The Market Research Department: Much More Than Project Management

In the current issue of the MRA’s Alert! magazine, I have an opinion column titled, “Market Research Departments: The Hero of the Market Research Story.” My premise is that one of the  market research world’s greatest challenges is that market research departments spend 70% or more of their time on project management—as opposed to the strategic functions that would lead to more innovation.

We see articles all of the time lamenting lack of innovation in market research (see just about any market research-related blog or LinkedIn discussion group). What I have observed is that many client-side market research managers are so swamped with project management that they have little time for the truly strategic work of planning for innovations. I believe we need to raise awareness among corporate executives that the market research department can only innovate if it has the time and resources to do more, much more, than manage projects. My article details my suggestions on how this can be made a reality; you may not agree with my suggestions, and I know many of you won’t, but it’s a start.

So why are market research departments heroes? Because they are on the front line, fighting the battle to do more—yet they are constrained by out of date “marching orders.”

Alert magazine does require MRA membership: Link to Article.

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