Rather than start with predictions, I started with five questions and posted them in LinkedIn, where I received a range of helpful replies.
The Five Questions were:
- What will be the hottest MR topic in 2018?
- Which country will be the most interesting to follow in 2018 (in terms of MR)?
- What will be the biggest MR disappointment in 2018?
- Which MR company will be the hottest in 2018?
- What is the biggest threat to MR in 2018?
Having read all the comments, my original notes, and discussions elsewhere, I would suggest the following answers:
1. What will be the hottest MR topic in 2018?
I think the answer is definitely going to be automation, expect to see more offerings, faster turnarounds, and falling prices across a range of services, products and markets. However, two other hot topics I want to acknowledge are Kristin Luck’s suggestion of ‘Consolidation’, I think we will see more interesting purchases, mergers, and disappearances in 2018. I also want to acknowledge Simon Thompson’s mention of GDPR – the new European Data law that comes into play in April and which will have a major impact on anybody who does business in Europe. I will also throw in the term ‘video’ which I think we become much hotter during 2018.
2. Which country will be the most interesting to follow in 2018 (in terms of MR)?
There is a widespread view that this will be China – and those of us lucky enough to attend the ESOMAR APAC conference in Shanghai in May 2017 will have seen why. As Ryan Harrivan said, the USA is also a good bet.
3. What will be the biggest MR disappointment in 2018?
There is much less agreement about what the biggest disappointments are going to be, so here are a few: ethical problems (in a variety of fields and markets), polling errors and ‘fake’ polls, anything that is slower or more expensive than current techniques (e.g. most neuro, VR, and augmented reality).
4. Which MR company will be the hottest in 2018?
There were no stand out winners from my consultation, so thinking about video, here are three names to consider: Voxpopme, Living Lens, and Watch Me Think.
5. What is the biggest threat to MR in 2018?
I think the biggest threat to MR is the widespread lack of training provided to people working in MR. Market researchers today need to know much of the old stuff and quite a bit of the new stuff. That level of knowledge requires a concerted effort to improve skills and training. In the study Sue York and I ran at the end of 2017, it seems that training is not happening to anything like the extent it is needed.
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