As we at Delvinia begin our sixth week of working from home, we want to begin thinking about the next phase of this new world we are living in. It has become widely understood that many consumers are feeling anxious, worried, or outright afraid. Technology has never felt more important, both in allowing us to continue to stay connected and meet many basic needs.  While there is a great deal of uncertainty about what the future may hold, it is also important to be prepared for it when it arrives. The key to this as brands and marketers will be to have a deep understanding of consumers that is as close to real-time as possible. So how do you keep up with, or even ahead of, changing consumer behaviours, attitudes, and sentiments as society moves into the post-pandemic world? By using research, and using new technologies to gather it. We’ve outlined three ways to use research tech to prepare for the next chapter:

1. AI Driven Insights

The core of all research is the people being sampled. What we are always trying to understand is how people think, feel, and behave. In the post-pandemic world, the need for this will be even greater, and the speed at which these things change will be even faster. And that is the problem with using real people – it inevitably takes time to get results from them. The key to bridge the gap in the post-pandemic world will be turning to AI-driven panels for quick insights when there isn’t the time to go out to real-world ones. Companies such as PersonaPanels are already demonstrating the way AI and machine-learning enabled personas can reflect results from their human counterparts, but without the time delay. Garnering these quick insights will allow businesses to make informed decisions on the fly, and keep up with their customers as they navigate a new world.

2. Automated and Innovative Methods

To get the best insights at the pace required to keep up with your consumers, it is key to prepare with automated and innovative research methods. By automating your research, you and your team are able to focus on the high value activities of deriving insights from the data, rather than on gathering it. Automation provides more opportunities to refine your messages through frequent and rapid testing before launching. Getting messaging right will be as critical after COVID-19 as it is during it. Using innovative methods such as automated concept testing or video responses allow you to both broaden and deepen your research, without sacrificing time.  

3. The New Qual

Utilizing qualitative research will be more important than ever in preparing for the post-pandemic world, but reaching people in-person may still not be possible. This is where it will be critical to use virtual qualitative tools, such as a chatbot moderator like CRIS by Delvinia or online focus groups. These will enable you to safely get the qualitative data you require to make the best decisions possible and can be executed on the rapid timeline needed to stay ahead of the curve with your consumers. These virtual tools also allow a much greater sample size than traditional qual, further improving the quality of your research and your ability to derive valuable insights.

While we may not know when our current state of being will pass, we can begin to prepare for what comes next by developing a profound and current understanding of consumers. Just as technology has helped us during this pandemic, so too will it continue in the post-pandemic world, particularly when it comes to research. By beginning to implement the above tools now, you will be able to make smart and informed decisions when we move to the other side of this crisis.