market research with looking glass


Mr. Web published an article, “Full-Service MR Firms: ‘Half Gone within Five Years’?” The GreenBook blog argues that the shift to shorter, mobile surveys is actually a growth phase for market research and these emerging methods don’t predict the decline of market research but the change and ascension of a new way of doing business. Should suppliers be worried or excited?

As the consolidations and acquisitions of the past few years have settled down, we see the market picking up but the skillsets are changing. Digital and social media are taking over. Online marketing campaigns, quick survey polls on Twitter and Facebook, mobile surveys, text analytics and other web-based methodologies are new and innovative ways to produce the information clients are looking for. The traditional survey is becoming a dinosaur. The ability to adapt and create these new offerings is an important piece of the puzzle. As you can see from this chart produced by GreenBook, there is plenty of interest in moving towards the digital age, and it’s up to suppliers to offer these types of services.

As product development has become more in tune with these new methodologies, using more innovative techniques to peak the interests of both internal and external clients, candidates are becoming less specialized. They are juggling the responsibilities of both quantitative and qualitative projects. There is less of a divide between these roles. A classic primary market research candidate will have the skillset of both a qual and quant expert. This combined expertise is a quality candidate for a client-side opportunity, but is a less desirable candidate for specialized supplier roles like Moderators.

Should suppliers be worried? Not if they bring the new methodologies in house for development as product offerings to their clients, and hire the candidates capable of providing these services. What should candidates be doing? Broaden your skill set to include more traditional techniques as well as the innovations of today and the future.

At Smith Hanley Associates we have twenty years of experience recruiting and placing market researchers. We are able to react quickly to trends within our industry. We would love to help you with your hiring needs or your job search in 2016. Please give us a call!

Lindsey Bartlett, Executive Recruiter,, 312-589-7586
Shirley Baron, Executive Recruiter,, 203-319-4314

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