Drawing on feedback from LinkedIn members, Quirk's has compiled a list of must-read books for marketing researchers, ranging from best practices in business to how practitioners can avoid the data dump.
Last year, Quirk’s asked the members of its Marketing Research & Insights LinkedIn group, “What books should a marketing researcher be required to read?” And researchers, you answered! We received over 75 recommendations for must-read books – from how to master PowerPoint to how to decipher the human brain.
Below is the compiled list with the titles grouped broadly by topic. Additionally, if the LinkedIn member who suggested the book provided reasoning as to why it’s a must-read, we’ve included that as well.
We realize this list is not exhaustive! To suggest additional books, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll post periodic updates to keep up with new and noteworthy titles. For more information or to make a purchase through Amazon, just click on the title!
Qualitative Research: Good Decision Making through Understanding People, Cultures and Markets (Market Research in Practice) by Sheila Keegan
Keegan outlines the history of qualitative research; its purpose and role; its relationship to quantitative research; ethical issues it provokes; and how to analyze, interpret and communicate research results.
How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market by Gerald Zaltman
This title provides practical synthesis of the cognitive sciences. Zaltman provides research tools –metaphor elicitation, response latency and implicit association techniques – and demonstrates how innovators can use these tools to get clues from the subconscious when developing new products and finding new solutions.
Research in general
Trends/Looking to the future
End of Marketing as We Know It by Sergio Zyman
Zyman, formerly of The Coca-Cola Company, shows why old approaches to marketing have lost their fizz and how to get a jump on the strategies that will work in the 21st century.
Dealing with data
Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information by Christopher J. Frank and Paul Magnone
This book focuses on learning how to ask the right questions at the right time. Asking smarter questions will expose you to new information, point you to connections between seemingly unrelated facts and open new avenues of discussion with your colleagues. The authors explain the seven questions that can help you bring a big-picture perspective to problems that often leave others buried in irrelevant details.
“This should be required reading for MRX folks. One of the co-writers is VP of research at American Express (Christopher Frank) and he basically sketches out a blueprint for how research should be presented, using case studies and real-world examples. You might find that it's laid out a bit like a textbook but I actually didn't have a problem with that. Each chapter tackles a different topic which I found made it easily digestible and a rather quick read. Anyway, I can't recommend enough – it's one of the few recent books I'm aware of that focuses on how to approach/present/work with market research.” – Laura Sigman