The communications industry is in a period of massive change. It is a time when more than ever, we need to be grounded in an understanding of people’s evolving behaviour and needs. But at this moment of opportunity the industry is waking up to the fact that instead of leading the way, a lot of qualitative research is based on faulty assumptions, has not kept up with cultural change or scientific learning about how the brain works, and may actually be hindering success. This is not the fault of researchers: most companies use market research poorly and don’t ask for innovation in research. But this situation runs the risk of damaging qualitative research’s value and credibility at a time when it is most needed; and researchers, clients, and agencies need to work together to win that credibility back.