Market Research Trends: A 5 Year View (2020–2025)

Let’s tackle this question at a personal level first. What’s going to happen to you in the next five years? Will you move into a place of your own? Will you find a partner? Will you have kids? Will you go for another qualification? Will you finally retire and live in an idyllic little cottage in the highlands or on a cliff near a beach? Whatever happens in the next five years is completely up to you. And that’s the same with the trends in market research.

2015–2020: How Far We’ve Come

Think back to the last five years. Do you remember where you were in January 2015? As an industry, how far have we come, and how fast have we got to where we are now? Will this pace slow down or speed up? All of these questions will inform the predictions of industry experts when they look forward into the future.

  • With the rise in social media reaching epic proportions over the last decade with the smartphone boom, social listening technology and research techniques have also come a long way, so passive social data collection has become an increasingly popular method to obtain behavioural insights.
  • Improved research channels (mobile, online, etc.) have paved the way for a myriad of creative research tools such as VR, AR, heatmapping, quick polls, etc. and a rapid expansion in the amount of data we have access to, thus creating the advent of Big Data and GDPR.
  • Automation to the extent we have it now wasn’t a thing. We didn’t have to warn everyone on the dangers of algorithmic bias, because it wasn’t something that effected the wide populous until 2018 when huge advances were made in AI and machine learning research. This automation has great potential, but still needs a lot of work done to it in order to do good in organisations and industries around the world.

2020–2025: Where We’re Heading Now

In the recent prediction articles from the main research publication organisations (GreenBook, Research Live, Research World, Insights Association, etc.) there is a surprising consensus on which directions market research could take, and where insight professionals would like to see market research go, in the next few years, in the next decade.

Where Should We Focus Innovation Efforts?

There has been a lot of change in the past few years, with immense efforts to diversify the industry, integrate automation processes and make the research process more agile.

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