Carlson Executive Education Blog

Stop talking to yourself: how hyper-fast research is changing the marketing landscape

Posted by Joe Redden on Nov 17, 2017 12:38:26 PM

Joe Redden, Associate Professor of Marketing


Five people are sitting in a room. They’re discussing the right pricing for a product, or the next new flavor to be rolled out, or which design feature to highlight on packaging. For most businesses these days, that decision gets made by those five people in the room, without an iota of input from consumers.

“But Joe,” you might tell me. “It’s time-consuming and expensive to conduct major consumer research. We’re a nimble, agile organization. We have to move fast on things like product design, flavors and features.” Even though that’s true, I have a solution for you.

Times have changed

Your excuse may have been reasonable only ten years ago, but times have changed. Thanks to the existence of cost-efficient and highly effective online consumer survey panels, you no longer have to choose between getting something out the door and getting consumer input on your decision. Within a matter of hours, you can receive valid consumer input that informs your direction–and with a much better grounding in reality than you and your four friends in the conference room could ever imagine.

Flavor feedback – in hours

Here’s an example from a major food manufacturer. They had a highly successful product on their hands, and they were planning to launch a new flavor. Those five people in the room (them again!) were convinced they knew what the “right” answer for the new flavor would be. But, just to make sure, they decided to check in with the loyal fans following the product on Facebook. They posed a simple question about their leading new flavor options on the brand’s Facebook page, and, within just a few hours, they had more than 200 responses that showed them they’d been leaning in the wrong direction all along. Cost of the research? Not a dime.

Do it yourself – faster and cheaper

Perhaps you’re part of a massive organization with an established insights group, one with a long and costly process to answer even the simplest question. Or maybe you’re part of a scrappy startup that needs to better understand your consumers and do so on a shoestring budget. Or maybe you’re someone who realizes that the market research field is changing fast and you want to get on board. For all of you, and for any others who might benefit from learning the latest methods to gather inexpensive, rapid consumer feedback, I’d like to suggest my upcoming Executive Education Course, Next Gen Market Research: Generating Rapid Insights


This is not a class of high-blown, long-winded theory. It’s a roll-up-your sleeves, results-driven session that will give you the tools you need to conduct DIY market research with nothing more than a laptop and a bit of curiosity. You’ll conduct your own survey–right in class–and be instructed on methods for conducting analyses on the data you’ve received.

Enroll now

The three-day class begins January 30. If you’re interested in upping your research game by learning some core tools and techniques with enormous leverage, then I hope you’ll consider enrolling. If you use this methodology to save even a portion of what you’d otherwise pay for slow and costly research, the course will pay for itself very soon, and you’ll never want to go back to that room-of-five-people without data to make your decisions.

Learn more here: