First off, my apologies to all the hardworking professionals in market research that, no doubt, will object to what I'm about to write. During the normal course of my research for RetailWire, I came across a number of articles pointing to a study which found men have a growing influence on household grocery purchases. Nothing particularly earth-shattering there. It's well known that modern men, as well as women, are handling duties that once were largely the responsibility of the other gender.
I suppose what bothered me most was the knowledge that, not too long ago, I came across research that quantified the influence kids exert on household grocery purchases. While I can't recall off the top of my head, I'm confident that it wasn't too long ago that I read research that showed women continuing to exert a great deal of control over household food purchases.
Simply put, everyone within every household in America has some influence on what gets bought. Heck, in our household, grocery lists include requests for purchases from every member living here. So, if this is true, what is the purpose of research pointing out the influence of one group or another on household purchasing behavior?
In the age of Big Data and one-to-one marketing, maybe this type of research has become obsolete. If so, that begs the question, what should replace it?
How valuable is market research focused on groups (gender, age, etc.) for retailers and brands today?