The recently issued Quirk’s Corporate Research Report provides many valuable insights into the world of corporate researchers and their roles within their respective organizations. The report is based on independent, non-commercial studies that have been conducted among research professionals who are Quirk’s readers since 1992.

One section of Quirk’s reporting covers trends in methods used by corporate researchers over a 20-year period. A second section addresses researcher “pain points” in the current context of the marketing research process. There is also a Quirk’s annual salary survey section.

It’s all very interesting and a highly recommended read for all professional researchers on the corporate and vendor sides. We found the Quirk findings and insights on traditional versus cutting edge methods especially interesting and reassuring.

Today’s corporate-side researchers remain sharply focused on the traditional foundations of study design, including sample representativeness and proven survey metrics. Most place much greater importance on those historically valued research fundamentals. There is a reticence to adopt “glittering objects”, or hot new techniques, that to some, seem unproven and therefore risky.

But it’s not an “all-or-nothing” reticence. There are newer techniques that are seen as offering the greatest potential, among them: mobile research and big data analytics, followed by text analytics and social media research. It is the perhaps more high tech-sounding neuro, biometric, gamification, and facial coding techniques that engender more of a “wait and see” attitude. Time will tell which of these hot techniques will prove their worth.

Clearly, there is still strong evidence that corporate researchers, despite the time line and budget realities that we all face, and the pressure to stay up to date, are still very much committed to quality deliverables that ensure a solid basis for developing insights for business managers.