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KJT’s Expectations for the Year Ahead

Happy New Year to all our industry partners, clients, providers and trusted vendors! It’s hard to believe the holidays are so far in the rearview mirror, and it’s already February first!

Today is Chinese New Year. According to Eastern tradition, it ushers in the Year of the Tiger – a time of great opportunity and big decisions, of driving hard toward the achievement of our goals, helping others and seeking justice.

What does that all mean for business? From a KJT perspective, it means we need to adapt and adopt to what we learned in 2021 in order to take advantage of the great opportunities ahead in 2022. So, what exactly do we expect in the months to come?

GreenBook’s Executive Editor & Producer Leonard Murphy introduces his recent two-part blog Market Research Predictions for 2022 by saying our industry will continue to see disruption brought about by new technology in the research space. He also expects an ongoing impact from COVID-19 and the related changes in consumer behavior, economic factors and evolving business processes that will continue to reshape our industry.

The series goes on to feature a diversity of predictions for the new year from industry leaders, some of which play a big part in KJT’s 2022 strategic roadmap, including:

The rising adoption of technology/tech enablement: Many of the article’s contributors speak to ongoing productivity and capability gains from technology adoption in the insights and analytics world. Other leaders predict the dramatic rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) in searching vast quantities of data to quickly find insights.

At KJT, we know automation and technology will play an ever-growing role in tactical research – and we’ll continue to broaden the agency’s use of software solutions to work smarter and optimize the allocation of time (especially since – as a professional services firm – time is our work product). We expect the research industry to become increasingly tech/human hybrid and will leverage the best qualities of both by implementing technology smartly to support and augment our researchers’ creativity and their ability to deliver unique insights and learnings.

Talent acquisition in a virtual work world: According to Kristin Luck, Founder/Managing Partner of ScaleHouse, “In a knowledge-based economy, like research, your value is the talent you employ. If other companies employ better talent, they are better than you. And you can already see this beginning to happen in companies in our sector – firms are abandoning offices and hiring better talent from around the world, allowing them to reap the rewards of the profitability boosts that these moves generate.”

At KJT, we’re in total agreement with this sentiment, and strive to be a destination employer, attracting and retaining the very best research talent – whether they’re based in our Rochester, NY location or working virtually from home offices across the U.S. We’re proud to have increased KJT’s staff over the last 12 months from 47 to 65 (a growth of 38%!) with a majority of those new employees now located outside the company’s headquarters.

Diversity and Inclusion Impact: “The last couple of years have given us incredibly detailed insight into widespread inequities around the world,” says Annie Pettit, Chief Research Officer, North America of E2E Research.

Ms. Pettit went on to predict that 2022 will bring far greater demand for research that is inclusive and respectful of marginalized communities. Specifically, she said to expect more requests for sample that truly reflects the general population. Not just basic demands for more diverse sample but also for sample boosts that ensure generalizations are reliable and actionable.

In 2022, KJT will be launching two committees focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): a DEI in Research Committee, to ensure traditionally underrepresented voices are heard in our research helping the industry drive to improved access and quality of healthcare for all, and a second committee focused on DEI at KJT Group to ensure we maintain and promote an inclusive work environment.

Data collection in a Web 3.0 world: Horst Felhaeuser, Group Services Director of Infotools says the global pandemic drove “…a true integration and meshing of different data sources, resulting in hyper-rich, contextualized data that is curated and translated by curious insights seekers.” Likewise, Martin Filz, CEO of Pureprofile highlights the increased availability of data, mined from the digital footprints left by consumers in their transactional, search, social and browsing data.

KJT is very focused on leveraging this proliferation of data to help clients identify issues or gaps, with data delivering the initial ‘what’ and primary research following up with the ‘why.’

Changing consumer behaviors and expectations: Most industry leaders expect their client companies to continue at an increased level of investment to understand how their customers and influencers have changed. Deeply understanding the consumer of today and tomorrow will necessarily draw deeply on both quantitative and qualitative insights, according to Tamara Charm, Partner at McKinsey& Company. “I predict that 2022 will remain a busy year for us all,” she says.

We really couldn’t agree more! It’s definitely shaping up to be another busy year – especially given the recent shifts in consumer attitudes and values. We’re seeing a resurgence of focus on customer segmentation in the effort to better understand what’s happening in the different market segments since the pandemic first hit.

The world has certainly changed over the last 24 months, and, as you can see, many of us expect to see a continuation of certain trends and industry shifts in 2022. But some things will never change, including the value of strong partnerships, the importance of trust and the criticality of actionable, insightful research. As we look forward to the Year of the Tiger, KJT will be driving hard to meet our clients’ business objectives, to ensure the democratization of research, to adapt our work practices for the benefit of all employees and to deploy the most advanced, advantageous technologies in support of our researchers and our clients. Thank you for your ongoing loyalty to the KJT brand – and here’s to another, great year in 2022!