Market Research

How to save $200,000 on Big Data & Customer Analytics Staff

businessgroupSurprise! The Data Scientist you are thinking about hiring is probably already in your company.

Been reading articles about big data? Predictive analytics? The power of hiring data scientists? The value of customer experience (CX) analysis? The power of user experience (UX) testing?

How can a company take advantage of these burgeoning fields of business optimization without hiring dozens of experts? After all, either someone needs to do all of this amazing work, or at least be expert enough to manage the outsourcers who do it for you.

I have good news.  You probably have the experts. But they are shy. And they tend not to brag.

May I introduce you to…your market research department?

All of those methods you have been reading about in LinkedIn Posts, Business Week and Forbes? Yeah, market researchers have been doing them for years. Actually, decades. The names we market researchers use to refer to the methods are different, but under the shiny new covers? It’s the same.

  • If you have quantitative researchers who do survey research for you: tell them you are interested in using predictive analytics to understand consumer behaviors and they will likely do back flips of joy.
  • Have qualitative researchers who do customer interviews or focus groups for you? Tell them you are interested in CX or UX work, and they may just explode with bliss.
  • Have market researchers who do statistical analysis? Tell them you want to run pricing experiments, and they may just pass out from overwhelming delight.

You see, nearly all of the methods used by data scientists, CX and UX researchers, and other business-optimizing “pop stars”, are the same methods used by market researchers.  There are only two substantive differences:

  • Your market research department often reports to the Marketing function. In contrast, in many cases, these other areas report to Product Development, Sales or directly to the C-suite. Maybe it’s time to refresh how business-optimizing research functions are organized and connected.
  • Your market research team is typically not given access to the large data sets many companies now maintain (data sets from CRM or ERP systems, web analytics, scanner data and so on). But the statistical techniques are the same. Give us the data, we will make it rock.

So, are you fascinated by the potential of data science-infused customer insights? Want to improve market share and customer retention through CX and UX? Awesome! You can certainly hire more experts. Or you can re-focus the ones you already have and save a lot of money.


Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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