GRIT Forum 2021: Positive outcomes for the changing insights landscape

Thought Leadership

Every few months, the market research and insights industry professionals wait for the release of the latest Greenbook GRIT report, which keeps its finger on the pulse of what’s going on in our dynamic space. Later this month, the comprehensive 2021 GRIT Business and Innovation edition will be released, and Greenbook gave a sneak preview of the data during the 2021 GRIT Forum last week.

During the Forum, Cint’s Chief Commercial Officer, Jake Wolff, participated in a panel discussion called “Evolving Industry Dynamics” alongside fellow panel members Dave Lundahl of InsightsNow; Mike Degagne of quantilope; Jessica Gaedeke of GutCheck; and Melissa Geathers of InnovateMR. Each of the panelists, including Jake, had written responses and commentary for the final report based on the findings and insights, which they synopsised during the session.

Many topics were covered, including trends surrounding AI and machine learning, unmet needs in the market research industry such as greater diversity and inclusion, the demand for greater speed and agility, and the power of automation. Jake weighed in on the overarching outcomes he expects, stemming from the massive changes and digitalisation that has occurred over the past year and a half in the market research industry.

He said that brands are “triaging” the way they procure insights and the way that they work with suppliers, and this could have surprisingly positive benefits. One trend that we’ve seen at Cint is that buyers are democratising access to insights across organisational departments and functions. This means more people can tap into the power of the data and, in turn, suppliers can tap into different budgets for their services.

Another ancillary change that may come about from the transformation of the industry is what Jake calls “shrinking the distance between those who are asking the questions and those who are answering them.” In a nutshell, respondent experience will – or at least should – improve as a result of these sweeping changes, as providing individuals with better reasons to engage, such as optimised questionnaires and greater incentives, will ultimately result in better data quality.

Finally, Jake covered the big picture opportunities. The market research space has become a very attractive option for investors, is experiencing a high number of mergers and acquisitions and is growing more quickly than ever. As investments are made, a “potential spark” for innovation is struck. This paradigm could force the industry to take things to the next level in the near future.

The panellists furthered the discussion after sharing their high-level viewpoints, reiterating the fact that a balance of the expert “human element” with the latest technological innovations is the best way forward in a landscape that is demanding speed and efficiency. It is a matter of understanding what this balance will look like now and in the future, so we can ensure that approaches and solutions continue to be viable.

COVID-19 has truly acted as a “force multiplier” for trends already impacting the industry – speed to insights, use of technology, overall digitalisation, the need for empathy, and more – pushing the scope of the industry and its future to new levels. All the panellists agreed: it is an exciting time to be in market research.

Access the 2021 GRIT Report by Greenbook where Cint is ranked as a GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative Supplier here.