Friday, March 19, 2021

The Seven Best Marketing Research Blogs

I’ve been blogging since 2001. It’ll be 20 years this June. (Can you believe it? Here’s my first ever blog post.) I can even remember Evan giving me a Blogger T-shirt out of the trunk of his car while parked on the streets of San Francisco. More recently, much of my online activity has migrated to social media and my email newsletter—you can learn more about my emerging personal media model here—but I’ve been trying to blog more actively lately. And I’ve been trying to blog with more professional intent and purpose.

Regardless, I am woefully unaware of the state of blogging or social media in terms of marketing research and marketing researchers. I’ve kept both practices (my professional work and my online activity) relatively separate over the years somehow. And I’d like to learn more about who’s worth following and reading. We’ll start with marketing research bloggers.

Here are what I currently consider the seven best marketing research blogs:

CSpace Blog

This corporate blog is slightly more higher minded than many, focusing largely on research ideas. Recent posts include women and work; respect as a source of competitive advantage; the role of hope, authenticity, and inclusion; and customer engagement. Interspersed with the ideas-oriented posts are also plenty of posts focusing on staff and leadership changes within CSpace and its parent company Interbrand, but the meat is worth the other matters. Research professionals will also be interested in the material from The Better Why, a report focusing on insights leadership challenges—and lessons, case studies, and advice from more than 400 practitioners.

GreenBook Blog

Since 1962, GreenBook has served as a hub for marketing researchers, initially as the membership directory for the American Marketing Association’s New York chapter, then as a directory of marketing research companies and facilities, and now as an online site serving to better connect research professionals. The blog focuses on marketing research business, impact, innovation, leaders, methodologies, technology, and trends. Recent posts address Generation Z, the online sample industry, social media listening, human factors testing, the impact of insights, and research deliverables. 

Happy Market Research

At some point, market research pro Jamin Brazil took the step from blogging to podcasting. I’m going to include his site in the list regardless because of it’s sheer consistency, For more than 400 episodes now, Brazil has produced a podcast at least once or twice a month, focusing on marketing research topics and themes. He even hosts a membership site called Insights Nation that keeps members up to date on technology trends, industry perspectives, and other aspects of the business and profession. Recent podcast episodes have concentrated on Ipsos’s shift to online ethnography, mistakes researchers make, research strategy, and the industry outlook for 2021. Episodes range in length from 11-43 minutes or so. I’m not personally much of a podcast listener, but if you are, this might be of interest!


Consider this my current favorite marketing research blog. Active in the ESOMAR Council, blogger Ray Poynter reports on council activity and comments on the state of the industry, as well as new developments. In just the first page of posts alone, Poynter makes research industry predictions for 2021—and further into the future—considers driving factors behind the success of research communities; interviews James Wycherley, author of the new book Transforming Insight;  and suggests tips and tactics to better run quantitative tests of multiple concepts, ads, or products. By turns personal and professional, this energetic blog is worth checking out.

Research Rockstar

This blog from the research training and staffing service seems to focus mostly on self-promotional topics: different types of online learning and training, and training paths for researchers, for example. But there’s also other content more of interest and use to researchers who might not necessarily need the company’s services. Recent posts take a look at grounded theory, online panel quality, questionnaire testing, ethnographic research, the Net Promoter Score, and customer experience research. There’s more noise than signal, but the signal is still worth seeking. Besides, as a researcher and as a trainer, I can’t help but root for this firm.

System1 Blog

The System1 team blogs infrequently—so far, only twice this year. Recent posts take a look at the effectiveness of Super Bowl LV TV ads, and challenges and opportunities facing companies in growth mode that are just moving to TV ads. That post is particularly interesting and worth reading. The post analyzes the performance of 550 TV ads by 200 new-to-TV brands and suggests that online video production techniques might hamper and hinder new TV advertisers. It’s a great example of a research company bringing actual research to light in its blog. Another post from the end of last year considers whether marketers should directly address Covid-19 in advertising, and another stands out as an awesome example of copywriting: “The Three Keys That Unlock Attention.” Does the post deliver? Well, it’s a good headline; that’s for sure.

Zappi Blog

The Zappi team posts roughly twice a month. Despite the infrequent updates, this is one of the more interesting company blogs because it occasionally focuses on research issues and topics, not—only—the corporate activity of the sponsoring company. (Though it does also do that, for example, offering a look at a partnership with a nonprofit to establish social good.) Posts so far this year have touched on the top four things researchers should do with their data but might not have adequate time for, testing Super Bowl LV TV ads, consumer behavior changes last year, connected TV advertising, and ad fraud.

What marketing research blogs do you follow and recommend? What marketing research bloggers should I follow? (Those are slightly different questions.) What should I be reading online?

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