I should start by saying that I, personally, think market research is cool every day. But, sometimes you come across something that just really excites you. As an MR professional, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s a really cool study or some fascinating data — and sometimes it’s an exciting new approach to market research. As an analyst, I attend a lot of briefings. Some are highly intriguing, and others . . . well, you get the idea. I thought today I’d share with you a couple of interesting companies that I’ve come across in the past couple of weeks. I encourage you to explore them on your own, but I’ll start you off with a few interesting tidbits.

The first company is Tobii Technology . It specializes in eye-tracking and eye-control studies. Its technologies are used in many scientific studies, but they are also used in market research applications. If you’re familiar with eye-tracking studies, you know that they’re not new by any means. However, Tobii has made the method more accessible and more convenient. Where it once involved huge, cumbersome glasses that took a long time to calibrate, Tobii has introduced a streamlined version that can be calibrated easily. The options for use are endless: shopping studies, media consumption, copy testing, ad placement — the list goes on.

What may be even cooler than the actual glasses themselves is the back-end system that Tobii has also developed. This system turns all of the information that the glasses gather into quantitative data that can be easily analyzed and reported. What was once a qualitative approach is now firmly planted in the realm of quantitative research.

Speaking of turning qualitative into quantitative, if you haven’t checked out Conversition for social market research yet, you should. As a researcher, I completely believe in the importance of social market research . But, as a mainly quantitative researcher, most of the current analysis options out there have left me looking for something a little more substantive. Well, I have seen the future — and it’s quantitatively reported social market research. The data-loving geek in me was completely mesmerized by the ability to turn qualitative insights gleaned from the Web into quantitative data that could be analyzed easily in your own data tool or through Conversition’s snazzy dashboard.

These are just a couple of the cool vendors that I’ve heard from recently in the market research space. As I continue to be briefed on interesting new developments, I’ll be sure to let you share in my excitement! In the meantime, if you’re a vendor doing something cool in the MR space, please grab some time on my calendar and arrange a briefing through our specialists at briefing@forrester.com.