Accountability in Research
Numbers indicate that the prevailing query-based research methods in market research are unreliable and that findings often do not accurately reflect customer values, which are critical for innovation decisions. We argue that both providers and buyers of research services are responsible for the popularity of query-based methods due to a lack of ROI transparency and a model of accountability. In addition to emphasizing why a formalization of accountability is crucial to the industry’s evolution, this paper proposes a minimum model to be expanded on a case-by-case basis that will hold researchers responsible for delivering insights that translate into results (savings or profits) and buyers for selecting methods that target the highest return on innovation investment. With such a model built into the buyer-provider relationship, the precision of research will increase such that buyers, in time, will naturally gravitate towards innovation research, which is driven by the insights of observational methods.