Keeping up in a fast-changing world
| Jun 1, 2012
Have you heard about the changing times? It’s hard to have a conversation without hearing about how this dynamic age will pave the way for dramatically different ways of doing things in the future. The anecdotes are too cool to resist.
I found myself caught in this trap as I kicked off the 2012 Annual National Conference of PMRG, setting up the theme of innovation. I spoke of the days where the internet and email recruiting were emerging tools for survey research. Our fears of biased recruiting back then—since nobody over 50 used email—have given way to a new form of bias since now nobody under 25 uses it regularly. They are all on social networks, openly sharing information about themselves that we used to get paid to extract from them through surveys. It was a successful set-up for the importance of staying abreast of innovation in market research, and the middle-aged segment in the audience delivered their validating nods. And I have been terrified ever since.
In the race to stay current, I fear I am the tortoise. I sat through as many sessions as I could at the ANC and even sent my first tweet. I still believe that a one-on-one, personal connection continues to be essential in today's ever-virtualizing world. However, being able to use new types of technology in research is indispensible as a way to access our customers on their terms. And the future will involve better understanding respondents’ motivations beyond what is collected through surveys.
I’m focused on staying ahead of the business issues our clients are facing. And I will ultimately get the best of technology innovation — even if I’m doing it at a tortoise’s pace. Slow and steady.