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3 Key Trends for Market Research Industry in 2014 and Beyond
Year 2013 now behind us, many professionals in the market research industry will be thinking about plans for 2014 and what this year may hold. As the ever-changing arena of market research software and channels continues to evolve, so too must the approach of market researchers.
With change comes improvement and savvy market research agencies must embrace these and stay ahead of the curve in order to survive in a competitive market. Here are some predictions for the changes in market research and what agencies should do to be successful in 2014.
Working partnerships and strategic collaboration
The market research industry must remain competitive and one of the key ways to do this is to join forces with other knowledge centres and synergistic services such as systems and platform providers. The requirement for brands to justify spend on marketing activities is high and ROI is a key factor, so they are looking for significant value from market research agencies and accuracy of results. Some agencies may fall short with their research panels, so working with other quality panel providers that also offer other platform functionalities may be the answer for them. That way, they can continue to be efficient and cost-competitive without putting too much pressure on profit margins. Platforms, or panel exchanges, also provide a distribution channel to monetise existing panel assets as well as an efficient way to source sample, which help drive operational efficiencies and ultimately positive margins.
Seize the opportunities
The brands that do well in 2014 will be those who refuse to stand still, which will therefore present bigger opportunities for the market research industry. As dwindling attention spans mean more brands and organisations have to consider a multi-channel approach to make any impact, the opportunities for market researchers to add value are amplified. Embracing some of the emerging technologies such as eye-tracking and emotions monitoring and integrating these into survey sampling techniques is key if brands wish to differentiate from other providers in the same space. These technologies can help provide more accurate responses to marketing efforts and greater insight through the monitoring of what people actually see and feel, as opposed to what they say they see and feel – which can often be very different.
Some of the buzzwords of 2013 will continue to dominate in 2014 and trends for mobile, social media and the issue of big data will still be prominent. Content marketing will see a greater level of investment as brands continue to make the most of the opportunities offered by social channels and engage their advocates further, as well as gaining new ones. As brands continue to act like publishers in their own right, there will be a big requirement for customer insight to ensure content resonates with the target audience. As the online sphere becomes noisier with huge numbers of brands vying for the same space, content needs to be of a higher quality and driven by what the target audience actually wants – all of which can be researched and verified through clever use of market research techniques. Significant spend will be directed to social engagement in the coming year, more so than in previous years.
The marketing landscape has changed significantly and is ever-evolving, and with consumers putting a real emphasis on trust and having a two-way relationship with brands when it comes to engagement, the opportunities for market researchers are infinite which makes for a successful year ahead.
This article is written by Bo Mattsson. Bo is the chief executive of Cint, a global provider of technology for creating online survey panels and obtaining market insight, via its OpinionHUB global panel exchange platform. Bo founded Cint in 1998 when he decided to apply his experience of trading online to the market research industry. He then took over as CEO in 2003 to revamp the core technology behind the market research tools and research panels into an exchange-based offering for respondent access. For further information, please visit www.cint.com.