The Market Research Christmas Wishlist

We asked the research community what they wanted our industry to have for Christmas and here’s what they had to say!

The qualitative community is looking for innovation and quality:

“I want more innovation in traditional qualitative methods. Recent qualitative innovation has focused on digital approaches. However, traditional methods – focus groups/ethnographies –  give us real emotion and human touch.”

Carolyn Wu Consumer, Imperial Tobacco Taiwan & Indochina

“The greatest gift for 2019 will be for the industry to tackle its long-term dependency on professional participants. Researchers want better participants. Acknowledgment of this was the first step to a solution. The next step involves a shift from awareness to action. It’s time to find fresh participants, based on real behaviour, for every research project.”

Hugh Carling, Liveminds

The quantitative faction want it all!

“Recently, the market research community has landed in the news repeatedly because we’ve been unable to correctly predict elections months away and our carefully planned studies have been twisted into misleading clickbait. So for 2019, I’d love to see every research report prepared as an educational tool with guidance throughout (e.g., MOE doesn’t apply) and one-page white papers in the appendix (e.g., here is how errors happen). We can do a better job warding off some of these problems ahead of time. Let’s do it!”

Annie Pettit

“I’d like to see more true collaboration between market research, behavioral economics and data analytics. By combining these disciplines, you get even more powerful insights that sparkle like a (Christmas) star.”

Alexander Linder

“More compiling of data sources and use of AI to sort and find answers in that data, rather than relying on ad hoc research. Not all research needs new research.”

Alex Wheatley, Lightspeed GMI

“Use your marketing gifts to come up with a new name and positioning for the field of statistics for Christmas. Statistics is much more than collection of official data (“stat” derives from state) and has been for ages. Nevertheless, this vibrant profession retains much of its outdated, stale image. “Data Science”, “AI” and “machine learning” have become essentially meaningless sales jargon.”

Kevin Gray, Cannon Gray

AI is a high-up on the Christmas list:

“Next year I’d like more time and less stress! Short of early retirement, that means more progress and clarity on what automation can help researchers achieve. I’d like to see more MR companies embracing areas like machine learning to take the strain. This will enable our industry to focus on the real value-add areas of research: guiding and advising companies while generating new methodologies.”

Wale Omiyale, Confirmit

“We are still talking about VR and AI and the role of these technologies in market research but for Christmas it would be great to see more clients taking the leap, investing in these types of projects and pushing agencies to collaborate on new and exciting things”.

Emma Kirk, Join the Dots

But not as popular as implicit and emotion-based methods:

“Big brands know how to communicate implicitly. That’s why they’re successful. We should understand that consumers behave irrationally. It’s essential to see through the consumers’ eyes and ensure a brand provokes right associations and emotions. For Christmas, I wish all methodologies were updated to the new reality and empowered by advanced nonconscious technologies.”

Dimitry Gaiduk, CoolTool

“The role of emotions in business decision-making is less understood vs. that of the consumer world (although it is improving). What I want to see next year is the development of more solid and robust ways of measuring the type and strength of emotions in business decisions. Identifying these emotional drivers is a key step towards truly understanding the B2B buyer mindset.”

Conor Wilcock, B2B International

“I’d like to shout from the roof tops that research is here to create, not just evaluate. If the theory is correct, we need to recruit more right brain thinkers to our profession. People who can detect the nub of a creative idea direct from the consumer’s mouth. We have a duty in 2019 to up the ante with approaches that fire participants’ imaginations and critical thinking.”

Andy Wardlaw, MMR

But let’s not forget about the people:

“The ultimate Christmas gift would be for researchers and clients to speak to people more like people! Let’s stop referring to ‘respondents’, ‘participants’ and ‘consumers’ as if they’re a weird sub-species of people that researchers aren’t a part of.”

Kev Lacey, Join the Dots

“Everyone is talking about the changes that need to happen to keep our industry relevant and spark innovation. While technology certainly plays a role, let’s not forget the people driving these changes. I believe that passion and drive of young market researchers must be nurtured in the coming year to energize and inspire us to instigate this kind of disruption”.

Horst Feldhaeuser, Infotools

And it’s Christmas after all, so we’ll need to think about presents:

“My wish to the MR Santa is for a book full of inspiring stories from the wonderful world of market research – hard cover, superbly illustrated, with a tactile, hand-crafted feel to it. In limited edition. It would be full of very different, intriguing MR stories, told with honesty, and with a mix of happy-end or different dénouements.”

Edward Appleton, Happy Thinking People