market research reports
November 3, 2021

The Evolution of Market Research – Part 2

We’ve already covered the evolution of market research up to the mid-century. While the early decades of market research saw many new trends and changes over the years, the evolution didn’t stop there. The more recent history of market research changed exponentially as new technologies developed, allowing market researchers to learn even more vital information about the consumers they were studying.

1960s and 1970s

While qualitative methods became popular after the war, quantitative methods came back into use during the 1960s. This is understandable, given that new technologies, such as greater accessibility to telephones, made quantitative research easier to complete. One important figure during this time in market research’s history was marketing professor and statistician Paul Green, who began using statistics to predict consumers’ behaviors.

Qualitative research methods were still extremely important during this time and became even more important in the 1970s, thanks to John Howard. In the ‘70s, Howard began to take a multidisciplinary approach to market research and looked to other social sciences to learn more about consumers. This led to market researchers in the ‘70s learning more about consumers’ thoughts and feelings through qualitative research.

Additionally, methods for segmenting consumers grew during this time. Yoram Wind and Richard Cardozo published the article “Industrial Market Segmentation” in 1974, where they discussed their two-stage market segmentation model. This model is based on macro-segmentation and micro-segmentation and is still commonly used in market research today. Market segmentation categorizes consumers into groups that share similar characteristics and helps market researchers better understand various groups.


Theories that helped market researchers understand consumers continued to develop into the 1980s and had a large impact on the industry during this time. Two theories that became popular during the ‘80s were the theory of reasoned action, developed by Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen, and the theory of planned behavior, developed by Icek Ajzen, which is an extension of the theory of reasoned action. These theories explain how human behavior is influenced by pre-existing attitudes and behavioral intentions. They helped to further market researchers’ understanding of how consumers make choices.

1990s and 2000s

Of course, the internet made significant changes in market research. Researchers had access to more technologies than ever before, and many people had access to computers and the internet within their own homes. Consumers started looking at products and information online, which gave market researchers vital information regarding their actions and behaviors. Businesses could find out exactly what actions people took while on their websites.

Market Research Today

As the internet remains an increasingly important part of our society, the online world plays a huge role in market research today. Market researchers have a huge amount of information on consumers to help businesses understand what consumers are seeking. Not only can market researchers access information pertaining to consumers’ internet usage, but they can also get this from large groups of people.

Get the Right Support for Your Market Research

Market research has had major changes over the years. While there have been many big fluctuations over the course of 100 years, it’s constantly changing and developing in small ways as well. Businesses need a team that is always on top of all the latest trends and changes in the industry. With Focus Forward, businesses can get support for quantitative and qualitative research that can help give them the insights they need.

Contact us today to learn more about how Focus Forward can help!