The End Of Market Research As We Know It

Nielsen Neuro President Joe Willke indicated that techniques such as focus groups will be replaced with newer techniques such as brainwave testing (http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/traditional-research-methods-will-soon-be-replaced-says-nielsen-neuro-president/1/214462.html). However, using brainwaves to determine preferences is a bit like your doctor not asking how you feel when you make an office visit due to an illness.

The implication made Willke, President at Nielsen Neurofocus, the Consumer Neuroscience division of Nielsen, a large player in the area of media research, predicts that traditional research will cease to exist as the insights provided by neuromarketing tools eclipse everything.

Neuro tools measure the subconscious response to stimuli whereas traditional/cognitive research measures how people say they feel after processing response to an ad, brand, package, etc. Isn’t it important to know how people describe their feelings after processing subconscious response and other influencers such as cultural, social, financial and environmental variables? Would you be comfortable going to your doctor and not being asked how you feel? Would it be acceptable for your doctor to put electrodes on your head and read a list of body parts and determine your complaint by observing changes in brain waves?

My fellow researchers from a large conglomerate, bold predictions of the future of market research should consider the optimal use of the tools available to MR professionals. Because you have access to a technology doesn’t mean that you need to use it all the time, every time, whether or not it answers the problem or question.

Traditional research measures response emanating from thoughtful processing of subconscious reactions and those from a respondents total experience.

We should apply methods based on their utility in solving problems rather than pushing one method whether or not it fits the situation.