2018 Predictions for Market Research and Analytics

Tom H. C. Anderson
December 21st, 2017

What Kind of Researcher are You?

It’s that time of year again where RFL Communications and Greenbook request predictions from market researchers on what trends they expect to see in the new year. Of course no one knows for sure, but some are interesting fun to read and I always like searching for the overall patterns, if any.

That said, here’s the one I submitted this year. I’m curios to to hear yours as well.


2018 The Best of Times & The Worst of Times

 The gap between what I’ll call ‘Just Traditional Research’ and more flexible, fluid ‘Advanced Analytics Generalists’ will continue to grow.

 There are three groups of marketing researchers along this dimension. Some ‘Just Traditional’ researchers and companies will not be able to adapt and will want to continue doing just the focus groups or panel surveys they have been doing and will become increasingly out of touch.

 A second group will feign expertise in these not so new areas of data and text mining (Advanced Analytics), they will prefer to call it “AI and Machine Learning” of course, but without any meaningful change to their products, services or analysis. It will be a sales and marketing treatment only.

 Both these groups are rather process oriented. The former doesn’t want to change their process, the latter just want a shiny new process. In either case, the end goal suffers. For both of these two groups the future is dim indeed.

 A third group of researchers, the group OdinText is invested in, don’t try to improve and change because they think they must in order to survive, they were already doing it because they are genuinely curious and ambitious. They don’t just want to run that survey a little faster and a little cheaper, they want much more than that. They want to add significant value for their company via their analysis.

 They will invest in learning new tools and techniques, and yet will not expect these tools to magically do the work for them after they push a button. These are not lazy employees/managers, they are A type employees, and they are the future of what ‘Marketing Research/Analytics’ is to become.

 They realize their own ingenuity and sweat need to be coupled with the new technology to achieve a competitive advantage and surpass management expectations and their competition. They are excited by those prospects, not scared.

 I too am very excited about meeting and working with more of these true ‘Advanced Analytics Generalists’ and the Marketing Research Supplier firms who serve them and realize Co-Opetition with other firms with key strengths that they don’t have make more sense than buzz words and feigning expertise in all categories.

 For these ‘New Data Scientists’, no these ‘Next Gen Market Researchers’ 2018 will be the best of times!

It’s a BIT lengthy and general for a prediction. But I believe it’s a real trend that will continue to accelerate. Do you agree or disagree?  What are your predictions?

If you subscribe to RFL Communications Business Report you’ll be receiving the annual writeup on this topic there, you can check out the Greenbook version from 36 CEO’s online here.

While you can tell all those participating takes this with various degrees of seriousness, and answer with different Point of Views, I believe that reading all of them, and deciding what patterns if any are detectable across them is well worth the 30 minutes or so it takes to do this.

Again, very much appreciate YOUR thoughts and predictions as well, so please feel free to comment below.


2 thoughts on “2018 Predictions for Market Research and Analytics”

  1. Hi Thomas….my prediction is, nelson davis is given an award for simply being in the market research industry for 37 years, and/or for being the unofficial Industry photographer for the last couple of decades, bringing the human face of the industry to the public and to those thinking of getting into the industry.

  2. You’re Hands Down The #1 Photographer and Paparazzi in Marketing Research! Any thoughts on industry in general, or on sampling in specific?

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