Why ‘Off-the-shelf’ doesn’t work in market research

Albert Hamilton




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Less is more.  We’ve all heard it, but how can it ever make any sense that less can be more?

Here’s an experiment.  Take a blank sheet of paper and draw 10 dots on it.  Take 5 seconds to look at your handiwork.

Ok, can you circle which dot got most of your attention?  Are you sure?

Now turn the page over.  Draw one dot.  Look at the page for 5 seconds and try not to look at the dot.

The strange thing is, for most of us even in trying to ignore it, that one dot still got all our attention.

Less is more.

Statistics can be equally counter-intuitive.  It is sometimes thought that the more participants in a study, the more accurate the report will be.

It’s true to a point. But beyond that point, it can take large amounts of additional resource to achieve even a small increase in accuracy.  In other words here, more is less.  More money and more time, gives less value and less efficiency.

It is for this reason that CARD Group examines and plans each research project individually.  ‘Off-the-shelf’ doesn’t work in research.  Each study has its own ideal point where accuracy and budget balance.  CARD Group finds the necessary information to the ideal level of confidence.

Is less more?  Perhaps sometimes.  But just enough is always perfect.