algorithms
- (L) Lack of 'domain specific' attributes --> (O) Create feature lists to describe the data
- (L) Dimensionally inhibits predictive modeling --> (O) Help narrow down number of variables with human insights.
Putting it into practice:
Learning what these technologies can bring to the table and identifying where my qualitative expertise fits can help anyone during a sales pitch!
Despite how we have learned to utilize it as a resource, Google does not have all the answers!
What we do as qualitative consultants is incredibly valuable for business growth. Understanding the technological capabilities and their limitations are key for us to improve our sales pitches and present where our value lies to our clients.
QRCA Reporter on the Scene
The Intercultural Studio