January is traditionally the time when we all take stock of where we are, the latest trends and future gazing. And more and more brands and companies are realising the need to leverage the expertise of specialist research & insight agencies who can unearth new insights to take their organisation to the next level. In order for brand owners and agencies to get a handle on some of the biggest market research trends for 2018, along with tools and tech that are shaping the industry, we have put together five of the most noteworthy trends and predictions that will have a big impact in 2018.
1. Automation, AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence has entered the consumer landscape thanks to google home and amazon echo, however along with machine learning AI will soon make a bigger impact in the market research industry. Automation along with AI is a ‘game changer’ according to Leonard Murphy, producer at Greenbook. These technologies are “disrupting an inefficient process” according to Murphy, enabling researchers to deliver faster and more cost-effective insight. We will hear a lot about these over the next year. 2018 will be the year where we begin to apply these concepts in practical use cases.
2. The Need for Speed
The pressure is on to deliver faster, cheaper and better research for clients. What businesses will actually be asking for in 2018 is speed! We are already familiar with the mantra ‘faster and cheaper’, which is in part driving the buzz surrounding automation. However, in 2018, a lot more insight briefs will demand faster turnaround times for research projects. With the need for speed here to stay, we must also work harder to discern the difference between ‘agile’ methods and the ones that are simply faster.
3. Ensuring Research Agencies Manage Their Data and Privacy Better
The introduction of GDPR coming on May 25th 2018 will provide the impetus for all brands and consultancies to finally come to terms with treating customer data with the respect it deserves.
One way GDPR will cause disruption is to the marketing and CRM worlds. It will challenge those whose roles depend on data analysis. It should however, be a positive boost for market research.
4. Worries with Brexit will dominate
As Ben Page, chief executive of research agency Ipsos Mori says “Be prepared for unpredictability, build your resilience and flexibility, try new things, make sure you have great connections with the EU 27”.
Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have cast a shadow of uncertainty on the global economy. ” We could be looking at current instability – making international projects harder, Trade wars – reducing the wealth of everybody and increasingly incompatible laws – data protection.” Roy Poynter.
5. Neuroscience and System 1
Brands have woken up to the notion that humans are emotional creatures and that our System1 thinking dominates much of our decision-making.
Techniques such as Eye-tracking and other non-verbal research tools have been on the increase in recent years and this trend is likely to continue
We hope you have found these Market Research Trends (2018) useful. For further reading we would recommend the Greenback’s GRIT Report (Greenock industry trends) made of a global survey of over 1500 industry representatives from 73 countries. You can download the report here.