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Description - The Consumer Insights Handbook: Unlocking Audience Research Methods by Danielle Sarver Coombs

At its core, consumer insights research is fun. Fast-paced, creative, and exciting, working in this field means constant interaction and engagement with people, concepts, and ideas. Consumer insights researchers get to spend their days partnering with clients to solve complex and knotty problems across all mass communication industries, including film, television, digital, advertising, and public relations. They do deep dives to understand the perceptions and perspectives of target audiences using a wide range of approaches and methods. On every project, hours are spent playing with data and ideas, coming up with creative and innovative ways to approach problems and uncover the insights that will lead to effective audience engagement. This work is dynamic and intellectually challenging, celebrating innovative approaches that lead to unique explanations of-and solutions for-important problems. It also is essential to success: Whether you are working on a media product or a strategic communication campaign, successfully reaching your audience and meeting your objectives requires good research.

Unfortunately, this is not what our undergraduate students currently experience when using the existing crop of research methods textbooks. Even though journalism, media, applied communication, advertising, and public relations programs typically offer-and often require-at least a foundational research methods course, most undergraduate students do not leave those courses with an accurate understanding of what this field actually entails. Typically written with an emphasis on academic research, those books often are intended for those who plan to follow a very specific path-conduct scholarly research, primarily using quantitative methods. The scientific method dominates this perspective, and students are taught to prioritize the concepts and conditions central to academic research. While useful for those who are interested in continuing for graduate degrees, these textbooks do not adequately represent the world of-or prepare students for-the realities of consumer insights research. This book represents a much-needed alternative.

This textbook flips the typical model presented in mass communication research textbooks. In these books, audiences often are primarily framed almost exclusively as participants-presented as a means to generate data. Instead, as students will learn through this text, data should be used to understand people as thoughtful, deliberative audiences. As such, research should be done with the goal of better understanding target audiences in a meaningful way. With this orientation in mind, these insight-driven research projects allow media practitioners and strategic communication professionals to tap into audiences' wants, needs, and desires through messaging and products designed to resonate.

This textbook is born of necessity. I have taught undergraduate students in advertising, media production, and public relations research methods courses since 2007. In the ensuing years, I have spent every conference scouring the book publisher's displays, trying desperately to find a book that would do what I needed: accurately reflect the joy and excitement of consumer insights research. I wanted something that would prepare my students for what jobs really look like in this field, while also offering tips on how to do the fast-paced, low-cost research that can be conducted over the course of a semester to give students a "real-world" perspective on how to uncover, interpret, and apply consumer insights.

Guided by both my own experience in the field as well as interviews and recommendations with current practitioners on the client, boutique, and agency sides, this book will offer students an accessible, thorough, and compelling perspective on how to plan for and complete a consumer insights research project from the initial request for proposal (RFP) to the final presentation of findings.
Each chapter will include:
a guide for how to conduct in-class research
quotes and recommendations from experts in the field (including representatives from research and insights boutiques; advertising agencies and PR firms; and a wide range of industries (media, consumer packaged goods, travel, finance, etc.)
case studies & real world examples

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781538145517
Format: Hardback
(268mm x 186mm x 21mm)
Pages: 248
Imprint: Rowman & Littlefield
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Publish Date: 22-Jun-2021
Country of Publication: United States

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