Blurring The Lines In Market Research

This week Lenny Murphy talked with our own Jill Chiara about the newest Technographics® offering, Community Speaks. This particular project take the trends we're seeing in our Technographics data and explores them qualitatively in our MROC. The result is a rich understanding of current consumer technology trends.I’ve been working on this project with other Forresterites for some time now, and I’m very excited about the final product because to me, it really symbolizes the future of market research (MR): combining the best of different methodologies to get at true insights.

The great thing about this change that’s occurring within the market research industry is that the boundaries that once existed between qualitative and quantitative research are beginning to deteriorate. In fact, the most successful researchers (and research companies) will be those that can identify the most important and most valuable aspects of each methodology-whether it's qualitative or quantiative, online, offline, or mobile- and blend them together. The fast-moving acquisitions within market research show just how important this melding of data is. People have finally taken note that a one-dimensional understanding of consumers is not okay and businesses are putting money up to support this realization.

We researchers need to push our clients and internal stakeholders to think not about what type of data they need but what type of insights they’re looking for. My colleague Reineke Reitsma has begun the discussion around whether or not we can eventually have device-agnostic research and what it will take for us to get to that point.

As the mergers continue to happen and researchers continue to invent new ways to combine data to unlock insights, I’ll be interested to see what emerges. We’ll also have to work on new identities for ourselves because “quant-jocks” and “quallies” won’t quite cover it. What type of data and where it comes from will all blend together. I guess I’d consider myself a quali-quanti-mobi-mrocy-soc. How about you?