Research vs intuition vs creativity/insight


I remember reading articles and posts regarding research. Some suggest research can hold you back, research can tie you to the past and present instead of giving you a vision for the future, in fact could be the one thing than can fog your future vision.

In qualitative research and discussion groups, the people often can’t tell you what they want/need, because simply they don’t know it themselves. It is the interviewers job to read between the lines. OK, it is the ‘successful’ interviewers job to read between the lines, and maybe trust his/her intuition to push and pull the discussion accordingly. I remember reading “By the time you make an ad from what people tell you they want, they would have changed their minds”.

In December 2008, Sir Hogarty was doing a speech in the APG meetings, and his was called “Taste of Marketing”, and he was no fan of research either; “F*ck research”. Intuition is replacing the data from research. Fallon is the best example of that. They thrive themselves in going with their gut feeling, instead of analyzing data which can be block your vision and make you doubt your intuition. Not always, but most of the time.

What triggered my sudden agreement with this statement is a recent data/research report I’ve been going through regarding Consumers’ Attitude in 2009. Under section “What you want to see from advertising/What is important to you in brands“, the highest percentage was people who says ‘cheaper‘. It was clear from this report that public wanted to hear things were cheaper and that was the most important thing to them. So, whoever thought “Aha, this is what they want, this is what we will do” are definitely falling into the trap of the research I’ve mentioned above.

Research can be invaluable, it can tell you things you didn’t know about your target audience, or simply give you a different point of view which can prove to be precious. I like going through consumer data as well, it is intriguing to see what people can tell you. Last week I was observing a discussion group at the agency I was interning, and what we took out of the 3 hours was not always what people said, but why and how they said it.

However sometimes research can block the creativity like it did with many brands whose advertising in 2009 was nothing but ‘cheaper than this and that’ and giving the audience no value other than ‘value for money’. And are they the most successful? Maybe not always. Hovis won a place in people’s heart by following an intangible source; emotion… so do Cadbury’s, BMW, Umbro…

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~ by nessahinkaya on April 11, 2009.

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