Ridiculous Research

An ancient joke has a child looking into a telescope and saying “Daddy, the universe is a very small place” to which the patient father replies “You are looking through the wrong end.” Oddly, this describes the effect of misguided market research. The twin goals of market research are to identify missions to take, then how to accomplish those missions. The mission may be to reduce cost, grow revenues, expand market share. But unless you know what mission you need the take, you can never know what research you need in order to accomplish that mission. This recently came to light when the good folks at Zintro asked me to participate on a panel where selected experts explain the most common mistakes in market research. Of the two mistakes I cited, not understanding the problem to be solved was a primary ill. Some companies have offered Silicon Strategies good money … Continue reading

Research Perspective

America ranks near the bottom of the list for violent crimes in industrialized countries. This is not the perspective most people have (though some clever folks at an overseas justice ministry discovered this with some groundbreaking multinational research). Thanks to the news media and some serious inner-city problems, Americans and the rest of the world views the U.S. as a deadly place, despite violent crime rates dropping precipitously over the past few decades. Perception can be distorting. A lot of companies have inaccurate perceptions of themselves, and this leads to inaccurate research. I was polled by Zintro on the most common mistakes clients make in market research. Biased perspective was my top choice for research wrecking errors. If one asks the wrong question, the answer is typically meaningless. If one has an improper perspective, they tend to ask the wrong question. Hence if an executive is viewing his market, his … Continue reading