4 timely research trends for the tumultuous year ahead

by | Jan 24, 2019 | Analysis, Public Relations

Resilience to change is an invaluable trait for any business—especially during such a transformative era—but which research methods, trends, and tech are likely to emerge from this necessity in 2019?

A recurring theme throughout 2019: Change

Last year threw many stumbling blocks at startups and major players alike: uncertainty around Brexit’s impact on trading laws is the UK’s most prominent current challenge, whereas in the U.S., Donald Trump’s presidency is proving just as divisive. 2018 also saw a scramble to update website terms and conditions due to changes to the EU’s data laws. It’s been a chaotic year—but also one of innovation.

With more time spent on speculation and mandatory admin, clawing back time and saving money have become key goals. As a result, we’ve witnessed a boom in automated, turnkey solutions in the market research space.

We’re still modernizing the industry—and artificial intelligence is opening clearer avenues for achieving simpler, faster, and more economical insights. Here are some of the areas you’d be wise to keep an eye on as we work towards 2020.

1. Get max value from one platform—the future is single-platform

It’s much easier for all of us to build better habits by collecting data in one place and in one format. In the same way that Salesforce is the key provider of sales materials, sales recording, and sales insights, a dominant force is doubtless to emerge in market research.

It’s easy to imagine how transformative a single platform could be. It is no longer unrealistic to imagine analyzed data and reports aggregated by machines, in a single space for different types of research projects and cross-analysis, as well as to store all key data in one location. We saw the early stages of this trend in 2018, but now’s the time for major market shifts ahead of 2020.

2. Integrate data streams across marketing enterprises

Many of us are excited to witness the true power of integrating insight data with other enterprise sources. At Zappi, we’re working with some of our largest clients to see how we can create an integrated data stream across their marketing data architecture. This will help facilitate better, more immediate decision-making that’s based on hard and fast data.

The ideal for any company is to maximize their investment in data to ensure they adopt a more informed approach to challenges. To do this, they need to analyze across—not just within—different data sets. This is notoriously difficult. Data is kept in silos, so formats vary wildly. Combining and integrating these datasets is incredibly valuable—but laborious. The organizations that crack it will shake the very foundations of our industry…

3. Expect new creative developments of blockchain

Though these ideas are largely still in the experimental phase, a lot of industry players are hoping to let people (who may be respondents) retain more of their own data.

This means they’ll be able to sell it or lease it to companies through the blockchain—and therefore stay much more in control. No doubt, a very welcome evolution among such a data-aware community.

4. Recognize the value of A.I. and incorporate it into business alongside human expertise

In 2019, companies will be looking to capitalize on the growth and broader usage of machine learning. As we’re all aware, A.I. is a buzzword that’s bandied about as if it’s going out of fashion, but over the next year or so, we are bound to see it better understood and—crucially—better implemented.

There are a few research companies, including Zappi, experimenting with AI-driven research solutions that can help solve real-world business needs. This is our industry’s path to ensuring its results are reliably more intelligent than other standard automated solutions and a foolproof method of scaling human expertise.

Make steps now and be ready to see in 2020

This time last year, the competitive landscape was radically different. Since then, we’ve witnessed a major consolidation (IPSOS bought the survey parts of GFK), a massive exit (SAP bought Qualtrics), and several capital ingestions from the VC community—the industry has been forced to rapidly adopt new technologies.

Which begs the question, what will 2020 look like? With so many changes upon us, no organization can afford a year spent looking the other way. Take note of the above and embrace emerging technologies—this is the best way to alleviate the time pressures associated with adopting the inevitable industry-scale evolutions.

Steve Phillips
Steve Phillips is CEO of Zappi. He is a forward-thinking market researcher, technology enthusiast, and a devotee of behavioral economics.