2009 Marketing Research Predictions

January 8, 2009
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For the past couple of years I’ve been asked to contribute my predictions for marketing research to Research Business Report. However this year I’m posting my predictions here on the blog. It’s an interesting exercise to predict the coming year, especially when you have done it a couple of times and can look back to see how accurate your past predictions are. Mine are based on the work Anderson Analytics does researching consumer behavior, some

For the past couple of years I’ve been asked to contribute my predictions for marketing research to Research Business Report. However this year I’m posting my predictions here on the blog. It’s an interesting exercise to predict the coming year, especially when you have done it a couple of times and can look back to see how accurate your past predictions are. Mine are based on the work Anderson Analytics does researching consumer behavior, some of the R&D we are doing, the Marketing Trends study we’ve conducted with MENG the past two years, our Gen Y Trends Study conducted the past four years, as well as the groups I moderate on LinkedIn.  So here goes…

In 2009, though our recent Marketing Trends Report indicated that we are all tired of hearing the term “web 2.0″, I believe Consumer Generated Media (CGM), especially Social Network Services (SNS), as well as the tools used to analyze these data (text analytics) will continue to increase in importance. Also, as our 2009 Gen Y Report proved, that the popularity of blogging among Gen Y seems to be increasing, blogs in some form or another will remain important.

However the real growth opportunity of text analytics lie in the surprisingly underutilized area of traditional market research (survey open ends and qualitative), as well as a way of tapping into the ‘largest free focus group’ in the world (internet discussion boards). Less conventional sources of unstructured data such as call center logs and customer emails will remain underutilized for now.

The recession based layoffs will continue to encourage business people in the US and Internationally to utilize SNS, especially LinkedIn. This will grow the LinkedIn B-B ‘panel’ and serve to familiarize executives with SNS as a sample source, thus increasing the importance of Web 2.0 for market research further. IF executed properly by SNS companies, like Facebook and LinkedIn, this could be a serious blow to many sample providers.

In terms of demographic targeting, while Boomers and Women will remain the most important groups overall, companies will start to allocate some additional resources towards Hispanic/Latino, Gen X, and Gen Y.

The current state of the economy has also served to speed up another marketing research trend. The trend towards off-shoring seems to have slowed and perhaps even reversed slightly. This is partly due to a realization that quality is negatively affected, cost savings are not what were expected, and a few clients have begun to catch on to the ‘secret supplier off-shoring’ trend. In a survey we conducted last year, 49% of senior marketing executives agreed with the statement “Off-shoring [any part of the marketing function] is not as profitable as others think and is fraught with risk”, this year 58% of these executives agree with this statement.

In regard to overall marketing staffing our initial data looks surprisingly good. Our data indicate that 34% of senior marketing executives believe the economy will have no effect on their staffing plans in 2009, 21% plan to hire only incremental staff. However, 44% are not filling open positions or plan to reduce staff.

In regard to marketing budgets, half say their budgets will be decreased, 38% currently expect no major budget impact, and only 11% say their budget will be increased.

I’m Curious to hear your predictions on marketing research in 2009!

-Tom

Link to original postTom H. C. Anderson – Anderson Analytics