Market Researchers Need Empathy to Thrive

Empathy is a declining trait according to Psychology Today: “College students today are approximately 40 percent less empathetic than they were just 10 years ago.” Today’s values involve a lot of quick judgments and little understanding.

Without empathy, marketers would find themselves solely in the domain of quantitative research and rarely connect with their clients or customers. They must continue to search for their audience’s needs and decipher which of those needs is most crucial.

Generally and overall, companies are becoming more empathetic and are making it a priority to create an office culture that reflects their caring attitude. It is common to see “company teams” run marathons, create fundraisers, and sponsor charitable events. This, of course, is a great way to cultivate team empathy needed to do great work for the greater public.

qSample understands this. Our work would not thrive without empathy. We specialize in hard-to-reach audiences, one of them being veterinarians. There are only 100k veterinarians according to AVMA, compared to the almost 1 million physicians in the US. As the trends rise of pet parents, brunch with pups, and organic food for pets, so does the need for veterinarians’ insights. To get a better understanding of our panel—and instead of donating money as in the past—we volunteered for the biggest no-kill-animal rescue shelter in Chicago, PAWs.


It’s not until you are able to talk to the veterinarians, volunteers, and sponsors at PAWs events that you begin to see the tangible importance of the panel. A deeper understanding of what goes on in the pet world came to fruition when we attended their 8k run and their PAWs baseball outing.  We began to see the value veterinarians’ acumen brings to the 80 million dog owners and the 90 million cat owners in the US. With a richer background, understanding of veterinarians, and the pet world, we now know how to cultivate our panel to the best of our ability to help our companions.

Sometimes we are asked, “why do you have a veterinarian panel?” or “what insight would our panel have for companies?” It’s because of empathy and the need to better understand those who cannot tell us how to serve them better.

170 million combined “pet parents” care, and if we can help veterinarians, pet companies and pet owners gain just little bit more insight on how best to serve our animals going forward, we’ve done our job.


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