The Future of Market Research

Market Research Trends[Note: this post was originally published on our sister site,]

As anticipated, it was a fascinating and thought-provoking discussion yesterday in the Market Research Trends 2012 webinar.  There were over 40 people in attendance live, and there were many interesting questions submitted by the audience.

The discussion featured Lenny Murphy, editor of the GreenBook Blog, and Romi Mahajan, CMO of Metavana (Vivek Bhaskaran, CEO of Survey Analytics was not able to attend at the last minute).  The discussion was ably moderated by Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers.

If  you weren't able to make the webinar, here's just a sampling of what you missed:


Lenny said gamification is a challenge to the way market researchers currently think but that companies out the space are successfully employing game principles to their industries.   Romi said it's possible to do gamification very well or very badly.  Using a sweepstakes as an incentive to participate in a survey panel is an example of gamification done poorly.


Romi described consumerization as the tail wagging the dog.  Instead of companies mandating how their employees or customers will behave, now the process has been inverted, and the customers hold the power.  Lenny said consumers increasingly own their own data and will choose with whom to share it and on what terms.

Network Intelligence

Lenny described network intelligence as an opportunity to make predictive sense of the zetabytes of data available today.  Romi added it is an opportunity to stop thinking of your limited network, for example, your company's direct employees, and rather think about the networks to which they belong and how to start bringing that intelligence to bear.  He cited the involvement of 4 separate companies in the current webinar as a good example of leveraging network intelligence.

Social Monitoring

Romi described the geometric expansion in the amount of data available about brands, companies and individuals.  He painted the picture of a future where each of us has a brand equity ticker measuring the sentiment expressed about us on the web.  Lenny described social monitoring as a way to get to the great untapped pool of information proliferating online.

Panel Communities

Lenny described panel communities as the great compromise between the traditional online panel model and the highly interactive online community model. He described it as involving a greater investment on both sides - the research company and the consumer.  Romi urged looking at constant feedback instead of episodic interaction.

User Experience

Lenny said that since consumers have the power to choose where to go easily, a substandard user experience is no longer going to cut it.  He said that market research traditionally has not been designed with consumer experience in mind.  Romi underscored how easy it is for consumers to opt out and gave an example showing how user experience can be extremely powerful in either a negative or a positive way.

Moble Sampling and Ethnography

Lenny indicated that the impact of mobile cannot be overstated and that emerging markets are leapfrogging the PC experience entirely.  He said the app model structurally builds in consumer consent to share and receive information.  Romi said the greatest power of mobile - more than convenience - is that is allows us contact with the consumer in situ.


The question-and-answer session was the best part of the event.  Don't miss it!



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