The Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) company retreat held on February 12th provided a ton of insights into market research industry trends. Many of the trends including client expectations from a market research firm, key criteria for selecting a market research firm, and what companies are looking for from a market research firm were covered in prior RMS Bunker Blog posts. This blog post combines thoughts and trends from various sources including the Winter 2014 GRIT Report from Greenbook, Quirks, and The Market Research Event 2013.

6 Market Research Industry Trends


Here is a summary of 6 market research industry trends RMS has come across in the past year and our take on why each is happening:

  1. Shift away from big-budget tracking studies to less costly research efforts. Why? Our clients would rather divide money among 10 projects to get 10 objectives tackled in one year instead of devoting the entire budget to one long-term goal. Pain points pop up all the time and market research can help answer and alleviate them.
  2. Knowing market opportunity and market share. Why? Clients often become so internally focused that they become unaware of how their product or service compares to competitors. Market research provides our clients with relative data (What product are consumers most satisfied with? How does our product compare to others? How often do they buy competitive products?)
  3. Continued reliance on panel research and online research. Why? In 2014, I don’t know if there was a topic that was more blogged about at RMS. Although it incurs some bias, the speed, quality of information, and cost of using a panel far outweigh the bias.
  4. Research suppliers and providers must be more consultative – telling clients strategic insights. Why? Market research suppliers need to step out of their process execution shoes and into consultant shoes. Your relationship with a market research vendor should not stop at 75% of your customers are satisfied. It should start with why are 75% of my customers satisfied? I would also add that “listening” is as important, if not more important than “telling”.
  5. Today’s “time and budget” do not always allow for optimal quality. Why? I don’t know if I wholeheartedly agree with this trend but I understand its roots. When you need something done quick, inexpensive, and good you may think you can only pick two. In a lot of cases ‘quality’ is the odd man out. But the industry is forcing market research suppliers to deliver on all three (mainly time).
  6. New staff expertise needed: social media experts, psychologists, data mining experts, strategic consultants. Why? With new modalities and methodologies and the emergence of big data, positions in market research are coming to the forefront. With the sheer amount of social media data and big data available, suppliers need to add staff to accommodate their clients’ needs. If you are wondering what 13 traits make a good data analyst, try reading this post.

RMS is a market research supplier located in Syracuse, NY and handles a variety of national, regional, and local accounts. If you are interested in contacting RMS for a market research project or to discuss your needs speak with our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.