How poetry and meditation improve data collection

Radical research methods proven to challenge conventional thinking and help understand new markets.

‘Poetic meditation’ can enhance qualitative data analysis by providing researchers with an improved sensory experience, a new study revealed.

The Journal of Marketing Management, by researchers at the University of Birmingham and Kedge Business School, France, explains that meditation allows researchers to train their body for data collection – improving their capacity to capture unexpected insights and deal with uncertainty and transformation as they incorporate new interpretations into their research.

The research claims that these skills enable researchers to understand new cultural practices.

Poetry in marketing is already proven to be an effective research method to challenge conventional thinking in areas such as branding. It has helped marketers understand markets and consumers – engaging in conversations that capture how people consume products and services.

“Creating a poetic meditation might be a first step in a researcher’s journey that uncovers new sensations, interpretations, and questions – reaching towards unconventional and impactful responses in our research, even when answers seem to be far in the future,” said Robin Canniford, from Kedge Business School.

“Our bodies, an instrument of research”

The research outlined the radical new process to help researchers to enhance their work.

Poetic meditation reveals unexpected or previously unnoticed features of market and consumption environments – rather than simply reproducing existing categories and theories.

Canniford added: “We believe this technique can inspire researchers to include sound recordings and data presentations in their publications – creating a different approach to communicating and understanding their findings.”

Pilar Rojas-Gaviria, from the University of Birmingham, commented: “Scientific wonder prompts us to ask questions about the purpose of consumption, the way markets are created and extended, and how life and human experience are attached to both.

“Academics have always developed theses to resolve questions and explain events, but mindfulness practice can make our bodies an instrument of research – gathering data from different environmental sources. Poetry offers qualitative researchers a useful tool to refigure their surroundings and shed new light on the data they work with.”