Thoughts on Validity

Recently Kevin Gray asked, in the LinkedIn NewMR group, “When you hear a claim that a marketing research methodology is “valid”, what does that mean to you?” The question elicited a range of views and here is a tidied up version of my thoughts. My feeling is that we need to start not with science or the theory of research methodology (both passions of mine BTW), but with what the users of research want and need the research to deliver. I think that what a research user means by valid is that what the research tells her/him is true*, that the results do not exclude important information, and that the information useful. In my experience, much of the criticism of market research focuses on the second two criteria, i.e. that research does not include everything that the user needs to know and that the information is not sufficiently useful. Much of the drive towards new research (e.g. mass mobile ethnographics) is driven by a desire to produce findings that are more complete and more useful. The tests for qual and quant in terms of complete and useful are very similar. *The BIG problem with my definition is the reference to […]

Welcome back to the NewMR Blog!

The NewMR blog returns from its sabbatical today. We envisage that the blog will host a wide range of content, but it will be focused on the theme of NewMR. The NewMR blog will be a place where we can present more detailed thinking on industry and NewMR topics; complement our LinkedIn discussions; discuss themes and learnings from our events in more detail; and put forward provocative thoughts about where the industry is (or perhaps should) be going. We are interested in your thoughts on what you like to see in the NewMR blog and we are looking for guest bloggers. If you have specific suggestions about topics you think we should cover or if you would like to guest blog or contribute in any other way please let me know at