The Greenbook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report summarizes the findings of Greenbook’s biannual, recurring global survey of the state of the market research industry. Survey respondents include research providers and clients alike, recruited through Greenbook’s social media channels and email invitations, among others.

The latest GRIT Report examines responses taken from 1,533 respondents during Q3 and Q4 of 2017. 75 countries are represented within the survey sample, with Americans making up half of the total. 22% of the survey takers are clients and 78% represent market research suppliers.



Here are three key takeaways we gleaned from the report:


1. Market Research Needs to Adopt Emerging Technologies

The market research Industry is facing an existential threat; with the “influx of online DIY surveys”, it’s up to innovative MR companies to validate their worth to their clients.

One way to do reaffirm the value of market research, GRIT survey respondents say, is by taking advantage of emerging technologies. More specifically, adopting new forms of technology like eye-tracking, facial analysis, biometric response, AI, and neuroscience in order to bolster insights. Already, there is significant interest in nonconscious measures within the market research industry. For example, 55% of respondents say they are interested in eye tracking and 34% say they are already using it in their research.

Beyond these examples, increasing the level of automation and diversifying methods of data collection are also listed as opportunities for growth. For the risk-averse, emerging technologies don’t necessarily have to replace traditional methods, but they can be used to supplement and bolster traditional research. Either way, the incorporation of emerging technologies should be prioritized and strategically implemented.

2. Investments in Data Visualization are Key

GRIT respondents say storytelling & data visualization is one of the biggest “game changers” in the industry. Interest in data visualization has seen the most growth with an increase of 9 percentage points since 2016.  

Notably, research suppliers overestimated their clients’ satisfaction in reporting and visualization: only 23% of buyers said they were satisfied with the supplier’s data visualization. This might indicate that suppliers have failed to invest adequate attention towards the visualization of the results, and that doing so provides a competitive advantage.

In the report, Debbie Balch, Founder & President of Elevated Insights, suggests training research managers in data visualization, bringing in graphic designers, and regularly providing infographics to address this key concern. Already, according to the report, more providers and suppliers are investing in visualizations and dashboards than in any other field.


3. Insights Remain Valuable for Clients on Multiple Levels

Although data in all its forms is easier than ever to come by, research buyers say they still value the role of market research insights. 65% say that the key role of MR is to “answer questions not addressed by other data sources”, highlighting the importance of diversified, quality data. More than this, clients use market research insights equally for internal, external, and knowledge leverage purposes.

Clients say their first consideration while choosing a research provider is the quality of the generated insights (59%). Despite the commonly perceived threat of cheap, fast surveys disrupting the market research industry, quality insights will always be relevant, and valued by information seekers.


What is Dalia’s Take?

Besides the key trends outlined in the GRIT report, Dalia sees the importance of mobile user experience and automation in data collection as two additional themes to prioritise this year. We’ll be sharing more about the importance of UX in survey design in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

To read more about GRIT’s findings, visit their website.