Homenewsabout usContact UsWebsite

Controversial predictions about the future of the market research industry in the Digital Age

The relentless waves of digital disruption in the market research industry don't exclude some organisations because of their size, history or legacy - all boats move when the tides shift.
Controversial predictions about the future of the market research industry in the Digital Age

"I was recently reading through GRIT’s blog ( and came across an article of great interest written in 2015*, but increasingly relevant in 2016/17," reflects Jake Orpen, CEO of nudge.

The article is about the impact of the digital era on traditional market research agencies; and the premise is that if they remain traditional, the impact will not be good! What stood out for me was that nudge, as a leading online market research agency, is seeing these trends emerge in Africa far more quickly than expected.

Here is a summary of the predictions about the future of the market research industry:
  1. The traditional market research agencies that refuse to change will go out of business.
  2. DIY market research will catch on even more and will democratise our sector.
  3. Social listening analytics will be a must-have for every marketing and market research manager.
  4. Agile research will become mainstream and will be facilitated by online communities.
  5. Micro surveys and intercepts will eventually replace long monthly customer tracking studies.
  6. Processing behavioural data in motion and delivering real-time micro insights will be a core competence of any insights expert agency.
  7. Adjacent marketing services such as customer engagement, enterprise feedback management and customer advocacy will become solutions offered by the market research companies of the future.
  8. Data scientists will be the new insight experts, utilising a lot more predictive analytics than rear-view mirror analytics.
  9. The code of conduct of market research associations such as ESOMAR and MRS will be revised as it falls short of being relevant to the digital economy. If not, the new breed of MR agencies will refuse to be members of such organisations, and the latter will die out.

Controversial predictions about the future of the market research industry in the Digital Age

The above chart from GRIT 2015 more or less confirms some of these predictions; the source of this data is market research agencies and end clients of market research. The bottom line is: change or perish. The march of digital transformation is relentless and swimming against the tides of change may well be a fruitless exercise as we see significant supporting megatrends such as increasing consumer access to the internet as a result of ubiquitous Wi-Fi, ever-cheaper mobile data, emergence of Millennial workers and corporate pressure for faster insights from smaller budgets.

To learn more about how nudge can help you navigate towards better insights using digital techniques please contact us at az.oc.egdun@ofni.

Read more about nudge:


24 Oct 2016 12:34