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[2014 trends] The year ahead for research
Continued growth for DIY research
Firstly, this year is likely to see continued growth in the number of platforms and services that allow marketers to conduct their research in a DIY-fashion.
Free online survey tools and resources make it easier than ever before to conduct inexpensive, basic research. A risk in this course is that the quality of research will suffer without experienced hands involved. This could lead to a diminishing of the value of research as a marketing support tool. An alternative to full-DYI is assisted-DYI research where experienced researchers enable marketers to conduct their own research by taking care of some of the heavy lifting without the full-service price tag.
Growth of mobi-research
A second development is the growth of mobi-research. As the penetration of smartphones continues to rise, researchers increasingly need to cater for mobile survey-takers. Those who employ this approach need to weigh benefits such as greater reach and convenience with limitations on survey length and complexity due to device limitations.
Increased measuring of effectiveness of digital marketing
A third trend that has been building over the last few years is an increased drive to measure the effectiveness of digital marketing efforts. For most brands these strategies are no longer an optional part of the mix. As such, those who pay for increased brand exposure on new media channels expect to quantify the success of their efforts, as they would in traditional channels.
A challenge for those who attempt this is deciding on what the optimal way is to approach this measurement. Digital branding exponents are finding that web analytics tells one side of the story, but is greatly enhanced by primary research that delves into experiential aspects.
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