In our next Business Surgery, Nick Hague discusses how the world of market research is changing.
Market research is dead! Or at least it may be in its traditional sense. Times they are a-changing. For a long time at B2B International we have argued that delivering strategic insights is the key reason why companies commission market research in the first place; not for the sake of providing even more data. This is even more important in today’s world where data explosion has rendered marketeers paralysed.
Think of a ‘typical’ market researcher and in your mind you may conjure up a picture of either a back office fact finder or a lady with a clip board in the street wanting to find out what cereal you had for breakfast this morning. Of course, business-to-business research is very different to consumer research and we, at B2B International, would like to think we have broken the mould and bridged the gap between market researchers and consultants. However, whether carrying out consumer research or business-to-business research, a market researcher in the modern world needs to be a data analyst who can synthesize the myriad of datafeeds that are open to us today but more importantly pull out the key action points from a study to clearly inform a client what it all means and what the next steps should be.
Kevin Lonnie in his latest article, ‘The Limiting Adjective of “Marketing” Research’, talks about a changing market research world:
Even the AMA has dropped the word “Marketing” to promote their annual research conference. After 30+ years the “Marketing Research Conference” is no more; the event is now being called the AMA Research and Strategy Summit. When even the American Marketing Association is running away from the word “marketing” how many more hints does it take before we realize that the times are a changing?
With the increasing use of social media and a greater use of buzzwords like innovate, ideate, insight, collaborate and crowdsource being used; is this not a sign that the industry needs to act and become more like consultants:
While marketing research is and remains part of who we are, it no longer confines and defines us. Rather, we need to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. We need to reclaim our rightful role as conduit to the customer and the guardian of rigorous scientific principles. But we also need to seize the moment and become strategists integral to our clients’ success.
Kevin argues that it is time for a name change for the industry: “a new descriptor for our industry, one that respects our past, but speaks to our present and our future”. Maybe, but I would argue that actions speak louder than words and in this modern world, the winners will be those that can walk the walk (rather than just brand labeling) and add value whilst delivering action to more readily meet the needs of client’s customers and deliver growth and differentiation for their organisation.
To read ‘The Limiting Adjective of “Marketing” Research’ visit click on the link.