Here is a quick list of 10 Market Research trends that the Bunker (well, mostly our strategic guru, Vance) put together for 2012. These market research trends are likely to have an impact on RMS and/or its clients in the coming year. Some of them will have definite and profound effects on our business. Others are topics being talked about in the market research community that may or not emerge as an issue, but should still be monitored.
1. Tight Market Research Budgets
- Economic analysts have projected a weak economy in 2012.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has predicted that growth next year will be “frustratingly slow.”
- The floundering economy will continue to put downward pressure on marketing (and, by extension market research) budgets and make companies less likely to undertake new initiatives that might lead to growth in research activity.
2. Online Research Communities (MROCs)
- Market research online communities (MROCs) are a method of qualitative research that involves monitoring online communities such as message boards or social networks to see how participants interact with one another regarding a brand, issue, service, etc.
- High profile examples include MyStarbucksIdea.com and MyKmart.com.
- Such communities share some of the same approaches and underlying assumptions as crowdsourcing.
3. Online Panels
- The use of online panels has been a trend in survey research for some time now and has achieved mainstream acceptance as a common, fast, viable, and cost-effective data collection strategy.
- RMS has also seen growth in its own in-house panel as well – for both qualitative and quantitative research.
4. Continued Erosion of Landline Telephone Use
- In 2007, the number of cell phone only households surpassed the number of landline only households.
- 25% of households had no landline service and only cell phone service (2% of households had no telephone service of any type). For certain subgroups in the population, the numbers were higher.
- This has enormous implications for the administration of telephone surveys, namely: decreased incidence rates, disproportionate demographic representation in sampling, and decreasing credibility within the market research community and many clients.
5. Mobile Phones as a Research Platform
- According to a white paper from Kinesis Survey Technologies, U.S. smartphone penetration was at 23% in 2Q 2010, and U.S. mobile Internet users grew from 50.9 million (16.7% of the population) in 2008 to 85.5 million (27.6%) in 2010.
- The number of mobile Internet users is projected to surpass the number of desktop Internet users as early as 2013. This is a trend that cannot be ignored and there are implications for the way we construct and format online surveys.
- Broadly speaking, adapting online surveys to the mobile Internet user will require RMS to design shorter surveys (studies reveal the average mobile formatted survey contains 13 question variables and takes six minutes to complete.).
This is our top 5 in no particular order. Check back later this week for the rest of our Top 10 Market Research trends for 2012. Contact Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) Inc. – a market research company in Syracuse, NY for sources on the above statistics.