On May 19-20, Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business hosted a symposium that brought together approximately 40 thought leaders representing the key stakeholders in the market research industry to focus on emerging talent needs and how to meet them. “Educating the Market Researcher of Tomorrow: A Symposium of Market Research Buyers, Suppliers, Educators, and Associations” took place at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development.

Event attendees watch a speaker give a presentation

Simon Chadwick discusses the future of market research with attendees.

The goals of the symposium were to:

  • Assess where the market research industry is headed
  • Specify the talent that will be necessary to succeed in that future
  •  Brainstorm ways to attract the right types of people to the field
  •  Develop recommendations for the future of market research education and identify mechanisms for disseminating those recommendations across the industry

The three keynote speakers were Simon Chadwick, managing partner at Cambiar; Kim Dedeker, chair of the Americas at Kantar; and Jim Berling, managing director at the Burke Institute. Chadwick described recent research aimed at understanding the future evolution of the industry. Dedeker discussed the right types of people, where to find them, and how to integrate them into market research. Lastly, Berling shared lessons from his experience working with educational institutions and conducting training as the industry evolves.

After each speaker, attendees broke into small groups and discussed the ideas presented. On the last day, attendees worked in groups to develop their own outlines of a plan for recruiting and educating future market researchers.