The State of Market Research: Q3-Q4 2015 GRIT Report

2015 had some interesting trends in market research. Few publications sum the industry’s third and fourth quarters better than Greenbook’s GRIT Report. For those unacquainted, GRIT is among the largest surveys in market research, polling both suppliers and clients about their research practices. Unlike the forecasts and company rankings in the Q1-Q2 edition, which we’re proud ranked in, the Q3-Q4 2015 GRIT focuses on overall methods and priorities.     

Overall Market Research Trends

At its most basic, 90% of respondents are using quantitative methods while 79% are using qualitative. Such usage also reflects the overall adaptation of new techniques. Mobile surveys top the list, with around 70% of all respondents are using them. Online community engagement, the next highest, is around 50% while social media analytics is at 40%.

New channels, and frontiers, are also proliferating throughout the industry. 20% or more of all respondents express interest in eye tracking, neuromarketing, facial analysis, and other approaches that research implicit reactions. Less established methods are also finding traction. At least 10% of all respondents express interest in sensor-based data collection, wearables-based research, and biometrics.

New Qual Techniques

New techniques for qualitative research are also seeing widespread adaptation. The GRIT considers both webcam interviews and mobile qual to generate a “wide level of interest” among respondents.  

  • At least 30% are using webcam or mobile qual
  • At least 40% are considering the techniques

While more established, the techniques’ overall use fell by 5% compared to the first two quarters. Both, however, rank within the top 10 new techniques seeing widespread use. Makes sense, too. Solid in their own right, online qual is also an ideal auxiliary or follow-up to mainstream techniques like social media engagement.

Methodology Changes

Qualitative research is beginning to adapt to 21st century market pressures. 17% of all respondents place webcam focus groups within their top five methods. Online qual is growing all around, though respondents are slow to let go of traditional methods. 68% of all GRIT respondents, for instance, place traditional focus groups within their top five methods. 53%, meanwhile, do the same with traditional IDIs. Such numbers, however, indicate a slow abandonment of traditional methods as well: 32% of all respondents do not place traditional methods in their top five, after all.

Researchers may be switching their techniques, but priorities largely remain the same. 77% of all respondents are changing one or more parts of their business to stay competitive. Likewise, two thirds of all respondents prioritize quality. Online qual’s ability to deliver similar insight as traditional methods is contingent on its growing popularity. Along with the expertise of research providers, such quality also depends on new technology.     

True HD: An Essential Bridge for Online Qual

The strength of an interview or focus group is within its communication, both verbal and nonverbal. Online qual has only recently begun to feature true-to-life footage with the same detail as facilities,’s patented HD streaming technology being a prime example. As researchers, we truly appreciate the importance of conversation within the qualitative process. Delay-free, HD footage and similar advances helps make online qual more relevant than ever before. Schedule a demo to learn more about how delivers consistent, actionable insight dramatically faster than traditional methods.  

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