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FEATURE3 January 2019

Preview 2019: ones to watch

Features Media Technology Trends UK

Who should we be looking out for in 2019 from a market research perspective? From management consultants to how companies like Kantar and GfK are evolving, we look at those companies and agencies that should be on our radars.

Ryan Howard, head of analytics, Simpson Carpenter 
We expect data to be beautifully presented and the bar keeps being raised by business information (BI) platforms. This year has seen an explosion in BI from a few big players to what seems like hundreds. Our perennial problem is that we lack polished tools built with market research in mind, in terms of cost structure, flexibility, and scalability. We still need to put a lot more thought and investment into telling visual stories to keep pace. Most notably, E-Tab’s Iris may well evolve into that elusive bridge between cool data viz and automation.

Frédéric-Charles Petit, chief executive and founder, Toluna
We should all obviously keep our eyes on the global software giants like SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, IBM and others. These companies for years have been stitching together pieces of their marketing and sales clouds, but more recently survey solutions are becoming a more deeply integrated part of the tech stack. This was reaffirmed by SAP’s $8bn acquisition of Qualtrics, and in many ways these large software companies are new players in the market research side of marketing technology. 

Lewis Reeves, chief executive, Viga
Given the large amount of political activity likely to take place next year, I’m excited to see what the combination of Joe Twyman and Martin Boon achieve at Deltapoll.

Nick Baker, managing director, Morar HPI
GfK’s complete change of focus is driving significant opportunities for change from within the industry, so we expect there to be new brands and market entrants next year that look to capitalise on this instability for clients, and agencies to emerge and look to drive new agendas.

Anna Cliffe, joint managing director and founder, Trinity McQueen
Not an agency but the books, apps and tools being produced by the authors of This is Service Design Doing have been an inspiration and offer a great grounding in how research can lead to better experiences for people and consumers.

Adele Gritten, managing director, Future Thinking
SAP Qualtrics. Survey Monkey, Toluna and all the other self-service players. Those with huge US VC backing should also be on the radar.

Andy Brown, chief executive, Kantar Media
While not necessarily ‘new’ players, the industry needs to keep an eye on the changing role of management consultancies. Increasingly, major management consultancies are leveraging their position as auditors; not only evaluating media buying performance but also providing their own solutions, which hitherto would only have been accessed via a media agency. At a time when we are also seeing brands take more capabilities in-house, it’s a period of rapid organisational change.

Ben Page, chief executive, Ipsos Mori
The big consultancies and software companies who can eat our industry alive.

Deborah Mattinson, founding partner, BritainThinks
BritainThinks’ international arm, WorldThinks is poised for take off.

Nick Bonney, founder, Deep Blue Thinking
It’s interesting the number of smaller players starting up. I believe this is the start of more fluid project teams of partners coming together for particular client briefs rather than retainers to larger agencies trying to do everything. I think as suppliers we should embrace this and find new ways to work together in partnership.

Steve Phillips, chief executive, ZappiStore
There are a few businesses experimenting with blockchain, which should be interesting. We're not sure what will work and what won't, but we're certainly keeping an eye on their development.

Will Galgey, chief executive UK & Ireland of insights, Kantar
Kantar! The recent announcement by WPP to seek a new investor for Kantar will mean an exciting period for those of us in Kantar and will, I expect, have implications for the wider industry.

This article is part of a series of articles reflecting on 2018 and looking ahead to the challenges and trends the industry expects in 2019. 

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