NEWS12 March 2013

Adapt to survive, warns latest Grit survey

News North America

US — Traditional researchers will have to move away from data collection if they are to survive in a world of social media monitoring, according to the latest survey on market research trends.

The Winter 2012 GreenBook Research Industry Trends (Grit) study warned that with Google, Twitter and Facebook already offering research, there was a realisation in the business community that “insights do not arise solely as a product of traditional research models”.

It added: “With the growth of social media analytics being a significant new trend, traditional research is being redefined before our very eyes”.

Grit predicted that the future of the industry was simply not based on data collection as a driver of business and that was “a big problem for many of the current suppliers”.

The report continued: “It’s also going to be a big adjustment for clients who are accustomed to the status quo.”

“The bottom line is if you are a market researcher, and especially if you are in a senior role within a supplier organisation, you must adapt and get ahead of the curve, or face marginalisation and eventual irrelevance,” said Grit.

The survey found that 45% of respondents planned to use online communities followed by 42% for mobile surveys and 36% for social media analysis.

However, social media brings in only a small amount of revenue for supplies – 12% according to Grit – which could explain why 27% of agencies say they still did not provide social media monitoring or analysis services.

Download a copy of the report here.

  • Find out why agencies must evolve to be broader information partners to clients in this interview with Richard Jameson, MD of our 2012 Best Agency award-winner GfK NOP.

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4 Comments

7 years ago

Well I read the GRIT report too and that was certainly not my take-out from the results. Any skilled market researcher learns to interpret futuristic views against a background of what is currently behaviour and attitudes. If you managed to read beyond the "what we will do in the future" and "what the future market research company will look like", you get a rather more jaundiced view and in my mind reality. The key question in the whole GRIT study is surely the one that asks what is stopping researchers and clients from using these new, new tools that this article has got all excited about. The reality is they are not being seen as serious challenges to existing Online and traditional research, based on distrust, concerns about representation, technical limitations, etc. I understand it is a journalistic thing to push this kind of hype, but the reality is otherwise. Only now are we hearing form some very experienced market researchers that big data is starting to look like a hunt, not for information, but legitimacy. Many attendees at industry conferences are starting to sound disillusioned and most of them admit social media isn't giving any insights. As one experienced text analyst pointed out having tried to find insights in Twitter that 70% of Twitter traffic is mindless and a lot is just female babble. Let's get off those rose coloured glasses and start realizing that mobile is just another panel and that it will be years before social media is able to deliver useful insights unless your target is a 21 year old fan of Justin Bieber. Come on who over 35, with a high income, a busy job and high disposable income contributes to this space? This whole "be fearful, you won't survive" is complete nonsense. The industry has never failed to adopt good technologies, but not when they lack validity and reliability. And by the way the world ends in 2022 ... I hear!

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7 years ago

I agree with Jack. There will always be fads in research which get people excited about what would be great to see, but the reality of turning that into something tangible for a business often falls short. Mobile is just another panel, yes it can grab data at source, but its just another way of collecting research data. Online communities are not cutting edge, again its just collecting traditional (whatever that definition is) research data just real time with some extra interaction. Plenty of suppliers out there that can do this IF a research agency decides to go down this route. Social Media is the only real stand out different approach, and it will always be of minimal use, will global brands use social media analysis to drive their decisions, or work as a minor aide next to traditional research in the majority of work? I havent read the document but does it consider that privacy laws are getting ever tighter, that what companies can collect online (and even with geolocation mobile) is being ever restricted? Sorry, seems like a bit of a sensationalist story line to me.

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7 years ago

How refreshing to hear support for 'proper' research rather than the social media babble. All methods of data collection are relevant but we mustn't lose sight of the need for professional standards to ensure that our insights don't sound like the drivel that comprises most of the social media content. I have queried GRIT's methodology before and they go to some lengths to describe how accurate their sampling and methodology is. If social media is so much better why not use it to conduct the GRIT research rather than the traditional methods which they are trying hard to eradicate.

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7 years ago

Hallelujah brother Mark and Anonymous. We have seen the light and it ain't technology or social media, or gamification, or big data It is, wait for it, intelligent clear thinking professional market researchers, not conned by the new, new.!

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