FEATURE3 January 2014

2014 Preview: The biggest trends

Big data and mobile were undoubtedly the success stories of 2013. But what will get the research world buzzing in 2014?


Dealing with data was a key theme in the predictions made. Unsurprisingly, following the year of big data, some feel that 2014 will be about integrating numerous sources of infornation into a cohesive whole:

“Triangulation – no data source has all the answers, so the talent will be how to triangulate.”SteveAugust, Revelation Global

“Notwithstanding privacy concerns around passive metering techniques, the ability to triangulate actual behaviour with perceived/attitudinal data will bring a new richness of information to the research industry.” Andrew Wiseman, ICM

“Data integration. Combining different data sources to answer business questions.”Fiona Blades, Mesh.

Linked to this is the theory that clients will be looking to make the most of the data they already have, rather than creating more:

“The key trend will be a move by clients away from the constant commissioning of new research, as they seek to make the most of existing investment and resources. Expect clients to be under more pressure to ‘milk’ every drop of insight from historic research (pressure that they’ll pass on to their suppliers). More importantly, we’ll see a shift in the attitude that says an insight must be ‘new’ to be actionable and differentiating.” Lou Ellerton, The Value Engineers

There’s also an expectation that consumers will begin to take charge of their own data…

“Single Source omni-channel data, driven by consumers. The personal data economy is the logical response and answer to privacy issues and many, many companies are racing to develop models to aggregate, synthesize, and utilize consumer data with their explicit consent”Leonard Murphy, Green Book.

…And that clients will take charge of their own research:

“The acceleration of real-time research – through DIY, communities and automation.”Frederic Charles Petit, Toluna

“More DIY. Decline in some established names.” Dan Foreman, Lumi Mobile

There were also several mentions of digital becoming even more absorbed into everyday life:

“Digital approaches will be so normalised that people will stop debating the relative pros ands con of ‘online’ and ‘mobile’ and ‘face to face’ and just start knitting them together to great effect.”Stuart Knapman, The Sound Research

“Phygital! Marketeers bringing the physical and digital world together in one seamless experience, cross channel, cross device engagement with consumers. No more online, offline, in-home, on-trade or in-store. Consumer’s live in just one world: their real, every day, ever connected mobile, social and consumer empowered world!” Joost Poolman Simons, Ipsos

Other anticipated trends include: greater use of prediction sciences, better personalisation/targeting of marketing messages, collaboration between research providers, exploiting social media for insight and the importance of the African economy/consumer.