Tried and texted approach to getting consumers talking

Marie Lena Tupot and Tim Stock

It seems we are truly in the midst of a recession. But what does that mean, exactly? What does it mean to consumer research? It means panic to the energy company trying to gauge true sentiment while it's being pummelled in the press. It means fear for the diamond importer wanting to launch a new brand during controversial times.

For research, it means using an authentic organic approach to understanding the consumer in their world. Unfortunately, for some brands and agencies, it means taking shortcuts on research. The result is that recruitment loses its balance, time in the field is diminished and incentives dwindle.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to dealing with real people. Good research requires a relationship to coax information out of people and there's no easy way to do it. Optimising budgets is crucial in the current market conditions.