Insights professionals at insights buyer organizations (“buyers”) are reporting more leadership in a number of areas compared to last year, according to the latest edition of the Greenbook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report [download page]. Respondents – surveyed in the second half of 2022 – now say they lead an average of 3.8 areas, compared to 3.2 in H2 2021 and 3.1 in H2 2020.
The primary area led by insights professionals continues to be, unsurprisingly, consumer market insights, as reported by 74% of respondents. That’s followed by advertising research, which a majority (53%) now say they lead, up from 44% the previous year.
Rounding out the top 5 areas, each led by at least one-third of respondents, are customer experience (39%), shopper research (38%), and competitive intelligence (35%). The latter has seen considerable growth from the prior year year, when 29% said they led it. Other areas that more insights professionals say they lead also include product development and brand management.
Insights professionals at buyer organizations also feel they are providing more impact for their organizations. The top area they directly impact is attitudes and opinions (82%), followed by brand positioning (77%, up from 71%). More are reporting a direct impact on customer satisfaction or loyalty (76%, up from 71%) and on brand tracking (74%, up from 68%), as well as market size or opportunity (74%, up from 67%).
The areas of biggest growth relate to consumers and shoppers: 61% say they directly impact consumer shopping/purchase behavior (up from 48% in H2 2021 and 37% in H2 2021); 60% report a direct impact on the online/digital consumer/shopper experience (up from 47% and 32%, respectively); and 53% report a direct impact on the offline consumer/shopper experience (up from 39% and 30%, respectively).
Despite this, buyer-side insights professionals have lost some of their optimism regarding their departments or roles. Some 71% are “very optimistic” or “optimistic,” down from 77% in H2 2021 and the lowest point since the pandemic’s first wave. Even then, 25% were “very optimistic,” a figure now down to 19%.
Buyer-side insights professionals also show lower levels of optimism regarding the insights and analytics industry: the 80% who are “very optimistic” or “optimistic” is down from 85% in H2 2021 and 87% in H2 2020. The analysts note that these trends could be influenced by worries about the global economy.
Finally, buyer-side professionals are reporting that budget growth has moderated. This year 39% say that research project spending has increased. While that’s down from 46% in H2 2021, it’s above the years prior. Likewise, although the 19% reporting a cut in research project spending is up from H2 2021’s 15%, that figure had been at 20% or above since 2017.
For more, download the report here.
About the Data: The results are based on a Q4 2022 survey of 232 insights professionals at buyer organizations.