Brands may be doubling down on analytics and email automation as consumers flock online to shop during the pandemic.
But there’s one thing they’re not doing: Market research, judging by The Global COVID-19 Effect on Market Research Data Collection, a study by Dooblo, a provider of survey software.
Of the researchers polled, over 80% say their research activity has dropped, mostly because of reduced marketing budgets.
In North America, 34% of respondents say their research activity has stayed the same, versus 13% in Africa.
Overall, the biggest hit has been in the retail business, where 96% report reductions.
Of course, you wouldn’t know it by the plethora of surveys purporting to show how people plan to shop, not only during Cyber Week but also on Halloween, nor from the emails asking business people to fill out one questionnaire or another.
And the downtown is hardly obvious from the optimism being shown by researchers. Three-fourths say their activity will increase or remain the same after COVID-19 and 34% expect to return to normal in four to eight months.
However, 78% have been forced by shutdowns, social distancing and wearing masks to change the way they do things, with over half of those turning to web-based (CAW) or phone-based (CAT).
Researchers might well turn to email to conduct surveys — it can be personalized, and triggered responses can be delivered in real-time. And brands might find that online behavior — the kind discerned from analytics — is a more valuable indicator than attitudinal research
Dooblo CEO Guy Solomon argues that “the need for clear, accurate and unbiased data has become even more critical.” But he urges companies to remain flexible.
“While we found that activity has clearly dropped because of the pandemic, we also discovered that firms that helped their customers better understand the rapidly changing environment were more successful than others,” Solomon says.
For its part, Dooblo is also exhibiting optimism. For this study, it surveyed 1,657 research professionals in 138 countries.