Are MR Industry best practices changing?

While Some Things Change, Others Will Stay The Same | GreenBook

Technologies and roles are changing rapidly in the Market Research industry. But what about the core best practices that define our industry and we’ve all been maintaining?

The best practices of yesterday and today will still be the same core best practices of tomorrow, regardless of the technological and physical changes that happen around us. But that doesn’t mean that those best practices aren’t becoming more complicated and nuanced. Because they are.

Survey Length

As an industry, we’ve always respected the time of our our respondents – we promise them a short survey and thank them for their time, and that will always be a part of the process. But the definition of ‘short’ is certainly changing, and changing fast. Requesting a mobile user to complete a 20 minute survey on their phone is ridiculous. It’s still important that researchers respect the respondent’s time but our definition of short needs to keep up with technology.

The perfect solution today is micro-surveys, with more frequency if necessary. Surveys that promise they’ll take <5 minutes to complete are getting much higher response rates from a more diverse demographic than longer ones are. But surprisingly, they are still not being adopted by as many members of the industry as you might think. Market researchers are still looking for the happy medium between the 5-minute micro-survey and the 20-minute behemoth. Smart researchers adapt the same surveys across multiple channels.

Insight Reporting
Market researchers have always needed to analyze raw data, and extract key insights that matter to the organization. That will never change – but there is a shift underway surrounding the way that we report the insights. It used to be much a more raw presentation full of bar and pie charts. But nowadays, there’s a big shift away from this more raw form of reporting towards storytelling. Storytelling means taking the exact same data that was previously housed in a more fact-based, word-heavy reports and finding more visual methods for presenting the insights. As an industry we’re moving away from standard toplines and PowerPoints to more engaging, visual stories.
Data Privacy
With the wide adoption of big data, there’s also been far more awareness from the general public about personal data being collected and used. Depending on your surveys, this may not directly apply to your research practices, but it’s a factor in prospective respondents’ minds, and it certainly applies to the secondary data used to supplement survey results. And while this isn’t a change in best practices (anonymize respondents and protect their privacy at all costs), it is a far more difficult landscape to navigate.


Market research will always be the same: gather data to help make better organizational decisions. So at this fundamental core, best practices of yesterday and today will remain tomorrow. It’s just important to differentiate between the core best practices we should be hanging onto because they define our industry, and the stubborn habits that are attached to outdated technology and practices – because those could actually hold us back.

Read the source article by Zontziry Johnson at GreenBook Blog

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