Out with the old and in with the new - although not stated exactly like this, that is my summation of this year's GRIT report. As written in the opening remarks by editor Leonard Murphy, "market research is still changing, but at this point the change has been acknowledged by the majority and embraced by the many." What this is referring to is the move from old research techniques, such as telephone surveys, to what is being called 'New MR'.
Gen Lamorie-Wallace is a busy woman. By day, she is an Ottawa, Canada-based Vice President with market research consultancy Phase 5. By night, she runs a restaurant with her chef husband in a trendy city neighbourhood. Sometimes, Gen's worlds collide and inspiration strikes. For her, it's when a 'foodie' patron pulls out a smartphone and starts tweeting an online commentary about his dining experience. This experience as a restaurateur informs Gen's belief that market researchers need to understand how our communication culture is shifting and to be able to offer to clients new approaches that mimic this "new normal" for communications. Following her presentation Lessons Learned When Adapting Technology Platforms for Qualitative Research at the recent MRIA QRD Conference, we had a chance to talk to Gen about the forces that are transforming consumer culture and the opportunities for businesses and MR.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the MRIA's 2012 QRD (Qualitative Research Division) Conference in Toronto where one of the speakers was Dr. Sam Ladner. Sam delivered a presentation entitled Truth, Lies and Ethnography. Think of the talk as being an 'ethnography 101' -- it was intended to help researchers in the audience learn "What to expect, how it's done, and when you should do it."
For Americans and Canadians, multicultural consumers are a rapidly growing demographic. Understanding the social lives of such consumers -- their values, beliefs, habits and preferences -- is of great importance to brands and their marketers. An annual day-long event called the Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum will explore this demographic. Presented by marketing research consultancy Horowitz Associates, the March 21st, 2012 conference will focus on ". . . how the concept of community impacts programming, marketing, and advertising geared toward America's new multicultural audiences."