The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Stating The Fucking Obvious Doesn’t Make You Yoda – It Makes You Normal.
October 25, 2007, 9:34 am
Filed under: Comment

Yoda Dog

One of the things I absolutely detest is when research companies come in and tell me they have discovered some ‘MEGA TRENDS’ then go on to tell me things like …

“Mum’s want the best for their kids”

“Kids love technology”

“Women feel under great pressure to fulfil all their roles”

“Men are understanding the importance of health and image”

Really?  WOW I never knew that …

And you say they are trends that are just emerging, rather than being around FOR FUCKING YEARS!!!

ARGH!!!!

Actually there is something I find even more annoying … well, actually there’s lots of things I find more annoying however to keep to the point I’m trying to make, I hate it when a research company comes in to tell me all about their GLOBAL MEGA TRENDS, then acknowledge they’ve only done research in the US and European markets.

What the fuck????

You think I’m joking don’t you? 

You think no professional organisation could act in such a way? 

Well sorry folks, the ‘Global insights validated in only Western markets’ was something I had someone try to sell me just last week. [As I am sure you can imagine, I had a lot of fun at that meeting, haha!]

Please don’t get me wrong, I love research … I really do … there’s some fantastic companies and people out there who have literally changed the way I’ve looked at life [not to mention made a massive difference to what I have been able to do/achieve with my clients] – however there’s a hell of a lot of companies who are taking far too much money for [1] stating the bleedin’ obvious or worse [2] saying what the client ultimately wants to hear.

I’ve always been of the belief that research should be totally impartial … but I appreciate that is incredibly naive of me, it’s about as impartial as journalism and the legal system … however when a research company starts focusing more on the financial returns they can get from a client [and a client is happy to accept mediocre and skewed information and insight] then we’re all heading down the slippery slope to blandom.

LETS CELEBRATE RESEARCH’S GREAT AND THE GOOD … come on, we need them more than ever now! 

[Rachel, do you want to start with the honours or maybe even do some naming and shaming? Ha!]

Oooooh I feel so much better after that … thanks.


29 Comments

Well obviously our wonderful Terri deserves special praise but I am looking forward to hearing what other people think, especially the researchers who I know read this blog.
Nice to see you’ve managed to be ”interesting Rob” for 2 days in a row now 🙂

Comment by George

I wouldn’t count on it 🙂

Comment by Rob

I hear you Rob. Just getting involved in reasearch it’s amazing how some people will claim obvious things as trends and insights!

Sorry, did we just pay you $50,000 to tell us that 4×4 drivers in the bush are heavily influenced by what their group of mates think is cool? My mum could of told you that!

Oh, and if i see the word “wellness” in trends again I’m going to begin feeling unwell…

Comment by Age

On behalf of the creative community I’d like to say we like researchers when they tell us interesting stuff that makes what we do better and more effective. We hate researchers when they seem intent on killing any idea that is different to the usual or don’t give us real reasons why our ideas aren’t right. “They just don’t like it” is not any fucking use to anyone. I have spoken.

Comment by Billy Whizz

George’s power of influence is amazing. His request for people to write comments with purpose, not just humour has even infiltrated Billy’s mischievious brain because he’s gone an written a comment that is relevant, interesting and positive.

Well done my tattoo loving friend – it’s nice to see you show your true colours rather than try and be Ernie to Andy’s “Eric”

[I know you won’t know what that means, so you now have an excuse to piss about on the net all day trying to work it out rather than do real work 🙂 ]

Age, not all research is like that – there are some fantastic people and companies out there, the best thing is to meet them and get to know them – don’t treat them at arms length because they have the capacity to not just help make things happen, but to make things much, much better.

Comment by Rob

Nah Rob I know, wasn’t talking about all of them, as a mater of fact I’ve been quite overwhelmed at a lot of the stuff that’s come out of most of our research.

Comment by Age

Great post. And Billy’s comment is spot on.

Another thing about ‘global trends’ – however obvious they may be – is that the research companies that shout about them rarely seem to drill down to the underlying, fundamental drivers behind those trends – why they happen. And more often then not, they assume that the driving forces that generate trends and drive a certain behaviour are identical across geographies and cultures without really investigating it thoroughly. This is a fundamentally flawed premise.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Research can be brilliantly useful when done properly; but when its done badly you end up with nothing at best…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

You’re so right Fred … how many times have research companies, ad agencies [and clients] told us about “market shifts” [which they call an insight] only to then give us a blank face when we ask what were the factors behind that movement.

Planning through the rear view mirror isn’t planning, it’s fear management – planning is about liberation though maybe I’m stupid thinking that 🙂

Comment by Rob

Research + Causality = Insight.

Comment by John

Research should expand ideas that are too narrow, or focus ideas that are too vague.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

So TNS goes to my client (who happens to be a market leader in wrist watches in India with 70%+ share)and makes a 170 slide presentation. The client asked the agency to be present and unfortunately I was one among those present from the agency. Different needscope, kano model, squares, circles, graphs and in the end, “People look at watch as an accessory and not as a time keeping device,” “With disposable income rising consumers are shifting to swiss made foreign watches” and finally “we need to do another quanti in the rural areas to understand those consumers better.”

Ha. As if we never knew it. You are very very true when you say, “Stating the bleeding obvious” and “saying ultimately what the client wants to hear.” More often than not in the recent past, I’m finding reputed research agencies have started hiring inadequate analysts and executives whose mandate is to make billings happen, keep clients happy and write tons of bollocks rather than find a relevant insight, observation, truth based on cultural/societal changes taking place.

Sad but true.

Comment by cRaCk_hEaD

So TNS goes to my client (who happens to be a market leader in wrist watches in India with 70%+ share)and makes a 170 slide presentation. The client asked the agency to be present and unfortunately I was one among those present from the agency. Different needscope, kano model, squares, circles, graphs and in the end, “People look at watch as an accessory and not as a time keeping device,” “With disposable income rising consumers are shifting to swiss made foreign watches” and finally “we need to do another quanti in the rural areas to understand those consumers better.”

Ha. As if we never knew it. You are very very true when you say, “Stating the bleeding obvious” and “saying ultimately what the client wants to hear.” More often than not in the recent past, I’m finding reputed research agencies have started hiring inadequate analysts and executives whose mandate is to make billings happen, keep clients happy and write tons of bollocks rather than find a relevant insight, observation, truth based on cultural/societal changes taking place.

Sad but true.

Comment by pooR\

Shit, now you know who cRaCk_hEaD is. What a dumbass I am. Bloody server. 🙁

Comment by pooR\

Nice story though!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

dont worry crackhead / poor, technology is always fucking up my job applications too 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

Sure it is, Andy. IT department in my agency have installed a special software to track all my job applications. More bad news, W+K said am really a sick, poor planner for their new office in India. Ha.

Rob M: Indeed it’s a nice story.

Comment by pooR\

A certain numpty researcher expected the earth to move when he told me he’d found there was a stigma attached to shopping at Netto.
You can imagine how I responded…..

Comment by NP

pooR/, maybe I’ve missed something, but I hope WK didn’t really say that about you.

Comment by George

Can we not bash researchers please, we know there’s a bunch of terrible ones out there but there’s also a bunch of terrible everyones out there. Lets talk about the great people and companies, build a compendium of those who make a real difference.
I know this makes me all Mummy (or Daddy) but if Billy can be positive then I know the rest of you can just about manage it. 🙂

Comment by George

Oh my gawd … nooooo …George, they never said anything like that about me. Infact had a very good meeting with Mr. Dave Luhr and Mr. John Jay, maybe, I didn’t live up to their expectations. And in frustration, I called myself a sick, poor planner, who failed to effectively plan his entry into an agency he always wanted to work for. 🙁

Comment by pooR\

I am happy to hear that pooR/ but if you would afford me a moment to pass on a word of advice. Being humble is very important but undermining your reputation like that is silly, its not good for you or any potential employer, regardless whether you mean it or not. All the best.

Comment by George

Point noted My Honour. 🙂

Comment by pooR\

Megatrends, Macrotrends, Microtrends… it’s all same old same old, but in a whole new way!

Comment by Jon Burg

And George is back to Mummy mode – he has more sides than bloody Madonna at the moment. Where’s solid, reliable George gone? [Like the subliminal painting of a “Mr Boring” there, ha!]

Mr Burg – I couldn’t agree with you more. Far too often it is nothing more than the same shit, but with a new pithy headline. [Errrrrm which I am more than guilty of doing too. Sometimes. Whoops]

Comment by Rob

when first read john’s comment, i thought it was a little menacing, thinking that it said ‘research + casualty = insight’.. ha!

i know you guys hate research stating the bleeding obvious, but isn’t it also important to have the opinion that you know to be true confirmed through research as well? i’m not defending bad research and/or sheisters, but just because someone tells you what you already know, doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile information.

Comment by lauren

Of course validation is important Lauren – no one would argue with that – the issue is when a professional research organisation claims to have discovered something extraordinary when in reality it is [1] nothing new and [2] already been validated yet still expect to be rewarded with a fawning audience and a massive cheque.

Comment by Rob

research + casualty = inpatient

Comment by John

Research + Casuality = Closing the deal in between

Comment by Charles Frith




Comments are closed.