2018 was a year of change for everyone in the marketing and advertising arena.

The GDPR launched a much needed conversation around consumer privacy and data quality. More brands moved core skills like market research in-house. Across businesses, the insights function is gaining more momentum and authority as the focus shifts beyond behavioral data and analytics.

In line with these changes and the growing demand for fully opted-in, transparent data, we grew the annual interview base of our flagship survey by 90%. We now interview 550,000 internet users a year, with 100,000 of those respondents based in the U.S. – all of whom opt in and fully participate in the process.

This has helped us to solidify our stance as home of the world’s largest survey on the digital consumer.

On another level, it’s helping to change the way businesses leverage rich, robust consumer data. Here’s why.

Mass audiences are increasingly irrelevant.

It’s common knowledge that demographic data is no longer enough to effectively reach your audience. What’s changing is the way we think about the consumers we’re targeting.

Mass audiences of male, female, and age groups like 16-24s are increasingly irrelevant.

Instead, what brands need is a detailed understanding of micro-audiences that enable them to streamline their spend and drive more strategic marketing.

This is why we set about launching our new Hispanic dataset, which allows brands to fine-tune their targeting by looking closely at the dynamics of this vast group, dissected them into minute segments.

Deep survey data like this, that’s delivered at scale and in an agile timeframe, is the only sure way to understand the behaviors and motivations of today’s consumers.

Brands need globally consistent and comparable data.

When we ask our clients why they come to us, the need for globally consistent data (at both local and global level) always shines through.

This is especially true for our fast-growing client base of SMEs, who are more actively involved in marketing than they’ve ever been, but who need fast access to data of this kind in order to drive the best return.

Despite the wealth of data in existence today, it’s becoming ever more crucial for these brands and agencies to use a single source of data with a trusted and transparent methodology.

The fact that we’re expanding our reach so much means we can deliver this in a way that works for our clients – through a user-friendly, intuitive platform.

As Chris Daniele, VP and Director of Digital Analytics and Measurement Lead at BBDO puts it, “As insights professionals, our job is to put the science behind marketing, planning and strategy. GlobalWebIndex has the world’s strongest panel of online consumers and is our go-to and only source for global audience intelligence. We get a better pulse on the tried and true consumer of today. That’s the way the world is shifting and other vendors need to follow suit.”

We want to represent every internet user in the world.

Expanding the global reach of our research is always of vital importance. With Colombia, Denmark and Romania all being added to our data coverage map in 2018, we now collect insights from digital consumers across 45 countries, covering over 35,000 data points.

This provides marketers with a constantly growing source of insight that now represents over 2.5 billion internet users across 4,000 local regions.

We want to continue growing this in line with our goal of representing every connected consumer on the planet.

Looking to 2019.

The incredible growth we’ve seen in 2018 paints an exciting picture for the year ahead.

As we place more focus on growth, continuously expanding our reach across markets and developing insight that goes even deeper, we’re also looking to innovate in other ways.

This year saw the launch of our transformative new survey technology, Pollpass, enabling brands and agencies to generate bespoke data sets and insights within 24 hours. These engaging new surveys were created with the modern consumer in mind, with a chatbot-led interface that captures hard-to-reach, mobile-first audiences.

We’re making it our mission to transform market research as we know it by developing more solutions like this.

With new offices in Greece and LA, along with a whole host of new talent to help us achieve these goals, we’re very excited to see what 2019 will bring.


Written by

Tom Smith is founder and CEO of GWI. Having spent several years working agency-side, he recognized a growing demand for global insights to better understand the complex online market. And that demand kept on growing. Coupling the world's largest study on the digital consumer with powerful analytics, GWI is now the leading audience insights company, representing the views of over 2.7 billion people.

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