Mark Fletcher knows that in the world of market research, shopper research is king. This intersection between how consumers spend their time and money is the key that unlocks everything else and therefore is the most important thing a researcher can study. As the technology to capture behavioral data for shopper research improves, Mark sees researchers playing an even more vital role in uncovering hidden gems of insight.
Mark has accumulated over thirty years in the market research industry and he's been particularly captivated by shopper research. In his current role as Insights Manager at Power Retail, Mark focuses his efforts on making a difference in the world of online retail – researching, analyzing and writing the reports that feed the strategic decision making of those retailers.
Having a deluge of shopper data at his fingertips meant some necessary outsourcing. So it was quite a challenge to decide which data to analyze and what crosstabs to run, not to mention the headache that came with all that back-and-forth communication! Any changes to the data or processes were “laborious and costly”. Not anymore! Switching to Displayr was a huge turning point for Mark.
However, for Mark, the main advantage of having a tool like Displayr is not the cost or the time, but the way it allows him to investigate things independently and extensively. Mark says, “Since getting Displayr, what I’ve got is the flexibility to investigate things in detail, to go down rabbit holes and see if there is something useful there – quickly and accurately. That’s the great benefit for Displayr for me – the facility to direct my own analysis.”
This ability to explore data deeper than ever before is critical moving forward. As more accurate data becomes available with developments like in-store WiFi-tracking and the like, Mark sees market research moving away from asking consumers questions about their behavior and towards exploring the ‘why’ behind it. With this fundamental change comes less of a focus on issues such as statistical significance and more on identifying the key takeaways that retailers need to make decisions about their brand. Mark simply states, “How to fit your information into their decision making framework – that’s what is important”.
Looking to the future, Mark says that it is essential that tools have excellent bigger data capabilities to go along with their market research functionality. Tools that can’t manage another fifty thousand or so cases of data won’t survive in the data-saturated world.