Press Release by Research Liberation Front
On Tuesday, March 14th, after a fantastic day at the MRS Conference, a selection of research revolutionaries descended upon Vout-O-Reenees – a club for the ‘surrealistically distinguished’ – to celebrate 10 years of the Research Liberation Front.
The RLF is a group united by beliefs that someone needs to do something about the old, out-of-date methodologies still in use today, to push the boundaries and find creative solutions to problems. We need to Set Research Free.
With Russian Spring Punch in full flow, Fiona Blades and John Griffiths led the festivities into the evening, cutting the cake to commemorate the events of years gone by such as ‘Rock the Boat’ and to inspire the research revolutionaries of the future.
The evening also saw announcement of the Judges for the Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards, taking place on the 13th of June at IIeX in Atlanta later this year. The selected Judges are as follows:
Joel Rubinson – President, Rubinson Partners Inc.
Priscila Tavares – Marketing Intelligence Coordinater LATAM Airlines
Gayle Fuguitt – Chief of Customers Insight and Innovation, Foursquare
Clark Jones – Knowledge and Insight, Coca-Cola
Annelies Verhaeghe – Managing Partner, Insites Consulting
If you know someone within the market research industry who you believe has challenged the status quo or demonstrated courage, please go ahead and nominate! Whether they are pioneering new market research methods, exploring underserved parts of the globe, placing themselves in challenging or dangerous situations, or simply pushing the boundaries of research, this is your chance to let them know that their work will not go unnoticed.
You can submit your votes here: http://www.ginnyvalentine.com.
About the Research Liberation Front
The Research Liberation Front is a dynamic organisation of research revolutionaries dedicated to setting research free, pushing boundaries and bringing about change in market research.
About Ginny Valentine
Virginia Valentine, founder of Semiotic Solutions, brought semiotics to the research industry. Ginny died in 2010. The Badge of Courage Awards are granted annually.
For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 7979 808758. +1 917 975 6861
John.email@example.com, +44 7740125794
How research and insight markets itself as an industry and how it markets its products – insights – to clients have been a hot topic of conversation in recent years, but how does this look going forward?
In the final feedback from our panel we see two consistent themes – a better outward facing image and a more engaging approach to client management – appear, whilst reminding us that ‘methods’ may be terminology of yesteryear.
by Dale Henry
At this year’s MRS Conference in March, one particular theme caught my attention – it focused on the view that the research industry has started to lag behind other marketing disciplines.
Given that two years ago, 90% of the world’s data didn’t exist (according to independent research organisation SINTEF) and now companies are awash with data that can be analysed every which way, how can research be lagging behind with this scale of innovation?
A clue was provided by former Camelot CEO Dianne Thompson who stated “The very fact that you talk about people as ‘respondents’, rather than having a dialogue with people, needs to change. The whole role of social media has sped everything up.” Now, whilst I wouldn’t necessarily say that this suggests the industry is lagging behind, it could indicate how some elements of the industry have lost touch.
The automation of data collection has led to an almost robotic process of research which, in turn, has marginalised the human element of the process. The notion of understanding consumers on a qualitative level has been overlooked by a penchant for ‘big’ or continuous data.
In my opinion, the spotlight has swung away from qual with some agencies shying away from the qualitative process in favour of big data collection. I might be wrong, but could this be because they have simply forgotten the art, or no longer value the process, of communicating with consumers on a personal level? One doesn’t have to cast the net far to see what effects big data reliance can have on a company.
For some, working with big data might simply be the easier option – stats don’t (particularly) lie and without an accepted consensus in place to judge qualitative research, the process can be criticised for lacking scientific rigor, transparency and sometimes delivering findings which are merely a catalogue of personal opinions swayed by a researcher’s bias.
Perhaps these doubts have led to an unconscious drift towards big data popularity? Perhaps we as research agencies haven’t done enough to convince clients that our qualitative processes do deliver? Whatever the reason, Qual has declined but the fact still remains – purely understanding what consumers are doing isn’t enough. We need to show clients that we can provide the ‘why’ to support their data.
I recently joined research consultancy McCallum Layton. I must say it’s great to be part of a company which continually refreshes the way they interact with consumers, which has led to more than 30 years of success within the industry. The Qual team boasts an intrinsic process which ensures the validity and reliability of any qualitative results they produce.
These processes, which others in the industry may have in place, need to be translated to clients. The value of a good qualitative researcher should not be overlooked. If we can get this message across, more focus might be attributed to the qualitative approach and we can truly help clients get back to understanding the ‘why’ of consumer behaviour.