March 5-6, 2019
To reinstate the relevance and importance of the market research profession, we urgently need to adopt a new perspective on human behavior. While new tools such as AI and techniques beyond the five-point Likert scale play a role in the transformation of market research, it’s important to recognize that we also need to change our assumptions of the motivations for consumption.
For over half a century, market research has been directed by homo economicus, a paradigm so pervasive that like fish in water, we have a hard time seeing the profound impact it has on how market research is conducted. While homo economicus still rules (consciously but oftentimes unconsciously to most of us), it’s inescapable that market research is in a state of crisis with large legacy market research firms contracting. Traditional survey approaches for core applications like concept testing and brand tracking are increasingly being questioned because the outcome provides inadequate or even flawed guidance for business decisions.
With advances in the academic fields of consumer culture theory and behavioral economics, we now collectively have the intellectual capacity to rebuild market research for the future.
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