Looking Ahead: What’s Out

Way back when (all the way back to about two months ago), we did a series of posts looking back at the past year in market research, and more importantly, looking ahead to what’s likely to change. Our favorite post among the series highlighted a project by Kathryn Korostoff of Research Rockstar, wherein she applied one of the past year’s market research trends – crowdsourcing – to the task of identifying predictions for market research in the year ahead (a very “meta” project, indeed).

Well, the final results are in.

Kathryn has compiled the complete results in a paper, which you should download and read. Among a great deal of information and analysis, Kathryn has also called out her “What’s Out” list, which reads as follows (to quote from her post):

  1. Assuming one project=one data collection approach. I think this is self-evident given some of the top 10 items discussed in the paper.
  2. Assuming that every MR project is either a focus group or a survey. Again, obvious.
  3. Market Research agencies controlling sample access. Let’s be honest: one of the reasons clients have relied heavily on agencies in the past is because they had access to the most qualified participants. But panel companies will start catering to end-clients (or new panel companies will seize the moment), and the rise of MROCs as a substitute sample source means the middle man (agencies) no longer has that control.
  4. Market Research as a silo. On the client side, this means that research will be coordinating more with IT or operations functions, like it or not, for access to CRM and other data sources. On the agency side, it may mean tighter partnerships or at least coordination with ad agencies, client-side IT departments and new sample source owners.
  5. Conventional surveys as the primary mode of customer feedback. Newer methods, including those that focus more on observation, will cannibalize traditional survey-based projects. Not completely, but it will hurt.

Kathryn certainly lives up to her title of Research Rockstar. This is really valuable insight and analysis, and if you play any role whatsoever in the market research industry, be sure you benefit from her hard work and leadership here by reading the paper.

About Joshua Hoffman

Joshua Hoffman is Technology Specialist at Microsoft and a frequent contributor to Research Access.


  1. Thanks Joshua–I appreciate the feedback. I am always happy to discuss these things and also value differences of opinion.

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