DECISION INTELLIGENCE BLOG

Decision Intelligence vs Market Research
Graphic conveying the difference between decision intelligence and market research Graphic conveying the difference between decision intelligence and market research

Morning Consult

October 4, 2022 at 5:00 am ET

Today, the top market research companies have glossy websites, high-powered executives and clients all over the world. But technology, despite all the investment and innovation, isn’t keeping up.

More and more, executives across industries are hitting the ceiling of what market research can do to help a business survive in a highly connected, late-capitalist world. That’s why Morning Consult believes Decision Intelligence is the right tool for bringing organizations into the future.

  1. What is market research?

  2. The difference between market research and Decision Intelligence

  3. How Decision Intelligence can transform a market research strategy

  4. How to schedule a conversation about Decision Intelligence

What is market research? 

Businesses have long desired but struggled to understand consumers’ perspectives. The market research field developed to meet this need. Briefly put, market research involves conducting direct research on potential customers to determine the viability of a new product or service.¹

How has market research evolved?

The field can be traced back to the early 20th century, when people began to realize the benefits of surveying customers to better plan their business strategies. Market research gradually shifted from traditional fieldwork to digital insights gathering. By the 1990s, the era of global market research companies had begun, and many client organizations started hiring experts in house to manage the workload. Such was market research — until recently. 

Already, the 2020s have brought changes unlike any before. Organizations are grappling with COVID and remote work, Gen Z and political pressure — and we believe the seams in market research are finally starting to show. Decision Intelligence is an approach designed to weather the future; keep reading to learn more about the differences between Decision Intelligence and market research.

Morning Consult Decision Intelligence

The difference between market research and Decision Intelligence 

Conventional market research only looks backward, when what you need is to see the path ahead. This is the key difference between the old approach and the new: market research typically describes events that have already happened, while Decision Intelligence illuminates the way forward.

The traditional market research strategy

Here’s how market research typically works: A vendor or a company’s in-house team reaches out to consumers to learn their opinions through surveys, focus groups or product testing. Their responses are collected and presented to relevant company stakeholders who use the research to plan product launches, targeted marketing efforts and more.  

Market research could answer questions such as:

  • How have Gen X women behaved in the athleisure market in the past six months?
  • How often have families with children under 18 gone camping this year? 
  • How has a particular political hearing impacted the views of conservative, liberal and moderate voters?

How Decision Intelligence can transform a traditional market research strategy

By contrast, Decision Intelligence is designed to illuminate the future — not how people have behaved in the past or how people are behaving in the present, but how people will behave in the future. The results help people make faster, forward-looking and data-driven decisions.

The Decision Intelligence approach starts with accurate, consistent, unbiased and clean data. This is a critical first step, as the technology uses these numbers to build forecasts and make recommendations. 

Next, the data is run through artificial intelligence applications, such as predictive modeling, time-series forecasting, machine learning and natural language processing (NLP). These applications are typically designed, built and validated by a team of engineers, data scientists and product managers. The outcome depends on the specific application: who the technology was designed for and the questions it was programmed to solve. 

Keep reading to see how Decision Intelligence expands upon the types of questions that market research can address:

Market Research

Decision Intelligence

  • How have Gen X women behaved in the athleisure market in the past six months
  • How will Gen X women behave in the athleisure market as they retire, as they become grandparents and as their bodies age?
  • How often have families with children under 18 gone camping this year
  • How will families’ outdoor activities change as their children get older
  • How has a particular political hearing impacted the views of conservative, liberal and moderate voters?
  • Is a particular political strategy likely to change the views of certain voter groups?

Ready to schedule a conversation about Decision Intelligence? 

At Morning Consult, we believe all organizations will one day use Decision Intelligence to make data-driven decisions. The only question for companies today is when you will start. 

Schedule a conversation to discuss how Morning Consult’s Decision Intelligence can offer insights today for tomorrow’s decisions.

¹Twin, Alexandra. Market research. Investopedia. Accessed August 31, 2022.