Magazine article Marketing

Creatives Must Welcome Smart Research Work

Magazine article Marketing

Creatives Must Welcome Smart Research Work

Article excerpt

Most creative people see research as a Roman emperor in his box; with his thumb permanently suffering from brewer's droop but I take a different view. I want research. I want it done intelligently, of course; but I welcome its input into the delicate process of producing outstanding work.

Doing it intelligently means -- fundamentally -- not just recording what respondents say. It means interpreting what they say and seeing if they are prepared to come with you to somewhere new.

This is a difficult concept, and hard to put into practice. Let me attempt to explain. In clumsy research, consumers think they are there to put the advertising back onto the "proven track" - ie obey the rules of the marketplace as they see them currently.

But if you want to move the game on, and claim the high ground for your brand, you have to challenge the rules of that marketplace. To that end, I believe you should listen mainly to the opinion-formers in the research group. But you should also listen to which execution the group talks about the most; or which one they're talking about as they leave the session. It may not be the one they say they "liked" the most. But it's stayed with them, and changed them in some way so it's valuable to explore it further.

Of course, some people see research purely as a crutch. They want mass thumbs-up. If they take that view, what I am proposing is effectively a kick in the crutch. Because I believe that doing simple "hands-up" research is akin to putting your own hands up and admitting that you don't know what you're doing. …

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