Research World (September 2005)

Date of publication: September 1, 2005

Catalogue: Research World 2005

Author: ESOMAR B.V.

Abstract:

What would life be like without market research? Without social research and opinion research? Imagine that the profession, Was we know it today, had never been invented. What then? Industry annual turnover amounts to 21 billion dollars, around 650,000 people work in the industry worldwide, and many interviewers hold thousands of interviews each and every day. Without market research as we know it today, people would probably have found other ways to establish contacts between producers and consumers, government and citizens. But market research and opinion research, as a form of applied scientific research, is distinguished above all by its standards of performance and the “house of quality”. Market research does have an impact and is making a difference. Long-term, research is different as well. Following the initial focus on face-to-face interviews, we had postal research, telephone research and direct observation and registration. Now on-line research is coming to the fore, and on-line panels in particular are taking off. This type of data collection will drastically change the research landscape over the next few years -this is something on which insiders are agreed - bringing with it another wave of change. Once again the profession will be different. The question is: how different? We thought it would be a good idea in this issue, to examine from various points of view, what makes research so different and how market and opinion researchers are making that difference felt. What is so unique, so special about research? What is its added value? Society, business and marketing are in a complete state of flux. Whether this is a case of evolutionary development or revolutionary change, it is fascinating to take a moment and look at the constantly surprising challenges that we are encountering.

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