Tag Archives: secondary research

From my warm, caffeinated hands!

So I nearly tried to punch the Financial Times.


Back off, bird.  I will cut you.

While conducting secondary research for a new project, I found a useful article on the site.  Before I could read the piece, the site served up a one-question survey: had I tried to cut down on my coffee consumption in the past year?

OK, I realize that FT probably wanted to a) recruit visitors for an awareness survey or b) simply build a profile on their visitors.  But first goddam thing in the morning, they want to ask me whether I’m thinking of giving up coffee?


Maybe this is the flip side to “taboo data,” the idea that some data are too sensitive to use.  Maybe some are too sensitive–or obnoxious–to ask.

Preview: New eBooks on market research

Good news, true believers!  This week, I have not one, but two new ebooks for you!  I’ve decided to share my experience in developing, executing and interpreting both primary and secondary market research.

Now, here’s the bad news.  The ebooks are, well, full of it.

BS1     BS2

(special thanks to Jamie Leo, human extraordinaire, for the illustration)

Great marketing always begins with great audience insight.  Unfortunately, people don’t always say exactly what they mean.  Nor do research reports and published articles that you find online always mean what you think.  To separate the good information from the bad, every good marketer also needs to have a good BS detector, and I’ll help you fine-tune yours.

For the next two weeks, I’ll share the juiciest bits from my ebooks to give you a peek inside.  Please share and enjoy.

Here’s an excerpt from the primary research ebook (part 1) on one of the reasons respondents don’t always tell the whole truth in focus groups and surveys:

We fail to tell the truth to spare others’ feelings

If you’ve ever watched focus groups, you’ve heard the moderator say at the beginning that he or she doesn’t work for the company under discussion.  This preamble allows respondents to bad-mouth the company without making them feel like they’re costing someone a job.   Continue reading