4 ways to Future Proof Your Consumer Insight Skillsets for 2040
If you want to have a bird’s eye view of how the Market Research landscape will look in 2040, you are going to love this article that gives you 7 trends in which you can future proof for 2040. For "If you don't think about the future, you cannot have one."- John Galworthy!
Based on our discussions with academia, industry and review of existing secondary literature, the following trends are going to impact the Insights Industry Landscape by 2040. So, lets jump right in:
1) Research Trend 2: The Rise of Virtual Second Lives & The Need to Create a Bridge to Physical Lives
By 2040, the share of ‘virtual second lives’ and ‘social conversations’ will be very significant in the lives of people – especially if the promise of the metaverse and remote working are realized.
As more consumers engage more and with greater passion in the virtual world brands too would need to gain access, build presence and equity in this space. Thus, specialist tools and technologies to map virtual lives will be critical in the future. And insights specialists would need to build the capability to observe and map consumers as they live, love and consume in their virtual second lives and link them back to the real world.
2) Research Trend 3: Accelerated Digital Convergence
We are living in a world, where as the digital natives grow in numbers, ‘digital convergence’ acoss all facets of human life will become a reality. For example, the mobile has emerged as a ‘converged’ product that can be used for discovery, communication, creating of content for self and others, and purchase; on the other hand social media sites like Facebook are morphing into Ecommerce players and Ecommerce players like Amazon are serving content. In this converged digital world, insight solutions would need to use multi-source data and would need to be data silos agnostic. Insight solutions would also need to be automated, and AI powered to make sense of the enormous digital footprint that will be produced as digital conversion gains traction. Thus, to succeed, in this insight landscape researchers would need to be increasingly tech savvy and would need to be conversant with AI and machine learning tools.
3) Research Trend 4: From Individual to Collectivist Mindset.
By 2040, sustainability and related issues will guide consumer decisions and not merely consumer perceptions. Thus, human insight frameworks that currently assume ‘each individual seeks to maximize’ personal utility and benefit will need to be reworked to accommodate the collectivist mindset coming to the fore.
Today while brands like Grab, Uber, Air BnB being household names and the shared economy is here to stay. However, by 2040 the consumer would be focused on Regenerative Brands. This would mean a significant change in the way brands engage and meet consumer needs. And the insights professionals would need to revisit prevailing frameworks to put in place updated principles to support marketeers as consumers make their journey from individual to collectivist mindsets.
4) Research Trend 1: Importance of being a Life Long Learner
Consumer research will continue to focus on mapping context, profile, perceptions, and decisions. However, at a finer-grained level, and in ways that are currently not possible due to methodological and knowledge limitations. For example, the last decade has the debunking of the theory of the rational consumer and the emergence of the Irrational Consumer. Thus, the market researcher of tomorrow would need to have a lifelong learners mindset and would need to be willing to explore and learn.