I just finished reading an interesting paper from Research Rockstar entitled Market Research Predictions. 35 predictions were posted and professionals from agencies, market research software companies and client-side researchers voted to narrow it down to the top 11. Kathryn Korostoff, author of the paper and founder of Research Rockstar, did a great job of not only pulling all these market research predictions together, but also of providing readers with some insightful commentary on each.
So what were the top predictions?
- Combined and alternative modes of collection will see traction
- Market research reports will move online
- Panel demand increasingly driven by client –side organizations
- Research will be increasingly always on to allow fast response
- In-house research to expand dramatically
- Market research will become a brand building tool
- New technologies will drastically alter how we conduct MR
- Social networks will drive new business for market researchers
- Increased pressure for client side to be a fully integrated function
- In-house MROCs will soar, supporting DIY trend
- Building customer relationships with social media
While I can see many of these predictions coming true, the two that really spoke to me were #1 and #5. I strongly agree that “combined and alternative methods” is a growing trend as we see it every day here at iModerate. As Kathryn points out, combining and using alternative methods allows us to overcome any one approaches’ limitations. The fact that this trend is taking hold means that researchers are not always trying to cram in objectives that don’t fit into a single methodology. Like in any situation, using the right tool(s) for the job means better quality results. And there is no doubt that better market research will be the result of us embracing mixing methods and alternative approaches.
The second prediction that stood out to me is the idea that DIY research will expand in 2011. There is much debate around whether this trend is good or not for the industry. On one hand it will get market research out to the masses, on the other it will turn people who shouldn’t be researchers into researchers, which can be dangerous! Either way, it’s happening and I believe we all have to get on board. Instead of fighting the inevitable, researchers should do everything they can to cement their value and embrace the fact that this science (and art) will be introduced to a whole new audience. I’m a firm believer in software creating service, and if that’s true, this DIY thing could be a serious shot in the arm for market research firms. Moreover, if researchers do their job as strategic partners, this DIY craze will only help to further illuminate just how valuable a true researcher is.