FEATURE28 December 2022

2023 preview: Reasons for optimism

Features Innovations People Trends

From the continued importance of insights to technological innovations, what is keeping our industry contributors optimistic for 2023?

Nick Baker, chief research officer, Savanta
The rise of the metaverse. Seriously, it is likely your kids know way more about it than you, it’s going to really shake up how our clients need to engage with audiences. I hear you say I am off my rocker – that’s kind of the point.

Fifteen of the top 20 metaverse investors are not tech firms, they are investment bankers and one of them paid $450,000 for ‘virtual land’ to live next to Snoop Dogg in the metaverse. In the last six months the price of land in the metaverse has doubled… it is a pretty good investment. Get to know it quick.

Ben Shimshon, co-founder and managing partner, BritainThinks
Hard times tend to lead clients to focus on tough strategic challenges and decisions – which is just up our street.

Crawford Hollingworth, founder, The Behavioural Architects
We are in a time of really interesting change where behavioural insight, particularly into the online world, is reaching and impacting on the holy grail of market research, the c suite. We are seeing it being used directly to inform and inspire legislation and regulation such as the Competition and Markets Authority online consumer protection work or the Financial Conduct Authority’s consumer duty mandate, which both started in 2022 but will gain teeth and momentum in 2023.

On a separate note, am I still bit old school in believing that a 2023 recession will bring innovation and creativity? Both excite me. 

Shazia Ginai, chief growth officer, Catalyx
Let’s not sugar coat the truth, the world is still on fire. I’m excited about seeing how our industry really steps into its power and learns to pivot given the state of the world. I’m excited to see people standing for what they believe in, working smarter not just harder and to perhaps finally see more leaders putting in place the right measures to stop the extreme amounts of burnout and breakdowns we have witnessed over the past two years.

Frederic Charles-Petit, chief executive, Toluna
To deliver on the promise of platform-based research that reconciles DIY and serviced research.

Amy Cashman, executive managing director of the UK insights division, Kantar
The pandemic moved the needle on how people think about the value of consumer insight as businesses sought the answers they needed to navigate such a dramatic period of change. For 2023, I want our industry to keep building on that perception shift and to grab with both hands the opportunity to demonstrate our vital importance in the boardroom.

Businesses haven’t experienced this level of volatility in a very long time and I want insights to be regarded not only as the force that can help them to steer safely and confidently through these troubled waters but also as the tool that can help them look forward and unlock growth.

Jane Frost, chief executive, MRS
Because of Covid-19, this is the first year in a while that I’ve had the chance to get out and about and meet teams in person. While doing so, I’ve been overwhelmed at the passion, curiosity and talent of our sector, especially the younger members who I’ve met through MRS’s &more network.

It’s made me optimistic for our future and that we can deliver on our goals, whether they be economic, environmental or societal. In my experience, people are the key to ending crises and I’m sure this time will be no different.

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK
The research industry always rises to a challenge. We saw that during the pandemic, which sparked lots of innovation on working practices in particular. Now we face a new era of rising inflation and prices, and our clients need to understand changing consumer behaviour and attitudes more than ever – and they need to react as fast as people do. I think we’ll see some exciting new solutions and techniques sparked by this need.

Ryan Barry, president, Zappi
When markets are under pressure, it’s an opportunity for businesses to double down on their customers. Moments like these are when consolidations happen – winners win and losers lose – and the companies that focus on innovating and their customers will be the most successful. 

I’m looking forward to partnering with new brands to provide them with the technology and mindset needed to compete and win, despite the macroeconomic climate.

Stephan Shakespeare, CEO and co-founder, YouGov
I am optimistic about several innovations within the industry that give clients what they now expect: quality data that is easy to access, easy to use and easy to understand.

We are excited by the possibilities offered by fully permissioned zero-party data on financial transactions and streaming use. When alchemised with survey data, these provide a deeper and even more accurate picture of consumer behaviour.