LONDON/NEW YORK: The real-time revolution applies not only to marketing but also to advertising research and those researchers embracing it are able to deliver "incredible data insights" to agencies and advertisers according to an industry figure.

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.

But Benn says it is not as challenging as people may have been led to believe and offers a best-practice process for adopting new research tools, including online panels, mobile, gamification, dashboards and neuroscience techniques.

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