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Historically, Market Research was the purview of large corporations. Smaller businesses didn't have the resources to justify traditional market research, and typically had to rely on their gut and intuition to help guide decisions. Modern technology has changed that fact and businesses are embracing the new paradigm in which online survey software puts the power of research directly into the hands of decision makers, and omits the middle man.

Vision Critical recently collaborated with MarketingProfs in producing a comprehensive appraisal of market research in the modern business environment.

Click here to access the full 10-page report.

Encouragingly, organizations are evolving their customer centric philosophies and recognize that market research plays a central role in understanding their customers; ultimately enabling customer acquisition and retention - the two most critical business issues for companies. However, there is a disconnect between intent and execution as market research often doesn't make it into the budget line of smaller to mid-sized businesses. The funding of market research activities on an ad hoc basis is problematic as it slows down the timeliness of information gathering in an age when speed to market can make or break a business initiative.

Technology Impact
The increasing use of online survey software (six-in-ten surveyed currently use online survey software; another 20% are considering purchasing) provides businesses with the foundation for conducting research quickly while efficiently managing research budget allocations - which businesses expect to grow thru 2013. The investment in an online survey tool mitigates the budgeting issue - for a fixed annual cost organizations have ready access to self-serve market research solutions allowing them to gather information and react quickly to market conditions.

As more businesses view online research software as an essential part of their customer centric philosophy, the speed and power of customer knowledge will propel them forward and help in establishing competitive advantage.

Lastly, the efficacy of market research within an organization gets exponential when combined with a comprehensive CRM system. When behavioural and transactional information can be seamlessly married to attitudinal information businesses achieve a much more complete view of their customers. The report indicates many businesses are still grappling with CRM systems that lack sophistication, accuracy, and completeness of the customer database; ultimately making market research and marketing less efficient. Online software which facilitates the marrying of Business Intelligence and Customer Intelligence will propel organizations to the forefront in this modern market.

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