It has been over 10 years since Innovation Management became one of the key parts of my remit. During this time, I have enjoyed every challenge and endeavour that I have experienced. I have had the great fortune to meet others working in similar roles in other industries. We have shared experiences, frustrations, and achievements which have enabled us to learn different techniques to push innovation within our teams in a more efficient way.

Whilst it is obvious that bringing innovation to either a product or business is difficult, it is also certain that the innovation process is more challenging in some industries compared to others. I came to the realisation that the Market Research industry was far from an early adopter of new solutions and innovations. What are the reasons behind this? Don’t we need to bring innovation to our clients? Isn’t there a real requirement to bring disruption into the products and services that we offer?

We all know that resistance to change is a large part of why disrupting a business takes time. However, the main roadblock to disruption in a market research scenario is often not due to reluctance. It is the effect that it has on data, especially in terms of comparability. As researchers, we need to ensure that the data that we provide to our clients can be compared with the data that we, or others, have provided in the past. That’s the only way to track trends and determine how consumer behaviour varies.

If disruption jeopardises comparability, is maintaining the status quo a good solution? If our society was static, it perhaps would be a viable strategy. In reality, society has never been more dynamic than it is now. Human communication and behaviours have changed tremendously even in the last few years. So the question in essence is: “If society has changed dramatically, why do the tools and methodologies in Market Research remain almost the same?”.

We need solutions which enable us to reach audiences that are hard-to-reach. This requires us to find ways to connect with consumers using the same channels that they use on a regular basis to connect with their family and friends. This means going mobile and using the apps already in place on their phones, rather than asking them to download new apps. However, we also need to maintain the compatibility of the data we collect. 

Bilendi Discuss was created with this objective in mind. This solution enables researchers to connect with consumers using Whatsapp, Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slack, Line or email. It allows respondents to answer questions “in-the-moment” using their preferred mobile apps. The consumer won’t have to download anything new, and all the research will be conducted using their preferred communication channel. As a result of this, we not only gain richer data in the form of videos, audio and image, we have the ability to connect with respondents anywhere and any time using one single platform. 

Importantly though, the platform can integrate itself with existing methodologies. Response elements that were historically tricky to incorporate into research; such as video, image, or audio, can be evaluated as easily as text. In this way, Bilendi Discuss provides a path to innovative data collection, whilst not jeopardising the comparability with previous data collected. 

Bilendi Discuss is just one example. What is clear is that innovation and historical comparability do not need to be a binary choice. Given the right technology and a little creative thinking, the industry can and will move forward. 

Should you be interested in knowing more about Bilendi Discuss, do not hesitate to get in touch with the Bilendi & respondi team