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The Tyranny of the Shoulds for Market Researchers

A quick-start guide to navigating research-focused digital content and getting the most value from minimal effort.

Shoulds are statements you hear when people tell you what you should be reading, or should be listening to, or should be doing. People love to tell you what you should, ought, must or have to do with your time (and some of us love to write blog posts about it).

The tyranny of the shoulds is the feeling that somehow you’re not living up to your ideal self, it’s the background anxiety that you’re not doing enough and missing out (even though this may be an irrational fear). Sadly, market researchers, like all other human beings, are not immune to this feeling.

We focus so much on our work and our purpose that it can be easy to forget to be still, look up and listen. We know we should keep an ear to the ground. And we know there are rare, valuable ideas to be explored, that appear in the digital pastures of our beloved market research industry.

But how do we capture them without browsing the internet all day?


“You can’t make more time, but you can make the most of it.”


Like you, we work under tight time constraints. This blog post was originally an internal email, the purpose of which was to give our team a clear place to start with each medium. We’re sharing it here with you in the hope it proves useful for you and your team (especially new starters). We’ll recommend the best apps, sources and media to keep you up to date with #MRX news with a minimal investment of time from you. So, let’s begin…

1/ News. How to check news and blogs in just fifteen minutes a day.

This is especially useful for new starters who want to get up-to-speed with industry news, but it’s a great habit for you to cultivate too.

You can probably list a few blogs off of the top of your head, that you see as solid resources. If none come to mind, then see our Top 10 market research blogs 2017. However, we don’t have the time to check each of them every day. That’s where Feedly comes into play.

Tools: Feedly. With one tap, you’ll be able to see what’s being posted across hundreds of market research blogs and display the latest news in a single timeline. This is useful if you want to give your team an approved set of sources to read from and share.

“Feedly is a news aggregator application for web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android, also available as a cloud-based service. It compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources for the user to customise and share with others.”

5-minute Set-Up: register for Feedly and once you’re logged in click here. Add our #MRX and #BreakingNews collections to your Feedly there. Now download the Feedly mobile app. You’ll be able to access the latest MRX news from your mobile (if you download the app) or from your desktop. It’ll take less than fifteen minutes to see what’s been posted at the start or end of the day. The Pro version is cheap and allows you to search using keywords. Alternatively, you can set it up in Slack and only select the best stories to share with your team.


2/ Podcasts. How to consume information on the move.

The wonderful thing about Podcasts is that you can listen while on your commute or as you do the housework. It makes dead time valuable. If you don’t have time to read, then you might find it easier to listen. So what better way to brush up on those research, marketing and business and life skills with some top notch podcasts?

Tools: We recommend either using PocketCasts or Stitcher. Both are great podcast apps.

5-minute set-up: register and download a podcast app and subscribe to the following nine podcasts.

What it means - the age of the customer isn’t a tagline — it’s a fundamental shift in the market that is forcing companies and executives to change course. In Forrester’s ‘What It Means’ podcast, we’ll examine those changes, what they mean, and what executives can do about them.

Actuality - looks at people and businesses trying to accomplish tasks thought to be impossible, produced by Quartz and Marketplace.

The BeanCast - a weekly roundtable podcast, featuring notables from the marketing, advertising, interactive and public relations community.

Freakonomics - explore the hidden side of everything.

HBR IdeaCast - a weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review.

B2B Revealed - with the mind of a researcher and a teacher, Sean will help you be a better B2B focused marketer, seller, or business leader.

MR Realities - not on a podcasting platform yet however excellent recordings. You’ll have to listen manually.

Epsilon Theory - the quickest way to get all of the unconventional perspectives, historical context and narrative analysis.

\[BONUS\] Hardcore History by Dan Carlin isn’t MRX, but you’ll be sure to love it. In "Hardcore History" journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his "Martian", unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past.


3/ Facebook Groups. How to make the most of the time you’re spending on Facebook.

Many of us are on Facebook all of the time, so it deserves mention because optimising the tools we already use can have a bigger impact than introducing new tools. Therefore, it’s Facebook groups we think are interesting because unlike a Facebook page, the posts aren’t hampered by ‘edgerank’. Posts are organic, and at the moment people can’t use Facebook Ads to advertise in a group. This means a well curated Facebook group can be a gold mine for discussion and news. Also, from our experience, they’re less spammy than LinkedIn groups.


4/ Twitter Apps. How to use Twitter effectively to take part in insight economy conversations.

Tools: If we’re going to get the most out of Twitter and take part in Market Research conversations we must first get ourselves the tools that help us master the social media behemoth. There is, of course, the native app which is good if you’re an average user. However, if you’re an avid ‘power’ user of Twitter, then it’s worth looking at the following options…

IOS - TweetBot and Twitterrific are our favourites. Both apps save you from viewing ads and make the experience much more customisable. Worth noting that TweetBot has a feature that allows for drafting twitter threads to help you build thought provoking, insight-focused conversations.

Android - Flamingo and Talon are your best options. An honourable mention is Fenix which would be our favourite however it hasn’t been released yet (here is an invitation to test though).

Desktop - Tweetdeck is a powerful tool if you’re managing more than one account and need to track multiple conversations with your industry peers.


5/ Twitter Hashtags. How to use Hashtags.

A hashtag is a paperclip. It is an instrument that groups messages together when you click on it. The upside is it helps you to find like-minded people, ideas and interesting discussions. The downside is a hashtag can get hijacked and become link dumps. This means engagement and discussion can be stifled. To avoid this simply add a space and then ‘-filter:links’ to the end of any search or hashtag in the search box. Now you’re looking at tweets that don’t have links.

Tools: To research hashtags, the simplest method is to list the events that are relevant to you and map their hashtags and the dates they take place when they are most active. Second to this is Ritetag which will give you stats on any given hashtag and associated hashtags that are often tweeted with them. Always remember to consider ‘when’ rather than ‘what’ a hashtag is.

#insights - generic research hashtag

#iiex - insight innovation exchange

#marketresearch - generic research hashtag


#mrx - generic research hashtag

#newmr - the future of market research





#ESOMAR - data, research and insights event

#MRMW - insights and marketing research event

#Qual360 - the place for all things qualitative

To see all the tweets above without any links simply copy and paste the boolean search below into your search bar (or click here), or add the collection from Feedly.

#insights OR #iiex OR #marketresearch OR #mrpro OR #mrx OR #newmr OR #qual OR #qualitative OR #quant OR #survey OR #ESOMAR OR #MRMW OR #Qual360 -http -https -filter:links

Lastly, if you have any suggestions for how we could improve this article, please tweet us at @Voxpopme.