5 Market Research Trends to Watch in 2013

It’s mid January and by now everyone has tossed the left over Christmas candy, deleted the out of office messages and updated their calendars for 2013. Last week as I was relocating candy kisses from my desk drawer to ‘file 13’ I started thinking about the new year, what it holds for InCrowd and the market research industry at large.

Here are my predictions on 5 market research trends gaining momentum in 2013:

1. There will be a concerted move toward shorter, faster micro surveys

I realize that as an industry we have a long history of talking about decreasing response rates, respondent fatigue and the need for shorter surveys; however this time I think we’re ready for the rubber to hit the road. People are increasingly mobile, stretched for time and inundated with information resulting in both limited availability and shortened attention spans. To accommodate busy lifestyles market research must adapt and that means shorter, faster micro surveys. If we as an industry want to ensure continued access to relevant market feedback we must be ready when, where and how the respondent is ready to engage. I think this sums it up nicely… Micro-surveys: a faster way to learn about your users

2. Sample will be more representative

This is not because we micro manage and over analyze our sample, but because we do a better job engaging with people who actually matter to and have an interest in our brand. I would rather have meaningful answers from 100 respondents than 400 responses from people that don’t really care about my brand and just want the gift card for participating. Some have said bias is good and in this case I agree. To put it in perspective… Here’s How To Create A Never-Ending Focus Group And Keep Your Customers Happy.

3. Mobile is its own method: you can’t force fit mobile

While poking around Zite  on my iPad I read an article telling me that in 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the dominant web access device worldwide. Not a surprise in the least, mobility reigns supreme. As does the ability to stay connected anytime, anyplace. This begs the question… how can I best reach these people? The answer is easy, via mobile market research. The difficult part is in conducting that mobile market research. Simply taking a survey instrument, giving it a few tweaks, deleting a couple of question and pushing it to a mobile device is NOT conducing mobile market research. Mobile is a method of its own and needs to be treated as such from start to finish. As 2013 progresses I expect to see increased focus and discussion around the overall mobile research process, you can read more at… You Can’t Force Fit Mobile Into the Current Market Research Process.

4. Data will be more visual

People are tired of charts and graphs; they want to interact with their data, gain deeper insights and understand relationships between data sets. One-dimensional information is limited, connecting multiple data sets tells a story. Think infographic, think SecondPrism and if you really want something to think about check out… My Data Visualization Wish List.

5. There will be a new openness in the market research industry

As an industry we can no longer afford to ‘do it the way we’ve always done it’ or rely solely on the ‘traditional’ when conducting market research. Success hinges on industry openness to innovation and technology, a willingness to engage in social listening and the use of multiple channels to access data. Our respondents and their increasingly tech-focused mobile lifestyles are driving the need for openness and – yes I’ll say the word – change. You’ll find some food for thought relative to industry openness in… Revisiting 8 Things I Would Do if I Were a Market Research Company.

Have you noticed a common theme to my 5 trends? I see a more interactive, respondent-centric market research environment that fully utilizes new technologies to gain market insights.

I’d like to know your thoughts… Do you agree with my trends? Have some of your own? What do you see for the market research industry in 2013?

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