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Stop bullying QUAL

You know who you are.


With your snipes about small sample sizes and suspect recruitment.


Unnatural settings and unrealistic questions.


Dominant voices and biased analysis.


Reminding us all of the Say-Do gap like we’ve never heard of it.


Well, I have my theories on you.


You pick on qualitative research because it’s a soft target.


You use 'focus groups' as a term of abuse.


You took Mark Ritson seriously when he said the only qual worth doing is ethnography.


So now you dismiss any kind of 'claimed' behaviour.


You’re basically in thrall to hard data.


You say you’re interested in emotion but only the easy-to-measure emotional response.


When it comes to needs you’re a shallow-ender. Category drivers are as deep as you go.


You write off projection techniques as pop-psychology.


But you’re a coward when it comes to your own motives.


Maybe you aspire to something loftier than selling a product at a profit.


Or you just like hurling rocks from behind your keyboard


And you don’t listen to understand.


Even now you’re thinking how to respond, aren’t you?


All hypotheses, of course, in need of validation.


But what you never do is explain this.


If not qual, then what?


What will get you close to consumers and their lives?


What will show you why they really choose a brand?


What will help you develop your fledgling strategy and ideas?


Marketing needs qual.


So back off.


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