Embrace new technology in market research

The ways and means of data capture for consumer insights are getting smarter and even though traditional methods will continue to be used, new technology should be readily embraced too. 

Mindi Chahal

When I say new technology I don’t just mean mobile and online research through smartphones and tablets, I’m referring to the constant innovation in data capture technology. 

It’s particularly interesting when data capture wasn’t the primary objective of the brand when using the technology in campaigns. 

For example, in the outdoor advertising space, Captive Media created a piece of technology for mens’ toilets, due to the huge opportunity to get someone’s attention for about a minute while they use the urinal. 

The game involved sensors in the urinals which controlled a character on a screen above and the user could play the game while they pee. Yo Sushi! used the games to target offers at consumers in its store in London’s Soho.

Simple and fun, but what it also gave the brand was data including how many people saw the ads or offers which can then be benchmarked with how many people took up these offers in the brand’s stores. 

Guinness is also using NFC technology where drinkers get the chance to win a complimentary pint when they tap their smartphones against the harp logo on newly installed pumps. The objective is to increase sales but the insights the brand will get from how many people engage with this type of technology and how important point of sale presence is will also come in useful.

But trialling new technology could also be seen as a negative – this week’s ‘smart bin’ data trial by outdoor messaging firm Renew was stopped after local authorities raised concerns over the legality of collecting data from passing smartphone users.

Be careful with the technology – but at the same time embrace and see the potential for insight. 

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