Emerging market research methods such as mobile surveys and online communities may no longer be deemed “emerging,” having well and truly broken into the mainstream, according to the latest edition of the GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report. By comparison, despite some gains in use, methods such as neuromarketing and wearables-based research remain niche.
Based on almost 1,600 completed interviews with market research suppliers (80% share) and clients (20%) in the second half of 2016, the study indicates that three-quarters are using mobile surveys, with another 16% putting them in consideration. Although the 75% adoption rate is only slightly up from the first half of the year, it represents a sizable 11% point increase from the first half of 2014. In fact, that was the largest increase (on a % point basis) of any emerging method, edging out Micro-surveys, which have risen from 25% adoption to 35% (a larger growth on a relative basis).
Only two other emerging methods are currently used by a majority of respondents to the survey: online communities (59% using; 23% in consideration) and social media analytics (52% using; 24% in consideration). Social media analytics use is buoyed by buyers, however: almost two-thirds (64%) report use of this tool, as opposed to just under half (49%) of suppliers.
A slight majority of these emerging methods are seeing greater use by suppliers than clients, with the biggest discrepancies seen for webcam-based interviews (46% suppliers; 31% clients) and mobile qualitative (45% suppliers; 31% clients).
For their part, clients are gravitating to social media analytics and big data analytics (47% clients; 35% suppliers) at a greater rate than suppliers.
Big data is considered one of the “game changers” in market research, per the report, as it automation and storytelling. In fact, storytelling skills are one of the most important leadership and research-focused training programs, per respondents.
By contrast, artificial intelligence, virtual reality/augmented reality, marketplaces and attribution analytics are perceived to be more hype than game-changers.
Finally, among non-market research data sources, integrated data sets (57%) and social media data (54%) seem to have the brightest futures, with a majority of researchers planning to increase their use of these sources. Web analytics (41%) and internal data (38%) aren’t too far behind, with less appetite for increased use of the Internet of Things (30%) for the time being.
About the Data: The Q3/Q4 2016 GRIT report is based on 1,583 survey completes, 20% of whom are insights buyers/clients and 80% of whom are insights providers and suppliers. Some 49% of respondents are from North America, with Europe (32%) the next-most represented region. In total, 76 countries were represented in the sample.
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