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What does the GRIT report mean for healthcare market research?

The GRIT (Greenbook Research Industry Trends) report is one of the leading surveys of the healthcare market research industry. The latest version was the biggest GRIT report to date, with 3930 interviews conducted with researchers across the globe, making it an incredibly useful resource that allows us to understand where the industry is now, where it’s going in the future and what researchers need to do in order to adapt to change and keep ahead of the competition. Whilst the report isn’t specific to healthcare market research alone, looking at wider industry trends can nevertheless help healthcare researchers stay on top of what’s going on in the industry as a whole and apply these trends to the healthcare field in order to remain ahead of the game.

The lowdown

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The market research industry remains under great transformative pressure – and this edition of the GRIT report aims to understand what’s taking place, why – and what it means for the market research industry tomorrow. So what’s new? Well, for starters one thing this edition focuses on is issues such as whether or not the industry is ready for GDPR (30% are currently implementing compliance standards, 12% are already fully compliant and a whopping 50% are blissfully unaware). It also looks at the ongoing problem of declining sample quality, why samples are continuing to get worse (popular answers include privacy concerns, stretching the respondent pool too far and mobile technology acting as a distraction for respondents), as well as what can be done about it. However, a number of researchers suggest that despite the negatives, mobile and technology will actually help to improve sample quality in the future by offering more ways to validate respondents’ identity, and subsequently resulting in high-quality respondents as well as making it easier to access hard-to-reach respondents too.

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Harnessing technology to improve research

One of the biggest focuses of this quarter’s report was the importance of harnessing new emerging technologies to get closer to what respondents are really thinking and unlock deeper insights than ever before. A key new methodology is automation – with 21% believing it’s set to be a game changer when it comes to creating new platforms for methodologies. Automation also allows researchers to access a bigger samples yet still get the in-depth insights they need, putting the qual into quant – and as a result, 80% of researchers think that automation will continue to grow in popularity due to its ability to deliver faster results, deeper insights, lowered costs and better research. Currently, researchers are mainly using automation to analyse survey data, text data and social media as well as accessing high quality, diverse samples quickly and at scale – but as automation becomes more mainstream, there will undoubtedly be more pressure for researchers to continue to raise the bar and innovate further.

Another methodology that’s gaining momentum fast is video. Currently, 41.5% of researchers are using it and a further 22.6% are considering to do so, making it a methodology to watch out for in the future. Why is it so popular? Well, there’s been a shift recently in the world of research, with researchers now focusing more on the quality of insights as opposed to quantity. It’s all about really getting to know respondents – and methodologies such as video and automation enable researchers to get to grips with what respondents are really thinking and unlock deeper insights than ever before.

Comparisons to last year

When you look at the Q3/4 2017 report, this growth in technology makes sense. In last year’s report, online surveys were the go-to method for quantitative research, and 82% of respondents were either currently using or considering using online communities for qualitative research too. Tech continued to win the popularity contest in last year’s report as well: after online communities, the next most popular quant methods were text analytics, mobile first surveys, social media analytics and big data analytics, whereas the most popular qualitative options were mobile qual, webcam based interviews and mobile ethnography.

What does this mean for healthcare MR?

Basically that it’s time to go digital! Mobile and online methodologies are really starting to lead the way in healthcare market research and will continue to do so in the future. In today’s world, research is all about getting to know the what and making it simpler, more efficient and more accessible for researchers to understand the real reason behind what people think, feel and do. Online methodologies such as insight communities, video research and even automation can empower healthcare market researchers to access deeper insights than ever  and really get to the bottom of what both patients and physicians are thinking and feeling. Basically, if you want to keep up with the industry and stay ahead of the competition, now is the perfect time to start adapting to change and embracing digital methods.

If you’re thinking about going digital and embracing online methodologies in your healthcare market research and would like to find out more about how we can help, why not download our guide to market research online communities in healthcare market research? It’s our biggest resource to date and is full of expert advice on all things MROCs in healthcare. You can download the guide here.

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