When someone asks about the future of qualitative research, there is usually one of two answers industry experts will give:
1) Gloom and doom: “The end is near!”
2) Change is good: “These are exciting times for our industry!”
We definitely fall into the more optimistic category, but our glasses aren’t so rosy that we don’t see how all of this change (online qualitative research, mobile qualitative research, etc.) in the industry could negatively affect some of the tried-and-true research methods available today.
Simon Chadwick of Cambiar Consulting agrees, and even takes it a step further in a guest post at GreenBlog. He says there are three natural responses to the question about the future of market research and that all three have some truth:
1) “Traditional MR techniques … are on their way out and unless the MR industry wakes up to this fact very fast, it will be wither and die on the vine, much like the buggy makers at the dawn of the automotive era.”
2) “All of this is just a fad, a rush of blood to the collective head of the industry, and after a while we will all calm down and realize that the survey is going to be just fine. Anyway, none of these methodologies can substitute for proper probability-based sampling and finely-honed questionnaires.”
3) “This is the new research paradigm and it’s exciting! In 10 years’ time, research will look totally different and we will all be better off as a result.”
So what say you? If you had to pick one of these responses, which one would it be? Or, do you have your own? Please speak your mind in the comments section below.