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President, SurveyMonkey

Hope you don’t mind my getting buzzwordy and metaphoric all at the same time but the agile wave has crashed on the shores of market research. Insights and research pros need to be thinking about how different our jobs will be five years, three years and even 12 months from now thanks to the rising tide of technology and start-up culture that’s transforming more and more functions, markets and industries.

Organizations of every stripe need to be gathering feedback and acting on the concerns of their most important constituents – their customers, their employees and their markets. Increasing competition and the accelerating pace of business create a tailwind that is making research and feedback more important than ever. But this also means that market research needs to move faster and be more iterative as multiple streams of data merge over time. The answer? Agile research.

I have a unique vantage point to observe changes that are already afoot and ones that are coming soon. SurveyMonkey has paying customers from over 300,000 businesses and organizations conducting research on our platform at all times, so our usage data gives us a clear view of the trends that are transforming the market research landscape every day. 

Our team has compiled five data-based predictions on how agile market research will impact our professional lives. 

At this point, you might want to interject something like, “Wait, I didn’t even know market research could or should be agile. What gives?” Fair point, so let me briefly define agile market research before we continue.

Agile research is iterative. The era of doing a couple of large, set-in-stone projects a year is gone. Today your research goals adapt to the ever-changing needs of the business, which translates into frequent projects that validate your strategy along the way. 

Agile research is part o...