Robert Bain of Research Magazine has a blog post today about the way that business people pick on market research as a way of underlining their modern business credentials. He quotes a piece by Marc Babej, a marketer writing in Forbes magazine who fixes the passing blog reader with a flinty stare and declares: ‘You burned big bucks to collect scads of data. Too bad much of it is meaningless.’
Babej’s article is less a research hatchet job and more about ‘smart’ research investment: after all, he has a proprietary technique up his sleeve.
It got me thinking about how terribly mouselike market researchers are about critiquing practices in business, marketing and advertising. Quite understandable, I suppose, when your very existence is down to the buying decisions of those particular people, but I long for a time when research luminaries might wave their hands and say (for example) that modern marketing is dead in the water…
OK, me first.
Unpopular marketing opinions:
- Most segmentations are rubbish
- Customers would rather their product worked, rather than entering into a Brand Conversation
- Understanding people entirely via the Internet is unwise
- Data mining is for obsessive-compulsive companies which fear being tainted by physical contact
- Many organisations are structurally incapable of acting on the insights that their research provides
That wasn’t so bad, although I guess I’ll never work in this town again.
More seriously: should market researchers have an opinion? I’d like to. I think it’s necessary, I think it’s absolutely unavoidable; but it strikes me that it can be difficult and unwelcome.
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