According to the most recent GRIT report, and its chart showing which MR technologies clients and suppliers are using or planning to use, I noticed a glaring disconnect on three major MR industry trends: mobile, social and big data. Suppliers seem enthralled by mobile, yet clients are more interested in social and big data.

Thus began some extensive research on this perplexing divide.

Mobile is top-of-mind for suppliers because many are still figuring out optimal ways to ensure surveys and traditional research are adequately displayed on smart phones. Clients, meanwhile, take it for granted that suppliers have already figured this out. Basically, the whole hoopla about mobile comes down to two simple issues:

  1. Making sure that clients can access insights through whatever device the consumer is using
  • Surveys and qual activities need to display properly on any device; Suppliers need access to mobile numbers. 
  • Suppliers need to decide their preferred method of contact: app or browser (it seems app is winning out due to new technologies like digital tracking)
  1. Collecting new and better quality data by using mobile
  • For example: In-the-moment data collection (including video and photos) while consumers are shopping, eating, getting their car fixed or at the bank
  • Collecting data ‘passively’ through tracking what the consumer is actually purchasing and the ads they are actually seeing, rather than only claimed behavior
  • And, finally, melding those in-the-moment responses and passive data with other forms of data such as survey and consumer databases to make it meaningful

Which brings up another observation:

The market research industry is failing to sufficiently help clients grappling with how to use and make sense of all the social data they now have – along with CRM survey loyalty card and mobile mission data, the sentiment analysis they did last week, plus the responses they got from the survey at the end of the receipt AND the new community they just bought!

The low GRIT scores of MR suppliers in the social and big data categories indicate a gap in service - one that potentially can be filled by companies like sprinklr and others from outside the traditional business intelligence space.

The writing is on the wall. The message is one that marketing research firms must acknowledge, understand and act upon.