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Discuss.io Trend Review: The Future of Qualitative Research & Video Conferencing Tools in the Era of Digital Connection and Acceleration

First industry trend installment from Chief Strategy Officer, Jim Longo highlights insights around leading trends, growth drivers and restraints to help brands and agencies connect with consumers at scale

Discuss.io, the leading enterprise-level smart video platform for global consumer conversations, today revealed its first industry trend installment, highlighting a number of trends and predictions impacting the market research (MRX) and video conferencing industries. Co-founder and newly appointed Chief Strategy Officer, Jim Longo analyzes the dynamics in today’s hottest markets – video conferencing and consumer insights technology, including; new emerging trends in the space, key drivers that have contributed to the rise of these platforms and tools, and the accelerating growth and change poised to disrupt the marketplace.

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As the agility showcased by brands, agencies, and consumers in 2020 is showing no sign of slowing down in 2021 (and beyond,) 2020 may be seen for years to come as a technological revolution on par with the rise of the internet and smartphones. As remote workforces and emerging global markets required broader access to technology, this revolution spun in conjunction with an emphasis on empathy; in a year where society was dominated by strong emotions, agility; as the rising prominence and adoption of video platforms integrated into nearly every facet of our work and personal lives, and insights; as brands fully realized the potential and the evolving role that insights can play in forging consumer connections.

A recent Gartner survey underscored the need for empathetic business practices, revealing that proactive customer service programs (those that anticipate customer needs) increased customer satisfaction by a full percentage point. Gartner also states that post-pandemic renewal strategies put marketing on the hook for redefining and reestablishing customer relationships in line with digital’s “new normal” and that major societal change, combined with a global pandemic, is redefining customer needs – most notably how customers find, buy and consume products and services.

“This time period in the customer insights industry represents a tremendous opportunity to build upon a strong foundation of value that companies like Discuss.io are already delivering to our large base of global customers,” said Longo. “It’s clear that both video and insights technology are poised to pave the way for the future of the brand/customer relationship, and we’re thrilled to be on board for that journey. Our team looks forward to helping many more brands find their footing in the new realm of digital qualitative research to help drive their performance and growth via stronger connections with their customers.”

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As a purpose-built video platform, Discuss.io saw record growth in 2020. According to Longo, brands, agencies, and market research firms are now planning two and three years in advance to leverage holistic video platforms as a main driver of their qualitative insight gathering efforts, which indicates a commitment to this technology for the future. Other players in the industry are choosing to get into the teleconferencing and qualitative insight field as well. Cisco’s WebEx division recently acquired audience insight company Slido, and other big-name mergers like Salesforce’s purchase of Slack and SoftBank’s $700 million investment in Sinch have demonstrated an industry-wide interest in omnichannel engagement and insight gathering.

This deployment of purpose-built video tools is resonating in part because it enables more autonomy and authority among insights professionals. Instead of having to go through one main point person, individual moderators are able to take on more organizational responsibility. And with enhanced roles like meeting observer and translator, additional tasks are taken off of a moderator, which enables them to focus on the interview subject and engage in more meaningful ways.

Discuss.io’s Longo anticipates that industries will continue to shift at an accelerated pace, and specifically online qualitative research will remain digitally-driven and avoid going back to the previous mix of offline to online. Brands will continue to invest in tools to help them scale online qualitative research to meet this paradigm shift; and look for ways to get to know their customers, speak to them regularly to meet them where they are, and understand the “new” customer lifecycle.

As virtual interactions continue to normalize, Discuss.io has grown its technology significantly to become a gateway for disruption across industries. While at first a tool for market research, with its unique platform and custom tools, the company has been an accelerator for the future of how businesses interact, internally and externally, creating a new vision for the insights and video conferencing industries.

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