Market Research Today

What is buzzing in marketing research? Which trends are being taken forward? What’s on the research buyers’ and users’ road map and what is their vision on the future? To answer these questions, we conducted a quantitative research piece among 101 German corporate researchers and insight managers (in collaboration with Planung & Analyse).
The results of the survey allow to sketch a picture of the key trends and evolutions in the market, which can be mapped using the McKinsey’s strategic 3-horizon framework: (1) what do corporate research professionals see as things they need to act upon ‘today’, (2) what are the aspects they are working on to be ready for ‘tomorrow’ and (3) what are the key elements on their radar for ‘the day after tomorrow’. In this first article, we will zoom in on the first horizon, namely the three priorities on research users’ agenda.

Today’s to do list

1. Crafting actionable insights
The number one priority for corporate researchers is to make research results and insights more actionable and more used within the organization. 68% states this as a key objective to work on this year. This is similar to what we saw in a global quantitative study among client-side research professionals in collaboration with Greenbook: only 45% of realized research studies has a true and lasting impact on business decisions.
So, improving the ‘return on investment’ of research and insights is a key action point for our industry. This by getting closer to the business and understanding the challenges, making sure insights are being crafted rather than just sharing study results and coaching internal stakeholders on how to translate insights into business actions.

2. Making research more agile
The second priority is getting research done faster and allowing business users to work with research iterations throughout the different phases of their marketing and innovation projects. 45% has ‘making research more agile’ on their current to do list and 61% of survey participants believe agile research can help organizations keep a finger on the pulse. This increased agility will allow to understand changing consumer needs and trends and grasp new opportunities, but also to get more consumer feedback in different phases of strategy crafting and execution.

This trend towards ‘agile research’ is supported by the fact that investments in big structural research programs and tracking studies went down from 47% of budgets being spent on it 5 years ago to 41% today (self-declared estimations by the researchers in the sample). Agile research means more iterations of short and snappy research (opinion of 44% of the participants) and in a lot of the cases it is seen as a combination/ fusion of qualitative and quantitative techniques (40%).
3. KPI reporting automation
The speed at which data is turned into results and reports is the third bullet on the list. 49% of the participants is already using some form of automated reporting and another 47% is considering it for the near future. Only 4% says it’s of no importance to them at all.
Today’s to do list
In this fast-paced reality, research users are increasingly looking for leaner and more impactful research. Their top priority is to move to more agile research solutions that lead to increased actionability and have automated reporting capabilities. Yet, what about the (near) future? What do client researchers believe will disrupt our industry? Stay tuned cause in the next blogpost we will zoom in on the second and third horizon of the McKinsey framework.
German Market Research Trends infographic

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