The Situation

Most of the money spent on consumer research is wasted.

Outside Contractors

Clients pressure vendors to deliver research that is cheaper and faster. Vendors take shortcuts and cut corners. As a result, more research than ever is poorly done and produces information that provides little value or is just plain wrongheaded. 

The highest-paid people at research provider companies are not the researchers.

They are people hired for their sales and client-management skills. This means more of your research dollars go to non-research expenses than ever before, and you get less for your money. Be especially wary of research firms that deliver (in the guise of objective research) results that support what they’ve ascertained are your hoped-for outcomes.

Internal Gatekeepers

In most organizations, the people who oversee research don’t know as much as they should to properly be responsible for the quality of the studies vendors conduct for you.

These gatekeepers are most often people who have only a few hours of superficial training, and lack the vital in-depth knowledge and experience of behavioral scientists. They are particularly susceptible to the siren songs and soothing reassurances of outside contractors’ relationship-management experts.

Gatekeepers tell you what they want you to hear rather than the facts you need to know.