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Our Research Aims for 2024

When consumers plan their own behaviour, we say that is fallible to biases and misperceptions. Forgive me then for trying to do the same thing when laying out plans for 2024!

At Irrational Agency, we’re committed to devising and applying innovative research methods, and this year we’ll be working on testing the application of behavioural science on to a number of traditional research methods, as well as testing traditional methods against our own proprietary methods. This will allow us to create bespoke solutions for our research partners and use the right solution for any problem. Here are the three ways we plan to continue our exploration of behavioural science and research innovations to devise killer solutions this year.

Sentiment Analysis: Decoding the Emotional Pulse
Gone are the days of relying solely on explicit responses. Sentiment analysis, powered by AI can allow us to tap into the hidden emotional undercurrents of consumer feedback. In our testing, we’ve used emotional sentiment analysis to turn qualitative open-text insights into quantified data points. Traditionally, data is quantified by asking respondents how they feel and then requiring them to place their feelings on a scale. With sentiment analysis, we can directly analyse the raw emotional data which we see from respondents. The advantage of this method is three-fold. It allows us to hone in on emotional responses which are hidden from self-reporting. It enables us to provide a uniform analysis of respondent's responses. Thus, providing our analysis with a more objective measure. And it means we can provide the depth of qualitative insights with the scale of quantitative.

Recreating Context: Understanding the customer story
Market research isn't just about numbers on a spreadsheet. It's about understanding customer stories and context. Contextual research techniques work best when they lets us step into consumer’s shoes, witnessing the interactions and stories they create about products. We do this with our therapeutic customer interviews but also in our System 3 methodology. We ask for customer stories by creating different scenarios to frame the question. This helps us look at responses from different angles.

In 2024 we want to enhance it by bringing the different scenarios to life. We have already replicated this in research done with Vodafone, creating an immersive shopping environment. AI can be utilised to bring out different customer contexts. With AI chatbots being more effective at speaking to customers, they can be integrated into surveys to have personalised, contextual interactions with customers.

Multiple Touchpoints, Multiple methods
No longer confined to isolated surveys or focus groups, market research is embracing a multi-touchpoint approach. We're weaving together data from diverse sources – social media interactions, interviews, loyalty program activity, even in-app surveys. The true potential of insight lies in utilising the best of all methods.

In recent research, we tested the integration of both tracking sales data and tested several different self-reported methods. We found that it is not either tracking data or self-reported data which provides the most useful insight but the relationship between the two. This can allow us to understand trends and make links between emotions and intentions. We have found similar success in the integration of consulting, quantitative methods and qualitative methods when conducting financial research for FCA Consumer Duty regulations.

By harnessing the power of sentiment analysis, recreating context, and multi-touchpoint data, we can gain an unprecedented understanding of our customers this year.

If you’re interested in finding out more about applying behavioural science to traditionally non-behavioural research methods, check out our recent video presentation: Solving Claimed vs Actual with Behavioural Science.

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