Most market researchers should not worry about getting into the boardroom

One of the most frequent lamentations at market research conferences relates to the boardroom. Market researchers are not well represented in the boardroom and many seem to think this is proof of our weakness as a profession/industry. However, I think this is mistaken, I think that market research should only rarely be involved in boardroom decisions, and indeed that majority of what we do should be tactical not strategic. Boardrooms are not places where many decisions are taken, and those decisions tend to be about issues such as mergers and acquisitions, accounts related issues, strategic decisions about estate management, strategic decisions about issues such as outsourcing etc. The management of companies is not, typically, achieved at the boardroom level; it is provided by the managers and the specialists. Market research is at its most powerful when it is integrated into the wider knowledge base and information system of the organisation, and this integration happens best when done by the people working with the information, not externally, and not at a level too senior to understand the complexity. Similarly, most companies make 1000s of tactical decisions for every strategic decision. If a company is making a large number of strategic decisions, […]