Radical Market Research Idea #7: Participate in an untrusted methodology #MRX

If you get right down to it, I’m a quant. My history is with surveys and quantitative social media research. I have little experience with focus groups or neuroscience or eye tracking or many other respected and mistrusted methodologies. I can criticize the heck out of any of them but then, it really wouldn’t be fair.

But market researchers love to criticize. That’s what the test control design is set up to do. Prove and disprove based on logic and facts. So we criticize methodologies we aren’t familiar with even when we don’t have the facts. Are you one of the people who’s lambasted focus groups for their lack of generalizability? Have you laughed neursocience studies off the stage for their hocus pocus?

If you’ve never participated in a focus group, commission one now. Participate in the sampling, help write the discussion guide, help lead a group, help write up the results. See for yourself the good and bad that can come from it. Compare the results with those that come from the good and bad of the method you’re most familiar with. Learn something new. Try something new for once. Radical?



4 responses

  1. love this kind of mindset. I have been doing more qualitative approach now and it equally brings out interesting insights as quant.

    1. Glad to hear it! The more you know, the better!

  2. Have you taken your own advice? If not, happy to help.
    But I’d also like to add, that poor qualitative is as bad as poor quantitative: it pretends to enlighten when it does not, and may hide its biases from the untutored.
    I would add that the richness of any research method is often not in the fieldwork, the most visible part — it is in the analysis. If you only watch the research event, you won’t see the large piece of ice below the water that the skilled researcher provides.

    1. Ah yes, poor quality work is everywhere. It’s far more fun to complain about the negatives than to look to those people who are really doing a great job in whatever their expertise is. And, as you say, from the initial thought of doing research all the to the finished presented report.

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