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The Most Widely Read Blogs of 2018 – And What It Means For 2019

The most widely read blog posts of 2018 are discussed. Key themes related to changes and challenges in MR clearly emerge as topics of widespread interest.

We published a list of the ten most widely read blogs of the first nine months of 2018 back in October, and promised at that time we would update the list for the full year.  That is what you see here.

It is noteworthy that there were several blog posts in the last quarter of 2018 that aroused great interest, and moved into the top ten (including the article that proved the most widely read of the year).  

Here is the complete Top Ten for the year:

  1. SAP- Qualtrics – What Were They Thinking?  – Simon Chadwick
  2. Grit Sneak Peak:  Adoption of the Top 20 Research Methods – Ray Poynter
  3. When Big Brands Take Social Stances:  An In-Depth Analysis of Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad – Sasha Laferte & Dave Carruthers
  4. Is MR Ready For GDPR?  Nope, and That’s a Big Problem – Lenny Murphy
  5. Insights On Demand is Transforming Market Research – Frederic-Charles Petit
  6. What Will Happen To MR in 2018? – Ray Poynter
  7. A Conversation with Eric Salama of Kantar – Larry Friedman
  8. The Rise of the Personal Data Economy – Tuomas Syrjanen
  9. The Art of Storytelling: Resources for Market Researchers  – Zoe Dowling
  10. Which Path is GfK Taking? – Sabine Hedewig-Mohr

As noted above, the most important addition to the list is the one that became the top-read post of the year (and by a wide margin), Simon Chadwick’s trenchant analysis of the SAP acquisition of Qualtrics for a staggering $8 billion. The amount of money involved is unprecedented in the industry, and Simon did a great job analyzing whether SAP will ever see a decent return on its investment.

As we look at the list as a whole, while some of the details have changed, the main themes basically remain the same as we saw in the earlier analysis:

  • News about global research companies – #1, 7, 10
    • While obviously not a research company, Nike is one of the biggest global brands, and the Kaepernick ad (#3) aroused widespread interest in the MR community, with several companies using it as a platform to show off their latest approaches to testing ads.
  • GRIT findings – #2, 4, 7
  • Emerging Methods – #3, 5, 8, 9
  • Predictions – #6

As we noted last time, these themes indicate that “bigger” ideas get more widespread readership – larger trends in the industry, what the major challenges are, which methods are more than just blips on the radar, news that have widespread import.  This all makes perfect sense. Blog postings that focus on specific topics get a more focused readership.

So, what does this mean for 2019?  The market research industry is still in the midst of transition, and there is a real hunger out there for analysis of current events and trends.  You can expect to see articles analyzing events as they happen, from some of the sharpest minds in the industry. More interviews with movers and shakers.  More of the latest developments in methodology and technology. More insights from the latest GRIT findings – the first GRIT Report of the year is being released in mid-January, and we will publish several “sneak peek” articles before that.

A quote I’m fond of is from Kurt Lewin, the founder of experimental social psychology – “there is nothing as practical as a good theory.” Good ideas will stimulate good work, something we need as the industry continues to struggle to find its footing in a changing world. Please continue to bring us your latest ideas.  

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