Market research enters the "golden age" of something

The Future of Insight blog posted a very interesting hypothesis that we are moving into the “golden age of research” but that we might not recognize it as research.  Here are a couple of paragraphs that were of particular interest.  For the remainder of the article go to:  http://www.futureofinsight.com/2010/04/the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it/


My view is that we are in the midst of a very rapid evolutionary
change in market research and that this change will be a step change,
not incremental. Market research as we know it today may not exist in
ten years, but elements of the current era will persist. For example,
the days of the long survey are now very short. We know even long
surveys among online convenience samples are now tenuous at best. Will
surveys cease to exist entirely? I don’t think so, but I do think they
will look very different from today. They will be very short and are
likely to be heavily open ended and therefore reliant on our ability to
analyze text (which is improving very rapidly.). I have also contended
that surveys will morph into “survulations” – video game silmulations
used like surveys to better understand consumer behavior. This seems to
make sense given the facility GenXers and younger have with gaming
today. I also believe that the traditional tracking survey will slowly
begin to meld with MROCs and that today’s “project director” will be
tomorrow’s “community insights manager”. In time, MROCs combined with
social media monitoring will yield realtime tracking data that will make
the traditional quarterly trackers relatively quaint.

But, if some of the older forms of market research will be in
decline, some will endure. I happen to believe that IDIs,
ethnographies, shop-alongs and co-creative focus groups will persist and
perhaps thrive. We have a basic human need for human contact, and at
some level decisionmakers and researchers want to engage consumers at a
very granular, eye to eye level.

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