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Slide Week: Market Research is Work, A Process and Changing

There are numerous reasons to do research, but hopefully you are pursuing a research initiative to better understand what is happening in the marketplace. To that end, the purpose of researching a market is for understanding, not to prove an idea you have. Ideas should come from your research, but too often marketers go into research mode to prove themselves right, their peers wrong or some other equally as jaundiced purpose. Research is about discovery and of course you frame your research in context of a hypothesis, but too often we develop a research framework that ONLY proves the hypothesis. If our goal is to go to prove a point we might pursue limited inputs, sources, survey samples or other put some other constraint one the effort that proves a concept we want to move forward and just satisfies some corporate mandate to do research as part of your checklist or product approval process.

I personally have done a whole bunch of market research that has proved my original idea wrong and I’m cool with that. The reason I’m cool with putting a bunch of work in is that if I hadn’t I just might have wasted millions of development resources and marketing expense pursuing ego based research, rather than striving to understand market facts. This presentation posits not only the orderly way to structure the effort, but how intangibles are increasingly more important in some markets, ok maybe all markets, which requires us to better understand context and culture in our research activities.