Come back real world, we love you!

Products win or lose in split second real world moments

We need to innovate to understand them as they happen.

Have you ever walked across the exhibition gallery at a market research conference?

It’s a sweet shop of AI, Automation, Digital platforms and short cuts. Market Research did not always have this reputation for Innovation, it’s driving market research forwards. It’s inspiring times! There is just one thing… what about the offline world?

The drivers of digital research innovation

There are two powerful factors creating the sweet shop of innovation. Buyers want Faster and Cheaper. And suppliers want profits.

These forces combined with sheer entrepreneurial talent have created some amazing businesses. Zappi and Street Bees are perhaps the best-known examples of automated digital research platforms that have changed the game. Ad testing, concept testing, digital qual have all been revolutionised and at roughly two thirds quicker and two thirds cheaper.

It’s fantastic. The smart buyer knows that keeping a business moving is not always aided by deep, bespoke insight. It’s aided by getting the right answers, now.

Real world research

There is just one thing. One important need that this boom hasn’t met. Real world research. The kind that’s needed when you need to get a product into someone’s hands (or nose or mouth!).

The market drivers of research innovation have created a natural gap.

Market drivers of research innovation

Market Research has never been anything more than an attempt to get as close to the truth as possible. The driver of research creativity is that truth rests in people’s minds when they are not thinking about research. The second we ask them to look at the flame, it can go out.

A massive body of research best practice, science and benchmarking puts lab testing and ‘formal’ research right at the heart of the NPD process. It is the baseline quality behind multi million $ launches.

Behavioural data collected as we swipe around our phones maps our digital existence. Famously, we spend 1 day a week online. That’s a vast amount of time looking at screens. But it also means we spend 6 days in 7 not looking at screens, in the real world. Are we doing enough to understand that world?

Diary Apps, communities and much more research innovation aims to take us into the real world with minimal interruption. But the fact remains, people must stop what they are doing to answer your questions or tasks.

Biometrics have a role but are messy. My heart rate may be raised by seeing that ad. I also might be walking up an escalator. This is why smart watches have revolutionised our understanding of personal health but, remain limited when it comes to mental health and emotions.

‘System 1’ / Neuro techniques can shine a light into previously dark corners of people’s minds. The problem is again the real world. Whether it’s head sets or online tasks, neuro has yet to be scaled in a way that can accompany people as they go about their day.

So there remains a gap. A need to understand what people are thinking, feeling and observing in the offline world… without stopping them from doing so.

Is there really a need?

To be clear, I’m not talking about a holy grail. The need is not everyone’s. But there is a significant gap for product and brand owners:

  • Do people enjoy notice my fragrance/enjoy my flavour/find my product works in their daily lives?
  • Is my product superior outside the lab, in the split second it is relevant to people’s lives?
  • How often does my category need arise, and when?
  • How often does that need go unmet?

And what about people planning policy, PR campaigns, or treating patients?

  • Do people feel safe?
  • Are people happy?
  • When do people feel most upset with governments?
  • Are people behaving with sustainability in mind?
  • When does addiction strike?
  • When do symptoms take place and are they addressed?

There are many methodologies open to a researcher to answer those questions. But they are flawed. All the moments necessary to answer these questions are exactly that; moments. By the time an app is taken out of a pocket, they may be over. Even the most diligent respondent will not record all moments.

Click the button

This year Blue Yonder was granted the US and European patent for Clickscape®. Clickscape® is simply a button, connected to an app, connected to a dashboard. It is binary – it can be set up to include any two variables. Simply, click the button to record that a moment has happened and whether it was A or B.

Clickscape button, app and dashboard - Blue Yonder

It is a major step closer to understanding real world moments as they happen, uninterrupted.

It interrupts moments very slightly. It takes a split second to click. Easily fast enough to record noticeable moments before they are gone. In testing, Clickscape® records 15 X more moments than people will record on a diary app.

Think about that for a real moment. It means that your diary app tasks may be missing up to 15 moments for each one captured. It means that your knowledge of how many occasions people experience a day could be hugely understated. It means that patients may be in pain significantly more than they are able to remember when they get their patient diary out at bed time. Take a look at this example of how Clickscape® has uncovered moments, traditional methods cannot.

Media moments test

Clickscape® routinely records 15x moments vs a diary app.

In this media work 160 out of 172 media interactions in a day were missed by a diary app.

Blue Yonder’s unique Momentous tool kit uncovers the moments other research tech does not.

The specific wording of the Clickscape® patent is insightful. It shows the breadth of insight Market Research was simply not serving.

6 Clickscape® use cases

Here are 6 simple use cases for Clickscape®. Ask yourself – is there another way of gaining such knowledge, reliably and in the moment it happens? As one of our first collaborators put it: These are refrigerator insights. You open the door and a light comes on’.

The real world summary

This is just the start of a journey. There are many more gaps to fill in the space.

For now, all we want to do is acknowledge to The Real World – yes, we did neglect you a little. Sincerely… we are trying to change and be better. And to say to researchers; there is always a way. We may just need to go into the lab and create it.

If you’d like to discover more about the use cases of this tech and how it can be implemented to get the insight you need, please do contact me for a chat on +44 (0) 113 204 4020 or email me at [email protected].  We love real world moments and we’d love to hear from you!

Written by Richard Heath, Managing Director at Blue Yonder Research, published on 16th February 2024.

Richard Heath at Blue Yonder Research

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