Dick's Soapbox: News and views you can use.

Yes, Market Research Marches On.

By: Jason Donahue, Chief Strategy Officer

At Tom, Dick & Harry, many of our clients—and clients throughout the industry—are asking questions like these:

"Is this an acceptable time to do consumer market research?”

“Are there effective ways to do qualitative research with key consumers online?”

“Are people willing to participate in qualitative research right now? Can we get a good response rate or is trying right now just a wasted effort?”

The answers to those questions are yes, yes, and more than ever, yes. The truth is, everything brands thought they knew about their target audiences is changing before our eyes. Consumers’ hopes, fears and needs have shifted, and their in-market attitudes and behaviors have changed as a result. The bottom line is, market research is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The good news is, research firms have successfully migrated qualitative research to online insight-mining that’s still face-to-face but virtual instead of in person. At Tom, Dick & Harry, we are currently fielding extensive qualitative research studies for two of our current clients. These projects include virtual ethnographies, virtual friend groups and video IDIs (in-depth interviews).

A few things to note:

Most of the online qualitative research methodologies, while innovative, are tried, tested and proven, having been rolled out long before sheltering in place.
Researchers have found that being at home, people are more accessible and often more open to sharing their perspectives and opinions.
Any consumer outreach right now, including queries for research participation, needs to be approached with appropriate sensitivities. Acknowledging how hard a time this is for so many and explaining how the insight they provide could help to provide better consumer experiences for them could help soften the beach.

It’s critical to keep the insights coming; it’s a brave new world, and it can be very useful for brands to test the waters a bit. At Tom, Dick & Harry our clients’ personal and professional well-being is the most important thing, but please know we are here to help your business adapt to these changing times and to help guide your thinking and strategic approaches.


We considered renaming our agency, Tom, Dick & Harriet. But that doesn’t do it justice.