Writing in the current issue of Admap, Tricia Benn, Managing director (USA) at Northstar, argues that real-time research is "raising the bar substantially on the insights we deliver to our clients" and creating opportunities that wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago.
In How to embrace the real-time revolution, she asserts that "Real-time and rapid-time are here today and they will change the way you search for, encounter and manage insights from your customers and prospects".
That can be daunting, however, as it means a reassessment of everything from the recruitment of participants through to final reporting.
All of these tools – and more – can be applied in support of understanding the consumer, testing ads and evaluating the results of a campaign, Benn says, but it is important not to lose sight of the most critical element of any research undertaking: "the blueprinting and organisation to develop the strategy".
Examples of real- to rapid-time advertising insights generation include previously unattainable global creative testing, message testing reduced from weeks to near-real time, and the possibility of plug-ins to enable multi-stakeholder insights.
Despite the undoubted advantages that real-time research makes possible, many clients, agencies and researchers remain reluctant to embrace the new, whether for reasons of habit, fear of failure or a simple lack of trust.
But, says Benn, a risk-averse stance is no longer an option as, thanks to the range of consumer choice and the number of channels available to them, "We are on the brink of another 'evolve or languish' decision for most advertisers".
Data sourced from Admap