Recently I was asked  by Research Magazine to contribute to an article about market research in 2010. The caveat: I was only allowed ONE word to describe what I saw as the most important change, trend or force affecting market research in 2010.

Challenging as this was (as my document ‘Trends that will shape market research in 2010‘ covered 10 trends, and that was already a drill down from a longer list!) I finally came up with the word ‘Listening‘.

Why Listening? (in 100 words max):

“The market research toolkit needs to include more qualitative ‘listening’ in 2010 to uncover the story behind the numbers. Most market research is still about ‘asking’ – using questions to understand consumers’ needs and wants. But some in the industry are collecting a lot of data on customers by listening: they’re analysing web statistics, online brand-tracking information, marketing campaigns, and insights from CRM. Consumers interact with companies via different channels and platforms and they expect companies to understand that – they don’t want to be asked about things they already shared and they will not accept this disconnect in the future”

Other contributions included Probability, Transformational, Rewind, Qualitative, Fulcrum, Ethnographical, Essential, and Consolidation. You can read the full article here (and don’t forget the comments, they include some great suggestions).

Do you have any additions, is there anything we missed?