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What Is the Number One Issue Today the Market Research Industry Is Facing? Read on and See What these Experts Say!

I am sure most of the readers face challenges during the day and have to make decisions to move the business forward. Those decisions sometimes are based on:

  • What is happening within your company
  • What is happening with your clients
  • Or perhaps what is going on within the industry.

Clearly our industry is facing tremendous challenges and issues. They range from:

  • Global outsourcing
  • Respondent cooperation
  • Client turnover

The question is, “What is the number one issue?” Read on to see what these experts think:

For me, I would say my issue is getting people to take the time to complete surveys of any meaningful length. Years ago, online research was fabulous because people could take the surveys whenever they wanted, and compared to spending time on the phone with someone the time passed more quickly, they completed the surveys, everyone was happy. Now, increasingly more people are getting used to taking their information (surveys, entertainment, advertising, you name it…) in small “bits and bytes” and the time they are willing to devote to any one thing seems to be diminishing. 30-second commercials? Come on, tell me what I need to know in 15 seconds, or forget it. 15 minute surveys? I’ll give you 5 minutes, then I’m off to MySpace.

Danielle Blugrind Director, Consumer & Brand Insights YUM Brands

As the industry evolves we continue to make significant business decisions with smaller and/or less representative sample sizes. At some point the business issues become so strategic that the research simply has to be executed flawlessly. Encouraging our customers to take the time to complete a survey and try to maintain some level of decent cooperation rate is difficult.

Pam Galley Director Of marketing Research Sabre

Good business to business interviewers

Owen Jenkins CEO Kadence Business Research

Data quality and how much of the industry is unaware or unwilling to focus on its inadequacies.

Robert Lederer Editor & Publisher RFL Communications, Inc.

“Over my 18 years of Insights experience, I never have experienced problems with supplier reliability to the extent that I have experienced them over the past year. I have encountered myriad issues — from a lack of supplier responsiveness to unclean data files to survey technology weaknesses. I come from the supplier side, and so I am loyal to the industry! … but standards must be raised and met.”

Regina Lewis, PhD VP, Consumer & Brand Insights Group Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.

“Innovation.” In the way people service clients and how clients respond or gather information. There are not enough new resources to keep up with changing dynamics in how people communicate. If we don’t harness new things, our role is not going to be able to provide information.

Roseanne Luth President Luth Research

Over the past ten years, there has been a staggering decline in respondent cooperation. Without access to the public, our ability to collect data has become more and more difficult. That coupled with shorter deadlines and more stringent respondent qualifications, data collection has become a true challenge. It is imperative that we continue to work toward greater respondent cooperation through public awareness. The respondents out there need to know the value of our industry and that their opinion counts.

Steve Schlesinger CEO Schlesinger Associates

Respondent engagement – this requires evolving the way we communicate with respondents and making the research process more interesting and novel to the respondent.

Craig Stevens Senior Vice President e-Rewards Market Research

Lack of Innovation. One focus of my practice is bringing innovative new tools to my clients and helping them learn in new and different ways. You can’t imagine how hard this is. In this age of technology, many of the tools are decades old. Sure, we’ve applied them to the internet, but it’s the same small group of research methodologies. I think this industry will be dramatically disrupted by innovators who use the tools of technology to delve into consumers’ lives, preferences, etc. to reveal excited insight and inspire product and communications innovation as a result. I don’t have a preconceived notion of what this will look like, but I’m seeing some inkling on the fringes of the industry. Ultimately, the research will be richer. The insights will be deeper and creatively conceived. And, the resulting consumer products and communications will resonate more deeply than ever before. Hey, a girl’s gotta have a dream, right?

Kelley Styring President InsightFarm

For me – the answer is respondent cooperation. In order for research to be actionable, drive insight and make a difference to client companies, respondents HAVE TO BE INVOLVED! We need to have the respondent experience be a pleasant one that includes shorter surveys. Our industry needs to communicate how important research is to the world and how important respondent opinions are. Until our industry does that by working together, we will continue to have a respondent cooperation issue and the respondent pool will continue to diminish.

  • Do you agree with these experts?
  • What do you think?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

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