The discussion on the ever-increasing changes to the market situation of the market research sector has been going on for several years now and is nowhere near losing momentum. I still remember the beginnings of online market research in the late 90s. What was initially not taken seriously as a survey instrument, and belittled by opinion leaders in the industry as being non-representative at the time, has gradually been included in the portfolio by market leaders due to customer acceptance and the steadily growing number of interviews and is now an important market research tool. Even then, fear of change was already embedded in our industry. In my view, our current discussion about the revival of market research is coming to a head and in some cases culminates in liquidation forecasts. Do we place so little trust in ourselves? Yes, it is true, the changes are profound, but only for those who have ignored the gradual transformation of the last 15 years. Alternative survey methods, declining willingness to participate among respondents and data protection have been a focus of our deliberation for a long time. The sector’s priority is the need to create exciting, creative and entertaining designs in the interests of our customers and users, which will ultimately deliver a real impact, from which clients and users will derive sustainable benefits. Once again, it feels as though this claim is completely new and surprising for some.
Development is continual and everywhere. Every company is tasked with adapting to market changes and shaping their own future viability with innovative processes on a daily basis. From my point of view, this is exactly what makes my job fun and exciting. When I was younger, I was terrified of having to do the same thing all my life, of living in a world where there is little change. The philosophy of consistent and continual improvement is a crucial business success concept. This applies to all companies, including us. Whoever is the best at mastering this philosophy and understanding the current zeitgeist overall, will remain relevant in 2020.
Let us as an industry finally feel joy in what is a change that offers us so many new opportunities and possibilities. It is simply fun to deal with new techniques, processes and solutions. We are traditionally used to thinking in terms of a narrow range of survey methodology, tend to be critical of new methods and only accept it after years of testing and standardisation. This may have earned us a reputation among our customers for fearing innovation. Now, young, courageous companies are starting up everywhere; they do not wait for the approval from our industry but prefer to impress customers with creativity. Not everything developed today will make it to the year 2025, but from the experience of today’s new methodology, professional and effective solutions will emerge, which will strongly influence market research in just a few years. We should not be anxious about the changes in our industry but instead have butterflies of excitement and anticipation. I still remember the thrill I felt when I first started out. That top of the world feeling.