The future of research

Date of publication: September 1, 2000


Qualitative research has at its essence the search for a consumer truth, an insight into behaviour or attitude that will guide the marketer to a product positioning distinctive and relevant enough to cut through the data smog and advertising clutter of the contemporary marketplace. As companies require more and more insights from qualitative research, it is incumbent on leading edge researchers to find ways of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge about the consumer, and his/her behaviour. Sometimes we can allow ourselves to imagine that the sanitised world of qualitative research is real life. We believe that the 21st century qualitative researcher, therefore, needs to be able to get closer to the consumer, to smell him or her, to get under his or her skin and to talk the same language. This paper examines different ways of taking a more holistic view. Let us examine some of the alternative and supplementary methods available to us.

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