Market Researchers Resources The 2018 Guide to Qualitative Research Methods

QMR in 2020: Where the industry’s headed (and what Doyle’s doing as a qualitative leader!)


We spend a lot of time talking about the future: where will the economy be in three years? How big will social media be in 2015? What will the workforce look like in 2020? It can be a dizzying exercise. Still, we’re forever interested in tomorrow, and qualitative market research (QMR) is no different.


As an industry, we strive to stay on top of the trends, to understand what’s out there, and how we can better leverage new tools and methods to benefit our clients. But as the pace of change accelerates, just staying on top of the trends isn’t enough … you have to be ahead of them. You have to anticipate what’s coming, vision for the future, and focus on new ways to deliver value. And you don’t do that by standing still. That’s why, over the past 26 years, we’ve built our business on staying ahead of the curve, pushing ourselves to be a leader in the industry.

Qualitative market research–like most industries today–is changing, and Doyle is committed to helping shape that change. This month we’re considering what QMR will look like in the next decade, and the implications for your business and ours.
Everyone wants DIY research tools (which might not be such a bad thing)

We already live in a world of do it yourself technology: websites within a few clicks of the mouse; email marketing in an instant; custom forms so simple, even a technophobe could do it. As 2020 approaches, client needs will become more tech-focused, and fall in line with their real world experiences out of the office. Why is that good? It will create more opportunities for consultation, allowing Doyle to provide insights into the data our clients already have. Less time will be focused on gathering the data, and more on making sense of an increasing flood of information. The best part: Doyle is providing these insights NOW, and as client needs increase, we will be well positioned to meet them.

Mobile gets bigger, Social networks get bigger, and sourcing the crowd actually works
From the launch of the first iPhone, it’s been clear mobile computing is here to stay. In the next decade, mobile research to provide on-demand, in the moment insights from an ever-expanding audience won’t be the stuff of boutique firms and niche demographics; it will be commonplace. Companies will ask their audience, and the audience will help drive the brand. Social networks will continue to grow, and with that growth, the mountain of data will expand into a vast sea of potential. The value of that data will only be realized through deep, thoughtful analysis by skilled researchers able to dig well below the surface of these microbursts of insight. Fortunately, that’s research Doyle is already conducting, value Doyle is already delivering, and well before the need becomes acute.


In-person hasn’t disappeared, but its use has narrowed and is augmented by enhanced online methods

Even as we move into the future, there will always be value—given individual research objectives—in meeting face-to-face with participants, whether that’s at a central research facility, the individual’s home, their office, the bathroom, or even their car! Still, we have entered the age where technology has made meeting with customers face-to-face “online” simpler, more natural, and easier to manage. This will only increase over time, and by 2020, may even become status quo. In addition to reducing travel costs, this move will allow companies to engage and involve customers, eliciting feedback at every point in the decision process—where they consider, decide, browse, shop, purchase, and use a product or service. Doyle uses these methods now, and we understand the value they bring to the market, and the requirements for ensuring success.


Insights are significantly augmented with rich media and multi-dimensional views
Video and image sharing are huge now; over the next decade, they will become massive. Respondents will upload images and video to augment text-based responses, and they will do it immediately using smartphones, mobile devices, and portable tablets, leveraging apps and integrated websites. Not only will we have text and verbal responses, we’ll have rich media insights that provide an even deeper look into the mind of the respondent. Researchers will need to know how to interpret these new data and translate them into valuable, actionable insights for their clients; skills Doyle is building now with services like Video Diaries and Street Talk.


Dumping data on clients is a thing of the past, and QMR firms are providing high-level storytelling, consultation, recommendations, and action planning
Clients are becoming less and less interested in massive amounts of data with little meaningful context wrapped around it. Over the next few years they will be looking for high-level consultation that makes sense of the data, tells the story, and provides clear, actionable insights, in the form of a pragmatic, real world plan. Doyle has understood this intuitively for many years now, consistently refining our ability to filter data into a meaningful story for our clients; a story that tells them what their customers want, where their business should move, and steps they can take to help get there.


At Doyle, the future is now!
Our view of the future is based in today’s market reality. Doyle understands where QMR is headed, and we’ve spent time and resources to get out ahead of the crowd, and prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s client needs, today. If you’d like to learn more about how we’re addressing the future of qualitative right now, feel free to contact us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

“I have used Doyle Research on numerous occasions, and have found the team to be knowledgeable, creative in recommending solutions for qualitative that works, able to turn on a dime when we needed it. We’ve had solid results and some highly insightful analysis that opened business partner eyes to some things they didn’t know but needed to.”

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