The irony of market research

The irony of market research

Every brand wants the insights that great research brings. And every consumer wants the relevance. They want products that fit with them, service that gels with them, ideas that excite them, attitudes that ring true … They want brands to read their minds, even though they themselves may not be clear as to why they make the decisions they do.

But no-one wants intrusion. And no-one wants the same questions and the same ratings system and the same format.

Perhaps it’s because they know that the researchers aren’t actually interested in them at all. It’s not personal, it’s research. The people asking the carefully formatted questions are just looking for data. They just want another answer to their questions coming out of another mouth in a format that they feel comfortable with.

It’s always hard to get people involved if they don’t believe that the feedback they give is going to make any difference. It’s even harder when they see brands then making changes that they don’t believe are in their interests as consumers or that go directly against their personal feedback.

The dilemma is that consumers want the right answers but they don’t want to play by the numbers – and they don’t want to feel like they are making up the numbers either.

The problem for most brands is that they don’t think they have any other way of monitoring and verifying – and very few, if any, of them seem to have found a way of feeding back to consumers in a meaningful and engaging way what they’ve learnt from all that data, all those focus groups, all those questions.

Someone needs to change their attitude and their approach if research is to work as effectively as it needs to in today’s complex world.

Now would you say the chances of knowing which party might need to do that were poor, fair to good, good to very good or excellent?

“Survey” by Sean MacEntree, sourced from Flickr


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