In market research, is agnosticism the new belief?

Traditionally the term agnostic has been applied to people who have not had the courage of their convictions to settle for belief or refutation. However, over the last few years the term agnostic has become increasingly used in the area of market research, and indeed agnosticism appears to be the new creed for many of the suppliers to our industry and the prediction for many of the pundits forecasting the future. Among the key areas where agnosticism is becoming a driving principle are: Mode agnosticism – especially between online, mobile phone, and tablet. Pull-Push agnosticism – between apps and browser based mobile research. User agnosticism – between DIY, assisted serve, partners, and full-service. Code agnosticism – between classic market research conducted under research codes, and other forms of research, such as Big Data and Social Media Research, which are as likely to be offered by non-research companies as research companies. Sampling agnosticism – market researchers used to be believers in ‘the way’ (aka random probability sampling), but now the largest single method is the convenience sample (aka online panel) and alternatives are picked according to their merit (especially availability, speed, and price), rather than on a priori beliefs. Why the […]