Marketing research world is struggling with innovation. One of the important issues is to find ‘something new’. Marketing professionals are looking for new insights constantly. A research that did not provide ‘new insights’ is considered as less interesting. And that makes sense. Why invest money if you will get information you already had?
I see however two important points that are often overlooked by both the buyers of research and the providers:
the meaning of ‘new’ is often misunderstood. The ‘newness’ is considered to be in the facts. Actually it is not, it is in the eyes of the beholder. Where buyers are looking for new facts or new insights and providers want to deliver precisely that, both make a mistake. The methods should be directed at providing a ‘new and fresh look’ on the world. Methods should be appointed to refresh the looks.
The insights sought for are often simple. They provide a sort of general rule, like ‘car owners have a need to express their status through the choice of brand’. These general rules do not really provide insight at all. New insight are more likely to be found in the context than in the rule. Consider reading the paper ‘Death of depth. Understanding the obvious byond the obvious’ by Ayobamidele Gnaedig and Oliver Schieleit (http://www.esomar.org/web/publication/paper.php?id=1589).
Both rules mean that we need to reconsider our methods as marketing researchers and MR buyers. Especially the second one is challanging, because the ‘simple insights’ provide relatively easy to implement action and simple measures.