Steve Jobs’ effect on the market research community

Can Mr. Jobs be credited with inventing the idea of market research?

Well, no!
But he can surely gain credit for shaping the future of how it is conducted! For so long, if you wanted to find out what people thought of your product, the only way was to get out on the street and ask them. Of course, we then moved on to mailing out questionnaires and interviewing by phone, but each of these requires a significant time investment on the part of the interviewee.

With the digital age upon us, things have moved on rapidly and peoples thirst for information seems never ending. High speed connections are everywhere and you are never far from a screen of some kind.

With this technology explosion, researchers have worked hard to keep up, fielding surveys by cell phone based text messages, emails, web pages and any other means they can conjure up. Consumers are encouraged to participate in research efforts through links on retail receipts, direct TV/radio advertising and most recently through the use of ‘QR Codes’ that are placed in magazines, newspapers, on product packaging, stickers and even clothing, encouraging the inquisitive among us to pick up their smart phone, scan the code and follow the link to find out more!

So what, you say, does all this have to do with Steve Jobs? Well, it was only last week that it was noted that “around 92% of Fortune 500 companies are currently testing or using iPads as a corporate solution”. And to make that statistic even more impressive, the iPad has only been on the market for just over 18 months!

Whether it be in the local mall, small town tourist office or at a specialist research event, tablets are the go-to device of the moment for data collection.  Apps are springing up to make this easier than ever and with their portability and ease of use, this trend will only increase.

The unquenchable thirst for knowledge that I mentioned earlier, now seems to be driving more and more people to not only want to collect data via tablets, but also to want the ability to delve in to the data further, to find the nuggets of information hidden within it.  Developers are reacting quickly to this need and in the very near future, it is safe to assume that the number of tablet based survey analysis tools will grow drastically.

And all any of us can really say is: Thanks Steve!

To learn more about how to prepare your survey data for analysis, feel free to download our whitepaper Ten Essential Prerequisites for Survey Data Analysis.

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