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How to pick a market research approach?

For most business needs there are several good ways to find a market research approach. The table below sets out some thoughts about the most widely used techniques for four categories of business needs. 1 How many X do Y? Within this heading I am including product/service usage and attitude mapping, customer satisfaction, and ad tracking and awareness. The key need is to quantify things so that they can be managed. For example, quantitative ad tracking allows the buyers of advertising to measure the effectiveness of their expenditure, at least in terms of the number of people reached, the number recalling advertising, and measures such as brand recall and stated purchase intention. There are two key MR techniques: Surveys Passive / Big Data (including social media) 2 Reactions To & Predictions About a New Y or New Marketing for Y? This heading relates to testing new products, new advertising, new marketing etc. The needs range from understanding how people interpret and react to a new product through to predictions about future sales. There are a wide range of MR techniques available for this category of needs: Surveys (plus modelling for predictions) Implicit and non-conscious techniques Usability testing A/B testing (for […]

Things you need to know 1

To lose one may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness!

‘To lose one may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.’ From time to time, you will hear this useful phrase. Here are some notes about what it means, where it comes from, and key facts about Oscar Wilde (the originator of the phrase). Where does it come from? The original quote comes from a play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, written by Irish poet, author and playwright Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900). The quote in the play is spoken by Lady Bracknell, “‘To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” What does it mean? The statement implies there is something wrong with the person being spoken about. For example, ‘To lose one CFO is unlucky, to lose two looks like a pattern.’ The device shifts the focus away from the event (for example a CFO leaving) and moves it to the person being ‘judged’. The tone of the comment sounds humorous, but the intent is quite sharp. The speaker is saying there is probably something deficient with the person/company being spoken about. The term is similar to ‘There is no smoke without fire.’, but it […]

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Market Research Knowledge Benchmarking Study 2017

In November 2017 Ray Poynter and Sue York conducted a study into Market Research Knowlege and produced a report. This post reproduces the Executive Summary and the start of the main section. At the bottom of this post, we will tell you how you can download the whole report. Executive Summary This report looks at the state of market research knowledge and the factors associated with higher levels of knowledge. The authors believe that skills are going to be a key driver of the future success the market research and insights profession. The study supports our view that there are specific initiatives (such as attending webinars) that are associated with higher knowledge levels. This report covers a study conducted globally (in English and Japanese) in November 2017, with 730 market researchers and insight professionals. Key Findings People differ in terms of how many market research terms they are familiar with (i.e. able to explain to somebody else). This is not surprising, but it reminds us that when data is presented or reported there will be variations in the knowledge levels of the audience. Nearly 40% of this sample did not attend a single training session or workshop in 2017. The […]

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Hints for Presenting at International Conference

Earlier this week I attended the IIeX APAC Conference in Thailand and it was a fantastic event – I strongly recommend it for next year. Although most of the presentations were great, there were occasional reminders about things that presenters need to be aware of when presenting at conferences, and in particular at international events. Make your first couple of sentences clear, welcoming, and redundant. When you first start to speak, the audience needs to tune in to your voice, to assess your speed and volume, and get used to your accent. If you have a truly international audience, there is a good chance that 50% of the room will not really understand your first couple of sentences – that is why they should be redundant. For example, I might start a presentation about the ESOMAR Pricing Study with something like “Good morning, my name is Ray Poynter, and I am based in the UK. Today, I am going to be exciting you with five important messages from the ESOMAR Pricing Study”. This sets the tone, is polite, is redundant, and allows the audience to tune in to my voice and pronunciation. Avoid words, examples and metaphors that might be […]

Hypothesis

Is it time for market research to ditch the ritual of the Null Hypothesis?

From time to time, I am asked to write some notes (or teach a section) on hypothesis testing. Each time I do this, I am reminded how little the theory of hypothesis testing has to do with modern, commercial market research. Perhaps we should stop focusing on a theory that does not really apply, and talk about what we actually do? At its simplest, the hypothesis process is as follows: Decide we want to show X is correct Design a situation ‘Not X’ and collect data to investigate ‘Not X’ Show that ‘Not X’ is very unlikely Assume X is right. This is highly unnatural for most people. People want to focus on X, not show it as a by-product of something completely different. This method is loosely what is done in academia, but almost never in the commercial world. Consider an example from concept testing Assume we are testing three new concepts and the forecast market share values are 5%, 6%, and 12%. What do we really want to know? On most occasions, I think we would like to know whether we should choose the concept with the 12% score. For example, is it genuinely better than the 5% […]

Hokusai's The Great Wave

What can market researchers learn from Hokusai and the Great Wave?

To read the Japanese version of this post (from Mr Ryota Sano) click here. Many of us from outside Japan are familiar with Hokusai’s picture the Great Wave, but I suspect that I am not alone in being less familiar with his other works. Luckily for me, that situation changed today. In learning more about Hokusai, I was struck by its significance for market researchers, insight professionals, and anybody looking for the story in the data. I spent the afternoon attending an exhibition of Hokusai’s work. The exhibition showed Hokusai’s work and highlighted the enormous impact he had on painters such as Monet, Gauguin and Pissarro. I won’t go into all of the many things that I learned today, instead I will focus on a few lessons for those of us trying to find meaning in data and information. One of Hokusai’s great works is his 36 views of Mount Fuji. The great wave is one of the 36 views, as are the other two on this page. In the West, at the time Hokusai was becoming famous (the mid-19th Century), painters rarely painted the same scene repeatedly. In contrast Hokusai did one hundred black and white views of Mount […]

Ray Poynter on stage

Ray Poynter’s presentation at JMRA Annual Conference 2017

This week, Ray Poynter was the opening keynote speaker at the JMRA (Japanese Market Research Association) Annual Conference in Tokyo. Ray’s topic was ‘Where next, and how do we get there?’ The four final points, the big picture, that Ray left the audience with were: Traditional Research is yesterday New methods are the future A dichotomy is emerging Data / DIY / Automation / AI Consultancy and Storytelling The tide of change is mostly English The key priorities for clients are usually in the following order: Speed Cost Agile Quality If you would like to download a copy of Ray’s presentation click here.

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The State of the Global MR Industry

AMSRS (The Australian Market & Social Research Society) has just published an article from Ray Poynter in its members’ magazine, Research News. In the article, Ray sets out his perception of the global picture for market research. If you are not a member of AMSRS and would like to read the articles, click here. Perhaps you would like to add your views, why not add them as a comment to this page?

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How does your knowledge and MR learning compare with others?

Update, the survey is now closed and the analysis has begun. When we have finished the analysis, reporting and story creation we will update this page and tell you how to get a copy of the final report and provide a link to a short form of the report. You can still see the topline result from the data collection below. We (Ray Poynter and Sue York) are running a study that seeks to benchmark the current state of play in terms of what research terms are understood. Once the data is collected we will be analyzing the data and creating a report, looking at the key issues identified by the research, and making suggestions for career and professional development. Before looking at the data results so far, please take part in the survey by clicking here [survey now closed]. The survey comprises: 9 terms used in market research, asking participants which are they familiar with (as in could explain to somebody). A series of questions asking how often people do things like attend conferences, listen to webinars, take part in training, and read articles and books. There are just two demographics, age and country. A question about topics you would […]

Photo of cut out technique

Using découpé to find the story in the data

Découpé, or to give it its anglicised name ‘cut up technique’ is a creativity device that dates back to at least the 1920s, but was popularised in the 1950s by William Burroughs (the beat writer and artist). More recently pop stars such as David Bowie have made it famous as a device for creating the narrative of songs. The cut up technique can be a great way to find the story in the data when analysing market research information, particularly for teams trying to transition from traditional reporting approaches to a more narrative style. Here is one example of how to make this transition: Create a standard market research report, reporting the key questions, using the key breaks, addressing the key topics in the research brief. For each output (which often means a PowerPoint slide if the analysis has been delegated or automate), write a comment about what the main message on the page is. Put each comment onto a separate piece of card or paper (making a note of which slide number each comment links to). Now shuffle the cards and then on your own or as a team, try to arrange the cards in a way that creates […]