Reineke Reitsma [Posted by Reineke Reitsma]

For a new report I'm writing I'm looking into knowledge management and what this means for Market Research. Currently, in most market research department each survey is a standalone project and it's close to non-existent that results are analyzed across surveys or data sources for gathering insights and trends. On the other side of the house there are colleagues analyzing web statistics, DM and email marketing data, brand trackers, and CRM outcomes.

However, this set-up will no longer be acceptable in the future. Consumers connect with companies through different channels and leave their feedback about the company in different places. They expect companies to understand that and they dont want to be asked about things they already shared.

This means in my opinion that market researchers and customer intelligence professionals have to start collaborating more. Analyses coming from web analytics, sales data, customer sat, loyalty stats, or listening software already give a lot of insight into what happens in the market, research can add the 'why' and 'how' to the surfacing trends, topics and issues.

One of the scenarions I see in the far future, is that research the role of research for existing customers will change: Market Research will develop more around qualitative insights (for example through online research communities) while the quantitative, trending data comes from customer intelligence data. Market research continues to be the leading source of information for product development, segmentation projects, target group analyses, market intelligence or competitive analyses.

This is some early stage thinking and I'd love your feedback. Where do you think the collaboration between the 'listening' people (CI professionals) and the 'asking' people (market researchers) will go? What needs to happen? What hurdles do you see?