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Storytelling and Market Research


We are excited to announce the release of Fred John's new book, "Storytelling and Market Research: A Practical User Guide," published by Routledge Press. This book is the essential guide to mastering storytelling techniques that can dramatically enhance the impact of research reports and presentations. It illuminates the power of story and storytelling in human history, and shows how to apply the three transformative properties of story to your deliverables. 

The book clarifies and covers four distinct meanings of "story" in the business environment, including novelty, essential learning, narrative, and the story of a brand of company. It also addresses the stories that clients tell, which often provide invaluable information into corporate thinking.

Fred has included many practical suggestions, as well as exercises to help you assimilate the learning into your own work.

The book is intended for new and experienced market researchers and all others who present business information, as well as recipients of such learning.

You can learn more about the book and purchase a copy by clicking on the link below.

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You can also read some reviews by leading practitioners in the field beneath the image. You can also find links to two podcast interviews with Fred about the book at the bottom of the page.


Reviews of This Book

1. “Turning data into a compelling narrative is essential if we’re to make the most of our investment in research. Fred’s book acts as guide and his thinking helped us as we built Crater Lake, where we aim to ‘make sense of it all.”  -- Brian Jacobs, Co-Founder, Crater Lake and Company, UK     

2. “Fred John beautifully explains the art of story-telling in a business context.  We all need the skills to tell our stories in a compelling way – this book can help us to do so.”  -- Fiona Blades, President and Chief Experience Officer, MESH Experience, New York and London       


3. “The ability to create an elegant and compelling evidence-based story is a must-have skill for insight professionals. This book, in one volume, will provide insight professionals with everything they need to know to take their storytelling skills to the next level. The author, as an experienced client-side market researcher and also insight consultant, knows what is required to deliver powerful narratives to capture the imagination of stakeholders. The book provides the reader with a grounding in the principles of storytelling. At the same time it is laced with lots of wonderful storytelling examples and provides the reader with many practical things they can do to bring their data stories alive.


“I wholeheartedly recommend this book to insight professionals and those in business who need to create evidence based stories.” -- DVL Smith PhD, Director DVL Smith, UK           


4. “Once upon a time I worked with Fred John.  He is a veteran marketing researcher, a solid thinker and a succinct writer.  Reading his book Storytelling in Marketing Research, you will learn that none of this matters.  Fred’s argument is that marketing researchers cannot deliver the goods they are being paid for if they cannot tell a compelling story.  And then he tells the reader how to do this.  And if you do this, you will live happily ever after.“  -- John Gilfeather, President, John Gilfeather & Associates, Stanford, Connecticut


5. “In my experience, learning by doing is not enough. But a sound theoretical background boosts you from a do-er to an expert. This is why Mr. John’s book is an actual guideline, starting with the stories of stories, their impact, their resourcefulness and moving on to simple, easy, applicable examples, then step-by-step guiding you to become a skillful, maybe a master storyteller in MR.


“The major strength of this book is in the numerous examples, making it almost impossible for the reader not to be able to apply it in his/her everyday job as a marketer.


“Art is based on stories. Today’s MR deliverables are stepping up, being more creative by the day, visualistic, catchy. Imagine the fast-forward moving world of…everything! And the impatient client. Imagine how it’s like to start a presentation with a story that apparently has nothing to do with the insights the client is expecting. And then apply the coup de grâce by unveiling the meaning of the story. It’s like a whole new world is opening in front of their eyes: not only that the insights will be understood in depth, but their implementation will be made more impactful, considerate, and of essence customer-oriented; customized to the market; imaginative; memorable. If that is not art, what do you call it?


“Read the book. Make a durable change.” -- Diana Sonea, Independent Qualitative Pharma Expert, Bucharest             


6. "Articulate, insightful, and inspirational book for new and seasoned researchers.  Fred John – with his reputation of an outcome-focused, provocative expert in international marketing research – gives us a practical guide on how to design and share research. Focus on novel learnings, and keep your audience engaged as you tell the story. This book is a treat for the mind, filled with practical wisdom and concrete examples. You will no longer have dull reports and sleepy audiences after reading this book." -- Dr. Tatiana Barakshina, Co-founding Partner, Bazis Group, Chicago, & Ekaterinburg, Russia           


7. “May I say of Fred John’s book-to-be, What a Hell of a Story! 


“I was not surprised but nevertheless amazed by the level and volume of erudition Fred John reveals.  This could…should…truly become The Textbook for the advanced course in research and insights leadership. There will not remain a doubt or question left unanswered in the path to effective presentations. If only we all could have had this course and these learnings way back then….” -- Alan Grabowsky , President, ABACO Marketing Research Brazil/USA


8.  “We market researchers are always passionate about our material; sometimes so much we feel the need to share 100 horizontal bar charts. Fred John’s book shows us how to make research findings totally engaging. It is a vital addition to every market researcher’s bookshelf.” -- Paul Hague, Founder and Director, B2B International, Manchester, UK

9. “This is a book written by a consummate insights professional and storyteller. Fred John has never shied away from reminding all in the insights profession that their role is not only to inform business decisions but to do so in a manner that ensures action. In this hugely thoughtful book, he distills all the key elements of business storytelling that lead to action and business impact. A must read for all going into the profession - and a great refresher for those already in it.”

 -- Simon Chadwick, Managing Partner, Cambiar and Editor-in-Chief of ESOMAR’s Research World.


10. “The book illustrates the difference between making research information available and actually showing the audience what that information represents. It invites analysts to embrace their position as influencers rather than just reporters. It's a must-read for anyone seeking more compelling market research deliverables instead of the forgettable dust-gatherers most of us have certainly produced at some point in the past.”

-- Paula Goerg, Project Manager at Llama Research, Scotland

11. “As one might expect from a book about stories, this book is engaging and relatable from the first page. Researchers at all stages of their career will find a treasure trove of guidance and tools to make them better at what they do, but there is something for everyone with an interest in communicating in a compelling way, from the creation of the story through to how it is presented to your audience.

“The book looks at stories from all angles – the importance of storytelling in our culture, the stories we create from research, and the stories clients tell themselves – and gives pointers for how a resolution can be found for these (sometimes opposing) narratives.
This book will leave you with not only resources for better performance in the workplace, but suggestions for a new and more rewarding way to look at how we live our day-to-day lives.

“As a market researcher, it is truly refreshing to see a book that is written ‘for us’, albeit with a great deal of relevant insight for people in a range of careers. So often, we read books aimed at different audiences and take those nuggets of insights that apply. But every page of this book is deeply applicable to the work I do, and I am already using the insights from this book to inform how I create and deliver findings to my clients.”

-- Lucie Holiday, Research Director, Quantum Market Research, Melbourne, Australia

Interview Podcasts on the Book

Interview with Bob Lederer on  Research Business Daily Report: 

Podcast Link:

Interview with Mike Carlon on Uncorking a Story:

Podcast Link:

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