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3 Market Research Trends For 2017

The market research industry’s ability to leverage data has advanced quickly in recent years. For 2017, we see the trend accelerating even faster.

The first trend we are seeing is that enterprises are shifting away from “one-stop shopping” when purchasing marketing and data services, and toward their decoupling. This has led to an increased leveraging of experts at every step. Expect to see more enterprises working directly with survey providers and their reporting platforms to pull together solutions that were historically run through large agencies. This is evident in the increased adoption by enterprise market research departments of online reporting in lieu of static PowerPoint decks. Doing so has often enabled them to realize savings of up to 40 percent.

This adoption is being driven by a number of forces.

  • Forward thinking companies are increasingly “democratizing” their data and sharing throughout their organizations. This empowers users, and turns the marketing research professional into a trusted advisor.
  • C-level managers are actively demanding better ways for information to be shared in a more graphical manner. They want information to be more inclusive and shared in a way that can be easily consumed across the company.
  • They also want to integrate multiple data streams to provide context to the findings, bypassing their current multiple delivery vehicles.

This directly ties to the second trend seen for 2017: The increased demand by management for providers of insights and analytics to deliver concise recommendations that are more visually compelling. As such, we’ll see an increased use of online reporting, which will require the evolution of skill sets by data practitioners for use with tools that are deployed. Simultaneously, we’ll see the decreased usage of traditional, labor-heavy data analysis and reporting tools (e.g. SPSS, Excel, PowerPoint) because better efficiencies are provided by digital platforms/business intelligence tools.

And finally, for the third trend, expect to see an increased penetration of customer experience management (CEM) into small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs) as more cost-effective online reporting tools that incorporate “closed loop” reporting are available. In the recent past, these programs were typically $500,000+ and out of reach for the SMB market. With new technology advancements, CEM programs can often be implemented at a fraction of that cost.