Top positive review
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Remarkable and perfectly titled
on September 10, 2001
If you're dipping your toes into the waters of market research, you need this book. Its title is perfect: This really *is* a toolbox, written concisely for beginners.
I bought this book when my boss assigned me a market research task that could determine company direction. He gave me the task because of my past work with surveys and usability testing. I wasn't comfortable flying by the seat of my pants on this one -- determining company direction isn't the same as determining what people didn't like about a Help system you created or determining what does and doesn't work well in a computer program's user interface.
So I bought this book, and I'm glad I did. McQuarrie minced no words in explaining what market research is and what market research can and can't do for you. He next helped me determine the real goal for my research, and showed me what market-research tools are best suited for achieving that goal. He even told me what tools *not* to use. He did all this in the first 35 pages. The rest of the book describes the tools in the box. I only read the chapters about the tools relevant to my task. Within two hours, I had learned exactly what I needed to know for success -- no more, and no less.
I especially appreciate McQuarrie's writing style, which Strunk and White would call "vigorous." He packs a lot of information into very few words.
Take note: McQuarrie explains that his book will help you determine what tools you should use and tell you the basics of using the tool. However, he cautions that you should hire specialists to actually use the tools, because there is a lot of specialized knowledge behind successfully using each one. If you're determined to use these tools yourself, McQuarrie tells you what other books to read to get started.