Why might a business reject something that is both better and cheaper? (The better tyre example)

I was talking to a company that had a service that was both better and cheaper than the leading market solutions and who were getting frustrated because they could not understand why more people were not switching projects to them. Whilst there might be several possible reasons, one reason might be what I call the better car tyre example. So, here is the better car tyre example: Imagine you have a nice car and it has four nice, effective, new tyres. Now imagine you have run over something and one of your tyres is ruined. You need to replace it. You go to the tyre fitter/vendor and she explains that she has some new tyres that are better and cheaper than the tyres you are using at the moment. You ask what she means by better and she explains that when you are moving they are identical, but when you put the brakes on they stop the car 50% faster than your regular tyres. You are momentarily tempted, until you get a mental image of driving along and suddenly swerving because one of your four tyres stops you quicker than the other three! So, you opt for a matching tyre, […]

Bamburgh Castle

What can the painter Turner teach market researchers?

Yesterday (17 January 2015) I was lucky enough to attend the Turner exhibition at Tate Britain in London and it set my mind thinking about the lessons for market researchers, in particular lessons for the way insight is communicated. Convey emotions, not details The paintings that Turner is most famous for, such as the Fighting Temeraire shown in the link, conveys the power of the moment, a great ship from the battle Trafalgar being towed to the breaking yards by an everyday steam tug as the sun sets in a fiery blaze, reflecting the passing of the age of sail to the age of steam. Market researchers need to connect with audiences at the emotional level; without that connection the ‘facts’ tend to be ineffective. Humans are not computers, we are humans, as Damasio said “we are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think”. If the presentation does not change the way the audience feel, it won’t change the way the audience acts. One example of how Turner deals with details and the main message is in the painting Modern Italy: The Pifferari. In the painting the trees on the right-hand side are painted in […]

How should we improve the research participant experience?

At the Festival of NewMR, December 2014, Annie Pettit gave a great presentation titled “Behind your back: What research participants really think about researchers”. You can see a recording of her presentation below: Market research needs to balance the following issues: Making the research experience sufficiently interesting that people are willing to take part. Making the process clear enough for people to be able to answer correctly. Utilising techniques that allow the responses to be translated into insight and impact.* * this last point has many sub-parts to it. For example, asking questions that people can answer, bearing in mind that people are often poor witnesses to their own motivations and future actions. Also, the need to ask questions that are capable of functioning as a research instrument as well as being engaging/friendly/comprehendible. So, taking Annie’s presentation as a starting point: What are your thoughts about the points raised in Annie’s presentation? What additional points would you make? What research-on-research do you think is needed? What immediate changes would you recommend?

The use of tense in writing up market research results

This blog post has been written as part of a project I am working on to produce a series of short books that will act as guides to different aspects of market research. The specific post looks at two key aspects of writing up market research results, i.e. differentiating between the ‘facts’ and the judgement/opinion elements, and using past, present, and future tense to make reporting clearer and more actionable. I am very keen to hear other people’s views on the advice in this post – all contributors to this series will, of course, be listed and thanked. Market research results consist of two elements, which we can loosely call: Facts Judgement/opinion We can argue about the meaning or existence of facts, but in this case I am talking about the material revealed by market research that is not disputed. For example, we might find that 75% of the sample said they were male. The term judgment (or opinion, or insight) covers things such as: How good/appropriate you think the research was. What you think the research means. For example, you might discover that trial is an important driver of purchase. What you think the client should do. For example, […]