2018 Predictions - Andy Brown

As we look to 2018, Andy Brown takes us through his top 5 predictions on 2018 from the biggest challenge facing the market research industry to how technology & data will transform how we deliver value to our clients. 

  • What do you anticipate being the biggest trend for 2018?
    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning being intelligently applied more widely – including within market and media research. Market research is largely based on probabilities; machines can be trained to see patterns and recognise and organise data much more reliably than humans. Whilst I wouldn’t ever advocate more black box methodologies, there is a role for AI to contribute to efficiencies in data processing and operations, as well as client facing benefits. One thing I certainly expect to see over the next year is more forward-looking or predictive data.
  • What brands do you think will do well in 2018? 
    • We’re undoubtedly going to see continued growth of the big digital powerhouses; Facebook, Google, Amazon etc. But perhaps we will also see further movement of East Asian (Chinese and Japanese) brands coming to the West – there’s currently nothing like WeChat in terms of service over here. Social commerce in Europe and the Americas remains very limited to date.”
  • What is the biggest challenge for the market research industry? 
    • Talent. This has been a big challenge for a while now. We need to compete harder than ever to recruit and retain talent given the strong position of the digital and technology companies – this is something I see particularly in the area of methodology and statistics.
  • What will success look like in 2018?
    • For me, success next year would come from further online migration of our offline currency data solutions. I look forward to seeing more integration of our data assets with client’s first party – and other third party – data, including that of our colleagues at Kantar, to link media consumption with impact attitudinally or in terms of sales.”
  •  Looking ahead to 2018, what skills/talents do you see as being most vital to the industry?
    • There are two vital roles we need to fill, as an industry, in 2018
      • Holistic thinkers – those who can work across both “traditional” and “digital”. And those who are holistic in a sense that they understand the roles and limitations of different methodologies.
      • Data scientists – people who can manage and organise big data, and make it talk to small data.”

2017 Round-up from Andy Brown
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