Market research never changes. The purpose has always been single minded – to predict purchase behaviour. We do a lot of work to to understand people, to help people, to make people’s lives better by creating better products and services but if that was really our purpose, we’d all be certified clinical psychologists. I’d actually like that.
But let’s be honest. Segmentation studies allow us to better understand the personality traits of groups of people so we can better predict different styles of purchase behaviour. Ad testing studies allow us to better understand which ads are likely to create purchase behaviour. No matter the type of study, if it doesn’t contribute to predicting the purchase decision, your company won’t fund it.
Of course, over the years, our scientific methods have evolved just as they will continue to do in the coming years. We left the dinosaur age 15 years ago when we grasped onto as online surveys. Mobile research has graduated from new and cool to an actionable product. Neuroscience is making fascinating progress in the field of market research, making me want to get my grimey little hands on the equipment and the data. And social media research is the current fashion in research and is even being used to predict stock market results and movie box office results.
The tools market researchers have access to have changed a lot over time and they will continue to change. But, the premise and basic method of market research will always remain the same. We must sample correctly. We must weight correctly. We will create quality data with quality tools. We will focus on quality analyses which accurately predict dollars. Those things, the things that make market research what it is, will never change.
It makes me wonder… if we are all about the New MR right now, what are we going to call New MR next year? Super extra new MR? Just wondering.