Trends That Will Shape Market Research In 2010

Reineke Reitsma

[Posted by Reineke Reitsma]

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In hindsight, 2009 marked a turning point for the market research industry, when technology and innovation became part of the ongoing discussion on how to move the industry forward while balancing the realities of a business world in a recession.

In the recently published report 'Predictions 2010: What Will Happen In Market Research' my team and I have identified ten trends that will shape market research in 2010. Three of these ten trends are:

  1. Global insights gain importance. Market trends are happening on a global level because social media platforms like Facebook, blogs, or YouTube have blurred territorial delineations, allowing consumers to influence each other independent of location. On top of that, we see a growing interest at companies to expand into other regions, like for example the BRIC markets. This means an increased interest in globally comparable data and a need to build a unified view of the global consumer (see also my earlier post on global generations).
  2. Market research buyers will continue to consolidate vendors. Because of the increased monetary pressure on market research, 2009 was the year where “nice to have” wasn't enough: buying decisions were made based on quality, usage, and value (which is actually a good thing). Now that companies have gotten into the routine, we expect this trend to continue in 2010. Contracts will constantly be reviewed and evaluated and, if needed, amended or terminated.
  3. Market researchers will incorporate more innovative research methods into the mix. The uptake of social media by consumers, and the related insight gathering made possible by specialized tools, will require market researchers to get up to speed with these developments (see also my earlier post on information sharing in a 3-D world). For their 2010 research calendars, they need to decide now which projects should be executed by mining available social media data sources, which require data collection via traditional research methodologies (including online), and which innovative research methods, like MROCs or mobile, should receive new budget.

Other trends we're covering in the 'Predictions 2010: What Will Happen In Market Research' report are around the need to invest time into redefining the way market researchers work, with an increased focus on ROI; build a research framework that helps prioritize requests; share knowledge across the organization in a more structured way; and redefine target groups and segments.

Please let me know which of other trends you expect to see in 2010, and which 2009 trends you'd like to see go away.

Happy New Year, may all your (market research) wishes come true!


re: Trends That Will Shape Market Research In 2010

Semantic web will also play a role once it evolves a bit more...

Question is will demand increase or decrease? With social media tools and analytics, will more people decide they can do it themselves (right or wrong)?

Or, with a tightening economy will more people decide find that the only way they can win business is to squarely address needs? That is, will companies decide that upfront research is an essential precursor to "lead gen"?

re: Trends That Will Shape Market Research In 2010

I enjoyed your article. Being a buyer of market research, I can tell you that I have already begun your second point. Since I am in charge of both marketing and market research for my company, I just don't have the time or energy to manage a bunch of different vendors.

I am also very interested to see what 2010 brings with respect to innovations in research. I like where the industry is going with respect to social media because through these outlets you will be sure to have the exact respondent you think you have responding to your surveys.

Thanks again for a great article.

Sharon Markovsky

re: Trends That Will Shape Market Research In 2010

The Advertising Research Foundation is also focused on predicting and shaping the future of research. Our research transformation initiative and our new book on listening, The ARF Listening Playbook depict a path forward for research to have a dramatic ascendency. In the age of consumers in control, this is our profession's time. All are welcome to reach out to me and the ARF for more information.

re: Trends That Will Shape Market Research In 2010

Great article.Indeed Automation and analytics will grow in prominence over few next months. This factor should lead to substantial consolidation.ATB and HNY

re: Trends That Will Shape Market Research In 2010

Nicely said. It's fun to be a part of this new age of niche marketing without borders. I would not be surprised to see social media recommendation tools and applications become incredibly popular in this next year. Peers trust peers much more than they trust ads.

re: Trends That Will Shape Market Research In 2010

Interesting insights on marketing research trends for 2010. I've been tweeting and tracking trends for 2010 at Just release a compilation of 10 trends from 10 different sources along with my own projections for 2010 at