Five Emerging Roles That Are Changing the Face of Market Research

Following on from my last post – 2012 Resolutions for the Market Research Agencies – I wanted to talk more about how we make these resolutions a reality by creating new agency roles with distinctive new skills sets.

1. Technologist

The MRX Technologist is primarily responsible for keeping up to date with new digital trends and is able to help the agency develop and pilot new research methodologies. This may take the form of designing new platforms from scratch or being the lead decision maker when it comes to buying 3rd party software. Alongside innovation, the Technologist plays an increasingly important role on project teams where the research briefs are UX or Service Design orientated.

Skills: User Experience, Digital Project Management, Data Analytics

2. Community Manager

Communities are social places and need to be nurtured by people who are experts in digital communication. With the rise of MROC’s the fastest growing role in MRX agencies is that of the community manager. In fact, most of the problems associated with bad MROC research is when the agency does not have this person on the team. The Community Manager is responsible for setting the rules of the community, setting the tone of voice, making a personal connection with members and ultimately ensuring good quality engagement with the project. The Community Manager is also increasingly leading the way when it comes to applying game mechanics to research and is growing in influence when it comes to shaping research projects.

Skills: Copywriting, Video production, Project Management

3. Social Media Researcher

Real time social media monitoring is now commonplace but many companies are still struggling to interpret the data and use it to make strategic decisions. This knowledge gap is being filled by the Social Media Researcher who is responsible for developing strategic KPI frameworks for social media tracking programmes and harnesses social media data to help answer ad hoc brand, product and comms briefs. The Social Media Researcher is quickly becoming a very important role, as they are both an objective and strategic voice advising clients about the ROI of their growing digital spend.

Skills: Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research, Social Media strategy

4. Co-creation Consultants

Companies are opening up and embracing more collaborative ways of working with third parties – including their consumers. Co-creation Consultants are responsible for the successful interaction between all parties on a project. Many of the touch points for this type of co-creation occur in workshop environments of one kind or another that require very skilled facilitation to get the best out of a wide variety of participants. Co-creation Consultants cover a wide range of disciplines, most often those from innovation, brand strategy and planning backgrounds.

Skills: Facilitation & improvisation, Planning, Qualitative Research

5. Big Data Scientists

We are living in the age of data, enabling companies to be more forward looking. Big Data Scientists are hot property in the research world as they are responsible for developing predictive data models & algrorithms using a wide range of data sources including dynamic social media data. Big Data Scientists primarily come from computer science, hard sciences, engineering and business backgrounds.

Skills: Mathmatics, Statistics, Computer programming


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  1. Spot on. It’s really refreshing to hear that there are research agencies that advocate change as compelling as you do. It’s a shame that the vast majority of your peers aren’t being nimble and/or hungry enough for this.

    1. @Sam – really appreciate that, thank you. It seems clear to us that as the game changes, it’s all the more important to stay on your toes.

  2. Nice post!

    Couldn’t agree more on the need of these new roles in MR Agencies. The smaller ones tough are those creating new roles, innovative methodologies and tools faster. As the game changes, it will be interesting to see who will lead the way 5 years from now.

  3. I have been working on a prezi this week that addresses exactly what you said concisely and spot on!
    You just saved me some solid time.