Consumer Insights: The Year Ahead

Consumer Insights: The Year Ahead

For over thirty years, 20|20 has helped researchers connect brands with their consumers and in the process, give these consumers a voice and an opportunity to share their stories. Along the way, we’ve been witness to many evolutionary trends in the landscape of consumer insights, from the early days of online panels and surveys to the emergence of digital qualitative and the rise of hybrid research methods.  We were there for the transition from an industry made up of small boutique research agencies to a world dominated by a dozen giant global research firms (although that last trend is clearly reverting).

As we look forward to the year ahead, we must always keep in mind that our industry is constantly evolving.  As such, the team here at 20|20 is keeping our eyes on a few trends that we believe will influence 2019 and beyond.

First up, disruptive and direct-to-consumer brands will continue to reshape their respective categories but will also come to dominate consumer insights.  For most of our industry’s history, the major incumbent CPG and mass-market companies defined the way research was done. They defined the processes, invested in suppliers and partners that catered to their needs, and dominated the dialog in our industry.

In the past few years, however, we’ve seen the pendulum shift dramatically; smaller brands, startups, and lean DTC companies are investing heavily in customer insights and analytics, often investing more heavily in their insights programs than incumbent brands ten times their size. Their more agile needs and rapid adoption of innovative platforms and research services mean they are searching for faster ways to engage in research and adopting always-on approaches to their research planning. They realize how critical the voice of the customer is in product development, branding, and advertising, and they make their research team a cornerstone of their growth strategy.

We are also seeing a marked increase in hybrid and multi-method research plans.  As insights teams strive to tell the most contagious customer stories possible, they find the integration of quantitative and qualitative a secret weapon in their arsenal. These approaches allow them to uncover greater depth and follow those key insights that arise in the early phases.

Finally, we’re keeping an eye on the integration of existing customer analytics into the custom research process.  More and more clients are partnering with us to weave existing CRM and marketing analytics data directly into the research we conduct together, giving a multi-dimensional picture to the customers and allowing them to make critical decisions faster.

So here’s to continued innovation in insights. As we look to the future, 20|20 continues to invest in the right talent, technology, and services to prepare us and the clients we serve for tomorrow’s needs.