Blockchain in Market Research
A month ago, we published a short survey conducted in UAE and KSA on Blockchain technology. It is a short market scan to understand the consumer understanding of Blockchain and its associated cryptocurrencies. When we prepared the write up to be circulated among our clients and partners, I put together a slide on the future impact of blockchain technology in various sectors. Trust me I tried hard to find a relevant use case of Blockchain technology in Market research. I was really surprised I couldn’t find any.
The biggest challenge in Market research has always been the quality of data we get. The primary market research industry has largely relied on the interviewer to get the respondent we need based on the target quota that has been set. However, these systems have largely been set up for failure. With reducing market research project and increasing living cost, the interviewer quality has been depreciating drastically in the last few years. The online panel providers stepped up to match the cost and meet the changing MR requirements. However still they act as a black box. Your questionnaire goes in and the data comes out. As a researcher, you never get to know the respondent and never get to evaluate his eligibility conditions. Most times you don’t even get a clean data that matches the market reality.
What if we have a solution developed around the identity blocks of an individual?
Imagine in the future if we have a social media website that is built on the blockchain which gives control of data ownership back to the users. The data ownership of the users can exist as an independent block from their personal identifying information. The users can then be incentivized to share this information for data mining and analysis. But will all the user information be relevant? Not necessarily, we should have a validating protocol that only pulls in the information of the user who meets our target criteria and also we can fine tune it to pull out only relevant blocks of information. When you are doing a study on online Ad campaign impact, you don’t need the information on what they have ordered for dinner last night. I understand that the above example assumes the presence of an integrated social media where all the apps and other services exist within in the social media ecosystem like WeChat in China. But these scenario is much preferred than the current system where everything exists in isolation and our usage data is sold without our permission for targeted advertising. These future social media will keep a record of information shared in the blockchain database so that the user can be assured of their privacy.
It makes no sense for a Market research company to start such an endeavor but they can partner with any organization that embarks on the exercise so that they get reach quality data for analysis and reporting. The above example might be relevant only for behavioral research. For the other types of research like product test and attitudinal research, we will still have to rely on our precious recruiters to get the target respondents we need.
1. Blockchain Social Media: https://medium.com/blockchain-review/blockchain-technology-and-social-networks-a569a38c020e