Agitative market research as a guide in developing new products (German)

Date of publication: June 15, 1972

Author: Peter Zernisch


The attitude of the marketing people to market research fluctuates along with the business barometer. Market research is something of a whipping-boy: in moments of optimism, it is praised and asked to do more than it can, in periods of gloom it is damned and shunned. At the moment we are obviously having a spell of depression. For instance, the man in charge of marketing for a big conglomerate complains, "Product management is in danger of growing so scientific that it pushes costs sky-high and prevents real profit it's time to develop some genuine entrepreneurial initiative for a change." I've heard similar opinions recently from several quarters and in various connections. More and more often doubts are voiced as to the value of methodical procedures in product development; people urge that we should revert to such sterling entrepreneurial virtues as common sense, intuition, and daring. The inevitable fluctuation of opinion or deeper-rooted crisis of confidence? - that is the question. And I should say it was a question that market research cannot allow to go unanswered in its own interest. So let's do a little market research on our own case, or at least discuss the design for an investigation of such market research.

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