Paul M. Banas on Consumer Insights, Marketing Research, and the Digital Media Landscape
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The Future of Marketing Research

There is an interesting comment stream following Merrill Dubrow’s post on problems facing marketing research today, especially in the survey arena. His original post focuses on four main areas of concern:

  1. Length of questionnaire
  2. Boring, repetitive, poorly written surveys
  3. Declining cooperation rates
  4. Great variation in quality across online sample providers

I think 1 and 2 are linked, which is why I’ll address them:

First, after roughly 10 to 15 minutes of questions, you can assume the incremental insights from any more questions are probably negated by the desire for consumers to say or check anything just to get to the end of the survey.

Second, brand researchers and their internal clients need to know that a lack of focus in questioning will probably result in a poor survey and a lack of focus in results.  When you start tacking on “Just One More Things”, the muddled nature of the questionnaire will probably do more harm than good.

Finally, Ed Sugar provides an excellent challenge for market researchers in his follow up commentary. Marketing Research professionals should design research methods that “excite and inspire respondents to participate”, much like Nike and Apple create excitement around being part of their brand experience. Like Seth Godin’s concept of “permission marketing“, maybe there is a future for “permission consumer research”.

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