Fads: Bad or Rad?

Posted by: Dave Sackman
  • August 19, 2013
  • 3

The market research industry was fairly slow to innovate during its first 40-50 years.

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For most of that time, the industry intensely focused on scientific methods and representative sampling.

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Debates raged for decades over the merits of random digit dial versus listed number samples.

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Enter the internet.

Kramer Slide Gif

People whispered, calling Gordon Black a heretic when he took polling online.

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The internet bubble burst in the early 2000’s, putting tremendous pressure on corporate profitability.

pops gum

Many marketing researchers sucked up their pride (and some of their principles) and embraced the world of large, but non-representative internet panels.

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“Good enough” actually became the new standard.

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Despite losing what they once treasured, a critical mass was reached. (Well, look at that! A Malcolm Gladwell reference–see him and LRW brain scientist Jeremy Sack at TMRE in October! #ShamelessPlug)











…And upon reaching that critical mass and tasting the fruits of new capabilities, the industry gave in and fell in love with technology.

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Their trepidation gave way to excitement. Their excitement turned into zeal for anything and everything new.

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fMRIs and neuroscience showed up. People ran to them, saying they would replace survey research.

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Then there was “listening” and “communities” and “big data.” Each craze caused predictions that the end of market research was near.

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Our industry needs to stop falling in love with “shiny new objects” and following whatever is the latest, coolest technology.

At LRW, we’re not the biggest company in the industry, but we have a mission to link world-class market research to real business impact.

Yes, we embrace technology when it serves our strategic so what?® vision. (Soon, you will learn more about our groundbreaking virtual reality work.) 

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But we don’t do it because it’s unbelievably awesome and cool (though it is). We only embrace those technologies that serve our strategic mission and provide actionable data to our clients to help their businesses grow!

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As you embrace new technology, please ask yourself: are you facilitating a strategic vision or following a fad?

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Forgo fads (like BuzzFeed style blogs).

  • Annie Pettit
    September 3, 2013
    What? The end of market research is near?!?!?!?! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! [me running in circles with my arms flailing over my head]
  • Craig Apatov
    August 27, 2013
    I love this perspective....bravo!!
  • Janice
    August 19, 2013
    Great overview in a format that's easy to digest!

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