As primarily a fieldwork firm heavily engaged in both traditional qualitative fieldwork and online qualitative fieldwork, we have a broad vista of the qual industry. Our clients are researchers who hail from literally all over the world.
Around the office, we have been noticing a dicotomy that has created a lot of discussion and diverse opinions about the direction of the industry. We are noticing two opposing trends that appear to both be driven by the need to lower costs.
- Marketing Research Departments are shedding personnel and outsourcing more.
- Marketing Research Departments (MRD) are doing more DIY qual in-house and cutting out the outside research supplier.
Personally, I think MRDs are using online qualitative services to do more DIY to cut qual costs but continue to outsource face-to-face qual. If this is the case, then the future will look quite differently for MRDs and research firms as online qual continues to gain traction and evolve.