• January 4, 2022
  • By Shantanu Ingale , media and communications professional, Future Market Insight

5 Trends That Are Reshaping the Market Research Industry

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In the long run, organizations continue to chart their growth strategy and resilience through new avenues of profitability and dominance in new markets. Strategy and market research organizations and teams will continue to play critical roles in achieving these business growth goals through data- and insight-driven decision making.

Market research continues to play a crucial role in analyzing real-time market trends, competitive benchmarking, and customer intent behavior to provide that niche insight on which business decisions can be based. And there’s just so much data out there; looking for the right insight may seem like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. 

Therefore, it’s not surprising why this industry is adapting technology to sharpen data collection processes, research methodologies, and presentation of insights to its clients. Some of the technologies at the forefront of reshaping this industry are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural techniques, among others. These disruptive technologies are behind some of the cutting-edge cloud-based market research platforms, enabling on-demand and on-the-go research consumption. And some of the bold innovations in this area are coming from the Indian market research industry.

Here are a few disruptive technology trends that are reshaping the market research industry.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

The introduction of virtual environments has presented us with a new dimension for research methodologies. Today, virtual environments are being used for product concept testing, early-stage product feasibility analysis, and understanding consumer behavior with regards to a nascent product.

Virtual environments or virtual reality as a research method could be the next progression for the market research industry, owing to the increasing accessibility of such technologies in the research industry.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is assisting people in the market research industry in three ways:

  • Task automation that aids in the efficient and successful completion of a job.
  • The ability to derive insights from a large amount of data.
  • And, last but not least, the capacity to provide interactions using natural language processing/natural language understanding.

All in all, AI in market research will be used to influence marketing strategies and business models, deliver customer service solutions and business results, and uncover in-depth consumption patterns. Market research platforms such as MarketNgage and Kantar MarketPlace combine the true power of human intuition with robotic precision


Big Data has earned its fair share of ink and discussion, but “Microdata,” or data about individual consumers’ activity, is becoming increasingly important. While Big Data remains integral for every research company, businesses have started to acknowledge that the most effective and targeted business decisions are inevitably supported by empirical information on individual customers’ behaviors. As a result, a detailed understanding of the market and customers is required, which cannot be obtained by utilizing macro-level data patterns.

Online Qualitative Research and Social Listening

Online qualitative research is one market research trend that has been a clear byproduct of the pandemic. Due to the infeasibility of in-person focus groups and other qualitative research methods, it’s natural that this model would migrate online. Now that online focus groups are becoming more extensively used in methodological approaches by research professionals around the globe, there are substantial benefits to shifting your offline focus groups online, from adopting the right tool to manage data collection to engagement and digital rewards.

Due to the obvious broad social media footprint, it is also becoming increasingly vital to listen to what is going on social media and to infer thoughts from dialogues. The highly emotive nature of social media provides plenty of opportunity to get to the bottom of ideas, complaints, buying behavior, macro and micro trends, and so on. You may isolate the data you care about and keep an eye out for short-term indicators around consumer research using social listening. This is indigenous research’s future. While social listening may not be appropriate for all researchers and businesses, when done correctly, it can contribute to the early recognition of relevant channels.

Real-Time vs. Agile Market Research

When it comes to agile and real-time market research, there shouldn’t be a decision between the two; rather they should complement each other. In order to be successful in the market research industry, real-time research must be combined with primary research. Then and only then will we be able to put it to better use. For example, because real-time data indicates when a customer is looking for a product, survey data may help prioritize the triggers and marketing efforts that will most likely lead to a purchase.

Keep in mind that real-time market research is intended to be an additional source and type of data that provides a multi-dimensional view of customers, and it won’t be useful if companies can’t change quickly enough to include real-time results. However, combining the capabilities of real-time research and agile market research could result in a comprehensive perspective of a consumer’s past, present, and future habits, at the rate at which they change.

The market research industry is confronting significant challenges and opportunities. Faster analytics and report production will indeed be possible due to advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. New technology, on the other hand, entails the mastery of technical skills and the evolution of skills and expertise that is often not traditionally associated with researchers. To be efficient, the researcher must take advantage of emerging technologies that expedite and streamline data collection and analysis, enabling researchers to dedicate more resources to higher-level problem solving and narration.

Shantanu Ingale is an experienced media and communications professional at Future Market Insights, an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm.

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