Robert Moran | December 5, 2009
Anyone interested in research trends should read Jane Mount's Ten Trends for 2010 here.
The research industry, of which polling is a subset, is changing rapidly and there are a number of fast moving trends at work.
In-Sourcing: Client side market research functions stretch budget by using suppliers less and internal resources more.
Global Studies: The market research industry is a prime example of how the world is shrinking. More and more projects are now multinational. Eventually our project teams will be globally dispersed to work the 24 hour global clock and to provide global analytical perspective. Parenthetically, Guam is the perfect location for Eastern US companies looking to work the 24 hour global clock with dispersed staff.
Rise MROCs: Sometimes called HOC (hosted online communities), these market reseach online communities are rapid insight generators and will put pressure on traditional focus groups. Think of them as an ongoing focus group-forum online among a company's consumer segments.
Decline of traditional focus groups: See above.
No More CYA Surveys: All too common in corporate America, the post-decision validator survey may not survive budget tightening.
The need for higher quality online panels: Online panels are a wonderful tool for surveying niche audiences, but are panelists being burned out? Panel quality is a big initiative for the industry moving forward.
Client Desire for Innovation: Will the industry take advantage of new tools?
Data Mining: I agree with Mount here, but think the real opportunity for data mining is with the client's existing datasets and purchase records.
Triangulation vs. Perfection: Mount argues that RDD is no longer the gold standard and that mixed mode research is the future. She's right about mixed mode.
Death of Survey Research: Here Mount is joking. But she does think it will be scaled back, losing ground to MROCs, qualitative, data mining etc. Long term, perhaps. But, I can't agree on that one.
Overall, an excellent take on an industry in flux, and fairly close to my thinking about where the industry is headed.