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It Could Be Your Study

August 3, 2006 - by Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail:

Recently I received an email written by a former vice president of a small western company and a Views reader.  This person had read my Views on the various field experiences but on her own had not experienced the poor research I was writing about. Now that she is involved in a new profession, that of a Mother, she is seeing the world through a different set of eyes and experiences. Consider her experience as related in the following email. I have edited out company and brand names to protect the guilty.

"Got nabbed for a market research study in the mall. They used eye tracking, Company 1 - brands 1 & 2.  The place was the most disgusting dump I've ever set foot in. Carpet peeling off the floor, sticky, stains everywhere, garage sale chairs, etc.  Huge, beautiful concepts laying everywhere (not relating to the study I was doing) and for everyone to see. They roped me in for a second study (of course) while I was answering ?'s on the first . . .  it is a HUT, they threw the bags of product at me, did not explain ANYTHING . . . this is all during my first survey.  It was UNBELIEVEABLE to think that these multimillion dollar client co's are spending research $'s on these million dollar new lines of product in these kinds of places!!!!!  YOUHAVE TO BE KIDDINGME!  I could go on and on because they BROKE EVERY RULE in the book. I was afraid for my daughter's and my health in this place, it was SO disgusting.

My answers on the Company 1 - Brands 1 &2 were not legit. The questions were wacked . . . didn't make sense, I needed to read or look at a concept and had to ASK, "hey, aren't I supposed to be looking at a picture?" and they would run back and rifle thru things and say "oh, just use this I guess", etc., like I said UNBELIEVEABLE that these clients are spending money on this!? I'm still in shock.

The only thing that impressed me was the computer guy who KNEW HIS STUFF and was competent and tried to do what was right, got frustrated at the interviewer trying to butt in with the other study, etc. 

Btw,the eye tracking stuff is a JOKE I think. Are you kidding me? They really know where my eyes are when I'm looking at 100's of products on this shelf picture? COME ON! I think if people are trusting research like this, then NO WONDER new products FAILALL THE TIME.  Do we know where most research is being done these days anymore? I really hope not the malls. I could go on and on about other things they did but have other things to do.

Btw, the HUT is a Company 2 - Brand 1 &2, dealing with an existing brand with different combinations of additives . . .  why do I feel guilty I'm telling you???  I feel like I'm going to get fired for giving out client info.   LOL.  If I didn't know what I was doing and am reading all the materials in the bags (old grocery bags) I wouldn't do it right and you KNOW others are not doing what I'm doing!!! Ok, I'll stop, better go drink Company 2 - Brand 1 in case the phone center calls."

Obviously the two companies, (by the way, both have readers of the Views), did not consider their work to be important enough to confirm that it was being conducted in the manner expected. Can you imagine leaving current concepts out in the open for everyone to read?  Am I surprised at the poor execution?  No, I find it to be more typical than rare.  It seems that our objective is for fast and cheap results.  Today, market researchers might as well be saying, "Just get me some numbers, I'm not interested in validity."

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