Versta Research Post

Dilbert’s Boss: Focus Groups Are Not Reliable

The pointy-hair boss has a point here, even though he does not realize it. From a research perspective, focus groups should provide rich, new, and surprising depths of insight, not necessarily “reliable” data. In fact, that’s why we typically suggest doing multiple focus groups, in different locations, with different types of participants. We want each…

No, Crowdsourcing Hasn’t Replaced Focus Groups

We read the most irritating claim about focus groups several weeks back, which inspired us to begin writing about why it was so wrong. But we realized somebody else could do it better than we could—a true expert on focus groups who built a thriving research business by conducting focus groups (among other qualitative methods)…

What You Lose with Online Concept Tests

What You Lose with Online Concept Tests

Most companies test new product or service ideas with concept tests to evaluate market interest and to refine their ideas. Most of these (like most surveys, nowadays) are conducted online, which offers speed and cost efficiency. But there is a downside. While people are quite adept at reviewing ideas and answering questions in online formats,…

How to Keep Innovating Your Research Methods

How to Keep Innovating Your Research Methods

If you ever have trouble separating all the hype of new methods and technology from the reality of whether those methods work, turn to the sober and decidedly non-hyped world of academic research.  Some of the smartest people in the world build their careers by pursuing scientific research about research methods.  They publish their results…

Sorry, Algorithms Are Not Insights

Sorry, Algorithms Are Not Insights

A persistent misperception in our industry is that technology can (or eventually will) largely automate our work. It reflects a fundamental confusion between the tools that we use versus the work that we do. This confusion was evident in a recent New York Times article about the surprising amount of time that data scientists devote…

Old Marketing Poltergeists: They’re Ba-a-a-a-ack!

Old Marketing Poltergeists: They’re Ba-a-a-a-ack!

A couple of weeks ago we highlighted the top tier marketing research priorities identified by a select group of corporate executives who are members of the Marketing Sciences Institute, and who represent the corporate-user side of marketing research.  Every two years they vote on where to direct the institute’s research funds for academic research. Not…