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6 Market Research Fears That Need to Go the Way of the Hostess Twinkie

Marketing

With all the new research tools being developed these days, researchers have a lot to fear. But these fears really need to go the way of the Twinkie, to sweet and tasty death.

  1. Fear of Google surveys. Google surveys are simply a tool, and a tool is not research. For results from a Google survey to make sense, they need to be accompanied by a qualified researcher who understands what the appropriate sampling frame is, and how to best interpret the results so as to not exceed the level of validity offered by the tool. A tool without a qualified researcher is a prescription for failure.
  2. Fear of DIY surveys. Similarly, researchers have nothing to fear in other DIY tools, regardless of how much more flexibility they offer beyond the simple Google tool. A DIY study can have no more validity than the person who designs and administers the research. Poor sampling, poor design, poor analysis, and poor interpretation are all that will result from a DIY study that does not include a competent researcher. CEOs, brand managers, and marketing managers need validity and reliability not random chunks of data.
  3. 6 Market Research Fears That Need to Go the Way of the Hostess Twinkie image annietwinkieFear of new research methodologies. As social media research becomes a generally recognized methodology, and gamification starts to become more recognizable, some researchers are hunkering down into their faithful and familiar methodologies. New is unknown. New is risky. New must be feared. Well, new must be feared if you are prepared to watch your business slowly whittle down as other research companies step in to offer those new options. Don’t be fearful. Get in on the action. Learn the new and how it can make your existing offering even better. There’s much good to be found in the new.
  4. Fear of losing norms. By trying a new methodology, any study on a tracking or templated design is bound to lose all normative data. How terrible. How terrible that you’ve decided to maintain old, less valid, and less useful methodology than create new norms. Be prepared to fear the day when your results cease to make sense because they have lost all validity in the new world.
  5. Fear of saying no to a client. 60 minute surveys, 30 items grids, 10 point scales, and more. We consistently hate on these things and yet those surveys get programmed, their response rates drop, and we complain about their data quality. Don’t be scared of your clients. Demand quality on their behalf. Create a reputation of quality not complacency.
  6. Fear of statistics. I’m really tired of researchers, whether qualitative or quantitative, joke about being scared of numbers and statistics. There’s nothing to be proud of there. Actually, there’s a whole lot to be ashamed of. Researchers are supposed to know a lot about statistics so that we can be smart about how we use them, when we use them, how to interpret them, and when to abandon them. Stop being fearful and start being qualified researchers.

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