The website GreenBook, which charts the state of the industry, has noted that market research has been changing rapidly in recent years due to the effects of online marketing and software development.
Investment firms, private equity firms and other acquisition companies have been showing increased interest in market research. These new clients want more than just numbers. They want the marketing research to come up with insights that can improve business decisions.
The traditional methods in marketing research have become standardized so that most research firms are using the same methods. One firm differs from another mostly on price. Larger market research firms are growing and squeezing smaller companies out of the competition.
Furthermore, do-it-yourself market research software that automates the process is appearing in the marketplace. These non-human driven sampling, survey fielding and analysis offerings are creating a “cheaper, faster, good enough” mentality.
Most of the recent innovations in market research have come out of developments in web page design. There has been increasing activity around business intelligence and the use of “big data.” Such a mass of data is now captured daily through the online marketplace that focus has been shifting to drawing value from that.
According to surveys conducted in late 2014, the top three most commonly used techniques are mobile surveys (64%), online community data (56%), and social media analytics (46%). The high growth in mobile, online and social media data analytics is due to the fact that these methods work in providing effective market insights.
New market research technologies are being developed however. Behavioral economics modeling (25% use), data collected from sensors on the internet of things (12% use), and wearable computer devices provided data (7%) have come under increasing consideration.