If you want to observe how lions hunt, don’t got to the zoo. Go to the savannah.
We have more access to data than ever before, in fact, we are often drowning in data. Yet more data doesn’t mean better decisions, often it just creates more confusion.
From data to insight.
In order to create true insight, insight that shapes an opinion or aids a decision, we need to know less of the “what” and more of the “why”. We don’t just ask questions. We ask the right questions.
In order to get to these questions, we first define the key business problem, understand what decisions will be made coming out of the research, and then design the study accordingly. The end result is a bespoke solution and actionable insights.
We do not believe in research being used as a crutch (or as a CYA tool).
Research can tell you what is, not what will be. You still need to be brave in making decisions and understand what research can and can’t do for you.
Henry Ford’s quote “If I had asked people what they wanted they would have said a faster horse” holds true to this day.
Consumers can give you feedback, but they can’t create the future. Only brave clients can.
Research will not give you “The Answer”.
Research doesn’t replace judgement. Where research shines is in uncovering the insight on which good judgement can be based.
All too often, market research is an artificial construct. As soon as respondent knows they are being observed, their behaviour changes. As a result, wherever possible, we conduct research in context or in situ. That often means mocking up an entire retail section and giving our subjects actual money to simulate the purchase of a product as closely as possible.
When possible we conduct both blind and branded research. Consumers taste as much with their eyes and hearts, as they do with their tongues, a lesson learned, expensively, by New Coke.
Avoid the focus group.
We believe in qualitative research, but not where the loudest voice wins. Depending on budget we conduct one on one sessions or two on one sessions to get a deeper understanding.
Observation is a powerful tool. Try to observe the entire user experience from pre-decision making thru to actual use of the product if at all possible. Remember to take those field trips, set aside everything you think you know, and watch for a while. It’s amazing what a simple yet powerful tool that can be.
We add our online listening tools to any research we conduct. They help us understand what’s important to category users, what language they use, what their desires are, what conversations they have. We apply our proprietary language processing and text analytics technology to help extract insights and intelligence.
Some of the tools we’ve used
Our President, Jo-Ann McArthur, has led client-side Market Research departments for over 20 years. She trained at the Burke Institute in the US. Her career of generating consumer insights has made research the foundation of everything we do. (She also excels at making the complex simple.)