With a week’s distance from the “Great Debate” on mobile research – with my colleague Michael Alioto and industry voices Lenny Murphy, Ray Poynter and Reg Baker – it’s clear to me that the two sides represent the forces of tradition and innovation in marketing research. While it’s tempting to root for one side or the other, there’s no devil or angel in this equation. The interplay of “tradition” and “innovation” in terms of creating meaningful shifts in our industry is essential.
Without the spirit of innovation, marketing research as a discipline could get so mired in tried-and-true approaches that we risk becoming irrelevant in a world where technology is fundamentally changing the way consumers prefer to communicate.
On the other hand, the spirit of innovation without discipline would leave us vulnerable to frivolous inventions that may seem flashy, but ultimately become a “flash in the pan.” The gravitas of traditional marketing research grounds us in creating purposeful innovations that will serve as the foundations of research to come.
This debate demonstrated what an important and exciting time it is to be a part of the MR industry. We're at an important inflection point, making the interplay between Tradition and Innovation more important than ever. I hope that we can collectively continue this vigorous exchange of ideas and thus cocreate the emerging new norm in marketing research.