Every few months one of the business sites publishes a piece having a go at market research. Usually these articles are a heady mix of dramatic predictions, weirdly dated assumptions about what researchers do, and – let’s be honest – a few sharp truths.
This one, in Forbes, is no exception. The gist is that “Big Research” is going to get kerb-stomped by “Big Data”, so the piece combines its downer on research with a bouncy optimism about the infinite powers of big data. I’m not going to go through it point-by-point, and anyhow plenty of other commentators have outlined where big data and research fit with each other. But this line stood out.
“What possible similarity is there between a person in 1972 and today in terms of how they respond to an ad?”
1972 – too remote to matter?
What indeed? Let’s start with biology, psychology, emotions, how they make decisions, the fundamental needs they might be trying to fulfil… but no – in a world transformed by technology none of those things matter. Continue reading