Lessons from stock market research

Market research tends to look inwards when it tries to assess it strengths and weaknesses, but perhaps interesting comparisons can be drawn from the world of stock market research? A recent article in The Economist reviewed the world of stock market research and it revealed some interesting comparisons with market research. The core of stock market research in the past has been provided by organisation such as banks, in the hope that good advice will lead to investors spending more money, which in turn drives revenues from equity trading. The first key comparison is in the size of the market. Market research growth has been relatively flat over the last four years, but the stock market research industry has seen a fall from about $14 billion in 2009 to about $9 billion in 2013 in America. In Europe the fall was from 4 billion Euros to 3 billion. The Economist describes the decline as being driven by the shift to passive investing and algorithmic trading – which might have implications for market research automation and the use of DIY solutions by clients. The Economist highlights some interesting changes in the structure of the reduced stock market research options. For example, […]

Do we focus too much on what clients say? Should we focus more on what they do?

In recent online discussions, for example in LinkedIn and on the GreenBookBlog, there has been a growing number of research buyers talking about what they are looking for from research agencies, and the focus seems to be people. In particular, clients say, they are particularly seeking agencies who have people who see the big picture, who can synthesize multiple types of data, and who can create an engaging story to convey the insight. At ESOMAR Congress this week there were three presentations (from DVL Smith, Ruby Cha Cha, and a Truth/Nokia combination) reporting the same thing, including two studies amongst clients which played down the importance of brute force and scale, and which extolled creative synergy. But, as researchers, we rarely believe that consumers can tell us what the motivations of their behaviour are. It is generally agreed that people can’t describe their own decision hierarchies – as Mark Earls says, we are poor witnesses to our own motivations. And, since clients are people too, why do researchers so often take what clients say at face value? When researchers can’t be sure about what people mean, we look at what they do. So, let’s look at the recently published ESOMAR […]

Let’s protect the basic truths of market research methodology

I have just been reading an article about social media as a potential replacement for traditional market research on Research-Live and it made me want to scream!!! As the founder of NewMR I am a fan of new techniques, I was one of the first to use CAPI, one of the first to use simulated test markets, one of the first to use online research, and one of the first to use MROCs – and I wrote The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research. But, there are some basic rules we all need to stick to if we are to assess new tools. We need to be able to tell clients whether they are the same, worse, better, or different to existing tools, when to have confidence in them and when not to. To do that assessment we need to stick to some very basic rules – and the rules are different for qual and quant. Here are a few of my key rules for quant research. A big sample is not a population. In the Research-Live article Mark Westaby said, about the UK, “We track tweets from millions of unique supermarkets users, who in fact represent between 1 […]

A new book to help people to understand insight communities

By common consent, research communities seem to have been the fastest growing new research approach over the last few years (a view that was supported by the latest GRIT report). Indeed, in some sectors, such as media, brands are beginning to worry about being the last to adopt the idea of having meaningful and on-going conversations with their customers. However, given the speed that the area is moving, there are a variety of definitions and concepts being used. For example, one hears talk of MROCs, consumer consulting boards, and community panels, to name just three. My preferred term is insight community, and that is the title I have used in my latest book “Insight Communities – Leveraging the Power of the Customer”. The book has been produced by Vision Critical University and I’d like to record my thanks to them and all of those who have helped review material and helped source the many case studies used in the book. The book is a short read, but covers key elements such as: short-term versus long-term, large versus small, and branded versus blind. The book is packed full of examples and case studies from organisations such as NASCAR, Discover Communications, CBS […]

The next billion internet users

The infographic below was suggested to NewMR by Shannon Hamilton who helped create it and we thought it was well worth sharing. If you click on the image you will be take to the source of the image, who are InternetServiceProviders.org. The Next Billion Internet Users: What Will They Look Like?

The Five Top NewMR.org Posts of 2013 – so far

Below is a list of the five posts, on NewMR.org, that in 2013 have been read by the largest number of unique readers, as measured by Google Analytics. Why do companies use market research? This was posted December 30, 2012, and has had 633 unique viewers in 2013. The ITU is 100% wrong on mobile phone penetration, IMHO. Posted 29 June, 2013, viewed by 380 unique people. Is it a bad thing that 80% of new products fail? Posted 7 March, 2013, 353 unique viewers. Notes for a non-researcher conducting qualitative research. This was only posted on 26 August, 2013, so it is probably still on its way up. It has 350 unique viewers. A Short History of Mobile Marketing Research. Posted 1 March, 2013, with 278 unique views. I ran the analysis to see if I could spot any patterns in what made a successful NewMR post. However, so far, no clear pattern is emerging. Any thoughts or suggestions?