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Compliance with GDPR

This is one of the biggest changes in data privacy regulation for 20 years. So, while harmonising data privacy laws across Europe and protecting EU citizens from privacy and data breaches is absolutely critical. In terms of market research, 75% of data will become unusable when regulations are in place. From May 2018, it will be important that opted-in data is quality checked and well maintained, otherwise, it is at risk of becoming uncompliant and unusable.

Collaboration between researchers and other departments

This is a trend I hope to see more off in businesses especially those with multiple functions and departments. We have tended to work in silos. Researchers like to take pride in their work and sometimes ‘put off’ by sharing their own creative work with others. Having said that, more and more times we now see collaboration between market researchers and marketing and sales teams. Better yet, more and more strategies have a focus on understanding customer needs which research and insight can sit and the forefront.

Technology

Technology is something I think will be commented about for years to come because there are so many different products and software’s out there. I think this will come in the shape of artificial intelligence for analysing big data sets, and use of chatbots for data collection and perhaps even delivery. Keep a watch for new technology entering the sector especially if it can interact with consumers at different points in their journey Deliver purposeful insight to our clients with human understanding that they can use to make better decisions.

Speed

Gone are the days of endless projects. Clients are now requiring research that creates impact and insights at speed. Many agencies have various means and ways of accommodating this ever-changing landscape. This goes hand in hand with the use of technology. And I predict agencies and businesses will use technology more to provider insights at speed. Never the less, the power of a humanist touch will not be lost, but job roles may change. You now see more data strategists and big data geeks than ever before, and I don’t see the demand for data skill sets decreasing any time soon.

Cost-effective

The focus on providing quality work for a cheaper price will be the biggest trend for next year. This will not only lead to further automation and a larger focus on delivering actionable insight but could also result in the consolidation of smaller agencies. You have seen this with much larger organisations such as Research Now and SSI. But with more and more pressure on costs and the profit made from projects, smaller businesses could be priced out of the market sooner rather than later. One way of mitigating against this is by creating unique products that customers/clients can use.

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