As Andrada kindly shared with us some thoughts from ICEE fest, we started thinking about the current and future trends shaping the market research industry. There are some emerging topics for a few years now, raising from two main directions: technological developments and business requirements. Obviously, there is a thin line between the two, most of the expected developments in the market research field being a result of their “happy communion”.
Here are the BIG 5 ideas shaping the future of the industry in our view:

Re-shifting the focus of market research spending
As prices for conducting market research continue to fall, the interest for long, costly trackers will also start dropping, making room for new opportunities in the area of short, fast surveys. Adding to this idea the raising importance of better understanding youngsters’ needs and demands, the focus of market research studies will shift towards mobile, where this generation is constantly connected and where costs continue to drop significantly.

Growing demand for “small data” rather than “big data”
As many other industries, over the past years, market research has been focused on dealing with “big data”, using quantitative techniques to tackle specific needs and demands of the customers. But all this focus on quantitative results cannot replace the need of finding the “WHYs” behind people’s declarations, and more important, cannot provide any “WHATs” behind the future perspectives in the market.
As a result, the attention for desk research, qualitative data and other ethnographic and anthropological tools meant to uncover new insights into consumer behavior will start raising.

Increasing need for actionable Insights and clear recommendations
Usually, market research agencies believe that finding insights for their clients is the only scope they need to have when conducting studies. But actually, this is only a part of the requested job, the other part is ensuring that the revealed insights are clearly understood and turned into action. This process is most of the times very demanding, both in terms of time and costs, yet research is increasingly under pressure to prove its value to the client. Today is not sufficient anymore to deliver data and reports, yet agencies and market research professionals need to put their findings into business perspective.

Increasing importance of automation and artificial intelligence
Automation is the new thing these days, since it is mostly expected to reduce costs and increase speed by standardizing the process of market research. With big impacts expected to happen in the area of project management, survey design and data analysis, automation brings with it also many discussions on artificial intelligence.
However, the debates will continue for the upcoming years, since relevant answers are still expected when it comes to the efficiency of these measures.

Continuously combining automated market research and human insights
Even with the automation in the market research process, the best and most reliable research products will still need a “human touch”, and a layer of human analysis on top of algorithm-driven data, in order to assure clean data and deliver value-added analysis.

Having in mind the above mentioned trends, it is clear that we are expecting a new challenging era for the market research industry and we should be prepared for it.

Stay connected to Questia Group and gain more insights into the upcoming trends.