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Challenged Realm of Marketing Research

The other day, I read a Japanese book named "Why global elites develop a sense of beauty?" by Shu Yamaguchi. I dear to say that this book must be the best book for me this year, which has answered many of the questions I had for the relations between science and art - one of the biggest themes of my blog.

This book has given me quite a few suggestions in various fields, which I cannot write down in a single article. But a few hours after reading this book, I'd already made up my mind that I must write my idea on the context of marketing research in the first place. Let me write it down here.


Related Article : Let me Interpret the Future of 9 Technology Buzzwords on the Context of Marketing Research (2017/06/24)


*This post is my private argument so it is not relevant to any organizations.



1. "Why global elites develop a sense of beauty?"

One of my biggest findings from this book is that it added one element named "craft" in the binary opposition of science and art.

The appearance of craft made it possible to describe every scene of business decision makings. That is, craft plays a role of realism, and both science and art play a role of idealism, whereas science is based on fact analysis and thus reproductive while art is based on intuition and is not reproductive. Plus, another big finding is that balancing the powers of science, craft and art leads to successful decision makings.


This book points out that businesses in Japan tend to emphasize science too much, and make light of art. Before 21st century, science-emphasized management worked well in Japan because Japan's enterprises were actually winning by cost and speed superiority, not by differentiation.

But now, this tendency has resulted in too many commoditized products and services in Japan's market by reproductive science, which leads to prisoner's dilemma and emergence of cruel red ocean competition. There might be some maneuvers of consulting firms and advertising agencies at the background, but then, it is the marketing research companies which have supported a part of this.


This book suggests two methods to take the balance. One is that a head of a company wins a great sense of beauty by oneself. And the other is that a head of a company appoints and authorize someone with a great sense of beauty, but we must note that in this case, people around him/her must also hold a sense of beauty in a certain level so that they can recognize that he/she is a right person.

This book shows that there are several good methods to develop a sense of beauty, such as mindfulness and Visual Thinking Strategy (VTS). They help us to achieve a capability of recognizing pure inner signals from one's own body to develop a sense of beauty.


Then, the point is whether marketing research companies really can help such enterprises on this context to help them take the balance for successful decision makings? My answer is, to my sadness, "almost impossible".

Here, what marketing research companies have to do is to change the orientation of its value. So far they only help strengthen science accountability in the data collection stage from outside. But now they are silently demanded to help take the balance of science, craft and art in the decision making stage inside.

I guess it's relatively easy for some promising individual researchers to achieve a capability of taking the balance, but current marketing research companies, a heaven-sent child of science, will not be able to change its working style because they have been playing like an evil in this vicious cycle by strengthening only science accountability.

Probably such valuable human resources will exit from the heaven-sent child of science and realize a disruptive innovation as a completely different organization. It must be fun to imagine whether such organizations can be categorized as any existing other industry or as a completely new emerging industry.


2. "JMRA Marketing Research Industry Vision"

While reading "Why global elites develop a sense of beauty?", many of its arguments inside reminded me of one document from Japan Marketing Research Association, or simply JMRA.

The document is named "JMRA Marketing Research Industry Vision", announced on June 2, 2017 in Japanese. This document aims at changing the industry itself to survive in this rapidly changing world, and it claims that marketing research needs three human resources - science&engineering human resources, art&insight human resources, and business&strategy human resources.

I was a bit moved to see the industry itself has already recognized the three elements. But at the same time, I had a strange feeling towards the document.

Of course, Marketing research companies need science, craft and art to change itself. And they will be able to hire human resources for such capabilities by investing much money. It must be relatively easy. But what they really need is not to collect three elements, but to take the balance of the three elements, isn't it? And it is already clear that taking the balance is quite challenging both inside client companies and even by consulting firms.

I reckon that taking the balance from outside requires its outside challenger to hold a great level of "craft" which can realize a extremely-fascinating future narrated passionately on the context of "art" by oneself. This pattern is quite hard, but I only know this pattern. Please let me know if there is any other possible business processes for this.


Lastly, please let me claim that the essence of this most important struggle for marketing research companies is not to add as many passive data as possible to its realm, but to change its stance from helping science to taking the balance. So far I fear some companies might rush blindly to collecting rare valuables separately under a crappy would-be vision...

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