As many of the readers of FOI know, I joined 38 other authors in writing the book “Leading Edge Marketing Research; 21st Century Tools and Practices”.
Writing what became titled “The Futures of Marketing Research” and designated the epilogue was a labor of love.
In this epilogue I developed 22 potential futures for the research industry.
Interestingly, I faced two challenges in writing this chapter.
The first was the challenge of language. Thinking about potential futures means exploring things that have not been created yet. And one natural limitation is language. In some cases I had to invent language to describe some of the things that I anticipate. Some of these words and phrases were: RIMEing (rapid, in market experimentation), IIS (iterative Insight Streaming), ACS (anticipatory customer strategies), “nannytargeting”, etc.
The second challenge was overcoming my own fear that some of the industry scenarios I developed seemed a bit far fetched. But, here I leaned heavily on the famous futurist Jim Dator and his well known statement that “any useful statement about the futures should appear to be ridiculous.”
And this leads me to the six people that I need to thank for the epilogue.
First, I need to thank Jim Dator. His speech at The Market Research Event in Las Vegas several years ago was so interesting, divisive (MR folks either loved it or hated it) and thought provoking that I kept adding notes to my notes on his speech. He remains one of the most impressive pure thinkers I have ever shared a room with.
Next up is Peter Bishop at the University of Houston. Peter is a well-known, and well-published futurist. He is one of the few exceptionally smart people that I have met who has a kindness that matches his intellect. His one week course on strategic foresight was unforgetable and my fellow students only added to the experience.
Next is Ian Lewis at Cambiar. Ian penned the first chapter of Leading Edge Marketing Research with Simon Chadwick and has written extensively about NewMR. I learn something every time I talk with him. I was so impressed with him that I invited him to address my firm’s senior leaders.
Next is Lenny Murphy. Lenny has his eyes on the horizon of research more than anyone I know and his categorical knowledge of which firms are doing what is impressive. Plus, Lenny is just a kick-ass guy. I wish he was my neighbor.
And finally I owe a big thank you to Sparky Zivin and Barbara Coons (colleagues at StrategyOne). They proofed my writing and offered helpful and unvarnished feedback. I can honestly say that as I commute to work each morning I look forward to seeing them in the halls, at their desks and around the coffee machine.
My next piece will cover how my thinking has evolved since I wrote the epilogue.