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FEATURE24 December 2018

Preview 2019: trends

AI Brexit Data analytics Features Innovations Media Technology Trends

Continued distrust, consumer empowerment, convenience and the convergence of automation and AI are just a few of the trends our contributors predict will have a big impact on the world of market research in 2019.

Sabine Stork, founding partner, Thinktank 
The increasing distrust of social media. The fall-out has only just begun but I can’t see it being seen as a touchstone for what’s happening in society for that much longer, so it will lose importance for researchers. I confidently predict a rise of traditional qual methods.

Lewis Reeves, chief executive, Viga
As we have seen in the consumer world, I think we will start seeing a big movement towards clients demanding convenience and looking for partners and technologies that can solve multiple challenges, rather than needing to use many different tools and organisations. 

Andrew O’Connell, managing director UK, Research Now SSI
True measurement for digital advertising has been long overdue. With investment at an all-time high, it’s never been more important for advertisers and marketers to understand the real ROI from their spend. 2019 will be the year of a true advertising feedback loop, which enables people to use data for targeting, to validate the reach of campaigns, provide brand safety, identify non-human traffic, and measure viewability, as well as understanding the uplift of the campaign across each media channel and device.

Deborah Mattinson, founding partner, BritainThinks
Continued polarisation of attitudes – despite people’s yearning for ‘togetherness’, confirmation bias will win out as it always does.

Ben Hogg, managing director EMEA and APAC, Lucid
I’m still waiting on someone to really get voice/video to text automated analytics right. I don’t think it’s far off and that has the potential to revolutionise the way we collect data.

Will Galgey, chief executive UK & Ireland of insights, Kantar
For the research industry it will be the convergence of automation and AI and how this will free up time for insight professionals to pivot their roles from delivering research to focussing more on the implications and actions.  Jonathan Williams has termed this TaPaS (technology and people as a service) as opposed to SaaS (software as a service) and I agree that this is where the bigger opportunity for the sector lies.

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK
Economic uncertainty, insecurity, low levels of confidence and short-sightedness means that both companies, clients and consumers alike retract and retrench from thinking about, and planning for their future.

Andy Brown, chief executive, Kantar Media
I think we’re going to see much greater levels of integration of data. Increasingly, syndicated data solutions of all types will be directly integrated with advertisers’ first-party data. The recent study from ANA showed that 75% of its members now have some form of creative or media capability in-house, suggesting a growing appetite for advertisers to directly integrate media and creative insight themselves.

Crawford Hollingworth, founder, The Behavioural Architects
Continued socio-political instability (madness) and the scary protectionism this germinates.

Nick Baker, managing director, Morar HPI
AI and the emergence of research-type products in standard business tools – think Microsoft Stream.

Jane Rudling, managing director, Walnut Unlimited
It’s impossible to avoid Brexit and we will see this cross over into our understanding of behaviour and how people feel in times of uncertainty. I think many clients will be impacted by Brexit, not only in terms of how their own business operates, but how consumer attitudes will affect their decision making.

Tom Ewing, head of communications and market intelligence, System1
The democratisation of machine learning would be pretty sweet – affordable tools with great UIs. At a recent conference I went to someone said whichever player brought AI to individual desktop level users like Google did web analytics would win and I think that’s true.

 Will Ullstein, commercial director, YouGov
The empowerment of individuals to manage their data, trust organisations to handle that data, and an increased transparency about how that data is used will continue to have the greatest impact in 2019.

Greg Clayton, managing director, Kadence International
It would be easy here to say AI and automation – but the key issue here will be deriving true value from these tools (to deliver cheaper and better), rather than using them just because they are new and buzz-worthy.

Over the course of the festive period and beyond, Research Live is publishing a series of articles reviewing 2018 and looking ahead to what’s in store for 2019.

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