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[2014 trends] The year ahead for research

As a researcher it's interesting to see the way in which our industry responds to trends in other areas of branding, marketing and advertising. The three research trends described below all have roots in changes that are occurring across all of these industries.
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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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The BCSA was constituted in 2011, after extensive debate by leaders in the industry around the need for a collective voice to represent, strengthen and advance the interests of the wider branding and design industry in South Africa. BCSA’s core belief is that brands have the ability to create value. The BCSA incorporates the Brand Design Council (formerly known as THINK).

The BCSA and its members are governed by a strong code of conduct that promotes responsible best practice and self-regulation, which is designed to build understanding, value and demand for Brand Marketing and Communication Design in South Africa. Follow @BrandCouncilSA on Twitter.
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About Henk Pretorius

Henk Pretorius is the co-founder and CEO of Columinate. He is a marketing researcher and registered research psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Henk has worked with blue-chip clients in a diverse range of industries, including FMCG, financial services, media, advertising, telecommunications, online services, pharmaceutical and academic. Henk is also a current board member of Brand Council of South Africa (BCSA). Follow @henkpret and @Columinate on Twitter.


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