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4 Global Trends Shaping Market Research

Zandi Brehmer Profile Picture
Zandi Brehmer Bio
Lisa Holmes Profile Picture
Lisa Holmes Bio

Market researchers understand that the pace of global change today is unprecedented. Technological developments, shifting economic power, population change, environmental pressures and evolving consumer values underpin disruptions in nearly every industry worldwide. Market research is no exception.

The market research industry is at an exciting moment of evolution with disruption occurring in both research execution and delivery. To help make sense of this change, Euromonitor International identified the four biggest global trends impacting the role of the market researcher of tomorrow:

Why automation and DIY are our future

An always-connected culture and 24 / 7 news updates have shortened timeframe expectations. Clients increasingly want data as close to real-time as possible. “Agility” has also grown as a buzzword, emerging from the tech space and the agile software development framework.

More market research and insights departments are reporting directly into strategy and the c-suite, enabling faster decision-making at the highest levels of the company. Simultaneously, market research and insight tools are also moving to frontline employees.

Companies are decentralizing the decision-making process and empowering mid-level employees to innovate faster, clearing bottlenecks and streamlining reporting and approval structures.


Big data as the new reality

Big data, in its simplest form, refers to a massive volume of data which can be either structured, highly organized and searchable, or unstructured, non-coded and unsearchable.

The power of big data and machine learning is the ability to conduct predictive analytics and develop models that learn from the data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention.

As businesses look to find competitive insights faster, most are placing strong bets on big data and predictive analytics to get there. Thirty-nine percent of companies plan to invest in AI in the next five years and 40% of professionals think their company is setting the industry pace in digital transformation, based on Euromonitor’s 2018 Digital Consumer Industry Insights survey.

How to become the trusted partner of tomorrow

Market researchers must proactively meet both growing concerns on privacy and scepticism in data sources on two fronts: first, by providing clients with radical transparency at every stage of the research process and second, by fostering close partnerships based on trust.

There are three ways market researchers can integrate transparency and trust into their research:

Build transparency in data collection and methodology: Always be straightforward and open with clients and partners about data collection methods. This may be as simple as documenting how you will find the right sample for a survey and ensuring data quality throughout the collection.

Develop client trust in analysis and insights:  Clients need to trust market researchers to come up with smart insights and recommendations but should not revere the analysis process as “magic” or a black box.

Stay ahead of what’s next: Continued developments in both consumer data protections as well as tools which enable that protection are certain. Expect markets beyond the EU to adopt similar regulations as GDPR and for protections to continue expanding as consumers become more vocal advocates for their digital privacy.

Partnership 3.0: Upping the Market Research Game

Market researchers have always been the trusted providers of critical business information. This started with being asked to gather specific data points, designing a method to do so and returning with the results.

As a result, market researchers today have shifted to “partnership 2.0” and are better communicators throughout the entire research process.

They are more engaged in asking “why” up front to drive stronger solution design, proactively deliver preliminary results, react and reshape next phases of research based on their expertise and learn alongside their clients in real-time.

To understand the impact of global trends in the market research process, download our white paper “4 Global Trends Disrupting Market Research”.

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