Saturday, 5 October 2013

Market research made friendly

When I started my first job, market research was something of an arcane art - not terribly accessible to outsiders. Most quantitative surveys were still done on paper via an interviewer with a clipboard and ideas like CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews) were considered most avant garde.

It wasn't just the interviewing, either. Presentations were endless tables of numbers and bar charts, with a few pies here and there if you were lucky. Some poor so-and-so would have drawn many of these by hand.

The first time I saw a "smiley scale" it was either for children, or for a multi-country study in an attempt to achieve consistency in the questioning where language failed. No-one at that point imagined that adults might actually enjoy taking part in research survey if they were more like a game.

These days, quantitative market research is as fun and funky as any part of the communications process, with great blogs like ilovecharts showing the very best of infotainment today. Take your pick there at the moment between 'Most visited websites per country' or 'Acceptable/Unacceptable facial hair.'

And then there's the beautifully cute IKEA online questionnaire about 'My Life at Home' in Germany. As part of the campaign 'Time for more Home', this interactive survey is fun and easy to do - as you'd expect of the original participative brand!

One word of warning though, if you don't come into the spring chicken category. You're OK up to age 54, but from 55 onwards your cartoon representation is definitely the grey-haired granny!

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