2019 Market Research Trends: Getting Aligned with Your Customers

2019 Market Research Trends: Getting Aligned with Your Customers

Typically, discussions on market research industry trends focus on the growing adoption of technology-enabled tools like mobile surveys, online communities, automation and AI, or emerging techniques like facial analysis or biometric response. Instead of focusing on the newest tech, the trends we’re seeing with the biggest impact for marketers deal with how marketing research is being used to drive meaningful improvements in CX and business outcomes. This year, perhaps more urgently than before, marketers are needing to get more out of their CX program than a collection of metrics. Efforts to improve CX must be grounded in deep customer insights, and at the same time, support strategies for achieving business goals. Here are two 2019 market research trends we believe will help marketers do just that.

2019 Market Research Trend #1 – Check Your Alignment

The importance of improving the customer experience has long been the marketing professionals’ rallying cry, with good reason. However, according to some industry reports, many organizations are seeing their CX metrics remain flat, despite their efforts.

It’s time to take a fresh look at your CX program and ensure your marketing research is being used to better understand the connection between your customers’ experience and important business outcomes. In 2019, we expect to see marketers working with their research partners to ensure their CX program is in proper alignment with these three critical areas:

  • Current business situation
  • Increasing customer expectations
  • Employee experience

CX initiatives need to be aligned with your organizations’ current business situation. Without evidence that improvements in CX metrics will contribute positively to the bottom line, it may become difficult to justify support for your CX program. For instance, if your company is dealing with customer churn, identifying the root causes and quickly course correcting becomes high priority.

Customer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been before and there’s every reason to believe they’ll continue to rise. A superior brand experience in one category quickly raises the bar across multiple industries, thanks, in large part, to advances in technology. To keep pace, marketers need to stay focused on the CX moments that matter most to their customers and align their CX metrics accordingly.

Last, but by no means least, companies need to engage employees across the organization and ensure their efforts are focused to achieve both CX and business objectives. They need to clearly understand how the work they do shapes customer experiences and impacts business outcomes. Share your CX program research findings across the company to empower employees and recognize them for their contributions.

2019 Market Research Trend #2 – Get In Touch with Your (Customers’) Emotions

Ultimately, the most important question any market research aims to answer is ‘Why?’ More often than not, the answers to ‘Why’ questions involve deep human emotions. Do your marketing messages resonate on a personal level with your target audience? Are your products and services fulfilling real customer needs and making their lives easier? When customers have a problem, do they feel respected and appreciated as you work to resolve their issues? These are the types of questions that CX metrics alone can’t answer.

That’s why we expect marketers will be ramping up efforts to understand the emotional drivers of their customers’ experiences throughout the CX journey. With a solid understanding of why your customers are thinking, feeling, and behaving the way they do, you’ll have the information needed to enhance your CX.

There’s nothing like the power of listening to customers share their personal stories. Today, customers are increasingly interested in sharing that level of feedback, especially if they believe it will be used to make a difference. Qualitative research is specifically designed to help marketers get in touch with customers’ emotions, whether in focus group discussions, online communities, ethnographies, or through text analytics. The most memorable customer experiences are emotionally-based. Learning what matters most to your customers and how to connect with them in more personal ways is essential in order to optimize your CX.

Pulling It All Together

In 2019, the most successful market research initiatives will be those that help marketers pull all their CX resources together into a cohesive story. One that considers the emotional forces impacting customer experiences and how they impact overall business outcomes. We’re excited by the opportunities to help our marketing partners leverage research insights to enhance their CX programs, strengthen brand relationships, and support positive business outcomes.


2020 Market Research Trends: Impacting Researchers’ Roles