A Q New World: Reframing best practice for tomorrow's clients

Kristin Hickey
ruby cha cha


Qualitative. Quantitative. Quality. Three 'Q' words that have defined the essence of market research since the popularisation of the discipline in the early 1920s. As the marketing world evolves and responds to increasing commercial demands, we now see a new vocabulary governing our briefs, websites, publications and conferences. 'Behavioural Economics', 'Social and Digital Media', 'Mobile', 'Big Data', 'MROCs' … expressions that are relevant and meaningful in an era where demand for 'younger, faster, cheaper' research has become the new norm. The change in language highlights an increasing divergence between the 'traditional' and the 'new' when it comes to research methodologies, concerns and personalities, sparking significant debate in the global market research industry. Whilst many researchers are passionately embroiled in this debate, is there enough energy and passion being invested in defining and delivering models that combine the best of both worlds? When we say 'models' here, we don't simply mean methodological techniques which are only one element of our business as researchers. 'Models' refers to the holistic combination of organisational philosophy and structure, recruitment and retention of talent, the research process itself, methodologies and their integration, ways of working, delivery and pricing approaches, outputs and quality assessment. Our belief is that there is a new generation of businesses emerging that are tired of the debate and are moving forward with new research offers supported by business models that re-define the Q words of tomorrow. Quintegration.1) Quicker. Quality. This paper reviews the key forces of change in our industry and illustrates how new business models are evolving that are able to successfully resolve the divide between the traditional and the new; the rigorous and the innovative; the qualitative and the quantitative; the methodology and the outcome.