2021 Market Research Trends


Pandemic uncertainty has cut into CMO budgets putting pressure on market researchers to prove their value and the value of their service. The successful market researcher for 2021 will be one that is innovative and adaptable. Here are three 2021 market research trends all with a need to be short and fast.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Current tools are looking even more clunky and labor intensive as automation and the use of artificial intelligence are becoming more common and one of the leading 2021 market research trends. These platforms are more affordable than full-service market research, and the best ones convert data into useable insights almost immediately. Of course, multi-sourced data can provide even more powerful insights but without the tools to process and interpret Big Data, market research will be left behind.

Digital Transformation

Social listening, media measurement and web analytics all provide immediate feedback and the best market researchers can incorporate this information quickly and efficiently.

Social listening tracks the sentiments (emotive studies) and conversations people are having and allows marketers to understand their pain points, misperceptions and factors driving consumer to purchase.

Media measurement helps to explain if their media strategy is working. Are the efforts to improve awareness and perception effective? How much does the brand dominate the conversation? Who is a thought leader and who isn’t?

Web analytics is a very clear way to determine how a brand is reaching their customers and potentially new audiences. This type of analytics provides information to the company on where to spend money, where to advertise and how best to optimize its efforts.

Online Qualitative Research

The pandemic forced the innovative qualitative researcher to move to online focus groups and online communities. Surprise! These newer, cheaper methods proved more attractive to clients and became one of the top 2021 market research trends. Embracing these types of virtual tactics will pay off. Making them insightful and effective, as well as being cheaper, is critical for their long-term success.

Interested in hiring a more sophisticated market researcher? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research and Consumer Insights Executive Recruiter, Lindsey Bartlett at [email protected].


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