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Data mining: the marketing research of the future?

Forget focus groups and phone surveys says new research

In a recent post on, Community Editor Shawn Hessinger shares results of a recent study by Cambiar Partners, a market research consulting firm, which suggests data mining will rule market research in the future, and Web-based data companies like Google and Facebook could be the top marketing research firms.

For the study, Cambiar asked 274 corporate researchers and research senior executives to project out to 2020 about the changes they see coming for the field of marketing research. It compiled results in its Future of Research Report, released late last year.

Hessinger shares the most significant findings, including:
  •  Three out of four researchers believe “mining of existing knowledge” will be the main kind of market research conducted in the future as opposed to new research projects. A majority also believe “emotion measurement” will be significant, though exactly what form this measurement might take remains vague. “The jury is still out” on whether techniques like neuroscience and biometrics are viable options, Cambiar noted in the report. 
  • One quarter of corporate researchers surveyed think the leading research company of 2020 doesn’t exist today, and another one-fifth expect that leading company to be either Google or Facebook. In a world in which “mining of existing knowledge” becomes the main kind of market research, it makes sense that a search tool or social platform already managing almost limitless data would lead the pack.

The findings may suggest a major role for text analytics and sentiment analysis in the future of marketing research. Market researchers would use text analytics to identify brand mentions in social media and other customer-generated data, and sentiment analysis to measure the general attitude toward those brands.

For more details, see the full blog post on For more on harnessing data for marketing effectiveness, check out this white paper.

What do you think? Will collecting and mining existing customer data take the place of new market research projects? Leave your comments below. community site, sponsored by SAS

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