Author: Jim Longo, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer
As a veteran with over 30 years in the market research industry, I’ve witnessed the remarkable evolution of our field. The coming year, 2024, promises to be a pivotal moment as we witness the industry embracing transformative trends that will redefine the way we gather insights. In this blog post, I will delve into the top five market research trends for 2024 and explore how they will shape the landscape of our profession.
Generative AI: From Early Adoption to Mass Adoption
2024 marks the inflection point from early to mass adoption of Generative AI, representing a paradigm shift in the research lifecycle. This technology’s massive potential, particularly in qualitative research, will be fully realized. Generative AI, powered by machine learning algorithms, will identify patterns, assist in coding and categorization, and expedite the generation of insights. As brands and agencies integrate generative AI features, the industry will experience improved efficiency allowing researchers to spend more time analyzing data rather than coding and getting to insights faster.
Platformication Driving Business Success
The trend of consolidating multiple technology solutions into one platform will continue to gain momentum. These platforms will seamlessly connect to ecosystems and marketplaces, providing businesses the flexibility to scale according to market demands. Platformication allows companies to access tools without significant upfront investments, fostering adaptability and resilience. This trend reflects a strategic move towards integrated solutions that enhance overall efficiency.
Growth in in-house research by Corporate Researchers
With qualitative and quantitative research becoming seamlessly connected through cross-platform flows and the mainstream adoption of generative AI, we will witness a significant shift towards in-house market research teams. Big brands will embrace agile methodologies in qualitative research, enabling them to conduct in-depth studies at a quantitative scale. This shift reflects the maturation of self-service and do-it-with-me capabilities, reducing reliance on external agencies for research projects.
Quantitative Research in Crisis
The prevalence of online fraud poses a significant threat to the integrity of quantitative research. The ease of using generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, exacerbates the problem, allowing fraudsters to generate responses to survey questions. This crisis necessitates a reconsideration of budgetary allocations, due to having to oversample to account for fraud. As an industry, we must reevaluate our strategies and adopt innovative solutions to maintain the integrity of quantitative research.
If You’re Not Embracing the New Era of Market Research, You’ll be Left Behind
This last trend is a culmination of the previous four trends mentioned above. Market researchers who embrace these approaches and integrate them into their workflows will be more productive and successful. There is a huge opportunity for investing more in qualitative research to get deeper insights faster and using Gen AI to eliminate menial tasks so you can focus on providing more value and earning a seat at the table among your company’s top executives.
As we stand on the cusp of 2024, the market research industry is poised for profound transformation. Embracing generative AI, platformication, in-house research capabilities, addressing the crisis in quantitative research, and democratizing data are the pillars that will shape the future of our profession. For veterans and newcomers alike, staying abreast of these trends is not just a necessity; it’s the key to navigating the evolving seas of market research in the years to come.
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