With an extremely hectic schedule recently, I’m afraid WomackInsight.com has been somewhat neglected. I’ve been incredibly busy with some major projects, but after reading all the recent predictions about marketing research and insights in 2011, I feel compelled to weigh in. Buckle up, because I’m not taking a conservative route and I won’t be repeating any of the predictions I’ve seen elsewhere. I’m putting my reputation (however minimal it may be) on the line with a very bold prediction about the most important tool of our future.
But first (suspense building trick) I’ll cover how I reached my conclusion. After considerable thought and sifting through all the data ( including Twitter posts, blogs, journal articles, conference presentations, horoscopes and quotes from my kids), I have concluded that the most important marketing research tool of the future is not one of the new tools we hear so much about. In fact, it is a tool we have had (most of us, anyway) at our disposal for a long time. Many of us have simply chosen to use it infrequently.
So where has all the rigorous research and contemplation led me? To only one conclusion (and I’ll try to make this dramatic and quote-worthy to give it a chance against the ever present hyperbole in our profession): Brains are the future of the marketing research and insights profession.
I know, I know! They aren’t very flashy, are prone to random failure and they do not come with tech support, but if used regularly and correctly, human brains have a lot of staying (and saving) power.
In case you agree with me on this and decide to give brains another try in 2011, here are a few tips to get you (re)started:
- Don’t forget to nourish: Brains need care and feeding. Ongoing training and mental stretching are required. Consider Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) and reading my blog over and over.
- Beware of imitations: There are plenty of companies hawking products they claim (directly or indirectly) will replace brains. Run. Run very fast.
- Don’t go cheap: With high unemployment rates there may be brains available at discount rates, but the good ones are still going to cost you (and they are worth it).
What other tips do you have? How can we better use brains to ensure the marketing research and insights profession adds more value and stays relevant for years to come?
Here’s to you and your brain in 2011!