2016 has begun, and it will be a year of cultural change, a year in which the maximisation efforts of the digital age will forge ahead, while old values need to be readopted and integrated into everyday life and business.

Thomas Ebenfeld, Managing Partner at concept m, was invited to speak on this topic at the close of 2015 at the Vodafone Enterprise Plenum, and delivered a paper on “Culture in change: between the cult of maximisation and a return to former values”.

Here are three questions to Thomas Ebenfeld on how the cultural change will affect our own industry in future, and what needs to be considered in 2016.

concept m has asked market researchers about market research – how is the industry doing in the digital revolution?

For us as depth-psychological market researchers, the digital change and the associated possibilities to collect infinite amounts of data show that there will be growing demand for structural relationships and the implied concepts for purposeful action. The link between research and consulting will become even more important.

Big Data is user self-profiling. Is this the coming inspiration of market research, or is it a symbiosis?

Naturally, Big Data has the potential to capture a wide range of data, but data alone does not produce insights into useful structural relationships. Big Data only captures the status quo of customer behaviour and opinions. The problems arise in moving from documenting the status quo to predicting the future. This is where market research goes further, in documenting the dynamic motivations of consumers and using this as a basis for anticipating market dynamics.

Morphological market research – do customer groups have to be reinterpreted, as disruption is one source of indication of a change in values?

Customers need to be reinterpreted. Currently, many companies are occupied with segmentation of their customers. Today, these are often category-specific. Over-general models like assumption of milieux do not allow sufficiently concrete conclusions of likely consumer behaviour. We are currently investigating the requirements, desires and problems which specific “cohorts” are struggling with (Gen Y, Best Agers) and what influences the cultural change is having on these.

Thomas Ebenfeld at the Vodafone Enterprise Plenum at Auditorium Friedrichstrasse, Berlin.

Thomas Ebenfeld will be happy to provide more information on this topic: (thomas.ebenfeld@conceptm.eu).

 

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