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See, feel, think, do

In their latest book See, Feel, think, Do, Andy Milligan and Shaun Smith discuss the failures of conventional market research and how companies become paralyzed by analysis and ever more detached from their customers. ‘As research became more important as an activity in and of itself, it began to override the intuitive decision-making processes that often made organizations successful. Whether people thought an idea could work or not was unimportant; what mattered was what the research said’, they say. The problem being that this research-driven decision making is not producing the results. The failure rate of new product launches remains the same at around 80%.

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sb4200 hack for orlando florida They go on to talk about a new breed of researchers who started to notice that the behaviour of consumers in focus groups was quite different to their behaviour at the checkout. They would say one thing (in the group) and then do another.

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I agree completely! This book is music to my ears. For years I have been chipping away at clients to allow me to use unconventional methods of research that reach right into the actual behaviours of their actual customers to gain the appropriate insights. Yes, this involves groups and indepth interviews, but there is no focus or agenda or questionnaire. I just get their customers to tell me about their real experiences of the product. It’s a simple process, though it isn’t easy to execute - you have to have highly tuned listening and questioning skills and be aware of your intuition to be sure you are getting deep enough into the experience to get the best information out. It most definitely is not a tick-the-box job!

On a number of occasions, clients have been taken off on a wild goose chase with conventional research, only to call me in when the consumers weren’t responding. On each occasion the research took them further away from the beliefs, values and behaviours of their actual customers. And on each occasion I brought their customers actual values, beliefs and behaviours back to them. And guess what, the response to the advertising (in these cases) was better even than the clients hoped!

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Milligan and Smith also talk about the failure of the data to reach the right people or be communicated in a way that was of benefit to the business. This is such a failing in our industry. We have to get out of the habit of reporting via a million slides and more into the habit of a one page summary of the business benefit and key insights. Until we do, our reports will end up in a pointless pile of detritus, gathering dust - and so will the reputation of market research.

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Western Values in Eastern Europe?

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I recently visited Budapest on business and was struck by how ‘familiar’ the shopping centre felt with many of the high street shops that I know well from my home town.

The city is busy and lively and apart from some remnants from the communist regime to all intents and purposes, the city has embraced western ‘values’ and is moving forward at a pace!instrucciones de trabajos reciclablesreciclables I have recently joined the UKTI ‘Passport to Export’ Scheme who incidentally offer a lot of support (advice and funding) for UK companies looking to export their products and services and they set up a meeting with their Hungarian Commercial officers at British Embassy.

We had an interesting discussion about the potential for offering leading edge market research services in

Hungary. It seems that they already have conventional research services pretty wrapped up through locally based consultancies (and a few of the multinationals of course!!) but that there is still an opportunity for consultancies to offer specialist services and ‘niche’ products.

Whilst out there I also met with a colleague from Romania who endorsed this view and we have already started making plans to for joint initiative in Transylvania.

It would be great to hear from anyone who has experience or interest in exploring the potential for offering market research services to Eastern European countries or anyone who speaks an Eastern European language that would be interested in being trained in my market research techniques.

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