The Ugly Duckling That Was MR
By Kevin Lonnie
I found it fascinating that an October 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers review on the size of the UK Market Research industry found it to be 50% larger than previously estimated!
Holy smokes, what’s going on here? According to the latest Honomichl Report, our industry is only growing by low single digits.
The answer is in how you define Market Research. According to the report “The Business of Evidence” the traditional definition of MR no longer applies. Apparently, there are a lot more firms and organizations undertaking research activities than had been previously thought.
Is this all nothing but good news? Well, if you’re clinging to a comeback for traditional MR data collection, you’re out of luck. That part of our industry is dying a slow death. Traditional MR is akin to the local music or book store. Take a look at all those empty Borders & Tower Records stores.
The newer, broader interpretation of MR appears to encroach on the realm of Business Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence. (see Wikipedia Definitions below). If Social Media Research and Big Data are placed under the header of MR, then we have significantly grown our industry at the expense of other forms of market intelligence.
What I’m suggesting is that all the narrow definitions we have held ourselves to are moot. With new tools in consumer ideation and co-creation combined with lightning fast big data analytics, MR is evolving from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan.
A broad definition of competitive intelligence is the action of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in making strategic decisions for an organization.