Research is overrated. Try measurement.

It's tempting to try to research your way into a strategy. But, as Andrea Fishman points out in a ClickZ article, research can be misleading. Unlike Andrea, I don't think this is a problem with poor research. I think it's a problem with all research. And the solution is not to get better at research. Instead, I suggest we try something else. In the end, only results matter. Research is designed to increase the likelihood of success while cutting down the time to execute. Unfortunately, research often takes a lot of time and headache. And it's often inconclusive, providing no clear tactical or strategic path. It's tempting to try to overcome this by (trying to) get better at research. But, I think this doesn't work. All research is subject to doubt of some kind because it's all hypothetical. There is no definitive research. There can't be, because research is conducted before success can be measured. Rather than lament these shortcomings of research, I suggest we give up on it as the primary means to improve results. Instead, I prefer quick launches with very robust measurement. This has the advantage of measuring reality, not some hypothetical audience target segment. With real measurement data, we can feed that back into the system and improve results. In the end, I think that this approach will provide a much faster path to good results.