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Social Media Research to Capture 25% or more of MR budgets by 2012. Or Not.

Research Word Jumble imageThis past week, I have been moderating a prediction market on the future of market research. Thirty-one ideas have been posted (by myself and others), stating our predictions for market research. Over 300 votes have been cast so far.

I have been fascinated by prediction markets for some time, and this has been a great opportunity to run one myself. I am using IdeaScale as the software platform. It’s been a great learning opportunity for me, in terms of promoting, monitoring and moderating activity.

But the real surprirses have come from the results so far.  Scores for each prediction are based on taking the number of votes “for” an item less the number of votes  “against” it.  As of 12/14/10 at 8 am EST, here are some results (these are preliminary and likely to change over the next few days):

-3. Social Media Research to Capture 25% or more of MR budgets by 2012. It had actually been hovering around positive 3 and 4, then came down! Does this mean more people really think SMR will not take off? Or that clients will use free/low-cost tools such that it won’t take up much budget?

-1. In 2011-2012, MR Departments will see budget growth. Every time I see this one start to inch up,  new votes come in and keep it close to zero. I wonder if the issue here is that when it comes to budgets, “flat is the new up”? Or are MR departments simply expected to get more output from the same budget levels (due to new technologies, methods)?

-9. Survey research will be dead by 2015. Despite all of the hype from Consumer.ology, the Philip Graves book, researchers still see plenty of demand for surveys. Sure, their application is evolving, but they aren’t going extinct.

12. Market Research Reports Will Move Online. Some comments in this section say they already have. In my experience, that is true for trackers, but not most other studies. PowerPoint decks are still common—even if they are delivered electronically (not in print with nice bindings, like in the old days).  Or is my view too US-centric? Outside of the US, have research clients truly migrated towards online reporting tools?

These are just four of the twenty-two predictions in voting. Other items to check out  include:

  • Combined & Alternative Modes of Collection Actually See Traction
  • In-house MROCs will Soar, Supporting DIY Trend
  • By 2015, 80% of surveys will be integrated w other apps
  • Only 10 of today’s Top 50 MR Firms will be in the Top 50 by 2015

Voting will remain open until we break 500 votes, which will likely be Dec 20th (given current voting volume trends).  Vote here (VOTE) and be sure to read the comments—we have had some really great contributions!


Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff is founder and lead instructor at Research Rockstar. Over the past 25 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in magazines. She is also a professor at Boston University, where she teaches grad students how to analyze and report quantitative data.

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