I love this time of year. As a real nostalgic I enjoy all these ‘best of 2011’ lists and ‘year in review’ overviews and it feels there are more every year. In the past two weeks we also have been bombarded with opinions about the developments in the market insights industry in 2011, as well as what people expect to happen in 2012 (and beyond). We’ve seen Twitter 2011 reviews, crowd sourcing activities, expert views, and so on. And I read them all. However, I do this with my favorite end of year activity playing in the background: The Top2000. This is an annual five day event that counts down the 2,000 best records ever produced - as voted by 3 million Dutch adults.
As the world starts discussing the intricacies of the Mayan calendar, Nostradamus’ predictions and the potential appearance of “Planet X” in 2012, we thought we would get the conversation focused on something much more important … the future of Market Insights. No, there’s no doomsday planned for our profession but, yes, there may be some cataclysmic events for some market insights professionals as they get hit by increasing demands from executives and stakeholders who are struggling to keep up with competitive disruption and fast-changing customer preferences.
Forrester will shortly publish the “Predictions 2012: What Will Happen In Market Research” report. In it, we’ll detail major tectonic shifts which we’ve been monitoring in the industry and why we are reaching a tipping point where constancy is now riskier than change. Some factors contributing to this include:
Companies need to change.Disruptors are changing the rules of the game with their “shoot-aim-ready!” business model and the internet has greatly enhanced customer power, influence and choice. To survive in this environment, companies need to embrace continuous market and performance monitoring and business improvement.
Market insights needs to change. Changes at the company level will force market insights departments to change their deliverables and business processes. Key changes include providing more agile insights, deeper and more strategic insights and more proactive competitive intelligence. Those which don’t face being replaced by Shadow MI.