Marketing research is an evolving industry; with opportunities for those that can quickly adjust to the changes and discover creative means to do more with less. Clients expect deeper, enriched results at an accelerated pace. I see three trends in our industry in 2016:
- Think like a start-up, act like a researcher: Automation is the newest ‘game changer’ in our industry and will continue to be. But while automation will be a catalyst for change, new models will need to be created to meet client demand. Faster, better, cheaper hasn’t gone away – as a matter of fact, it’s been amplified by a business climate that demands more – much more – without the sacrifice of quality. Companies that can think, act, and execute like a start-up will prosper.
- Delivering the survey design agenda: Many researchers continue to struggle with survey length, and as innovators in the survey design space it is up to us to lead the way– we are the research Sherpas. Guiding clients to design shorter and more creative surveys for a fast growing group of mobile respondents demands thoughtful design and structure. We need to communicate with consumers in the way they wish to be communicated with. Surveys that are not device agnostic are no longer an option. And, we can now better leverage easily accessible behavioral data to help with crafting shorter surveys.
- Shifting our teams from insights to innovation: It’s all about the people -- and here I specifically mean employees. Companies with a culture of innovation will thrive. Building and maintaining a workforce of highly engaged employees is critical to our success, and something on which we will keenly focus in 2016. The quality of what we put to market, of the surveys we put in field – is all a testament to the hard work of our people. We would not be where we are without them.
Every minute we are online, we create data. Real time insights and predictive analytics build better strategies, better business performances. And as researchers, we need to raise two key questions in the year ahead. Are we doing things right? Are we doing the right things?
From mobile design to panelist engagement, new opportunities will emerge in the coming year. Overall I would say that 2016 will be a challenging, yet interesting year. Companies that can leave a client meeting and return the next day with solutions will be the darling of the industry. We are in for massive change.