MRMW: Gayle Lloyd's Call for Market Researchers to Be Thought Leaders

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gayle Lloyd of Hillenbrand brought energy and enthusiasm to the MRMW event.  Her big encouragement is for market researchers to step back from the fact that the issue isn't the amount of data but instead the ability to make something out of whatever data is at hand.  The great reminder is that we're here as market researchers to inform decisions.  Data is the tool that helps make decisions, but the market researcher must look skillfully across lots of different data types and make recommendations.

Often, market research is linear and logical.  The new frontier calls for us to firmly answer the question, "does this really tell our organizations what they need to know?"  Just because we have the graph or chart, doesn't make it important.

I have experienced this shift as a "qual" researcher.  My expertise is quickly becoming the ability to look across a variety of different reports from diverse sources and tell the common overarching story.  I'm used to telling the consumer's story.  It's not a linear process.  It involves lots of reading, studying and synthesizing.  Some tools help guide the process.

Gayle had a great "Analysis Work Flow" slide that advocated that the researcher first understand the core questions, then the desired learnings or insights, the business value, then the priority and the data sets that need to be looked at.  This helps her identify next steps when looking at data.  I'm excited to see new enablers for looking at disparate sets of data.  So, if you're looking at lots of data, what enablers do you use?  I'd love to know!

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