Is Research ROI the Next Big Thing?

A few years ago, some research buyers raised concerns about respondent quality in the then-new world of online qualitative research. Bob Lederer of Research Business Report (RBR) took up the cause.  RBR and several others organized an industry conference on data quality, which led to data quality standards and incredible industry awareness of the problem and potential solutions.

Bob is at it again. At ARF and PMRG this month, Bob was advocating Research ROI. Bob tells me that he feels he “caught lightning in a bottle.” He is not only talking about it, he is planning another conference. Research buyers have already asked to be on the program to talk about how they are evaluating their market research initiatives, and Bob believes interest will be extremely high.

He may be right. References to research ROI are popping up other places, too. The March issue of MRA’s Alert! magazine has a short article titled, “How is ROI Calculated for Marketing Research?”

Is research ROI lightning in a bottle? I don’t know. I do believe that, in a world of ever-tightening research budgets, a heightened interest in ROI makes a lot of sense.

What do you think? Do research and ROI go together? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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