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Traditional market research processes have a project plan from beginning to end. It usually consists of a project kickoff, design, testing, review, fieldwork, analysis, and reporting. Additionally, there is a rough time frame allotted for each phase of the project.
Agile market research, on the other hand, has a process that is more iterative in nature. It does not have as much methodological rigor as traditional processes, which provides increased flexibility through the research process. The agile model starts small, and each stage is built off the preceding one. The outcome of each stage, or “sprint”, dictates the design and deployment of the next stage.
This model seeks to identify and address changing trends and consumer preferences by providing ongoing evaluation and modification of business practices in real time.
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In agile projects, it is important that objectives are more tightly focused and that the scope of the project is precisely defined. When you have a clear idea of your project objectives and scope, it is easier to make determinations of the relevance of different insights uncovered through the iterative process.
Agile market research breaks research stages into short cycles, or sprints, so that you can determine what works and what doesn’t, and make changes accordingly. You should think small, rather than creating a large-scale market research plan that takes a lot of time to develop and execute.
As sprints within agile market research are small and short-lived, you can quickly identify any action that is not producing the results you want. It is important to redirect efforts and respond to change when it is needed.
Agile market research often involves the use of a team environment where collaboration and shared intelligence is encouraged. This contrasts with traditional market research processes that have teams with a hierarchical chain of command. Agile market research processes require collaboration and each team member must address issues as they arise.
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Real-time market research is a unique data collection method that involves gathering information on a customer’s experience while it is taking place.
A common example of real-time research is social media listening. Social media listening involves identifying and assessing what is being said about your organization or its products/services on the internet.
Real-time market research focuses on the reality of customer experience, whereas agile market research focuses on the reflections of customers.
Agile research, unlike real-time, gives you the opportunity to get a more in-depth view on customer experience as it tries to understand their thoughts and feelings during different touch points within the customer journey.
Real-time market research and agile market research are two very different ways of listening to your audience. Hence, rather than trying to pick between the two, organizations should try to use them in amalgamation.
Agile research project teams should not consist of more than 8-10 members. Additionally, instead of having an outlined hierarchical structure, the team should have members that work in collaboration and make the best use of each other’s skillset.
These are a few advantages of agile market research:
Real-time market research focuses on the reality of a customer’s experience, while agile market research focuses on a customer’s reflection of their experience.
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