Application: Client, Competitor, or Market Insight
It is difficult to capture the complexity, organizational competence, and variety of technique used in well run and properly commissioned research. This highly specialized field combines managerial competence, agency specialization, acquired professional insight, sophisticated statistical analysis, and hard won insight into markets and/or human behaviour. Where it is done well, it is highly valued. Surprisingly large and well run companies, though, do not invest in research and do not set out to understand or adopt appropriate techniques. Too many either neglect it or try to get insight for bottom dollar prices. Others use it to justify established views; like the proverbial drunk using a lamp post for support rather than illumination.
Field research is familiar not only to marketers but also to many business leaders. They may have seen results of research presented at internal meetings or read many research reports. Unfortunately, familiarity can breed contempt, making the processes, the techniques, and the outcomes seem deceptively simple. As a result, there are many unconvincing or poor research reports resulting from poor specification or poor use of the research industry.
Yet, undertaken properly, field research yields insights into human needs, customer views (which can be different to needs), competitor ...