Tag Archives: Observational market research

Research and innovation ‘ experiment and observe…

It has been a long time since Paul Lazarsfeld, founder of modern empirical social science, has shown how powerful observational methods are. His famous piece of work “Die Arbeitslosen von Marienthal” is a classic for everybody interested in sociology. Sociographic was the order in those days.

Today it looks to me as if observational methods within market research are on the rise again; especially the increasingly used online qualitative methods such as online research communities or social media monitoring.

The use of these methods is beneficial not only for generation of insights, but is becoming increasingly important for innovation management process. This is partly due to the nature of innovation on the one hand, and, on the other hand because of the – for years underestimated – power of observation.

* Foto by jcolman

From the most common method focus groups to modern behavioral economics, observations bring forth new insights, perspectives and new thinking. The usefulness of observations has nearly always been proven in our studies.

In particular for the innovation process, we have found that this method can be ideally combined with other methods. Thus, a social media monitoring approach as a precursor and input for a consumer study is ideal. Furthermore, we have seen that the combination of asynchronous methods (e.g. community research) can provide a high density of information if it is combined with synchronous elements (e.g., chat)..

For a contemporary view of innovation, it is important both to establish working practice and environments that support the idea process. And again, that is a perfect field for the use of observational method. Because consumers don’t tell what they think, don’t think what they feel, and don’t always act as they tell us how they feel and think… an old but familiar dilemma..

There will be lots of more thoughts and talks about obversation and innovation at the The Market Research Event 2011 in November in Orlando, Florida, hosted by IIR USA.

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

How do you define who is ethnographer?

Blogging Innovation recently looked at how we should define an ethnographer. It is a profession that has no discipline, it just involves watching people. But while doing this, flexibility and openness are requirements of the job. Other key initiatives include observing, listening and questioning what the ethnographer is watching until they understand what is going on.

What do you think are key traits for ethnographers?

The importance of qualitative research

At eBusiness, they recently looked at the importance of qualitative research in international markets. While the survey method is most frequently used to collect data, in many situations, qualitative data may provide more insight and better aid decisions.

This article focuses on these specific techniques for qualitative data collection:
1. Observational and quasi-observational techniques
2. Projective techniques
3. In-depth interviews

Read the full article here.