Market Research 2.0

01.01.19

General Motors has relied on market research since the 1920s. Now, the automotive giant is trying to re-invent it for the Internet age.

Market research is the life blood of many companies. “When you’re building a new product it’s important to understand what people want,” Joyce Salisbury, a research manager at GM, tells the Business Technology Blog. But traditional surveys and focus groups only provide a limited amount of information. You don’t have the ability to ask follow up questions, there’s no way to judge how enthusiastic people are about the topic they’re asked about (“I can get 100 people to talk to me about gear shifters for an hour if I pay them $100, but 99 of them couldn’t care less,” Salisbury tells us), and most importantly, even a company like GM only has the budget to research the $500 million decisions, which are only a fraction of the decisions that go into a product.

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