Saturday, August 2, 2008

Market Research from the respondent's perspective

The following unsolicited account demonstrates how respondents often easily see the purpose of research. Humans' natural instinct to scan for, and assign, causation and intent to interpersonal events most certainly influences the survey responses they give to market researchers.

The account also reveals the issue facing market researchers on almost every project: Very few business people are interested in research, as much as they are interested in validation. New and unsolicited information is a risk, until it can communaly seen as an opportunity. The amount of effort needed to convert new information into an acknowledged opportunity leads to most research findings being discarded, discredited or dismissed (as below).

"Okay, so I am paid to participate in online surveys for the construction industry. (I was nominated to be on this panel by inadvertently impressing people with my knowledge and desire to increase my knowledge of the technical component of a building and how we describe and detail it. I am a rare and treasured bird in the architectural industry. I digress. The first several pages are general and anonymous and then the last pages are specific to the manufacturer who is eliciting feedback for specific products and their reception as a new product or image of a current product. Obviously you understand better than most people. So I take a survey and I felt that they were asking the wrong questions, even though it became evident what they wanted. But how do you get that feedback when all the Q’s are rate with a number strongly agree or disagree. I get paid $20 because they know how difficult it is to get an Architect to do something that isn’t an immediate task for an impending deadline. However, I felt some obligation since they a re a good company and I am favorably oriented to the majority of the products so I sent them an email of interesting and unexpected feedback for one of their products in the Chicago Market. It is unheard of for companies to get unsolicited feedback from Architects. I didn’t expect any response, but I was surprised by the dismissive response. She must be crazy to think I am have time to pursue this with a rep.

Is this a common scenario with US corps or corps in general that they seek market feedback from the people who will select and use their product, but when these receive it unfiltered by marketing analysis they don’t know what to do with it?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Rick,
Great thought, this one. Fascinating dilemma.