ARF Combats Obsolescence in Research with Transformation Initiative

Geoffrey Precourt

Is American marketing research on the point of extinction?

The evidence is convincing, according to Donna Goldfarb, vp/consumer and marketing insights at Unilever. For one, brilliant research is regularly being completed and, almost as regularly, its findings are being ignored by senior management. For two, researchers generally don't feel empowered enough to stand up to such practices. And, for three, the research marketplace – driven to new practices by a variety of social media – is changing rapidly, "presenting many challenges to traditional research on both the agency and client side."

To survive – a necessary step before it can imagine thriving – researchers need to answer two fundamental questions, Goldfarb told the inaugural open meeting of a new Advertising Research Foundation Research's Transformation Council Meeting:

  • How can research learn to drive the organization?
  • How can the business reinvent itself to the point where it's better positioned to take advantage of marketplace opportunities?