Earlier this year Brandwatch put out a report called The Marketer of 2022 that looked at some of the skills marketers will need in order to succeed this year. Much of it was based on a survey completed by respondents from Brandwatch’s network of corporations and organizations and while the sample size (63) is small there were nevertheless some interesting nuggets for insights professionals.

The report’s focus is decidedly on the digital end of things, in keeping with Brandwatch’s emphasis on the concept of digital consumer intelligence, which it defines as efforts that enable “organizations to adapt to a fast-changing world by connecting decision makers to strategic insights derived from a combination of real-time online data, customer data and marketing intelligence.” 

But I was happy to see that, in a section on other methods of data-gathering that were mentioned by survey respondents, nearly all of the approaches mentioned were qualitative: in-depth interviews, focus groups, in-person, phone, webcam. Others included user-journey tracking technology, word-of-mouth and community platform information-gathering (forums, social media groups, etc.).

In the early months of the pandemic, Quirk’s readers who responded to our annual survey for our 2020 Q Report and client-side speakers at our virtual events that year cited numerous anecdotes of the insights function suddenly being discovered by their entire organization, as if some of them never knew that such a department existed. As the whole world tried to adjust to a horrible reality, these new friends were desperate for information on what the pandemic would mean for their customers, their industry and their organization. Researchers of course were happy to oblige and many reported a welcome improvement in their function’s internal standing, as if it suddenly dawned on their coworkers that, hey, this whole marketing research thing is kind of a good id...