the esposito research
& strategy blog

Esposito Research & Strategy blog

Forecasting the future: crystal ball or scientific rigour?

Customer experience General

The last few months have seen a flurry of interest in how research can really tap into trends and uncover insights into future consumer behaviour. ESOMAR papers on the topic have been a regular but isolated feature in recent years, but the pace is picking up.

From Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise; Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t and its somewhat left-of-field blog, to Thomas Picketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, the markets are showing considerable interest in getting a steer on what might happen next, not in a hypothetical way but by aiming to substantiate projections with heavy number-crunching.

Researchers, analysts and brand specialists cannot help but be influenced by the zeitgeist. In an article entitled Shaken not stirred, ESOMAR researchers Marlise Huijzer, Pernille Kok-Jensen and Daniella Sceats state that “Research methods do not always fit with how people interact with brands nowadays. And consumers can’t give all the answers to the questions that will determine the future of your brand. As people consume online, offline and online, travel the world and experiment as entrepreneurs on the side, they demand more authentic brands. In effect marketing and communication questions need to be approached in a more comprehensive and outward focused way.”

This 360-degree approach to research has been at the heart of our offer ever since our creation in 2010.

Very simply, this means we set the research in its broader context:

  • What is happening in the market?
  • What trends might influence future behaviour?
  • What scenarios can we postulate?
  • What do experts think?
  • What are the measures that will help us size the resulting opportunities?

People do have a sense of how their world is evolving. Research can tap into this to uncover insights into future behaviour and link these to macro-trends and sector knowledge. Only then do we reach rigorous, credible findings able to inform business strategy.

That’s certainly how we help our clients be one step ahead.

Want to find out more? Call us to discuss, or email us on

looking ahead

The last 12 months have seen a flurry of new research approaches.

Recruiting online communities via Facebook…Testing online journeys through a sequence of live surveys …Playful formats bringing quantitative surveys to life …Using Fitbit bracelets instead of a health diary …Advanced co-creation with consumers, suppliers and clients IN THE SAME ROOM…Yes, all of these are possible.

New technology is opening up fantastic ways to engage with your audience and find out what makes them tick.

We’re easy to talk to, so if you have so much as the gem of an idea or want to bounce around potential solutions to a business issue, do call us or email