Will Social Media Replace Surveys as a Research Tool?

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Biggest Research Buyer P&G Says It Wants Less Methodology Dogma, More Projections

Ad Age, 3/21/11

The top research executive of likely the world’s biggest research buyer expects surveys to dramatically decline in importance by 2020 and sees the rise of social media as a big reason why.

Joan Lewis, global consumer and market knowledge officer of Procter & Gamble Co., with its $350 million in annual market-research outlays, made the statements during and after a panel discussion on “How Market Research Must Change” at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Re:Think 2011 conference in New York.

The industry should get away from “believing a method, particularly survey research, will be the solution to anything,” she said. “We need to be methodology agnostic.”

Social-media listening isn’t only replacing some survey research but also making it harder to do by changing consumer behavior and expectations, Ms. Lewis said in an interview after the panel.

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