The end of the year is a great time to look at market research trends we'll likely see in 2022.
To make a solid business plan for the short term, it’s important to keep an eye on where your target customers' preferences, attitudes, and behaviors are heading in the long term.
Adding market research to your 2022 budget will allow your team to make informed, data-driven decisions for improved marketing, sales, and operations strategies.
In this article, I’ll be looking in more detail at specific trends I learned from the 2021 Quirk's Event in New York City.
About the 2021 Quirk's Event
After a long and necessary pause of in-person networking events, November of 2021 saw the return of the Quirk’s Event to New York City.
More than a thousand marketing research professionals gathered in the heart of Manhattan to meet and discuss new case studies, current trends, and new technologies.
Attending a total of 14 sessions at the event was Devan Grant, a Research Analyst at Drive Research.
He spent over 400 minutes listening to speakers from all industries share their stories on how the industry has changed. Better yet, how we can become better researchers because of changing times.
Here is a recap of the upcoming market research trends that were discussed at the conference.
#1. Survey LOI and the Effects on Data Quality
One of the most commonly asked questions in the field of market research is “How long should my survey be?”
As a researcher, one of our toughest battles is getting the most information out of respondents without over asking or exhausting them with too many questions.
A new study was conducted to understand just how long a survey has to be before respondents call it quits.
The results of the study showed that by 10 minutes into the survey, the completion rate decreased significantly and the data quality lowered drastically. The quality of open-ended questions was hit particularly hard.
Then they asked, what if we look at the 7-minute mark? Here, time spent by a respondent on multiple-choice question types decreased by 25% while time spent on open-ended questions decreased by more than 50%.
The main finding? The 5 to 7-minute survey length is ideal and will provide the best data quality for your research studies.
#2. Rise of Social Media Listening
Many brands understand the value of focus groups and other qualitative methodologies.
With the pandemic putting a halt on most in-person research activities, many were forced to turn to online methods.
A market research company was approached by a cannabis dispensary and asked to conduct research on their brand and product.
To get the best unfiltered, raw data from real cannabis users, the research team turned to social media.
By employing the tactic of social media listening, the researcher and her team were able to uncover problem spots for the brand while also learning new information regarding the growing cannabis space.
Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) was used to find comments online that pertained to the topic of cannabis and dispensaries.
As a result, valuable insights were drawn from channels where consumers are actively and naturally sharing their thoughts.
#3. Elevating a Brand with DEI Efforts
The United States is a diverse nation. Since its founding, it's been a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, languages, and traditions. Demographic trends show that we’ll be a minority-majority country in the near future.
And with that said, the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion needs to happen now. A recent survey showed that the American people trust businesses (more than the government or the media) to do the “right thing.”
Recently, the American worker has put a greater emphasis on ideologies such as:
- The kind of work they are doing
- Who they are doing that work with
- What kind of impact that work has on their fellow Americans
If businesses are to keep up with current trends, it seems as though they need to have multiple voices from diverse backgrounds in the room when decisions are being made.
With greater representation in leadership, brands across the country can continue to elevate their status as trailblazers in the fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion in areas across the country.
Learn more about conducting a diversity and inclusion survey for your organization.
#4. Younger Audiences Impact on CPG Brands
In this session, we learned what we can expect from the retail and CPG sectors in the year to come.
Younger audiences (particularly Gen Z) are expecting more from brands, beyond the usual suspects of high-quality and low prices.
Specifically younger generations looking for brands that showcase characteristics such as:
Social media also has an increasingly strong influence on purchasing decisions made by younger consumers.
More specifically, influencers on YouTube and Instagram are having a particularly strong influence on clothing purchases.
Consumers are expected to spend more money on private labels, as they are seen as cheaper alternatives without sacrificing quality. Of private labels currently in existence, Walmart’s label has the highest awareness.
And whether the label is private or not, consumers expect them to care about the environment and incorporate sustainability into their brand.
Lastly, supply chain issues are expected to continue plaguing brands both big and small. Amazon and other large e-retailers have been hit hard by shipping and production delays.
#5. Focus on LGBTQ+ Research
Recent studies show that younger generations are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ or consider themselves to be an ally.
As a community that’s growing, with a spending power of more than one trillion dollars, the LGBTQ+ community can no longer be ignored in market research.
Researchers can go wrong by assuming the LGBTQ+ community is a singular block.
In reality, they’re an extremely diverse group of people with different backgrounds, beliefs, and lifestyles. It’s important to understand the intersectionality of today’s identities.
Another way brands can go wrong? Targeting the LGBTQ+ community exclusively in June. While celebrating the history and progress of the LGBTQ+ equality movement in June is well-received, brands need to recognize that queer individuals exist during all twelve months of the calendar year.
As researchers, we must be thoughtful and ensure gender-based demographic questions are inclusive and use proper terminology.
#6. Impact of Sports Sponsorships
Professional sports sponsorships are a twenty billion dollar industry. That’s a lot of cash. Today, the way brands are using and measuring sports sponsorships is evolving.
For years, success was defined as the amount of time your logo was seen on screen during a game or event.
Media valuation was seen as the pinnacle of success. But things have changed, and brands are incorporating sports sponsorships into their marketing strategies.
For example, to break into the suburban and rural markets, T-Mobile partnered with Major League Baseball the Little League World Series. Mountain Dew, which long had an extreme sports reputation, partnered with the National Basketball Association to shed older views and stereotypes.
Data shows that sports sponsorships are good for business. Recent studies indicated that those who saw an advertisement from an official sponsor during a game or event spent 50% more on the brand’s products after the fact.
#7. Defending Research from Bogus Responses
We’ve all heard about fake news and the constant spread of misinformation. Seemingly inescapable, studies show it actually has legitimate, tangible effects. For example, fake news articles on Facebook have proven to increase anxiety among daily users.
So, with poor data having an effect on society, it’s imperative that we, as researchers, carry out our duty to ensure our data is clean and high-quality.
There are three kinds of respondents to be aware of when cleaning your data:
- The inattentive: those who speed through and give random answers that don’t make much sense
- The acquiescing: those who constantly say yes, usually dishonestly, in an effort to be eligible for all studies
- The bot: a scripted or coded response, usually a machine or human using AI
The good kind of respondent? One who pays attention and is honest in their answers.
Now, there’s technology that can help to identify bad responses before they make their way into your final dataset. Researchers have a moral obligation to keep data clean, protecting those who are susceptible to fake news stories.
Those were some of Devan’s favorite sessions. And that’s just scratching the surface of what this year’s Quirk’s event in NYC had to offer! Check out their website for more information on what was discussed, and to see when the next event is happening near you.
Contact Our Market Research Company
Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Our team of certified professionals specializes in both quantitative and qualitative research studies, partnering with brands across the country.
Interested in learning more about our market research services? Contact us today.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
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Devan's love for learning serves him well as a market research professional. With two years of both quantitative and qualitative research in the healthcare space under his belt, he knows what it takes to answer some of the toughest market research questions.
Learn more about Devan, here.