One of the most fascinating aspects of research is its omnipresence. The practice of gathering data, analysing it and generating insight be applied in a staggering variety of setting – from science to social studies, business to politics and beyond. As well as its multitude of applications, research can also draw on a range of subject matter to improve and better the practice.
This means there is a lot of inspiration out there for researchers, and also a broad range of ways it can be applied. It is important to remember that research does not exist in a vacuum. It is surrounded by business operations, drawing on ideas that improve insight, process, communications and more. However, it can be easy to forget this – to fall into ‘research blinkers’ that narrow our field of view. These quotes have been collated to remind us of the unique, privileged position market research occupies and provide a taste of fields it can lean on.
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The Role of Market Research
- “Research is creating new knowledge.” - Neil Armstrong
- “If we knew what were doing it wouldn’t be called research.” - Albert Einstein
- “Research is formalized curiosity, it is poking and prying with a purpose.” - Zora Neale Hurston
- “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” - David Ogilvy
- “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” - Wernher von Braun
- “Bad news sells papers. It also sells market research.” - Bryon Sharp
- “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.” - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
- “What is research but a blind date with knowledge?” - Will Harvey
- “When research walks on the field, judgment does not walk off.” - Dick Kampe
Generating Insight from Research
- “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
- “There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.” - Charles F. Kettering
- “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” - Pearl Buck
- “The best vision is insight.” – Malcolm Forbes
- “Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.” - Adlai E Jr Stevenson
- “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” - Harper Lee
- “There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- “The goal is to transform data into information, and information into insight.” - Carly Fiorina
- “In today’s complex and fast-moving world, what we need even more than foresight or hindsight is insight.” - Anonymous
Blending Research and Innovation
- “For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” - Margaret Hefferman
- “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Customers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” - Ian Schafer
- "It's easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." - Roger von Oech
- “I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is to fund research and learn the basic facts.” - Bill Gates
- "Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form." - Watts Humphrey
- "The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present the decline will be fast." - Peter Drucker
Integrating Voice of Customer Data
- “The customer’s perception is your reality.” - Kate Zabriskie
- “All of your customers are partners in your mission.” - Shep Hyken
- “More than 50% of innovation comes from the voice of the customer.” - Lou Rossi
- “Whoever understands the customer best, wins.” - Mike Gospe
- “When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” - Robert Half
- “Listening is hearing the needs of the customer, understanding those needs and making sure the company recognises the opportunity they present.” - Frank Eliason
- “Everything starts with the customer.” - June Martin
What are your favourite market research quotes - did they make our list? Leave a comment below to let us know which research & insight quotes you think are best and join the conversation.