The future of Market Research (redux)


Nice piece today by Martin Baillie on a subject that has repeatedly drawn my fire over the last decade or more (I was once called "The Enemy Within" or some such by Research Magazine): the future (or otherwise) for Market Research (and in particular the need to move from set-piece to real-time insight gathering – to "bake-in" continual learning to how we go to market).

While I have great fondness for the industry and its practitioners, it has always struck me as more anchored in the past than the future; feeling more comfortable with past assumptions and practices rather than any unfolding dynamic picture – I think that's what Martin is getting at too.

Equally important are the musings of Ray Poynter (the man behind the NewMR online conference in December). His latest thoughts point to the increasing importance of doing stuff with data (analytics) as opposed to collecting data (trad research):

"I have felt for a long time that the days of asking people what they have done, for example in tracking studies, are numbered. I refer to this aspect of research as bean counting and expect that in the foreseeable future this information will be collected from a combination of loyalty card, credit card, smartphone, CCTV, geo-tagging, RFIDs, and the sorts of wearable devices being designed for exposome research (collectively I think of these as part of the electronic wake, the trail we leave behind us). These changes will be another nail in the coffin of the days of surveys (I have previously blogged that in the future there will be far fewer surveys"

Regular readers will know that I'm a big admirer of my intermittent collaborator John Kearon and his attempts to innovate MR out of its current practices with Predictive Markets, Digividuals [a colloboration with the great Bausola @zeroinfluencer] and all kinds of We-research but if you're thinking about Market Research and its future,just step back 10 years and read this seminal piece by the late, great (and round here anyway) much missed Ginny Valentine Download Repositioning Research

(Sorry, didn't have time to big up Wendy, John or Tom but they also have a firm grasp on what's happening next!)

Change is a comin'….that's for sure but not before time…


  1. David Bausola
    January 5, 2011

    Thanks Mark
    The DigiViduals service has been great fun to develop with the Brainjuicers – Kearon has some very special people working with us at the PhilterPhactory and we’re seeing more and more ways to incorporate live data sampling as ‘research’ into other areas of product and service development, such as the Nabaztag DigiViduals – check them out when you’re next in JuicyHQ.
    In 2010 AAAA awarded DigiViduals the Gold in the Research Innovation category, narrowly beating 2 Digital Shops that I have a lot of love for – NikeID from R/GA and The Barbarian’s GE work.
    Baking in the market research collection into product and services requires all kinds of ‘messy’ evolving social permissions, such as privacy concerns. Everyone worries about ‘their data’ being used against them – the question on my mind, if data can not tell the truth, it can not lie either?
    The human fascination of watching ‘ourselves’ perform (as seen in TV, Film, Comics, Blogging) is something that still needs unpacking at a data-use level AND finding the appropriate framing techniques, instead of relying on just infovisuals, to automate and present good human narratives.
    We can only frame information – think of all the various web2.0 UX, whose grammar acts as framing, where in fact they all do the same function – collect, store, analyses, present. Liberation in this idea of framing is key to making more use of social data and points towards a huge array of possible services and products.
    Do check out “Framing and Being Framed” by Hans Haacke – // Much of the debate around the social value of the realtime processes and systems has been tackled in his artwork for the past 45 years.
    PhilterPhactory has in Alpha at the moment, which will give everyone the opportunity to build Alter Egos for the contemporary web, to explore where all this could go. See for updates.
    See you beer soon fella.

  2. Milla Lohtander
    August 20, 2012

    You have a point there,well for me research market in future will still be like before,we all know that everything now is convenient but for me it is not enough,in Helsinki marketing research or market research is still done smoothly and effectively.

  3. Annukka Lehtimäki
    December 20, 2012

    It seem that market research in future will be more than like that however you really got it for me.In Finland now a days there are many of business use to do market research which is an advantage to the, well glad i read one of your article thank for sharing.