MRII Sponsors Weigh In With Their Predictions for 2024

MRII Sponsor Predictions

As we launch full speed ahead into 2024, it’s a great time to reflect not only on the year gone by but also think about what the year ahead might hold—especially in regard to our industry. Some of our sponsors, including Suzy, KNow ResearchOvationMR, QuestionPro, YPulse and Sports & Leisure Research Group, share their predictions and perspectives. From AI advancements and data privacy to emerging market growth and the evolving role of syndicated research, read on to see some of the trends these experts think will shape the market research world in the upcoming year.

Suzy, the leading consumer insights platform, connecting quant, qual, and high quality audiences into a single connected research cloud.  

“For 2024, I expect the buzz around AI to continue to grow. Qualitative analysis and report generation are the core insights activities I expect will benefit most from AI solutions. While this was certainly the case in 2023, I expect adoption rates among insights teams to increase as some of the better AI-based tools work out some of their early kinks.

As generative AI tools become increasingly capable of generating concept statements and renderings depicting new product innovation, I expect the overall quality of the concepts brands are developing to improve significantly. The time and effort needed to generate these high-quality concepts should also be significantly reduced, which means more innovative ideas can go into testing. This should be an exciting time for those working in innovation insights!

A key insight activity I don’t believe will be disrupted (yet) in 2024 is artificial sample/data. The insights function still has a role to play as a means of risk management within large organizations. While the potential of artificial sample/data is promising, I don’t think the offerings are ready yet for prime time.

2024 should also see a flurry of new packaging re-design studies, specifically those that are looking to downsize due to past inflationary pressures. The time, effort, and capital expenditure that go into packaging redesigns mean that many of the efforts started in 2023 will be going into final testing this year.”

—Will Cimarosa, Senior Vice President, Market Research at Suzy

KNow Research is a full-service, female-driven, qualitative insights consultancy on the front lines of research, delivering fresh insights through custom research design.

Here are our five predictions for how brands can get the most out of their market research budget and the most engagement from their stakeholders in 2024. You can see a video of KNow’s predictions here.

  1. Bite-sized Methods: Maximize tight budgets with bite-sized qualitative research. Get quick audience snapshots without overspending, fill quantitative research gaps, and consider options like intercept interviews, customer video uploads, or in-house employee research.
  2. Funneled / Mixed Methods: It’s getting easier to combine methodologies, whether qualitative exploration followed by quantitative validation or mixed qualitative methods. Ideas include a discussion board or diary followed by deep-dive interviews, intercept recruiting followed by webcam mini-groups, or friend parties followed by in-home interviews.
  3. Validation: Strategies In this era of decreased data quality with participant fraud and AI bots on the rise, it’s important to continually re-evaluate what you use to validate your qualitative findings. Ensure you’re finding new, creative, quality ways of validating your insights.
  4. Intercepts: Foot traffic is coming back in 2024 and industry sources predict that a slowdown in inflation will bolster retail growth. Consider popping up for in-person or digital intercept interviews to quickly assess audience needs, pain points, and wish lists to make sure they keep coming back.
  5. Updated Deliverables: Stakeholders tell us they have less and less time to get their C-suites’ attention so we recommend mixing up your deliverables.Think about putting together a one-sheet of the key takeaways and next steps or action items from the research. And remember to include audio and visual deliverables to get attention.

—Katrina Noelle, President of KNow Research 

OvationMR, leading B2B global market research panel with extensive respondent profiling and targeting.  

“As international player in the market insights space, we see 2 key areas that will factor high on the market research global economy:

  • Growth in Emerging Markets: Emerging markets, particularly in Asia and Africa, will experience substantial economic growth. Companies are increasingly looking to these regions for expansion opportunities, primarily because of growing middle-class populations and technological adoption. Market researchers have had, and will continue to have watershed opportunities to create domain presence and authority in these markets.
  • Increased Focus on Data Privacy: As data continues its climb to the top in becoming more integral to business operations, we are witnessing an increased focus on data privacy and regulation. Market researchers will need to adapt more rapidly (start that ISO27001 Certification) to new regulations and invest in secure data management systems. It is no longer just good enough to pretend you are compliant or that you’re working on it. It will be necessary to hold certifications or equivalent proof that you are complying with industry standards and state, country, and international standards, and laws.”

—Jim Whaley, CEO of OvationMR

QuestionPro, leading provider of online survey software including tools for creation, distribution, and analysis of surveys and a platform for polling, tablet-based mobile research, and data visualization.

“In 2023, the market research industry was introduced to Generative AI, ushering in a transformative era. As we step into 2024, the blossoming of Generative AI is set to redefine research methodologies, providing unprecedented insights and efficiencies. Emphasizing data quality remains a key theme, taking center stage in the upcoming year. Moreover, there will be a renewed focus on the respondent, aiming to enhance their experience and improve overall engagement.”

—Dan Fleetwood, President Research & Insights, QuestionPro

YPulse, the authority on Gen Z & Millennial market research that empowers brands globally with data and insights to win young consumers.

“AI will massively expand the productive output of the MR industry by making transverse connections across disparate data assets that have previously been trapped within organizational silos or across competing research suppliers.

Syndicated research providers will be among the first to market. With years upon years of historical data that is well indexed and of high quality, providers of syndicated insights will feed high quality inputs into large language models, generating value far beyond what has previously been delivered via reports, detailed tables, dashboards and data cubes. A longitudinal treasure trove of data will fuel new and exciting offerings as the value of syndicated data is fully exploited.

Since syndicated research data is fully owned by the research provider and is merely licensed to individual buyers, syndicated vendors can rapidly enhance the value of their own intellectual property and data. Indeed, if YPulse can build a chat interface to answer client questions related to youth attitudes and behaviors using the tens of millions of data points that we’ve collected annually since 2013, imagine what Nielsen or MRI-Simmons are going to do with their much larger data assets. Whatever it is, it’ll unlock massive value for their clients.

Similarly, end clients will unlock the full value of their proprietary research assets via knowledge hubs powered by the likes of MarketLogic, Northern Light and Stravito. These platforms are already leveraging AI to make connections across a catalog of proprietary research studies conducted by multiple custom research vendors (as well as across various syndicated insights feeds).

Expect the largest custom research suppliers to acquire or emulate the capabilities of these knowledge management platforms as a means of increasing customer loyalty as well as share of spend. Providing access to an AI-enabled knowledge platform will be like giving away the razor blade handle, profiting from a steady stream of discrete research projects that will substantially increase in value once attached to an AI-powered knowledge hub.

This will all take time and capital to be fully realized, but will spur waves of innovation and competition that will benefit some more than others.”

—Dan Coates, President and Founder, YPulse 

Sports & Leisure Research Group, which plays a pivotal role in providing leading sports, travel and media brands with actionable, customized, marketing research.

“2024 is shaping up to be a potentially tumultuous year from a consumer behavior and attitudinal perspective. The election climate and economic instability will feed a dual consumer reaction where some continue to spend, counterintuitively, towards escape oriented actualization—while others hunker down amidst a variety of sensationalistic and apocalyptic anxiousness.  Finding reliable insights to cut through these dueling forces will be critical, but also heavily scrutinized by those who don’t agree with the implications. The ability to produce “nationally projectable” results and stories will have diminished utility given segment specific and hyper-local variations in today’s world.

In 2024, we will likely continue to see lots of MR firms rally around both the real and exaggerated immediate benefits of AI. The industry will need to see past the smoke and mirrors and find the most relevant applications. This will not be easy, and tech first solutions will continue to pose the threat of marginalizing critical elements of the MR value chain. Firms with category/vertical specific expertise will add value beyond those functions that are threatened with greater commoditization. Those that increasingly blur the lines between consulting and research will have the greatest success.

Sampling quality will continue to be a big issue in the coming year that will push forward-thinking suppliers towards leveraging and building and actively managing specialized house files and sample sources that can fly above the exchanges. Also, as behavioral and attitudinal data continue to be merged for valuable insights, the qualitative market will remain a strong adjunct for those in search of the “why” that remains impervious to many of the tech infused shortcuts that can compromise profit margins.”

—Jon Last, President, Sports & Leisure Research Group

As we head into the upcoming year filled with changes, staying ahead as an insights professional is crucial. The key? Invest in your professional growth and education! We want to thank all our sponsors for making that professional education possible through MRII and UGA—and helping us ensure 2024 will be the best it can be. You can view all our valuable sponsors here. 

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