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    2020: Doubling Down on Tech and Consumers

    Frédéric Charles Petit, Chief Executive Officer

    The seismic shifts caused by the consolidations, investments and mergers may follow the marketing research industry into 2020. The changes represent and result from the on-demand economy meeting the requirements for insights delivered at the speed of business. While companies demand speed, they also continue to depend on the highest quality insights. These new research prerequisites must merge without impact on quality and while study results become available to more researchers for analysis and use.

    Other industry trends to follow include:

    • Double Down on Technology: The days of purely service-driven custom research are over. Research industry experts and novices know that technology and investments in technology are crucial to delivering insights at the speed of business decisions.
    • Holistic View of Consumer Journey: A holistic view of the consumer and his/her journey is table stakes. Privacy and compliance regulations will limit the collection and use of third-party consumer data. This means that first- and third-party data needs to be embedded. Consider the following;
      • Third-party data companies will benefit from access to panel community members who opt-in to providing personal data and agree in advance to how their data will be used;
      • First-party data companies will benefit from the hundreds of extra data points that third-party data brings to research results.

    The consolidation both data types could power companies to make even better and more nuanced business decisions. This means that first- and third-party data needs to be merged, or at least become seamless.

    • Better Predictions of Behavior and Use: The best use cases for clients need to be developed and multiplied. Market research is late in developing AI for industry use. AI can empower specialization, test analysis, identify positive or negative trends, predict the best way to run a survey and, with certainty, complete abandoned surveys based on previous responses. Investments in machine learning and AI are being made and will continue throughout 2020.

    After the past two years, no one in marketing research will pretend to have a crystal ball to predict the future with 100 percent accuracy. As an industry stalwart, I can say that we have learned a few things with 20+ years’ experience. Toluna revolutionized the industry with our technology. Our digital solutions brought speed to an industry that formerly conducted studies in months, not days. Toluna Quick Surveys, our signature product, maintained research quality and achieved scale previous unimaginable: hundreds of thousands of panel members comparing tens of thousands of products and sharing results in real time. We feel confident in our ability to understand and lead as the next decade unfolds.

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