Seems everybody is making their predictions about 2010 and Market Research, so I thought I’d add some of my own. Despite many forecasts of turmoil and revolution in the industry, I actually think that on a worldwide basis we will see a short-term burst of fairly conventional research (old-style surveys, FGD’s etc.).
There is simply a lot of catch-up to be done, and much information that needs up-dating. However, as mentioned in an earlier post, this bump in conventional activity is likely to mask some fundamental threats to research firms who see the upturn as a return to “business as usual”. So for what it is worth, here is what I think will be the “big 3” trends over the next year or two:
- New industry structures and refocus on thriving Asia. Not simply consolidation, but completely new types of owners. Many mid-level companies in developed markets may falter – survival is likely to be determined by flexibility in adapting products and ability to expand outside the home base. Simultaneously, lesser known Asian companies will grow rapidly based on the support of local, cash-rich, clients.
- Rise of “triangulation” – we will start to see exciting combinations of methodologies/analytic approaches creating better insights. This in turn drives intelligent software and demand for researchers possessing either in-depth expertise, or a wide appreciation of diverse methods (e.g. panel + qualitative). No middle ground.
- MR Cost focus now on executive productivity as severe talent shortages grip research. This is driven by cut-backs in the recession, emerging markets growth, and demand for new skill sets, ‘Fast-Tracking’ staff and enhancing productivity becomes increasingly paramount. Most MR companies have got their back-office operation lean already – now comes the harder (but ultimately more important) work to relook at total research processes and the “human elements”.
So, as you (I hope) get busier in the next year with all the catch-up business that comes in, don’t get so caught up in the day-to-day of pushing projects out the door that you overlook some of the significant changes in the air!