NewYork, 02.11.2015

Two-Thirds of Market Research Clients Do Not Expect to Be Using Passive Data in Two Years


GfK, IIR study of over 700 MR professionals shows growing importance of mobile research, data integration, storytelling​

Although clients and suppliers alike cite passive measurement as a growing source of consumer insights, roughly two thirds say they will not be using passive data two years from now.

The finding comes from new research conducted by GfK and the Institute for International Research (IIR) among over 700 market research clients and suppliers. GfK’s David Krajicek (COO, Consumer Experiences North America) unveiled highlights from the study today at The Market Research Event (TMRE), the leading conference devoted to market research.

To request a topline summary of this report, write to futureofinsights(at)

When asked what will be their single most important source of data for insights creation two years from now, 30% of clients and 27% of suppliers chose “consumer-specific data collected passively.” This would put passive in parity with “custom surveys in any mode,” which was selected by 29% of both clients and suppliers.

But when asked how much passive measurement they are doing now and expect to do, 68% of clients and 69% of suppliers said they are doing none today and do not expect to start in the next two years. Roughly one quarter of each group says they are doing no passive measurement today but expect to be doing some two years from now.

Watch a video of David Krajicek discussing findings from the study

The study also shows some diverging points of view among clients and suppliers. When asked what is the “biggest gap” in the market research industry today, suppliers were more likely to cite “data quality” (20% vs. 15% for clients). And while “integrating information from different sources to tell a story” was the most frequent choice among both groups, the percentage for clients (31%) was significantly higher than for suppliers (23%).

Among the 709 respondents, 315 were clients and 394 were suppliers. Clients and suppliers were widely dispersed among industries and company sizes. Three-quarters of the clients have market research as at least part of their role.

Results from The Future of Insights also reveal that:

  • Budget limitations are and will likely remain the leading organizational issue for clients and suppliers; but a variety of other concerns – from data integration to regulatory concerns – are seen as nearly equal in importance.
  • Roughly six in ten clients and suppliers say they will be doing research using mobile apps and/or mobile browsers two years from now – with suppliers more likely to say they are already doing it.
  • “Speed of insight generation to impact business decisions” is also seen as an important gap in the industry today, scoring second among clients (17%) and third among suppliers (15%).

About GfK
GfK is one of the world’s leading research companies, with around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.

To find out more, visit GfK on Twitter

About The Institute for International Research (IIR)
IIR is among the world’s most recognized and trusted providers of conferences and expositions; seminars; training events; and specialized learning and networking experiences. By facilitating connections between companies, individuals and communities, IIR events drive innovation, inspire excellence and help businesses and professionals grow.

IIR produces The Market Research Event (TMRE) – the largest and most comprehensive conference in the world dedicated to increasing the business value of insights – taking place November 2-4 in Orlando, FL.
For more information, visit


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