36 Market Research Thought Leaders On Predictions for 2018

36 Market Research Thought Leaders On Predictions for 2018

Read the full post on the GreenBook Blog

And so another year draws to a close, and that means it’s time to engage in one of our favorite traditions: the annual attempt at prognostication by a collection of some of the best and brightest in the market research industry! This year 36 folks submitted their predictions using their choice of either text or video (provided by our friends at LivingLens) and we’ve compiled them in the following post for your edification.

Now let’s get the obvious out of the way: there’s no way we could accurately predict what is going to happen, and you should be very skeptical when people claim otherwise. Even when using data and advanced analysis techniques, there will always be bias and imperfection in the analyses. No one is claiming that these are guaranteed to come true, but to some degree everyone here is placing bets on the probability of them coming true.

Of course everyone here must admit to having a subjective point of view, but these predictions are valuable because that subjectivity is informed by experience, performance, intelligence and by monitoring the industry and its news for the past year. We have all tried to leverage these resources to highlight what are the most important trends going forward.

So, without further ado, here are the predictions on trends we will be keeping an eye on in 2018.

Melinda Han Williams, VP of Data Science and Analytics, Dstillery:

2018: the Year of AI De-mystification

As the research industry turns its attention to data science, 2018 will be the year to cut through the hype on AI. AI is not magic, but a very powerful tool; and when you have truly large amounts of data, it is the only tool that can take full advantage of all that information. In 2018, AI will live up to its potential to find valuable consumer insights for marketers and brands. But most brands willingly admit they don’t understand what AI is, or what it can do for them.

Through the recent years of Big Data, our industry has encountered the classic problem of the data firehose. The bigger and more granular your dataset, the more likely it contains some gem of information, but it is also much more likely that you’ll be lost at sea trying to find it. In the space of digital advertising, the sea is extremely granular observed behavioral data – the web content we consume, the apps we use, the things we tweet, the locations, the things we buy, and the ads we see. This unobstructed view of the consumer frees us from the limitations of traditional survey data: consumers honesty, memory, and introspective ability. But unlike traditional market research, it doesn’t provide us with any direction of where to look. The insights hidden in granular observational data are incredibly powerful, but only visible and comprehensible through the lens of AI.

At Dstillery, our data scientists have been actively deploying Machine Learning and AI for 9 years. We are best known for applying these tools to the optimization of programmatic media. In the course of analyzing billions of data points in the online journeys of hundreds of millions of customers for the purpose of identifying the right prospect and the right media opportunity, our models discover deep insights that can inform marketing and brand strategy decisions well beyond media execution.

We believe, that in 2018 AI will emerge, not as some miraculous alchemy pulling the proverbial rabbit out of a hat, but as a workhorse tool for generating insights from the vast signals across the internet. AI and machine learning will give brands new ways of finding meaningful and actionable stories, and discovering new unique consumer audiences. Once the power of AI is understood and the myths are dispelled, we predict it will become the preferred method for brands to generate insights that fuel more effective marketing decisions that drive brand growth.