Research World (June 2005)
It's good news that the industry is searching out ways to rejuvenate and improve itself. It is only with this attitude that the profession advances. The well-known toolkit - with group discussions, in-depth interviews and a variety of projective, association and completion techniques - has been supplemented with approaches from linguistics, neuroscience and cognitive psychology. And with the many tools developed through modern technology. All of this requires extra effort and care. Intensifying the interaction between the researcher and the respondent takes place against a backdrop with a contemporary decor. The emphasis is on the short term - everything must be faster. The focus is also on the outcome and the result, because with present-day decision-making (regarding new products, political issues or advertising campaigns) there are often greatly divergent interests involved. But does much of this often small-scale, explorative research also get underpinned, where need be, with quantitative results? We shouldnt forget that striving for renewal and improvement tests the boundaries of market research. And theres nothing wrong with that. But the need for representative samples, validation and reliability must not be overlooked. And we should continue to scrutinise the quality of analysis and interpretation. These are the issues that need more attention in the added value debate. Because the researcher is still the researcher. And the respondent is still the respondent.
- This could also be of interest