The Power of the Pivot, by Paul Donnelly, Managing Partner, Dynamic Fieldwork
Those of us who have been in the Market Research business for more years than we care to remember tend to think that we have seen it all before, but the last 18 months has shown that to be a fallacy. There we were in early March 2020, with all of our fieldwork booked up, be it CATI work, in-person focus groups or in-home interviews, all the things that we took for granted. Then in a matter of days, all our plans came crashing down around us.
Necessity really became the mother of invention. Within days, like so many in the industry we had to pivot to an online environment, thanks to the benefits of technology. We had interviewing and recruiting teams working completely remotely across Europe, without a hitch. Focus groups and face to face IDIs became video groups or interviews. At one time we had a study running in several European countries with clients viewing across three other continents and multiple time zones.
Suddenly Market Research became a pleasant distraction to the world that was going on around us. Being busy helped to keep us sane and high-level respondents became much more willing to participate in research, as they were all stuck at home too and maybe they appreciated a bit more the sort of stuff that we as a sector were doing.
What does the future hold?
As the world returns to some sort of normality, many of the changes to the industry are here to stay as we can see the budgetary, time and environmental benefits of this new way of working. I think that when the dust settles, whenever that may be, as an industry Market Research should give itself a pat on the back, we have kept the show on the road and continued to offer inventive and flexible solutions to our clients.