Grading Our 2021 Market Research Predictions

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Grading Our 2021 Market Research Predictions

After the upheaval 2020 brought, the market research industry (well, really all industries) thought 2021 would have a bit more stability.  So, let’s look back at the predictions we made in January 2021 and see how we did.

Prediction 1: Swings in Research Demand

Our Grade: B+

As what started in the back half of 2020, we continued to see research demand increase.  Unlike in 2020, the demand swings weren’t like a rollercoaster, but instead, we saw a steady increase in the demand for insights.  We did still experience some supply issues across the industry, but instead of it being widespread, it was more isolated to specific target audiences.

Prediction 2: Additional Focus on Data Quality

Our Grade: B

We did see more companies put a focus on data quality, with new tools being introduced to help prevent or identify poor-quality respondents.  2021 also ignited competition in the data quality space.  We saw the newer breed of data quality tool providers, like Research Defender, rise to prominence, while also having sample providers increase the focus of their own internal tools.

Prediction 3: Continued Consolidation

Our Grade: A

We don’t really want to toot our own horn, but honestly, we nailed this one.  Not only did we see larger firms snap up the smaller firms, but we witnessed the following:

  • Dynata acquired inBrain
  • Schlesinger bought Addison Research
  • Bilendi acquired Respondi
  • Cint acquired GapFish
  • DISQO purchased Verto Analytics
  • Phoenix Marketing International acquired Communicus

 We also observed some larger changes:

  • Dynata acquired Ameritest
  • Schlesinger Group acquired Methodify
  • Kanter purchased Numerator
  • Confirmit and FocusVision merged
  • Zendesk purchased Momentive (SurveyMonkey)

Lastly, the year ended with a blockbuster merger when Cint acquired Lucid.

Prediction 4: Shift to End-to-End Solutions

Our Grade: B

We think we got this mostly right.  While we didn’t see the blockbuster moves that we have seen in previous years, companies that made the decision to provide end-to-end solutions continued to add pieces and parts to round out their offerings.

Prediction 5: Federal Privacy Legislation

Our Grade: F

We can’t get them all right.  While the trend continued with states enacting privacy legislation, we never saw anything on the federal level (even though we probably need it).

Prediction 6: Progress on Leveraging Non-Survey Data

Our Grade: Incomplete

This one is a hard one to give a grade to.  We know there was an increase in market research firms working with brand and sampling companies to augment traditional survey data with more behavioral, transactional, and other data, but we only have anecdotal evidence. 

Here’s looking forward to what’s to come in 2022!