Key #Research Trends listed by Sarah Schmidt below, are pretty much the same as the ones about which I’ve cautioned students on for years. Nice to see an engaged, connected, objective professional also say these things!
Among my longstanding favourites on her list (Sarah: pls pardon my paraphrasing):
- Human filtering of data: the value of brevity in a sea of data detail!;
- a growing role for Qual to answer the key question –“Why?”;
- the ‘Quantification of Qual’ -sentiment analysis, seeded online stimuli, digital ethnography,…
- the growing potential role of Artificial Intelligence to help find meaning, identify relationships, predict behaviour,…
- growth of geo-targeted mobile research (& ethical issues it raises!);
- growing role of Observation (& the Ethical issues THAT raises);
- the need for ‘poll’ oversight (too Motive-susceptible & sloppy; thankfully MRIA is onto this!);
- online LIVE research reports (Q-Fi does a fine job here);
- Continuous / longitudinal research (beyond panels);
- Agencies and software that offers customizing over canned; and
- The Growing need to (still!) invest in Secondary (Desk) Research
It’s this last point I’d like students & alumni to pay close attention to. For your career’s sake, stay atop your industry by carefully monitoring lead markets – eg Watch Vancouver Island, Italy or Japan for products & services targeting the Elderly. Watch Japan for Vending. Watch South Korea for Personal Tech. Watch California for Electric Motor Vehicles.
What makes these places become Lead Markets can be factors that are demographic (aging pop), social/lifestyle, economic policy/investment (California’s state-wide vehicle plug & drive network), related-Industry expertise (AI, programming, entertainment,…) or a combination of these factors eg Japan leads Vending not just due to demography (few young people, hence wage costs escalate) and not just industrial policy/expertise (Auto sector automation –> halo effect on Vending) but also due to Busy Work/Commute Lifestyles (busy to work, busy at work, busy commute—> life’s too busy to wait for store staff, and so Vending’s time-saving is key).
My Reco: 1. Identify the Lead market in your industry. 2. Do desk research on it to find what factors brought it to be at the apex. 3. Monitor it & be ready for the moment you see the boss’s boss’s boss in the elevator & she asks: “So… you’re one of the new cohort- got any new ideas for us?”
Your moment is coming; be ready! Be dedicated to proactive Secondary research!