Pro-Search: Small Research, Huge Impact

Jochum Stienstra
Ferro Markt – en Communicatieonderzoek, Netherlands
Frank van den Driest
EffectiveBrands BV, Netherlands


In this paper we would like to produce some ideas on improving the impact of qualitative research, beneficial to the whole field of marketing.

What exactly do we mean with 'impact'? We distinguish two strongly related and yet different factors:

  • The impact on the decisions made;

  • The impact on the mind of the people involved.

The first factor is the impact of the research on the decisions at stake, especially in a qualitative sense. The more the policy, the marketing or the concept-making is influenced by the qualitative research, the more impact this research has. Influence is stronger if it is not only measured in a digital mode (a decision pro or contra), but also in a 'creating' sense. The more the research transforms or moulds the decisions, the more impact the research has. Taking into account the importance of the decisions at stake can further specify this: impact on decisions of a more fundamental level is higher than impact on decisions that are more on the level of execution.