The marketing research and insights industry dug into a variety of topics this year, from discussions on employee turnover, staffing shortages and quiet quitting, to better understanding what it really means to conduct inclusive research. Interested in checking out Quirk’s most popular magazine and e-newsletter articles published this year? We went back to our archive and compiled a few of the most-viewed articles of 2022.* 

Most-viewed articles of 2022

(listed in no particular order)

How to ask race and ethnicity questions in a more inclusive way

To do our jobs as insights professionals we need to understand how human behavior is changing – and to ensure we are keeping up with these changes we must do everything we can to incorporate inclusive and diverse perspectives in market research. If we continue to rely on standard demographic collection methods, we will fall short of allowing people to express and define their diverse identities in an accurate way. In particular, allowing study participants to capture their true identity is increasingly important – this is especially true among younger generations. Read more. 

The power of images in qual: Using photovoice to discover stories hiding in plain sight

When I was 10 years old, my father gave me a camera. This gift ultimately led to a career creating images of people that show them as people first – vs. a category or diagnosis. 

Photovoice is a qualitative tool that puts the power of the camera in the hands of the individuals researchers are trying to understand. It allows research subjects to give voice to their own experiences through the images they create. Read more. 

B2B surveying in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on almost all phases of life. Marketing research is not exempt. B2B researchers on both the client side and the supplier side have felt the burdens of new challenges to obtaining quality research results necessary to guide sound decision-making.

High rates of employee turnover and staffing shortages, coupled with reduced discretionary time on the job to do things like complete surveys, mean that a precise focus on proven research tactics is needed to use B2B research effectively. B2B research (as well as consumer research) generally consists of five specific activities. Read more. 

Qualitative research and the decline of the conversation 

A client who was new in their role called me recently to say they were confused because a moderator on our team was not asking questions in the same order during each in-depth interview they conducted. They said, “You know, it feels like it’s a conversation rather than research.”

It took me a moment to process before I calmly replied, “Thank you for the feedback, it sounds like they’re doing exactly what a qualitative research consultant is supposed to be doing!” Read more. 

How Microsoft marketing researchers are putting DEI priorities into motion

In some ways, inclusion – from a statistical vantage point – has been on the minds of insights professionals for decades. Representation has been a mark of quality in research of all kinds, assuring that all voices are counted in proportion.

But inclusion has now evolved into a much broader concern, one that has grown well beyond sample sizes and population counts. Brands need to recognize and meet the needs of all types of consumers – ethnically diverse, differently abled and with a strong preference for certain modes and devices for communicating. Researchers need to take on this newly expansive definition as both a mission and a mandate; if getting representation right was complex before, it has grown even more challenging – and more important. Read more. 

Does the marketing research industry have a quiet quitting problem? 

You’ve heard the phrase “quiet quitting,” where an employee does the bare minimum at work and effectively “clocks out.” You’ve nodded your head in agreement or you’ve rolled your eyes, but regardless of how you feel about the trend, the driver comes down to the perceived value an individual feels they are getting for their work. This is also a challenge we’ve faced in the market research industry for years. Read more. 

Why feedback from customers still matters in CX research

The proliferation of customer data has made it easier than ever to create more engaging customer experiences and effective marketing tactics. But as companies become awash in customer data, some are considering eliminating traditional CX and brand-tracking survey systems in favor of purely database solutions. Why ask customers what they think when you can collect data on customer interactions and use that to predict churn, customer lifetime value, next-best actions and more? 

The promise is alluring, and companies should continue to invest in predictive customer analytics to deliver personalized and micro-moment interactions with customers. However, it’s clear that traditional survey systems still play a critical role in telling the whole story by filling the empathy gaps that database solutions alone often struggle to address. Read more. 

How to stop professional survey cheaters

For market researchers everywhere, tackling fraud has become a high-stakes battle to defend data integrity. Yet, even as organizations scramble to thwart increasingly sophisticated attempts to infiltrate online surveys – including the wholesale deployment of bots and click farms – determined fraudsters constantly seek out fresh ways to subvert the system, ruthlessly exploiting every vulnerability. Read more. 

5 customer experience trends to watch in 2022

Customer success on a holistic level is impossible to achieve in a single day. It requires a series of events where your customers get wowed by excellent customer service and satisfaction. In the past, businesses believed they could compete on price and drive customer success with relative ease. Today customer experience has surpassed the product's worth as a key differentiator. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Read more. 

The rhythms of attention and memory in advertising

Attention and memory are the alpha and the omega of advertising effectiveness, just as rhythm and melody are essential for anyone trying to pen a memorable pop song. To connect attention-getting advertising to action, such as consumer purchasing behavior, it is necessary for advertising to work through memory.

Short-term or working memory, which integrates all the perceptions of the advertising experience streaming to the brain – pictures, words and music – does its job typically in less than 30 seconds, before passing the ball to long-term memory. Read more. 

4 trends changing customer and employee experiences: Part 1 

In the past few years, businesses have had to pivot more times than we can count – especially when it comes to the experiences they provide customers, employees and the greater market. We have all had to adapt our strategies in real time to meet the needs of the moment, and it’s safe to say it’s been challenging.

But as we move forward, experience-focused businesses are faced with a new challenge: there is no “back to normal.” The circumstances of the past few years have forever changed us as individuals – and our expectations as consumers. Read more. 

Empathy as the foundation of a successful company

The value of empathy in business can’t be underestimated. If being good and kind isn’t incentive enough, the data show that people want businesses to demonstrate empathy for consumers and society.

  • 64% of people think CEOs should lead change rather than waiting for the government.
  • 81% of people say they want to be able to trust a brand to do what’s right.
  • 78% of people say it’s important for brands to put customers before profit.
  • Half of people choose, switch or avoid brands based on societal issues.

Read more. 

Gauging the future of electric and autonomous vehicles

Two important trends within the automotive industry – the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) and the development of autonomous vehicles (AVs) – are spurring extraordinary changes in technological advances, manufacturing practices and even dealership selling and servicing approaches. In this article we examine how market researchers need to adapt their research perspectives to provide salient and cogent information to EV and AV manufacturers, their suppliers and stakeholders in the coming years. Read more. 

Using behavioral biases to increase the value of segmentation

Does your segmentation measure and understand behavioral biases? Understanding bias can assist in targeting and influencing specific behaviors. Doing this increases segmentation’s value vs. traditional segmentation approaches. 

Why? Because traditional segmentations rely on rational measures and rational thinking. This limits their value. Because we – humans – are irrational. Read more. 

Philips Healthcare put human experiences at the heart of research into cardiology care pathways

The way in which health and health outcomes are experienced and defined is evolving. We are all very much aware of how the global pandemic is accelerating transformation within health care, subsequently impacting the design, accessibility and experience of care systems. To successfully engage with this changing landscape, we need an enhanced, holistic approach to insight development. While changes are happening at a system and regulatory level, the importance of the human or lived experiences of health care remains paramount.

In this article, we will share some of our recent learnings around motivating and inspiring a more holistic approach to exploring and understanding changing experiences within evolving health care systems. Read more. 

Practical tips for increasing the influence of your marketing research insights 

When I was a child, every Thanksgiving my family would prepare a huge meal that included all the usual dishes that you’d expect at most holiday tables. We had turkey, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes. And then there was a lone bowl of cranberry sauce. That singular dish of cranberry sauce would end up sitting in the fridge for a week or so after Thanksgiving, ignored. This happened each year without fail. We’d purchase the ingredients, prepare the dish, serve it, store it and then throw it away, unused. One year I asked my mom, why do you bother to make cranberry sauce if nobody eats it? She didn’t hesitate with her answer: “Because we’re supposed to.”

Too often companies treat market research like cranberry sauce. It’s done because we’re supposed to do it, but it has no impact on our decisions. Read more. 

How privacy can be a competitive advantage in digital marketing

The data privacy movement is disrupting digital marketing worldwide. But disruption leads to innovation. With the right tactics, privacy is an opportunity for competitive advantage. 

Throughout the history of digital advertising, there have been many important changes that caused concern for how brands do business. In the end, marketers have learned to adapt to this fluid environment and in most cases have ended up better off than before. Data privacy is proving to be no different. While being driven by consumer apprehension on how personal information is being collected, stored and used, it’s causing marketers to rethink how they can be smarter in their approach and improve users’ online experience to encourage long-term relationships. Read more. 

Marketing researchers assess the current health care landscape

Intellus Worldwide, an organization for health care insights professionals, has partnered with Trinity Life Sciences to track the ever-changing pharmaceutical marketplace and the impact those changes may have for the market research professional through the annual Trends and Futures survey. The Trends and Future survey has been developed by Intellus membership to gain a deeper insight across several categories of exploration from the perspective of manufacturers and agency suppliers. The Wave 1 (Q1 2020) survey focused on identifying broader trends influencing health care researchers, while the most recent Wave 2 (Q1 2021 survey¹) signaled broader insights across the key thematic areas of consumers, clinical trials and technology. Each wave of the survey includes a sample of health care market researchers at biopharmaceutical and health care companies as well as professionals across market research, data, technology and sample providers. Read more. 

*While the list truly includes the most read articles published in 2022 on Quirk's site (data gathered from Google Analytics), we present them in random order as our calculations do not take into consideration the different modes of publication (print, digital) and audiences.