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Predictions for 2013: Round 2

Due to the wonderful response to the first Research For Good “Predictions for 2013” webinar, on January 23rd a “Predictions for 2013: Round 2” webinar was held. It more than lived up to the high bar established with the first one!

Due to the wonderful response to the first Research For Good “Predictions for 2013” webinar, on January 23rd a “Predictions for 2013: Round 2” webinar was held. It more than lived up to the high bar established with the first one!

Thank you to moderator, Kristin Luck (Decipher) and esteemed panelists: Gregg Archibald (Gen2 Advisors), Reineke Reitsma (Forrester Research), Simon Chadwick (Cambiar), and Louise Chater (Entertainment Consultant & Former Head of Research, Walt Disney Studios) for their contributions to making the Predictions for 2013: Round2 webinar a huge success! 4 expert opinions and research knowledge in various industries contributed to informative insights to the attendees that were relevant and actionable in preparation for what is sure to be a very interesting year for insights professionals.

If you missed the webinar, you can now view a full recording of the presentation, as well as download the slides by going here:

As before, participants submitted their questions after the event and below are the responses from all the panelists to the questions most relevant to their particular area of expertize. There is some fantastic thinking here that we all should be paying attention to.


Q: Main MR risk is loss of confidence from online survey merging survey & sales data for future selling, how do we address this?

Reineke:  Each information source, whether it’s CRM, social listening, behavioral or survey data has its own relevance to the organization and adds to building a 360 overview of the customer. We have done a project last year where we merged survey and behavioral data. We found that by adding online behavioral tracking to survey research, you add a layer of granular insights about consumer behavior. However, you need to stick to traditional market research best practices (weighting, quotas, question design) and outline your objectives very clearly.

Q: Is Social Media the next big thing? Or has it peaked?

Louise: It’s certainly not peaked, and ‘next big thing’ suggests a fad, which it’s not. I think we’ve a long way to go to improve their overall standard of social analytics. On the client side, I’ve seen some incredibly competent agencies doing amazing work in this space and others that haven’t yet cracked it.

Reineke: Neither. It’s a new way of gathering insights about your customers, target groups, or competition. We’re in early stages of understanding how social insights best can be tracked, analyzed and utilized. Current practices are very time-consuming and not always very rewarding, but that shouldn’t hold you from testing it out. Social media is here to stay, in whatever shape or form, and you should start embracing it now to have an advantage later.

Q: What role will video play in research methodology?

Louise: It depends what it’s being used for – it can be a great addition in reporting / presentations but too often, segments are too long. Edit, edit, edit! You’ll never need all the footage you think you do to make a point!

Q: How do we best go from gathering social media data on a client to providing them with actionable insights?

Gregg: This truly depends on the marketing issue being addressed.  For example, when addressing customer experience type issues, there is a focus on the highest number of related comments and red flag posts.  When addressing new product development opportunities, the focus could very well be on the uniqueness of the information.  I hate to say “it depends”, but in truth, it does.

Q: How do you see DIY developing over the next 2 years? How should full service agencies compete with low-cost DIY solutions?

Gregg: As we are all acutely aware, creating data is becoming more and more of a commodity.  In fact, it is rare that we say there is not enough data.  The focus has to be on methods of understanding all this data, and identifying the marketing opportunities that are revealed through the methods.  Many research companies have staked a good portion of their business model on the thin margins but high volumes associated with collecting data.  If recent trends in the industry tell us anything, it is that this business model is not sustainable.

Q: What trending research is a fad, and which are here to stay?

Simon: I believe neurosciences are a fad, but mobile and social media monitoring are here to stay.

Reineke: Personally, I’m not a big fan of gamification in research. However, being an analyst I want to understand the pros and cons before I really write it off. Therefore, this quarter my team will write a report about gamification in research. Watch Roxie Strohmenger’s blog for updates about that.

What really is here to stay are online communities (MROCs). If you haven’t tried that yet I suggest you should.

Q: Will on demand research continue to grow in 2013?

Simon: Very interesting question. My suspicion is “yes”, since this respects both the respondent and yields rapid results for the client.

Q: What vendors do you feel are the best at social monitoring?

Louise: I rate WaveMetrics / Way to Blue – they’ve been in this space for a while and have one of the most authentic approaches for Intl. They’re smart.

Gregg: That sector is changing so fast, it’s hard to get a handle on. The early entrants into the market such as Buzzmetrics, Sysomos, Netbase, Clarabridge etc.. have good, mature products but newcomers such as Decooda, Metavana, and a whole host of others are push the boundaries of what these technologies can tell us, how the data can be used, and where the real value of unstructured information is.


Since technology seems to be leapfrogging in this arena more than many others the current crop of leaders are unlikely to hold that position long. Look for a wave of consolidation in this space this year, with a particular emphases on fitting in social media analytics to synthesis platforms.          

Q: How will new technology continue to change the methodologies used to conduct research?

Gregg: It’s almost an axiom of technological innovation that it increases efficiency, decreases costs, and creates ripple effects across verticals. That same truth will apply to how it impacts research as well. The question is; will research lead that innovation and embrace new advances, or will it continue to be slow to react and be disrupted as we are seeing today?

On a related note, I do think further advances in technology will deliver a few core things: greater access to information, greater connections between people, and increased understanding of humans on a holistic level, but with a focus on behaviors vs. attitudes.     

Q: Referring to the discussion of merging traditional market research and CRM, how will this “new method” impact analysis and comparisons with other methodologies used ;i.e. tracking studies?  Is it considered Quant or Qual or quali/quant?

Reineke: See also my answer to an earlier question. The question if it’s qual, quant or a combination depends very much on the set-up of the project. There are organizations out there that have deep insights into their customers (think online retailers, financial institutions) that can easily select a certain set of customers for tracking, testing, surveying, or qualitative research. Depending on the set-up and size of the project that could definitely qualify as quantitative. But it doesn’t really matter how we bracket this, making it happen is for many organizations the real challenge.

Q: How confident will consumers be to spend dollars on entertainment in 2013?

Louise: Despite on-going economic strife in many markets, people will spend when the product is worth it – whether that be on a game, a movie – whatever. It hinges on the quality of the content and when it’s good, consumers will spend.

Q: Are attention spans and attention to detail being lost with the increase in second screening and multi tasking?

Louise: Good Q! It’s hard to tell right now – it’ll be a while before the effects are felt and we can really tell. Even without second screen behavior, the debate was out there – look at the way TV programs are constructed today compared with 10yrs ago….This is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Q: What changes, if any, are predicted for the role of qualitative research? What is the outlook for in-facility qualitative research? Will anyone be using traditional face-to-face qualitative research in 2013? Will traditional methods like telephone depth interviews and focus groups become overshadowed by online qualitative methods?

Louise: Online qual and traditional f2f groups will, I believe, both have value and a place in 2013 and beyond. While on-line has huge benefits, not all moderators are producing their best work in that space, and equally, not every topic is suited to online, There are times when a roomful of people gains you something unique and important. That said, qual researchers in any medium need to continually appraise their techniques, and to stay abreast of trends. There should be a relevance within qual, and to qual. I have more of an issue with telephone depth interviews, which feel unwieldy and outdated.

Q: Isn’t Disney launching a cuff based pay-as-you play system this spring, that can be used for research, including location-based?

Louise: Sorry, I can’t comment on that….

How do you see data visualization changing the way we write debriefs, and how they are used by clients?

Reineke: In the next 10 years data visualization will completely change the way the market insights industry communicates results back to the clients – because that’s what our clients will demand from us. Our research shows that visuals help elevate the market insights department because they are much easier to distribute into organization: stakeholders don’t read lengthy research reports. Even more important, as a result of all technology developments (tablets, YouTube, twitter, what’s app just to name a few) all of us are getting used to bite sized information. That means that research output not only should look good, but also be very easy to consume. It’s form+function.

Q: How will “Big Data” affect the marketer researchers’ efficiency to interpret market information?

Reineke: First of all I’d like to note that at Forrester big data is not only about the volume, but also the velocity, variety, and variability of data. For market insights professionals, big data will involve integrating a variety of different data sources — social media, web, survey, and transactional data — and analyzing them in real time while the sources and structures of the data are changing. This is impossible without investing in some type of business intelligence software and collaborating with other departments. In most organizations, the market insights team won’t lead this initiative, but it has to stay close enough to the integration process to understand the impact on its role.

Q: There are research agencies out there who are investigating and looking at new and innovative research approaches (implicit), analysis techniques, interviewing mediums and survey designs but how can we encourage clients to adopt these innovations?

Gregg: By proving the superiority of the innovation, with respect to better, faster, cheaper.  Twenty years ago, there was slow adoption by clients to move from phone or mail methodologies to internet based surveys.  The supplier community was quick to prove the validity of the internet, and the clients benefited by getting a product that was both faster and cheaper. 

Q: When is mobile a good idea?  We’ve seen very few business cases where it’s the best solution.

Reineke: Thinking about mobile is always a good idea. For some online surveys in the US about a fifth of respondents open up the invite on their mobile device. This creates a very specific non-response bias. Having a mobile strategy for these respondents, either re-routing or offering them an optimized mobile survey is something everyone should consider. However, I think the question is when mobile is the preferred methodology. I have seen some interesting projects around customer feedback, where respondents are asked their opinion immediately after the fact. For most other research projects, mobile is an add-on – not the only methodology. More information can be found in this blog post:

Q: Business is starting off with a bang in 2013, but clients are more interested in quantitative. What could be causing this?

Simon: Hard to say. I suspect that this will be company-specific. For some companies, 2013 has not started with a bang; others are experiencing a boom in qual. Horses for courses!

Louise: I agree with Simon – this has to be taken company by company. It’s too early to see patterns emerge across the industry.

Q: Can market research companies survive if they do not have big data capabilities?

Simon: It’s hard to see how they can flourish without big data analytics capabilities and, more importantly, the ability to integrate big data and survey data.

Q: To what extent are researchers going to use Google Consumer Surveys in 2013 and how will it change online research?

Simon: We have yet to see. It may be that researchers will use GCS, or it may be that marketers will. The big change to online research is the idea of microsurveys, which many in the industry were talking about before GCS but none had the guts to do. Expect to see many copy cat companies launch in this niche in the next 12 months.

Q: How is mobile dove-tailing with location-based/GPS research?

Simon: Location-based/GPS is central to the application of mobile. It will change the way in which we do ethnography, customer satisfaction, shopper insights…. Definitely one of the more exciting developments in research.

Q: How can we continue to foster respondent cooperation?

Simon: By respecting respondent time and the context in which they are helping us. That is one of the reasons why GCS is so brilliant – it totally respects the respondent!

Louise: Primarily, in this time short age, to respect people’s time. Also respect their culture, and understand their modus operandi – ‘speak’ (whether quantitatively or qualitatively) in ways which engage and feel relevant and authentic.

Q: Are more people using  mobile websites or mobile apps?

Gregg: Apps typically make for a better experience.  However, according to some recent work done by Pew Research, we know that 56% of consumers are accessing the internet on their mobile phone, while only 43% are using apps (and usually just a few).  The app avoidance is due in part to privacy concerns about the data that will be collected and how it will be used.

Reineke: At Forrester, we also have tracked consumers’ mobile behaviors and people use apps and mobile Internet for different things and on different moments. Also, one important outcome out of our behavioral tracking was that of all the apps available, our respondents (very active smartphone users) spent the majority of their time using platform apps that came with their operating system as opposed to add-on apps downloaded from the app store. They spent roughly 17 hours using the top five platform apps versus approximately 7 hours using the top five add-on apps.

Orange also has done some interesting research on this:

Another interesting source to look at real statistics is this:

Q: Can you provide more detailed citation on recommended articles, studies?

Reineke: One of the remarks during the webinar was that agencies have to add more value, and be more consultative, when they deliver insights to the clients. However, that’s really difficult if you have to start from scratch for every project and you don’t really understand the industry and competitive field the client is playing in. My recommendation was to align the teams by industry and invest time in understanding that industry. This can be done by following industry-related hashtags on twitter and becoming a member of a relevant Linkedin groups and subscribing to industry specific online publications. You could also attend an industry specific event. When I was working on the agency side I took lots of pictures of the products I did research for. I took for example pictures of advertising, shelf layout in supermarkets, how people used the products, etc. It helped me put the results in perspective, and livened up my presentations.

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