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News and Notes on Innovation, New Media, and the State of the Market Research Industry

I’ve been sitting on a few articles that I had hoped to turn into full blown blog posts, but work keeps getting in the way! Rather than being miserly with this golden information, here is a quick synopsis of news and noteworthy articles for your reading pleasure!

I’ve been sitting on a few articles that I had hoped to turn into full blown blog posts, but work keeps getting in the way! Rather than being miserly with this golden information, here is a quick synopsis of news and noteworthy articles for your reading pleasure!

Alastair Gordon tackles the issue of why MR doesn’t seem to be able to innovate effectively in his blog post Butterflies Don’t Innovate: The Real Innovation Challenge for Market Research:

My view is that far from being super conservative, most researchers are fascinated by “trends” and new ideas. But too often we mistake “trend-following” for “innovation”. We (and I include myself in this) love to discuss all the latest technologies, techniques and re-packaged jargon,  so we flit like butterflies from one new idea to another, never quite developing their potential or integrating the new techniques with old ones.

On a related note, Research-live .com invites us to Meet the new market researchers (the folks who are driving innovation in insight collection right now):  

Market research has never stood alone as a way for businesses to try to understand their customers and make better decisions. But with more and more ways to collect, crunch and make sense of information (a lot of which result from new technology), research seems to be facing more competition than ever, often from unexpected quarters. An enterprising client could quite easily cobble together their own solution by doing bits of it themselves, turning to the world of social media for other parts, and maybe even asking the bookies for help. Is this the dawn of a great era of openness, creativity and cross-fertilisation? Can researchers look forward to working with exciting new tools, new colleagues and exploring new business opportunities? Or is MR under threat from all sides? We decided to get to know some of these new market researchers (although they mostly wouldn’t call themselves that) to find out where the action is and what the future holds.

Ray Poynter blogs about the existential plight of The battle for the soul of understanding online discussions:

There is battle going on, a battle for the soul of how online discourses should be interpreted. In one corner are the machines, the automated social media monitoring tools such as Radian6 and text analytics such as Leximancer. In the other corner are those who value human scale analysis, people such as Robert Kozinets (author of Netnography), who believe that ethnographic and qualitative approaches such as grounded theory and hermeneutics are the best tools for turning online discussions into insight.

The Harvard Business Review has become on of my favorite info sources, and they continue to earn that spot with their article on Social Media’s Critical Path: Relevance to Resonance to Significance:

In my experience as a longtime social media observer who advises companies on how to successfully navigate the new media landscape, the key lies in embracing the linear concept of Relevance, Resonance, and Significance. This approach begins with establishing relevance for your brand and messages, which can then achieve resonance, and finally, attain significance and help to build your company’s social media legacy and augment your other, more traditional, brand-building efforts.

WARC has two great articles well worth the time to read them. First they report on Brand owners turn to innovative new technology:

“If you do virtually in days or hours what used to take weeks, then not only will you go to market faster, but you can afford to do a few more test-and-redesign cycles with more input from consumers and retailers,” Flippo Passerini, its global services officer, said.

“That is worth millions in revenue.”

According to Passerini, this type of model constitutes a step towards integrating real-time data into the very heart of business strategy.

“The speed of innovation to market is accelerating exponentially,” he said. “Consumer electronics, fashion, design – it is true for us as well and it is amazing how consumers respond to innovation.”

Second, they report the good news about Consumer insights proving worth in UK:

The onset of the recession has resulted in the adoption of a wide range of new behaviours and habits across almost all demographics, meaning businesses have been forced to adapt to challenging trading conditions.

“If any brand is to have a very sharp point of view on the world, there has to be clarity over its consumer target,” said Helen Lewis, consumer insight and marketing strategy director at Unilever.

“You have to make an effort to make sure that everybody is thinking about the consumer all the time

The ISO debate has stimulated much discussion on LinkedIn regarding that issue, the role of trade organizations in the industry, and perhaps even developing new associations to meet the needs of constituents. All of these group discussions require membership in order to access them, but I highly recommend you do it to join in the conversations. Here are the links to a few of the best:

Why are you a member of ESOMAR?

What do you think about the idea of ISO standards for market research?

Professional bodies and trade organisations: are you listening?!

What sort of trade or professional body do we want?

What’s the future of marketing research?

Also, four new groups have recently been formed that I find to be really useful and engaging. Check them out when you get a chance! They are:

Market Research Data Visualization

Online Sampling Insights

Research Leadership for Impact

Social Media Market Research

Last but not least, Jeffrey Henning starts a revolution with his blog on #MRX Hashtag Community’s Declaration of Independence from #MR:

We, therefore, the public users of the #MR hashtag, assembled, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good users of this hashtag, solemnly publish and declare, that the #MRX hashtag community is, and of right ought to be, free and independent. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our followers and our Twitter accounts.

That’s it for now folks, but you can bet we’ll be back with more news, original content, and compelling information on the global MR industry soon!

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