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20 Signs You’re A Market Researcher

A light-hearted list of the truths that typify the incomparable professionals who make up the greatest industry in the world.


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1) You know that an IHUT is not a dwelling for Apple employees.

2) When asked a question, you respond with a question.

3) You know it’s not the size of your panel that matters, but what you can do with it.

4) You’ve introduced your friends as respondents.

5) Telling people you’re not eligible to take their survey because you’re in the industry gives you a rush.

6) You can spell Honomichl. (Wouldn’t Jack’s Top 50 have been easier?)

7) You’ve called yourself a pollster because you think it sounds sexier than researcher.

8) You have tried to recruit from such sample population segments as mixed ethnicity tea party Gen X’ers who remove the tag from their mattress.

9) You’ve had to convince new acquaintances that you are not personally responsible for calling them at home during dinner.

10) Your favorite rap video is Listen to your brain by Dr. Neurofocus.

11) You know that a Monadic design is not a type of wallpaper.

12) Your morning news team is Lenny, Annie and Tom.

13) You’ve defaulted to telling your older relatives that you send out surveys because it’s just easier.

14) When people ask about Big Data you tell them you know everything but unfortunately you have to keep it a Big Secret.

15) You are excited to find out what made the cover of Quirks this month.

16) You’ve thought about the horrific possibility of a research civil war between the Quants and the Qualies.

17) You can get lost in a good data book.

18) You know that an industry as powerful and complicated as ours cannot be governed by any less than 10 associations.

19) Vague terminology like “a lot”, “pretty good” and “I think so” makes you extremely uneasy.

20) Your gut feeling is to do research on your gut feeling.

What other signs can you think of fellow researchers? We’d love to keep growing this list and could use your help!

Please share...

24 responses to “20 Signs You’re A Market Researcher

  1. AG:
    1. When answering online CSat quex, you add suggestions to correct the (usually) biased questions.
    2. You try to convince someone that a poll with n=25,000 isn’t 10 times as accurate as one with n=2,500.
    3. You occasionally answer “How are you?” with a number on a 10-scale.
    4. You actually know the difference between market research and marketing research.

  2. You know that the proper translation of “directional” is “a research finding that is not statistically significant but which your client/management wants to believe.”

  3. Haha, I love this list! I would add these other signs…

    21) You accost your family, friends, even total strangers, to share their opinions after you’ve collectively experienced a new movie, show/concert, theme park or similar entertainment.

    22) You look at people on the street and wonder about their demographics, behaviors and what segment(s) they might fit in your upcoming study.

    23) Your month of October is regularly booked with conferences, or better yet, YOU are a conference presenter!

    Thanks for starting this post, Adam. I hope this helps to maintain peace between us quallies and quants. 😉

  4. From a post I did for Polaris Marketing Research’s blog, Polaris POV:
    You know you’re a marketing researcher if…
    • You wonder about the margin of error when you hear about close election polls.
    • You ask your kids what they want for dinner, on a five point scale.
    • You promise your friends confidentiality when you talk over lunch.
    • You look forward to survey calls on your caller id.
    • You never keep the dollar bills without completing the mail survey.
    • You can’t wait to retire so you can participate in focus groups.
    • You have ever tried to explain statistical significance to your grandmother.
    • You have your family complete an online survey about dinner preferences
    before making reservations.

    What a strange breed we are!

  5. When asked by a restaurant manager about your experience, you don’t reply “fine” but instead share a lot more than they ever expected!

  6. …if you think a stale sandwich at midnight is a perfectly normal dinner.
    …if you sometimes look at your family members and wonder if they were properly recruited.
    …if you keep waiting for your job to be eliminated by “the next big thing”…and it never is.
    …if the majority of the people who try to sell you things for your business should be in any job except sales.
    …if you actually get offended not by getting a survey call during dinner, but only if the interviewer or the questionnaire is bad.
    …if you participate in a survey and think, “I should have gotten this project – I could have done this better.”

  7. … you are actually disappointed you don’t qualify past the screener for a survey
    …and your brown cardigan is back in fashion but you never stopped wearing it

  8. …you already know regression is not only the weapon of choice of your therapist.
    …after having lunch, you start to criticize the design of the survey your waitress just delivered to qualify their service.

  9. Every year around mid-October, you get on the scale, discover you’ve gained 5 pounds, and ask yourself….”Hmmm,…could it be from all the coffee breaks at those Fall Research Conferences?”

  10. My Top 10

    1. When n=more work for you to do.
    2. Data is not just an android from Star Trek
    3. Conjoint Analysis is not a study on marijuana usage in prison populations.
    4. “Field work” does not involve removing weeds
    5. You know that Marketing Research is a type of Market Research.
    6. Mystery Shopping is not going to the mall without a plan.
    7. Norm is not just a charachter from Cheers
    8. You know you can’t get on an Omnibus
    9. Probing is not just done by aliens.
    10. You don’t WTF when you get an RFP for a study involving FHH PGS with HHI above 50k.

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