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The Market Research Industry Is Being Squeezed by Consultancies

Zach Brooke

Faced with myriad pressures in a dynamic marketplace, traditional market researchers are seeing themselves upended by technology and consultancies. Can they diversify before being subsumed by larger players, or is their reach finite?

As marketing evolves, so do practitioners’ expectations of market researchers. 

Much has been written about the Madison Avenue set coping with cuts and revisions to their core mission. (Look no further than the world’s biggest ad spender, Procter & Gamble, which has scaled back its advertising budget by an eye-popping $1.15 billion in recent years while pursuing an “open sourcing of creative talent and production capability.”) 

At the same time, agents of change are also shaking up agencies’ left-brained cousins in the world of market research. This sanctum of hard science finds itself in the midst of a years-long transformation that will conclude in widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in place of many traditional research functions performed by advanced stats nerds, who will see themselves repurposed as boardroom warriors.  

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Zach Brooke

Zach Brooke is a former AMA staff writer turned freelance journalist. His work has been featured in Chicago magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, A.V. Club and VICE, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Zach_Brooke.