Researching the market

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 20 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:189
  1. Bernard Dixon

    Dominic Lawson, moving recently from the editorship of the Spectator to that of the Sunday Telegraph, recalled the report of a “rather expensive piece of market research” that he had received when he arrived in his first editorial chair. According to the results, 24% of readers thought that the Spectator carried too much sport. This was interesting because there was no sport whatever in the magazine at that time. The experience taught Lawson something about the value of market research—”and also impelled me immediately to inaugurate the ‘Spectator Sport’ column.”

    Lawson's reminiscence triggered one of my own. Nearly 30 years ago, on joining the staff of New Scientist, I learned that a rather expensive piece of market research had been commissioned. There …

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