Opportunities and Threats faced by Market Research – Peter Harris

By Peter Harris, Managing Director, Vision Critical Asia Pacific. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few MR and Marketing Industry conferences in Australia, North America and Asia over the past 12 months. As always, these conferences are designed to scare the living daylights out of marketing and research professionals. They are highlighting how much things are changing, that consumers are more empowered than ever, that technology is the driving force, that clients are demanding more, faster, for less, and the fast flowing giant river of information (big data). In short, they are driving home the fact that the Revolution is on, i.e. “If you don’t like change, you will like relevance less”. In general I think this is right. But each of us has a chance to make a difference. As a global profession, our biggest opportunity and biggest threat will be defined and determined by how much we ourselves are willing to be flexible in a digital driven world. We need to find ways to keep up with change and feel comfortable in a land where we don’t know what is around the corner. It’s hard for many MR professionals to do this (as we love to be […]

Faster, cheaper and see into the future… – Tiina Raikko

Posted by Tiina Raikko, Director, Fuel, Australia. These are some of the opportunities. And in many ways have been what clients have wanted since way back when. The only difference is that technology and the digital age has made achieving this more real. It is fair to say that the research industry has been responding. Compared to 20 years ago we can get quality research faster and cheaper – the holy trinity which seemed so impossible back then. Simply moving many traditional tools and methodologies online has achieved this. The opportunity remains to look at our methodologies and approaches and ask “how do we do this even faster and more cost effectively?” Speaking from an FMCG perspective, the pressure on the research space is continuing to increase. There is less and less budget and less time to turn work around. We can’t create time so sometimes a quick and if not dirty but a little bit grubby method is better than nothing. Doing it right is best but if we don’t have the time then it’s academic. With less money to spend we need to pick the most important projects and we need to be clever about how we use […]

Opportunities and Threats faced by Market Research – Rosie Campbell

Posted by Rosie Campbell, Director at Campbell Keegan, UK. So, what I guess I’ve always marvelled at in the industry which happens to have chosen me, is its remorseless ability to shape-shift…to turn itself into an apparently newly-hewn, ready-buffed, more relevant version of itself. Market Research version 13.11. It’s a combination of survival instinct, business savvy ingenuity… and – yes, I do mean this – playfulness. When I first started as an idealistic and somewhat intellectually-vain quallie, I honestly thought I would know all there was to know about the human mind in a year or so (five at the outside…) But, pleasingly, the human mind has remained slippery to the last, and, more to the point it turns out that understanding how an individual ticks (for commercial exploitation) isn’t really the point anyway. Just when we thought we had methods for our goals, it dawned that the goals were flawed – or naive, or both… This has been the pattern down the years… A circular and evolving interplay between focusing on the goal, the method; new goal, new method; changed goal, changed method and so on… And it is but one version of the wonderful dexterity and agility of […]

Opportunities and Threats in a Brave New Market Research World – Edward Appleton

Post by Edward Appleton, European Consumer Insights Manager at a major multinational based in Munich, Germany. Much is written about how much Research has changed over the past few years – mobile is the latest big thing, social media is hovering in the background to be trawled for insights, ethnography is making a comeback, online qual. is proving extremely popular thanks to the speed and ease with which selected consumers can give their opinions on a whole range of subjects. Behavioural Economics has pointed out with much fanfare what qualitative researchers have always known – that context, social influence and emotions play a huge role in influencing what we say and do. It’s exciting times, and from a Client perspective almost bewildering – the array of options from which to choose from is expanding rapidly, and the new normal seems to be that any one insights challenge requires a mixed methodology approach, using online, offline, qual and quant. We encircle our subject with an ever better (we hope) sense of what’s really going on – making Research an even more powerful tool. So why the ongoing sense of Angst – that Research is threatened? Shouldn’t we be relishing change as […]

Threats and opportunities for Market Research: Market research, communicated… – Lucy Davison

Posted by Lucy Davison, Keen as Mustard Marketing, UK. As we race at alarming speed into the future, accessorised with new technologies, swathed in big data and seduced by social media, it is important to step back and reflect on the bigger picture. Sometimes on a day to day level it’s easy to forget that we are living through one of the greatest revolutions the world has seen – the digital revolution. The result of that revolution has been an unprecedented change in the way we communicate. Yet how much has the market research industry really kept up? In the 12 years I’ve spent in research I have seen the ways the World consumes information change radically – now we are used to Tweets, infographics, Instagram, vine and Facebook. And it has become the norm for newspapers and other media to present complex, data-rich stories in visually exciting ways. But during that time I have seen very little change in the way research information is shared. Most market research is still communicated via long PowerPoint presentations and reports. Two years ago at an ESOMAR Congress, Lorna Walters from Reckitt Benckiser presented her audience with a 278 slide ‘summary’ she had […]

Opportunities and Threats in Market Research – Hannah Mumby

Posted by Hannah Mumby, Sales and Marketing Executive, Vision Critical, UK Having chosen to study Marketing and Advertising at university, I wasn’t prepared for the compulsory market research module. I faced every seminar with dismay as my classmates and I dreaded the endless dry statistics and spread sheets. The projects set were dull, the teacher unenthusiastic and applications to real life situations minimal. It didn’t take me long to form negative opinions about market research – research was boring, irrelevant and involved a lot of number crunching. Here lies what I consider as the most significant threat to market research. Too many people are put off by a job in research due to the same misconceived perceptions I had. What I failed to realise, along with many others, is how varied research is and how far it is from the impression I had been given at university. I had no idea at the time how nearly everything we consume – from the adverts we see and the products we buy to the prices we pay for them – has been a direct result of customer insights. Research is impacting everything around us and influences thousands of business decisions, so why […]

It’s the Behavior, Stupid: What is the single biggest threat to market research? – Neil Gains

Post by Neil Gains, the founder of TapestryWorks, based in Singapore. What is the single biggest threat to market research? Data! Data represents the existing business model of large multinational research companies who make money by selling as many interviews/surveys/data points as possible for as high a CPI (cost per interview) as possible. Data also represents a huge part of the future of market research. While “big data” is an opportunity to extract value from the ever-increasing flow of data from businesses and from the multiple devices that we all use at home and as we go about the world, this is also a huge threat. It’s a threat for market research companies and businesses, most of whom do not have the skill set to manage and analyze large data sets. More importantly, it’s a threat to the talent in the industry. As the pool of data grows every year, it becomes more and more important to have the thinking skills to ask the right questions, and connect different information sources together. This is not a skill that can be automated. And finally data represents the focus of much of market research on “measuring to manage”. By definition, most large-scale […]

Opportunities and threats facing the market research industry – David Smith

Post by David Smith, director DVL Smith and member of the ESOMAR Council. Fiedler, in his seminal work on forecasting, said ‘He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass’ so it is with some trepidation that I outline a point of view on first the threats, then the opportunities, facing the market research industry. Threats We could be hit by a tsunami of new data and an avalanche of expectations that overwhelm us as data scientists and other specialists step into the space we once dominated, resulting paradoxically in a dumbing down of our understanding of human behaviour. One future scenario is that the market research industry loses its way as new data owners take over our former territory. The emphasis switches towards setting up instant, large scale experiments to tell us whether we should do X or Y. In this scenario the importance of asking the ‘why’ question in order to provide a richer understanding of people’s behaviour becomes a lost art. We start living in a culture of experiment: just find the answer and then do it. It doesn’t matter about understanding what could be the subtle and complex reasons and rationale behind […]

MR Threats and Opportunities from a People Perspective – Liz Norman

Post by Liz Norman, owner of Elizabeth Norman International. Despite the huge growth in technology ultimately market research is only as good as the people managing the projects and interpreting the results. To grow and compete, the industry must attract and retain high calibre staff. It must also train and develop them, giving them the skills necessary to drive the industry forward and make the most of the opportunities technology and global growth offers. The industry is not always doing that now and if it doesn’t have the talent, it will be far harder to succeed in the future. Research as a career offers enormous variety, the opportunity to work with new thinking and technologies, and the chance to work on really key decisions for household names. Yet despite being an industry that is loved by many that know it, most graduates enter the industry after stumbling across it as a career option. As a result the industry is missing out on the skills of those who have a lot to offer but don’t know the industry exists. Research needs to take the opportunity to promote itself to undergraduates. In that way it will attract the best talent, but also […]

Ready for the future of market research, marketing & data analytics?

Our industry is in transformation and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the new developments. That’s why the 2013 BAQMaR Conference will bring you up-to-speed in less than a day. 14 world-class speakers talk about what’s next for market research & data mining on the 12th of December in Ghent. Join 125+ attendees from 8 different countries for: afternoon session on trends in market research & marketing; afternoon session on trends in data mining & analytics; evening session with top client-side speakers & a ‘futurologist’; Or just buy a full day ticket! 🙂 Don’t miss this great content and unique networking opportunity (30% client side attendees). And visit Ghent – the best kept secret of European cities according to National Geographic! Here is a little city guide to help you plan your trip… Register today via: www.baqmar.eu/conference. Early bird rate is still open (save 25% on the full price). See you in Ghent, the BAQMaR team