The current state of the economy has served to speed up another marketing research trend. The trend towards off-shoring seems to have slowed and perhaps even reversed slightly.

This is partly due to a realization that quality is negatively affected, cost savings are not what were expected, and a few clients have begun to catch on to the ‘secret supplier off-shoring’ trend. In regard to overall marketing staffing our initial data looks surprisingly good. Our data indicate that 34% of senior marketing executives believe the economy will have no effect on their staffing plans in 2009, 21% plan to hire only incremental staff. However, 44% are not filling open positions or plan to reduce staff. An analysis of the product’s sales, month by month, should be undertaken to show the sales split by user market. This is valuable in forcing the sales manager to focus his attention on the performance of markets rather than products and it may well highlight areas where the company’s share could be increased.In terms of demographic targeting, while Boomers and Women will remain the most important groups overall, companies will start to allocate some additional resources towards Hispanic/Latino, Gen X, and Gen Y. The recession based layoffs will continue to encourage business people in the US and Internationally to utilize SNS, especially LinkedIn. This will grow the LinkedIn B-B ‘panel’ and serve to familiarize executives with SNS as a sample source, thus increasing the importance of Web 2.0 for market research further.

Motivational research is most valuable when powerful underlying motives are suspected of exerting influence upon consumer behavior. How will the Internet influence the marketing research industry? The most obvious and immediate impact will be the use of the Internet as a new data collection medium. The implication for the research industry is that sloppily conducted Internet research might impugn the credibility of properly conducted Internet research, and indeed impugn the credibility of all marketing research. It is important that the research industry make sure that clients understand the risks, trade-offs and mechanics of Internet research so clients can make intelligent decisions about the use of Internet surveys. Many manufacturers and other companies are attempting to conduct, or plan to conduct, some type of survey research over the Internet.

However, many of these newcomers to Internet surveys are also newcomers to marketing research. The research industry must insist that Internet surveys be executed the same way as traditional survey research, following the same “tried and true” scientific principles.