“Research” gets a bad name for its lack of relevance to the important business decisions that organizations have to make. To counter this, many firms doing research emphasize that they are focused on finding “insights” that are “actionable” and various other phrases that are intended to convey that they really are useful, if not indispensable. While we applaud this goal, we think that the first priority is to ensure that the “insights” we provide are not just “actionable,” but right.
Of course we are not saying there is only one single right answer to every marketing question. When dealing with consumers there will always be multiple right answers. But, there are many, many more wrong answers that can easily lead you astray and there are many situations where you won’t even know that you have a wrong answer. So, we think it is important first to make sure that the answers we give you are right.
How do we know they are right? We know they are right in the same sense that science comes up with right answers because what we are doing is science not just “research”. So, we use logic and argument first to develop a point of view that we think is right. We then collect the data necessary to test whether our point of view is right, or whether some alternative point of view better represents reality. We let the data themselves inform us as to what is the truth. We communicate that to you as clearly, succinctly, and transparently as possible, so that you can verify it for yourself. We help you extrapolate from the answers to the broader business context in which you operate. And, we help you build these answers into a body of knowledge, so you can more easily look around the next corner for your business and anticipate what might come next.
Like science, the work we do builds on itself. Today’s guesses, tested against the facts, become tomorrow’s understanding – the basis on which further questions are asked and answered, and the basis on which we can do a better job of predicting how consumers will behave in the future
Some say research would never have produced the iPhone because it can only inform you about what is, not what might be. We would argue that the inventors of the iPhone were doing what we do – making reasoned guesses about reality, testing those ideas against the facts, and over time building up a knowledge base that enabled them more clearly to see the future.
We would welcome the opportunity to help you with your own “iphone moment.”