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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Complaining that a car isn’t a doughnut

Jason Anderson posts series of complaints about “8 Things I Would Do if I Were a Market Research Company”.

Here’s where to start:

  1. Get out of the survey business. Your clients have less expensive options at their disposal (Zoomerang, SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey anyone?). You have been disintermediated. Get over it, move on.
  2. Find a different better way besides surveys to collect data.
  3. Get out of the syndicated report business.
    1. …Exception #1: proprietary syndicated data. .
  4. Become a data integration super-ninja.
  5. Sell impact, not methodology.
  6. Build or buy technology-based scalability. The SurveyMonkeys of the world succeeded because their businesses scale an order of magnitude larger than the workforce constraints of a consultancy. You need at least one tech tool in your toolbox.
  7. Recruit technologists.
  8. Embrace multimodal interaction. If you’re not from the boomer generation, you are a multimodal consumer. You tweet, text, update, talk, play. You do all of these things on your phone, desktop PC, laptop, tablet, game console. You can’t tell the whole story without listening across multiple channels.


The article sets up a straw man by equating marketing research with survey research companies, then says survey research companies should be other types of companies THAT ALREADY EXIST.

  You want to do it yourself? Use SurveyMonkey. You want to sample yourself? Buy a list or contract that out. You want a data integrator? Get a data integration company. You want a good pizza? Call Dominos -- don't complain that survey research companies should be delivering pizza.

  If we look at the largest marketing research firms in Honomichl's list, many of the top firms on that list -- Nielsen, Arbitron, IRI, IMS, comScore for example -- are not survey research firms (although there are some surveys done as part of broader services).

  This is, of course, part of the trend Jason seems to have missed for the last 30 years, which is to mine existing data sources that can be tapped on demand (such as those syndicated databases -- calling them “reports” is quaint – and customer-generated data)

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