Case Study of Q Research

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Case Study of Q Research, a Marketing Research Company

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 3 August 2018

Q Research: Portrait of a small Strategic Marketing Research Company


This is a portrait of a small business I started and ran for eight years from 1988 to 1995. It was a small strategic marketing research company that offered something quite different to clients; most of whom appreciated it and some didn’t.

It is perhaps a little self-indulgent publicising Q Research so many years after it closed, but there would have been sensitivities and confidentiality issues previously. Please skip this article, if the topic isn’t of interest.

The key elements described are small business, marketing research and what is involved. The theoretical framework for our approach was based on the work of Australia’s most recognised social scientist Frederick Edmund Emery, with whom I worked at ANU (the Australian National University), and in particular his Search Conference methodology, which I have mentioned several times previously (see The Art of Prophecy). Also relevant are sampling and survey research methodology, questionnaires, quantitative and qualitative approaches and analysis. Don’t switch off. I won’t be providing details.

Writing about Q Research may stimulate me to write something in more detail about these topics at a later date. (This would include qualitative and quantitative marketing research techniques: our particular approach to focus groups and perhaps our unique organisational health thermometer, based on internal staff satisfaction surveys.)

Our reports (and audiotapes of some focus groups) about 50 of them are held as Manuscripts at the National Library of Australia. They are available to researchers and are no longer embargoed. Some of them, I think, are quite important.

I/we were quite proud of Q Research and its achievements, some of which were unique. Q Research is also a good example of how to start a particular type of small business without any financial risk and with minimal start-up costs. Q Research also generated a good income for me, a reasonable income for my administrative/organiser partner and good casual employment for various people, as work permitted. We never had an office and initially used Servcorp as an answering service and for a boardroom. We later, with more confidence, just used an answering service occasionally, used the clients’ boardrooms and hired venues for focus groups.

Posted in Mon Repos, Queensland

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