GfK/IIR Industry Study Highlights Five Research Industry Imperatives
By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR
Could the last few years of talk about the Big Data revolution have just been lip service?
GfK COO Consumer Experiences North America David Krajicek stunned the TMRE audience this morning with the revelation that only about six percent of client-side researchers and suppliers currently employ passively collected data.
Moreover, 68% said they do not believe they will begin using passive data collection over the next two years.
But in almost absurdly stark contrast, one-third of respondents from each respective party said the single most important source of data for insights creation two years from now will be “consumer-specific data collected passively.”
Krajicek unveiled these and other key findings from 700 market research clients and suppliers surveyed for the Future of Insights study by GfK in partnership with IIR (producer of The Market Research Event) during the opening keynote session of TMRE 2015 today.
The results highlight significant gaps and disparities in the field of consumer research today that Krajicek called somewhat worrisome for the future of both the profession and the industry.
“While the industry is ambitious in its desire to evolve with the consumer and tap into the scores of behavioral data left behind by an increasingly plugged-in society, the ability to implement these new methodologies is still very much lacking, and the industry is still reliant on the current modes of data collection,” Krajicek said.
Based on the findings, Krajicek reported the industry’s future rests with three “C’s”—Collection, Curation and Communication—around which he offered five industry imperatives:
1. Speed It Up!
“We need to run—not walk—and chew gum,” said Krajicek, pointing to a “misalignment” of priorities between clients and suppliers around speed vs. innovation. “Clients want innovative methodologies, but first they want everything faster,” he emphasized. “Research providers need to concentrate on speeding up the current deliverable while they’re developing new tools.”
2. Focus on Return on Insights
Research clients are three times more likely than providers to focus on replacing traditional research approaches and sources, while suppliers tend to think of innovation in incremental terms. Krajicek noted that what’s missing from the discussion is why we’re innovating. “At no other time in history have we had access to the level of information we have today to understand human behavior. Are we living up to that potential?” Krajicek said. “We, as an industry, need to have a very honest and transparent conversation about the value we’re bringing bring to the table.”
3. Help Wanted: Insights Architect
The kinds of competencies required to meet the demands of the near future are less around data science, analytics and methodological expertise and more about the ability to “connect dots and curate an information and insight ecosystem,” said Krajicek.
4. Passive Data Rising Rapidly
Collectively, clients and suppliers split almost evenly (about 30% across the board) on what data source would be most important for insights creation two years from now—passively collected data or survey data. Krajicek noted that with only 6% of respondents using the former, we’d be looking at a pretty rapid adoption curve.
5. Driving Action Through Stories
About 30% of respondents chose “storytelling” as the greatest competency gap in research today. Krajicek observed that “‘storytelling’ is code for activation…We are talking about being impactful in our communications, which suggests that currently research is not impactful enough.”
Krajicek concluded with a call to the industry and an invitation to continue the discussion. You can expect to hear more on this initiative moving forward!
Editor’s note: TMRE attendees received a brief summary of top line findings during Krajicek’s session. Download a copy here.
Ps. GfK plans to release an in-depth report soon. Stay tuned!