American author Katharine Brush wrote, “Most passport pictures are good likenesses, and it is time we faced it.” The quote is funny because it’s true. Humans are subjective beings who are simply not conscious of their subjectivity. We often need an external source to help us see reality – or at least interpret it with objectivity.
In business, a third party can often be helpful in assisting leaders to understand their own subjectivity and see the forest for the trees. The unbiased viewpoint and analysis provided by a professional strategic partner, utilizing objective data, can help leaders move forward in their decision-making with clear, well-substantiated peace of mind.
Subjectivity is Inevitable
As human beings, we can’t help but be subjective. When we have skin in the game, subjectivity is inevitable. We make judgments based on “filters” that we apply, even subconsciously, to our decision-making processes. Past experiences, current stresses, and the powerful influences of who wants what and how things should be – not to mention escalating commitment – all filter our perceptions and may result in missed opportunities, ignored red flags, or stagnation in an organization.
Where Does Market Research Fit In?
Market research professionals are trained to work around these filters. They have no agenda, no attachment or history with a company, brand or product, and therefore can deliver analyses and recommendations based on the facts. They also help get past research respondents’ sub-conscious filters, to inform decision-making based on real insights.
Market researchers design studies strategically. Survey questionnaires and qualitative discussion guides are constructed to limit bias and illicit meaningful feedback. The results (facts, figures and sentiments) are analyzed and reported objectively, in a way that is clear, actionable and easy to understand.
Market research professionals specialize in helping organizations ask the right questions, and understand the real answers. They strip away the filters and provide decision makers with objective findings and unbiased recommendations, based on unfiltered feedback and input from stakeholders.
What are the filters at play in your business? What subjective thinking is impacting your brand? Which projects could benefit from fresh eyes and an unbiased partner? Your marketing research partner would love to have the opportunity to bring a fresh pair of eyes to bear on your business challenges and opportunities.
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