January is no stranger to prediction articles. In fact, you can find several on Quirks.com (including the January/February issue of the magazine)! But this year, as our team began sifting through prediction posts – general and industry-specific – we found ourselves wondering what our industry partners were hoping and preparing for in 2022. What were their goals for their communities – and the industry at large? How were they preparing to better serve their members in 2022? What challenges did they expect their members to face? 

Each year, Quirk’s partners with marketing research and insight associations and organizations that share our goal of taking the industry to a new level of excellence. Partners were given the opportunity to respond to one of two questions: 

  • What is your greatest hope for the marketing research and insights community in 2022? 
  • What is your organization’s No. 1 goal for 2022?

Below you will find a compilation of their responses (edited for length and clarity – shared in alphabetical order by organization name). We hope this list inspires you to reflect on your own hopes and goals for the industry in 2022. 

ladders reaching toward goal

Providing support through new challenges

The No. 1 goal of AURA is to provide the forums for our members to share ideas, gain support and learn from the AURA community, and network with their peers in the research industry. It is incumbent upon AURA, as a membership body of client-side researchers, to ensure that our members receive the necessary support to help them deal with the new challenges they are experiencing both during and after the COVID pandemic.” 

 Tim Steere, chair, AURA

Upholding high industry standards

“This year will hopefully see an improvement in employee experience across the community. Employee discontent is a much-overlooked facet of poor business health, which could translate to grievous outcomes for any organization. Employee experience should be a management-level issue, ensuring that employees are consistently kept at the top of the agenda. 

“Uncertain times can be inhibiting because they test human resilience, but also catalyze a heightened awareness of new business dynamics, fueling more disruption, innovation and growth. However, widening inequities and income gaps will continue to threaten the development of creative, diverse and qualified professionals across markets through the pandemic. 

“This year should also see a rise in awareness of knowledge mobilization and a more nuanced definition of its role in research. The changing relationships among information or knowledge capital, technology capital and human capital means that global and local ethics and codes of conduct will need to be effectively addressed and communicated across all levels of management in every organization that relies on research, analytics and insights – upholding high industry standards. These are some priorities that both organizations I work for, Canada’s insights trade body, CRIC, and the industry certification body for Canada’s analytics and insights professionals, CAIP, are committed to achieving through my roles. I am excited by the evolution of qualitative insights, online research and the growing intersection of public opinion research with consumer insights that will link the public and the private sectors as they feed into the innovation ecosystem to create reliable, consistent and replicable research for clients.”

Arundati Dandapani, chief editor and intelligence officer, Canadian Research Insights Council, and COO, Certified Analytics and Insights Professionals of Canada  

Increasing respect for data

“We will continue to see a resurgence in people’s demand for, and appreciation of, codes of conduct and respect for data. Yes, data is a key asset for all companies and services, but when it comes to customers, consumers or citizens, each data point represents an individual, whose data we MUST respect. In the context of the ever more widespread use, application (and criticism!) of machine learning, AI and automated decision systems, this WILL BE the unique discriminator between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ systems. As a result, membership of organizations such as ours will become increasingly important for both suppliers and users of insights, as it represents a comprehensive appreciation of, and respect for, the proper use of an incredible business asset.” 

Fin Raben, director general, ESOMAR, from a prediction post published January 6, 2022 (shared with permission). 

Investing in the next generation of insights enthusiasts 

“Our greatest hope is that the insights community will confidently take the lead in three critical areas – leading with empathy and curiosity; addressing biases and lack of diversity in our workforce and research; and building trust via improved data health and governance. Our call is to be the objective, accurate and empathetic voice of the people we represent, and we hope that as a profession we invest in cultivating those skills both in ourselves and in the next generation of insights enthusiasts.” 

Melanie Courtright, CEO, Insights Association 

Facilitating much-needed connection

“Community is Insights in Color’s No. 1 goal this year. We spent two years building ourselves up and developing tools and resources to ensure research methods moving forward are as unbiased and thoughtfully inclusive as possible. Now, we are hoping to come from behind the desk to meet the members we’ve been digitally connecting with from the beginning. More than anything, we are hoping to create the right environments to facilitate much-needed connection, guidance and mentorship for multicultural research practitioners currently in the field and those who have yet to come.” 

Whitney Dunlap-Fowler, founder, Insights in Color 

Driving strategic decision-making 

“I think there are two big strategic challenges for corporate insight teams this year. The first is to consolidate and enhance the improved position that many have enjoyed in their organizations since the lockdowns began two years ago. Insight teams have been in the spotlight, receiving far more executive attention than ever before. The question is, will this turn out to be a temporary phase while organizations felt under such pressure to respond to the commercial stress of the lockdowns and the obvious requirement to pay more attention to consumer behavior and intentions? Or it will it be the start of a new chapter, where insight teams keep the ear of the C-suite and position themselves as trusted advisers from this point on?

“The second challenge is whether they can take control of their own agendas, and focus their time, energy, expertise and budget on a relatively small number of big strategic issues; or whether they will get drawn into a million smaller projects that please middle managers but do little to change the overall performance of their organization. This has always been an issue for insight teams, but the increasing granularity of data available now makes it possible for insight teams to drill down when they actually need to spend far more time rolling up to paint the big pictures about customers, consumers and markets required to drive the really big strategic decisions.” 

James Wycherley, chief executive, Insight Management Academy 

A stronger, more diverse industry

“We look to the future of our industry with a focus on the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts that have always been at the forefront of Women in Research’s mission. Namely, we hope to see a stronger, more diverse pipeline coming into our industry and rising through the ranks, an effort we hope to support through growth-focused programming and educational opportunities that support a variety of different tracks to leadership in market research. 

“It is our 15th anniversary, and time for our Advancement in the Market Research Industry Study that we run every five years. This study looks at pay gaps, changing gender roles and attitudes among our workforce – I hope since the studies in 2012 and 2017 that we will see data that shows concrete and measurable progress is being made on all fronts of equity.” 

Michelle Andre, managing director, Women in Research