MR industry is taking ‘One step forward, two steps back’ suggests the 9th Confirmit Annual MR Software Survey


New York, NY and London, UK and Oslo, Norway: Confirmit, the leading global solutions provider for Customer Experience, Employee Engagement and Market Research (MR) has revealed the results of its 9th Annual MR Software Survey. The results show a patchy approach to progress in the MR industry, with some apparent backwards steps around survey length, despite a rise in new and specialist data collection, and more creative research methods.  

The survey is conducted annually by meaning ltd, an independent research technology consultancy in London, UK and supported by Confirmit. It provides unique information and insight into the interplay of technology and methodology within the MR industry. It also highlights current usage, attitudes and predictions from practitioners, as well as identifying trends from a number of tracking questions that are asked each year.

Tim Macer, Managing Director, meaning ltd, commented: “We try to focus on the hottest topics in Market Research and this year they include incentivised panels, interview quality measures, survey length and the impact of mobile.”

The survey found that there is a growing trend towards respondents taking web surveys on mobile devices (up from 6.7 percent last year to 13.1 percent), a small but growing use of mobile self-completion, and increasing recognition that mobile is deemed “viable” as a research channel by the vast majority of researchers. 

Additional highlights include: 

  • A continued decline of paper and CATI as data collection methods, and waning interest in SMS as a research channel.
  • An apparent backwards step in survey length with only 1 in 3 respondents reporting that surveys are shorter on mobile devices, despite recognition that the optimum survey length for mobile is 7 minutes, compared to 15 minutes for web. 
  • Only 24 percent of agencies confirmed their commitment to maintaining panel quality by employing independent panel verification services and digital fingerprinting to identify fraudulent respondents. 
  • An increase in more creative approaches to research in a bid to target hard to reach demographics and increase engagement.
  • The importance of mobile apps is likely to catch up, and probably surpass mobile browser in the coming years.
  • The survey also found another backwards step for MR agencies. They seem reluctant to move away from Microsoft PowerPoint during the reporting phase, in spite of the clear benefits of using digital dashboards, interactive analysis and online static reports. Indeed, there has been a surge in the use of Excel as researchers strive to provide clients with reports that can be manipulated. 
Macer explained: “What’s clear is that while mobile is on the ascendant, those doing research aren’t attaching a high priority to addressing the disruptive challenges it poses, or creating the kind of engaging experience that participants expect on their mobile device. In addition, given that we’ve found 63 percent of all online research now uses incentivised panels, MR agencies should be upping their game to weed out hyperactive respondents who are simply motivated by financial reward. Yet most MR agencies seem to be steadfastly refusing to take this vital step.”
Wale Omiyale, SVP Market Research, at Confirmit explained: “MR is moving with the times but perhaps the most obvious message from this year’s survey is that the evolutionary process has a long way to go before aspirations become a reality. An over-reliance on traditional reporting methods when dashboards clearly have the edge needs to be questioned. Confirmit remains committed to providing the capabilities that MR agencies need to offer a new generation of reporting solutions to their customers.”


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