Client Point of View--With Jill Donahue

September 28, 2007

What is your most memorable research project you have ever worked on?

I was working for a footwear retailer and we were conducting ethnographies to see how woman organize (or not) their shoes. One woman not only had a separate closet for her shoes, she had religated her husband to the basement storage area for his everyday clothes. Amazing!

How would you categorize the state of online research?

Online research plays a big role for us. We currently have safeguards in place that we feel protects our data quality (as best as it is able to be protected) to ensure the right people are being contacted. Obviously there is always room for improvement. It would be great to incorporate some of the safeguards that the more classic methodologies lend themselves to (i.e., audit responses)

Is Ethnography playing a bigger role in your research plans? If so, how?

Absolutely, it helps us get a deeper understanding into our quantitative results.

What do you think is the greatest need in the market research industry?

A voice. The common consumer understands this industry exists, but not really what it does. I think the more we educate the better results we will get as consumers will know they have a direct link to the product and services they purchase.

How would you characterize the quality of the deliverables in 2007 vs. previous years?

Our reports are much more actionable than they have been in the past, and that is great. There seems to be an increase in strategic thinking of the results, not just a book report of what the results are.

From your standpoint what is the hottest trend in market research?

The biggest trend I have been seeing is the ethno and alternative qualitative methodologies. Really getting to the understanding of why consumers react they way that they do.

What research conferences do you think you will you be attending in 2008?

MRA Annual and Fall conferences.

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