Tyler McMullen

Keys for Insights Industry in 2024

Now that we have digested 2023 and are onboarding 2024, it’s a good time to assess where we are in the insights industry. After having an opportunity to connect with insights clients, research partners, and also peer companies at the Insights Association CEO Summit, several themes have emerged.

  1. Optimism.  There is much more optimism now than a year ago.  Many were prepared for recession in early 2023 and most reported lower insights activity and spending for the year, and certainly in the first half.  People are feeling much better about things as we kick off 2024 throughout the industry.  Of course, this is never uniform, and each client situation is very different.

  2. Data Quality.  This may be a recurring theme but perhaps never as intense as it is now as both agency leaders and clients have been burned.  There are increasing cases of bots at work, and people wondering if it is a real person or AI completing the survey.  As a result, it is more difficult than ever to feel 100% confident in the quality of data at the end of a project.  But, make no mistake, high quality should still be the expectation and we must work harder to produce it with technology and a skilled researcher’s set of eyes.

  3. Engagement & Participation.  Whereas much of the data quality issue is responding to tech, there is also the human side.  There is a clear lag in excitement and interest to participate in research.  It’s not just long surveys and screeners, and short attention spans.  Frankly, we are over-surveyed as a culture.  One large recruiting firm reported that show rates for consumer across all qualitative approaches dropped 15% just last year.  Engagement is key, including shorter screeners and more flexible scheduling, and frequent communication to build a more personal connection and enable trust.

  4. AI & Synthetic Data.  Lots of discussion and certainly some fear right now.  There is talk of potential but not much real application.  ChatGPT and other generative AI applications cannot be used with proprietary client data, but walled off systems, like Microsoft’s Copilot, are being introduced.  More work can be done to deliver successful use cases.  The issues around privacy, bias, and other ethical concerns must continue to be discussed and evaluated.

  5. Project Delays.  Clients report more organizational issues causing project delays impacting insights execution and delivery.  Gaining approvals required for project milestones is becoming more challenging and timelines are stressed and delayed.  This inevitably has cost implications.  Agencies are trying to flex and keep scheduled talent and resources on projects and wondering how they can help clients improve alignment.

We welcome your thoughts on any of these themes and how MarketVision approaches these in detail. Please contact me at tmcmullen@mv-research.com.

About the Author:

Tyler McMullen 

President and CEO - MarketVision Research.


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