In Vogue: Why Shorter Market Research Reports are the Latest Fashion

In this digital age pithiness is on trend, as we opt to be economical with words as though language is in deficit like our nation’s financial resources.  We dash out quick emails from smart phones and tablets speaking our minds in 140 characters flat; more likely to read a favored blog over great American Novels.

In an era where concise communication is key, it makes sense that research reports are trending here, as well.  Keeping clients’ attention requires wit, as well as impressive visuals demonstrating strategy aligned with target audience thinking, along with video clips—all in 5 pages?

It shouldn’t be a surprise that lengthy reports are losing relevance, in part because our over-stimulated attention spans are tired, but mostly because the demands of our time require quick-thinking and immediate action.   No matter how compelling a report is, no one has time to sift through fifty pages of data to absorb only the climactic information necessary to move objectives forward.   What’s most critical is the ability to share data effectively and efficiently—without extraneous details, and actually tell a relevant, captivating story in an easy-to-employ way.

Marketing managers and senior executives often want to understand a few critical elements they can employ to create change. This means market researchers need to be great editors:  they must know what needs to be chopped and what is truly essential. Anything that is peripheral to the findings may distract from the primary ‘storyline’ and should be excluded.

Learning to write compelling stories and concise reports elevates market researchers to the place of innovators, collaborators… and importantly client colleagues; colleagues who provide strategic insights, not merely data.

If you were at the QRCA conference in Montreal, “Digging for an Insightful Story in a Mountain of Data” by April Bell, was wonderful!   If you’re a QRCA member you can access the archived presentation.

To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at

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More insights, less data – Why your research should tell a story

This entry was posted on Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 7:03 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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