Market Research: The Paradox of Influence without Importance

MT Rainey
Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

It is my contention that the majority of chief executives in British business neither scrutinise nor engage enough with market research in the course of their daily life.

Yet in spite of top management being disengaged from it, market research is far, far more pervasive in the decisionmaking armoury of British business than it ever was before.

It is a paradox of influence without importance; of pervasiveness without power. As a result, I believe that the market research industry is in danger of digging itself into a very big hole, the same hole that the advertising industry fell into in the 1980s and from which it is still struggling to escape: low status commoditisation.