2014 marks the 35th anniversary for SKIM, international market research agency. Founded in 1979 in the Netherlands, SKIM has developed into a dynamic international market research agency with eight locations worldwide, and preparing for expansion to Asia end of this year. During these years, the market research industry has gone through many challenges and developments. Founder and Chairman, Dirk Huisman, looks forward to the future of insight generation and how insights specialists will need to adapt to converging trends in the coming years.

Need for speed

Dirk Huisman expects the profession of insight generation to change drastically in the coming years: “In 2020 insight specialists will operate and function very different from now due to a series of converging trends. First of all, due to the need for speed. The instant gratification of getting direct answers from the internet has changed expectations, also in business. There is a need and desire to get insights immediately, without detracting from the solidity of the solutions.”

Intertwined streams of information

Huisman continues: “In addition to this need for speed, insights are shaped and reshaped based on many streams of information. Huge streams of data from business processes are intertwined with experimental data generated in a virtual real context. The difference between reality and virtual reality is, and will continue to be, fading.”

The new 5X5 reality

The growing use of mobile devices is changing the way we do research. Huisman: “In 2020, consumers won’t spend more than 5 minutes to interact spontaneously, and this interaction will mainly be via 5 inch screens. The perk is that when interacting you get real time and location/context specific information. Marketing models will be filled with a string of rich information snippets requiring advanced methodologies.”

Bridging rational and emotional drivers of behavior

A lot is said about market research potentially being too focused on rational decision-making. Huisman affirms: “Decisions and choices are a consequence of the rational and non-rational drivers of behavior. ‘Non rational’ is a mix of emotional, contextual and undefined drivers and triggers which often do not yet fit our rational models. New observation techniques enable us to bridge the rational, emotional and contextual drivers of behavior, allowing us to better understand decisions and choices people make.”

Broader skill set required for insight specialists

Speed, complexity and information overload create a context in which the insights specialist will be a networker operating from within the brand team: “In this team (s)he is the inspirer, the Customer Insights conscience and the juror. In order to fulfill this role, it is essential that the Customer Insights specialists are capable of analyzing, understanding and dealing with the variety of strategic business issues.”


About SKIM

Founded in 1979, SKIM is a dynamic and rapidly growing market research agency with eight offices throughout Europe, the US, and Latin America. Combining market-specific expertise and knowledge of advanced research methodologies, SKIM is a valued partner for multinational companies in consumer packaged goods, healthcare, consumer health, telecommunications, technology and financial services. Leading companies around the globe rely on SKIM researchers for strategic guidance on pricing and portfolio management, product communication and new product development. SKIM also serve many leading international market research agencies and consultancy firms with their quantitative and qualitative research services. Visit https://skimgroup.com/35years to find materials related to SKIM’s 35th anniversary.

Note for the editor

For all media enquiries (e.g. interview with Dirk Huisman on 2020 insight generation, SKIM’s 35th anniversary, more about SKIM in general, etc.) please contact Margreet Hanemaaijer, SKIM Global Marketing Manager.