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% […]