Rather than making the simplistic assumption that research is always passive and merely adapts to change, the reality of media research today is that there is an extreme interdependency between media and research. To illustrate this, I will talk about four different media environments and the evolution of research within those environments. These environments are: the domestic print market, the international print market, the domestic television market, and, finally, the domestic measurement of the World Wide Web.
The conclusion is that if our industry, and we ourselves as researchers, constantly think of research as adapting, we will miss the opportunity to guide our industry away from evolutionary deadends. If, on the other hand, we think of our industry as a complex system, where nothing comes first, there is the opportunity for the development of radically different and potentially efficient marketing systems in the future.