On the first day of this year’s Market Research Event here in Orlando, Fla., I spent most of my time at the social media research-related talks, anxious to find out who’s doing what and what their takeaways are on taming the many-headed beast that is consumer-generated information.
Across a half-dozen or so presentations, the same question kept getting asked, indirectly and directly: If social media listening and analysis is here to stay as part of the corporate marketing research function, when it comes time to allocate scarce dollars in the research budget, which type(s) of research will lose out?
Will there be less money available for qualitative, since social media data is being used in the same kind of macro, directional way that focus group data can be? Will the quant portion of the budget be reduced, since the vast oceans of social media data may be viewed as a replacement for some larger-scale studies? Or will we see an entirely new line item?
Several of Monday’s presenters were posed those types of questions during the Q&A portions of their talks and no one had a definitive answer – which is understandable. In these heady early days, as marketing researchers grapple with what to make of this new source of information, many more similar questions will come up.
Where does the funding for social media data analysis come from in your organization?