Today’s the American holiday of Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday. Free of the commercialism of Christmas, it is a simple, unadorned day of celebration, centering on food and family and thankfulness. I’m thankful for Thanksgiving itself. When I lived in Europe, I missed celebrating it with family.
So it seems appropriate to share what I’m thankful for in the market research industry.
- Respondents – First of all, I’m thankful for our respondents and research participants. I’m thankful that they take the time out of their busy lives to provide their opinions. I’m thankful for their patience with our questions, with our bad questionnaires and with our crazy projective exercises. I’m especially thankful for professional respondents, for the paid panelists who almost always conscientiously and thoughtfully answer the questions we ask. Research participants are the foundation of our industry. Without them, none of this would be possible.
- Customers – I’m thankful for my customers, especially as a small survey research agency selling low-priced projects. I appreciate the challenges you face in your own businesses, and am thankful for the opportunity to help you make the best decisions to address them.
- Competitors – I’m thankful for my ostensive competitors, who inspire me to do better but who are generous in sharing their own experiences in an evolving industry. As Lisa Cooper of RTi Research recently said in a CASRO webinar, “One of the things I love about this industry is that while we are all competitors, I think we are friendly competitors.” I’m thankful for the great customer loyalty lessons shared by so many firms as well as to Doug Rivers for sharing his research into sample matching.
- Academic Researchers – I’m thankful for the rich research on research produced and shared by academic researchers, especially Jon Krosnick, Don Dillman, Mick Couper, and Dan Ariely.
- Thought-leaders – I’m thankful for the many generous contributors to social media and the research blogosphere. To Ray Poynter, for his pioneering NewMR organization that brings a virtual research conference to people around the world. To Lenny Murphy, whose GreenBook Blog has become the one stop destination for the research community. And to Simon Chadwick for the tremendous research into the current and future state of the industry.
- Bloggers – I’m thankful to the now hundreds of research bloggers who share their wisdom: Kathryn Korostoff, Annie Pettit, Margaret Roller, Michaela Mora, Reg Baker, Steve August, Jon Puleston, and many more.
- Associations – I’m thankful for the industry associations, which are dedicated to evangelizing market research, for improving our code of ethics and for promoting network and cross-education. I’m thankful to AAPOR, for its high standards; to CASRO, for encouraging competitors to share best practices; to the Marketing Research Association, for its governmental advocacy and incredible conferences; to the MRIA, for its content and events; to MRS, for dedicating journalists to track our industry; and to ESOMAR, for building a global community of researchers.
Finally, of course, I want to thank the readers of Research Access. I hope you enjoy reading the site as much as I enjoy writing for it and editing it.