Current Trends - Research Marketplace
Three trends in the research marketplace of which Wonder is a part include companies and brands wanting faster turnaround times, an increase in outsourced research, and a shift from companies looking for demographic data to wanting psychographic data instead. Details of these trends are below.
COMPANIES AND BRANDS WANT INSTANT RESULTS
- According to GreenBook, an organization that connects marketers and market researchers with information to assist companies with consumer insights, the insights- or research-on-demand market "is not just going to be bigger than market research because it’s better. It will be bigger than market research because it’s broader."
- In 2019, marketers and other companies will continue to search for "fast and qualitative insights."
- In fact, 32% of companies interviewed for the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report indicated that they prioritize speed of results when considering the methods to use for their research projects. This is second only to quality of results (80%).
- Interestingly, only 32% of companies were satisfied with the timeliness of deliverables from research suppliers in 2018, meaning there is a great opportunity for on-demand research firms that provide timely research to fill that need.
- Companies are beginning to expect to gain consumer insights on more regular basis to ensure their business strategies are headed in the right direction.
- Marketing and advertising professionals are facing a change in the way market research is conducted. They are now required to "execute campaigns at 10x the speed as they were done in the past," which means they need the research ten times as fast.
- With consumers expecting companies to constantly deliver "personally tailored content," marketers have the difficult task of staying one step ahead of consumers and quick turn around time for research helps them do that.
- In addition, the speed of information "creates constant and rapid shifts in consumer sentiment," which means that research must be conducted frequently and be delivered quickly to keep up with these shifts.
- As such, "incremental improvements in market research and data collection have in many cases become insufficient to address these realities, which now demand an entirely new way of obtaining consumer insight." On-demand research provides a solution to this need for nearly instant consumer insights.
- Crispin Beale, CEO of Chime Insight & Engagement Group, states that the "pressure is on to deliver faster, cheaper and better research for clients."
- For this reason, automation is going to be a "game changer" for the research industry because it will enable "researchers to deliver faster and more cost-effective insight."
INCREASE IN OUTSOURCED RESEARCH
- BCG states that dedicated research teams make companies more productive because the outsourced research teams "offer various kinds of research support services" that are both diversified and scalable.
- A former McKinsey research agrees, stating, "Traditional ways of consulting included only one research member, an expert, and a journalist. Now we have an expanded team of researchers with diversification at every task."
- About 46% of McKinsey's research team is outsourced, a portion of which is through dedicated on-demand research companies.
- Martin Tronquit, Managing Partner at Infomineo, indicated that leading organizations are currently structuring their research operations using a three-tiered approach: "onshore operations, offshore operations, and use of outsourcing partners."
- The outsourcing of research functions allows companies to "benefit from scale effects."
- Using outsourced research allows companies to access not only more specialized resources, but also gives them the ability to "leverage lower costs."
- According to MarketResearch.com, companies that were interviewed on why they are using third-party research companies stated that "third-party research shows you 'how the marketplace is being perceived' and provides an 'inside track on what’s happening.' When making important business decisions, market research is sometimes 'the deciding factor on whether to green light or hit the kill switch.'"
- The GreenBook Research Industry Report indicated that for companies that decreased their research spending in 2018 did so because they are using "more versatile research vendors," which has created more value for the company.
SHIFT FROM DEMOGRAPHICS TO PSYCOGRAPHICS
- Rather than wanting research on typical demographics such as age, income, gender, education, and family size, companies are beginning to delve deeper into "personality profiling" or psychographics of target groups.
- Companies are looking to leverage data on "deeply individual triggers, barriers, worries, intentions, attitudes and habits" to cater to "specific personality profiles of the most viable buyer segments."
- Analysis of social media posts, past purchases, friends networks, post likes, and videos people watch is becoming preferable to demographics for many companies.
- Since these types of data points are available from secondary research, companies that offer such services are seeing an uptick in requests for psychographic information.
- Social media listening has been identified as a major global trend in market research, which reinforces the idea that delving deeper into the personality profiles of consumers is considered critical to companies looking for insights into their customers.
- According to the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, "traditional audience understanding," as with demographics, is insufficient for driving the "real-time, specific insights needed to compete in today’s dynamic market." Therefore, more companies are looking for deeper insights into psychographics to enable them to provide more personalized and consumer-based services and products.
- In that same GreenBook report, it was found that 59% of companies surveyed were already using data from online communities to inform their business strategies and another 21% are considering using them.
- Growth maps, which combine demographic and psycographic data, are becoming popular data presentations for companies to understand behaviors rather than just simple demand. According to Chris Enger, Periscope (McKinsey) Partner, growth maps decompose "drivers of consumer behavior and brings the consumer journey to life."
To identify trends in the research marketplace, of which Wonder is a part, we looked into formal white papers and research reports from companies like GreenBook, MarketResearch.com, and Infiniti, among others. What we found is that there is little data on trends specific to research marketplaces. However, we were able to pinpoint three trends that directly impact the research marketplace niche in which Wonder operates. For instance, there has been an increase in demand for faster turnaround times, which is a key differentiating factor for marketplace research companies like Wonder. The increase in companies looking for third-party research partners (outsourcing) is impacting companies like Wonder because marketplace research companies rely on clients who are looking for others to conduct their research for them. The third trend, the shift from companies looking for demographics to looking for psychographics impacts companies like Wonder because psychographic data can be culled through secondary research, which is the type of research offered through marketplace research companies. This means there will likely be an increase in demand for secondary research from third-party vendors like Wonder.
In addition to formal research reports, we also used expert commentary from employees of consulting companies like McKinsey, BCG, IBC Consulting, and others to provide support for the trends identified in the formal studies. This was typically done by examining articles and blogs that quoted these employees in support of their own trend analysis. To verify the three trends we found, we also confirmed their presence on lists of top market research, general research, and outsourced research trends. This allowed us to ensure the trends we found are truly impacting the research marketplace industry, to include companies such as Wonder.