Friday, 4 November 2011

What is the next big thing?

I asked the panel of judges of the my research transformation awards, who were made up of industry thought leaders and innovators from across the global market research industry, to make their prediction of what they thought would be transforming market research in the future. There were some very interesting and intelligent thoughts and so I thought I would share these predictions with you:
  • Consumers waking up to the value of their own data.
  • The economy ... the last recession seems to have been one of the drivers of the current wave of innovation in research (as well as in marcomms); I suspect that a new economic crisis so soon after the last one will lead to a lot of client insecurity and expect less rather than more interest in experimentation
  • Leveraging social media profiles and the open social graph to understand respondents as well as online advertisers understand site visitors.
  • Big data; the convergence of multiple data streams from diverse sources (research, crm, social media, etc..) and analyzed using Bayesian or other techniques to predict behavior
  • I strongly believe in the potential of ethnographic research - offline or online. Using mobile technology is only one of a number of avenues worth pursuing. Unfortunately, only mobile ethnography featured among the innovations discussed in the survey.
  • Behavioural Economics and what Daniel Kahneman refers to as 'System 1 thinking' are going to be central to the next generation of research approaches. They fundamentally shift our understanding of behaviour and how we make decisions, and challenge research orthodoxies. They provide a framework for approaches that better understand and predict behaviour, and provide a higher purpose for research games. Games are going to be big when people have worked out what to do with them. For me, creating research games that can replicate moods, mindsets and hot-states will ensure that we get closer to how people really think, feel, behave and decide in context.
  • It's the mindset.....The mindset change that "Research" is everywhere. Everyone does it and therefore it is not the bastion of 'traditional researchers'. Once that is clear, there will be a lot more openness, innovation and Change. The next thing to watch out for is the Blinkers-off mode from new-gen researchers - straddling most of the techniques we discussed in the survey!
  • Although it's been mentioned throughout the survey, research communities and co-creation are indicative of the hyper-connected world we live in. By increasing the engagement between companies, researchers and consumers directly we empower the consumer. Providing them with a tangible connection between themselves and businesses that look to serve them. Not only does this provide exceptional results when applied correctly it also has the power to break down barriers between researchers and respondents and in a self-regulating industry were trust is paramount this can only be good thing. In the future the direct connections between researchers, respondents and businesses will only continue to grow.
  • Mobile Social Media Research
  • I think the future of MR is a transformation of client side research departments into facilitators of 24/7 interaction between companies and their audiences. Technology, especially social media technology, will have a key part to play in this.
  • Big Data is the biggest opportunity and threat to the MR industry the next years.
  • The day that brands prototype in real/near real-time. Performance->Feedback->Revision->Performance->Feedback->Revision->...
  • The realization and acknowledgement that the random probability sample is dead (note, not impossible to achieve but unfeasible both in terms of timing and costs). 2. Mobile. 3. Pay for performance.
  • Community panels
  • Digital marketing research will become a subset of marketing. it is the only way the sums add up. the old marketing versus MR split is dead in the digital world
  • I've been reading a lot about Identity Economics, how our identities and the norms we expect to see within these identities shape consumption patterns.  Brand communication can influence our identities and therefore our consumption.  I'd like to explore how we can adapt some of the research techniques used in sociological identity studies within communications research.
  • Client pricing revolution!  (Some) clients, especially those with MROCs, have already figured out that the historical service-model can, and should be disrupted.  Market Research companies must deliver consulting value, and be prepared to separate their operational costs (eg Sample, Programming/Hosting) from their consulting fees.
  • The merging and mixing of methodologies
  • "Global migration to mobile devices as the way people organize their communications, their activities, AND (as mobile payments systems evolve) the way they organize their financial lives, suggests that mobile devices will become the primary channel for many forms of MR in the future.
  • I am eager to see our industry deal with this evolution above and beyond the work done to date where mobile devices are used primarily as ""data collection"" devices.  I am eager to see our best MR minds use mobile devices the way real people use them -- to share not just information but also experiences and emotions."
  • Payment by results.
  • I think that, over time, CMOs will start to realize that their organizations should talk less and listen more.  They'll decide (finally) to increase the proportion of their marketing budgets devoted to research, and that will change their growth trajectories.
  • Predictive techniques that can shorten the length of surveys
  • Facebook!
  • I think the type of interactive things you can do with mobile phones and tablet are set to transform market research.  e.g. sitting and watching the TV and giving live feedback, voting on your feet about the products you like as you go around a supermarket.
  • I think we are at the infancy of text analytics people are going to get smarter and smarter at this.

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