Which web sites score?
There is a plethora of websites out there, but which ones are going to be of use to qualitative researchers? We sent Nick Head out to have a look
What do I want from a market research/ marketing website? In the main, I need information for proposals and articles that keep me abreast of the latest trends, laid out in a user-friendly way for quick turnaround thinking.
I found a whole host of really useful sites that I hope will prove useful to others and help me to do my job better. So here's my quallie guide to the Net, with each site awarded a 'team appraisal' out of ten (much like World Cup ratings).
This one was delightfully easy to use. The home page is fuss free, guiding you to a wide range of topics. Within three minutes I was able to find a number of readable papers that proved very useful for a variety of pitches and proposals that we are currently putting together.
There are two real winners on this site for researchers: the brand debate and the brand glossary. The former allows you to interact with marketing professionals on a number of hot topics, which is fun and increases your awareness of the latest consumer trends. The brand glossary, meanwhile, was my favourite. It's so important to define the language used in proposals, thus avoiding potential misunderstandings between you and the client.
World Cup Rating: 9. Packed full of stars; one for the future.
This wonderful resource contains a vast number of research papers delivered at major conferences (ARF, ESOMAR, etc). It's a huge online library but the catch is the cost of subscription. It may have more stock and be better known than BrandChannel, but subscription fees act as a block when you want very quick information.
World Cup Rating: 7. Efficient, well managed and thorough.
The CIM site is very formal and the home page is frustratingly cluttered. Dig a bit deeper, though, and you'll find some very helpful tools.
The press release/news sections and the links to other relevant sites are great. The site provides a heap of information (ways of thinking, potential methodology, marketing discourse) and the 'how to guides' are good for those new to the industry and marketing generally. It's a good broad introduction to this famous school of marketing where you can pick up on received wisdom and ground rules.
World Cup Rating: 6. Full of promise with a great reputation.
This site is, on the face of it, a winner. It's convenient and easy to use, the home page allows you access to a host of information and there is a weekly newsletter to sign up to. It hosts background notes on CRM, while the discussion room provides access to the really hot topics. The best part is the CRM guru panel, with access to experts elevating its potential usage. The downside is that the site is expert-oriented and beginners may find the terminology confusing. I must also mention that this isn't an independent site for those seeking CRM advice and tips, as the providers sponsor it (like asking Coke which is the best soft drink on a hot day).
World Cup Rating: 6. A little too confident and bold.
And the rest
Here is a quick overview of some others that will help you access information on particular topics in order to understand market sectors and assist in developing methodologies:
a number of great links to a variety of leading edge thoughts through the weekly newsletter.
for stats and market context.
I found a whole host of really useful sites that I hope will prove useful to others as well as helping me to do my job that much better
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, September 2002
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2002