I was lucky to attend business school with some really smart folks. One is Kerry Edelstein, who founded Research Narrative a year ago today. She has a great post today about interesting questions in media research. It's worth reading particularly because of the emphasis on the business decisions made based on the research. You all know I'm a huge fan of determining the decision you're going to make before doing the research, so I couldn't agree more.
Attention to all full-service market research firms out there: don't forget the message! I always prefer you to come back with a viewpoint. If I don't like what the research said, I can dispute your interpretation with facts, but I (hopefully, if you have done good research) can't dispute the facts themselves. Now, it's up to you to present a story about the facts and help me understand what to do as a result. Then listen to me and help guide my restatement of the story in a way I can tell management.
If Kerry continues to do that for her clients, Research Narrative should go far.