Partnership, marriage, hook-up or one night stand? Client and agency relationships in the digital age

David McCallum and Tomoko Nishi


As with every other industry, the market research profession has seen continuous and accelerating transformation over recent decades. It has absorbed new methodologies, technologies and economic structures and embraced changing relationships between suppliers, clients and society. Of course, research is facing times of dynamic change and disruption. Yet so is every other sector; this has always been the case since time immemorial, the rate of change keeps accelerating. However, simultaneously, new tools and technology arise to deal with that acceleration.

Globalisation and the Digital (R)Evolution

There are two major influences on how client/agency relationships have and will continue to develop. They are:

  • Globalisation, both broadly speaking and as it relates to the research industry specifically; and
  • The digital revolution which, apart from its obvious technological influence, is one of the main drivers and outcomes of globalisation itself especially as it pertains to consumer behaviour.