Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is it Gut Reaction Research or Context-Driven Qualitative Research?

I remember a scene from the movie “Cool Hand Luke” where the warden, after beating the insolent Paul Newman character, says “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” Marketers have a similar problem—a failure to communicate-- and this appears true if you’re selling research as well. Context-driven qualitative research is descriptive, but not inspirational. I am thinking of changing the name to Gut Reaction Research.

People understand when I say that my pictographic-driven research seems to be the only methodology that captures “gut reactions or gut feelings.” What I get from pictographs is gut reactions and this appears to be the most important information that a marketer can receive.
Marketers, what do you really want to know? You want gut reactions to your product or service, everything else is pablum.

Examples of our findings that reveal gut feelings include: “It’s a great place to get mugged” (about attractive, private entrances); “I don’t want to graded” (about a new school providing adult ed); and “Car salesmen are jerks” (about people who feel pressured in that environment).

When someone asks about why my approach is unique, I am going to say because it is gut reaction research. And I may no longer call it Context-Driven Qualitative Research. Comments? For more information, e-mail

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