Eulogy for a Beloved Market Research Organization

August 10, 2011
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A eulogy that I hope to never give because it is irrelevant…

I have many memories, fond memories, so many, too many to share them all. Fond memories of a market research organization that fought for my rights, my career, my purpose, my industry. An industry organization that fought for what I love to do day in and day out. But that organization is gone now. Memories are all I can share.

A eulogy that I hope to never give because it is irrelevant…

I have many memories, fond memories, so many, too many to share them all. Fond memories of a market research organization that fought for my rights, my career, my purpose, my industry. An industry organization that fought for what I love to do day in and day out. But that organization is gone now. Memories are all I can share.

I remember when together we took a stand and fought to be excluded from Do No Call lists. We won.
I remember when together we took a stand and fought to provide incentives for physician research. We won.
I remember when together we took a stand to bring online surveys into the fold of good and honest research. We won.
I remember when together we loved research conferences and seminars and webinars and papers.

But sadly, I remember the day my beloved organization took a stand and I, torn, could not stand with them. The stand was too severe, too strict. And it was deadly. It turned on us, sold our souls, led us down a sorry path.

I remember the day when the focus on one methodology became so strong that the focus for all other methods was forgotten. The day that observational research and participant-observational techniques were removed from research textbooks. The day we forgot that psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, all of whom have stricter ethical guidelines than market researchers, use these techniques, thrive on these techniques, and learn so many important things about the human condition with these techniques.

That was the day that the organization I had felt a kinship with ceased to be relevant, to be admired, to be sought after as a thought leader. I remember when the organization decreed that passive listening, observational research, was not a legitimate form of research.

I’m sad. But I wipe away the tears. I moved on. I found someone else to admire. I don’t need them now.