The ADwërkers recently viewed an informative presentation about running a small ad agency. One subject that was covered really stood out to me – guerrilla research.
I tend to be very open-minded and have an affinity for the non-traditional. So guerrilla research really intrigued me. Basically, if you have a question that demands an answer from your target audience or the general public, go to the street and ask. The way our presenters put it, “Be fearless. Overturn every stone. Ask the right people, the right questions, the right way.” Then take your results and apply them to your messaging, strategy, etc. Yeah, why not? Who says we have to get all of our research from some sterile lab on the east coast?
Well, in some ways it may be contradictory to the laws of quantitative scientific research, which definitely has its value. And guerrilla research is by no means a replacement for traditional/non-guerrilla research methods, but it still has plenty of pros, pros that traditional research can’t offer.
First of all, guerrilla research is personal. It involves human to human interaction rather than human to paper. So it can deliver deeper insights that can’t always be measured with a pad and pen. Secondly, it’s inexpensive and time efficient, which is beneficial for both the client and the agency. Thirdly, you can be creative with your methods. It’s not limited to simply walking up to strangers on the street and asking questions. The methods are completely open to experimentation, and with that come new opportunities for learning. Fourthly, this isn’t so much a legitimate pro but more of a personal opinion; I love the spirit of it. It carries with it the spirit of advertising. Advertising isn’t always conventional! Why should our research strategies be any different?
Guerrilla research at least deserves a try. Ask a question, and take it upon yourself to find an answer. What do you have to lose? And you just may learn something in the process.
What are your opinions on guerrilla research?