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    Nobody pays me to write any of the copy on my blog, and should I ever have the good fortune that they do, I will declare it. My main employment is as the owner and principal of The Future Place consultancy. The Future Place provides two key services 1) training and services to industry and academic bodies and 2) consultancy services to companies. The details of the companies I work with are a private matter, but if I blog about any company who has paid The Future Place more than expenses recently (approx. two years) I will mention that they are a client. I hold equity in Virtual Surveys and provide consulting services to them from time to time. I am paid to run courses for a number of trade bodies and over the last few years clients have included ESOMAR, AMSRS, MRS, and MRIA.

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Ray, I completely agree with you. Less should be spent looking at data collection and more on data implementation.

Client researchers and marketers are happy using poorly conceived research and unrepresentative data so long as it says something they like. Moving forward, the research needs to become more of a steward or consultant - pulling apart and then re-forming all of the available data, using his or her experience to judge on what is reasonable to assume, and then making practical suggestions to implement the findings.

In my experience, the final step is the trickiest and the one that researchers currently shy away from. They may not know the client's company as well as the client, but they should know the industry they are working in.

So, from my perspective, I would like to see less talk on methodology and more on usage - normative benchmarking, practical implementation and the like.



Yes, I agree - huge complacency about what "2.0" actually means for research beyond fancier panels. I remember having a conversation a couple of years ago being told "wow it's awesome, consumers now are so empowered and vocal", and asking "OK, why do they need researchers then?". The USP of research for business is that it provides consumer access; the reason to participate for consumers is that it gives them a voice. "Web 2.0" potentially wipes both of these out. Not to mention that old-school research is about 10000 times more boring for people to take part in than polls, panels, forums, surveymonkey style stuff.

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