Reflections on doing market research in time of COVID19
The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge
Daniel J. Boorstin
Deprivation Studies are a research methodology initially developed among psychologists at an academic level, which aims to “prevent” an organism or a subject from benefiting from something it wants or needs: sleeping, a good, a service…
Many years ago, these studies were also carried out in the world of market research. For example, taking some people, asking them to refrain from watching television and at the same time keeping a diary of their daily lives. More recently, studies have been carried out to deprive a group of teenagers from using smartphones and social media.
You had a temper like my jealousy:
Too hot, too greedy.
How could you leave me,
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you. I loved you, too.
Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights
A strange contemporaneity. While prominent scholars, bloggers and know-it-all guys are explaining us how brands move the world economy (No logo was published 13 years ago), brands are severely fighting to understand consumers. And let me a bit interested…
Like in the evocative Kate Bush’s song, brands are asking “How could you leave me, When I needed to possess you?“. Private labels uprising, local products or the old ugly competition threaten brands daily.
I am fiercely sure that we should study less the fashionable phenomena like Apple i-stuff success and focus more on case like Lotus Smartsuite, Commodore or RIM Blackberry’s struggle to survive. If history could teach something, it is the fragility and sudden fall of whom nurtures himself in the “rentier syndrome”.
Offshoring is a matter in MR industry. But debate is hushed up. Few researcher publicly speak of aptitude to realize fieldwork abroad in countries where costs are considerably lower. In my country most fashionable country for fieldwork seems to be Romania. A typical italian aptitude: foreigners are good when they stay at their home, where they let themselves to be exploited (possibly silently) far from indiscreet glance.
I know some Romanian interviewers… they often speak italian better than a lot of Italians. I don’t agree with someones who say “It is only a problem of quality of data”. Well… it is a problem of quality of data, too. Working conditions are another part of the trouble. And fieldwork control is the third facet.
So I’m proud to share a laudable initiative: Foundation for Transparency in Offshoring. I let them to tell:
Market Research is a relationship business, and trust is the cornerstone of any relationship. While industry associations offer various quality standards and codes of ethics to cover corporate behavior and practices, one important and growing trend — the offshoring of data collection and analytics — has not been adequately addressed by either governments or industry trade associations.
Clients are concerned about their loss of control over the market research process, specifically the difficulty in obtaining accurate and honest information. These concerns are directly related to the information needed by buyers to make informed decisions and trade offs between cost and quality as well as the protection of intellectual property and data security.