Tag Archives: Women in Research

A Market Researcher’s Wish List: 5 Experts Weigh In

Market research companies employ over 35,000 people in the United States and the industry is doing well, with year-on-year revenue growing. The market research industry is even bigger in Europe – which accounts for the largest share of Global market research revenue. Positive numbers aside, market researchers face a great deal of pressure in a rapidly changing marketplace. In some cases the tools simply don’t exist to monitor completely new consumer behaviors and habits, in other cases there are tools available, but choosing which data is important becomes a whole new challenge. When The Market Research Event asked several market researchers what was on their wish-list, the answers ranged widely – from technology to time to more stringent standards for market research agencies. Here’s the rundown of the top market researchers’ wish lists.

Juliann Ng, Vice President, GfK Canada

“Everyone is looking for faster and cheaper and good enough. So it’s less about a specific technology and more about new approaches and processes that enable near-instant insights, accessible at their fingertips at any time. With the tremendous amounts of primary, secondary, and transactional data now available, being able to fully leverage and integrate these data sources into a coherent and digestible format is another common wish!”

Juliann Ng will speak at The Market Research Event. Her session is called: Four Client/Agency Relationship Types and Optimizing Connections for Growth.

Tom De Ruyck, Partner, InSites Consulting

De Ruyck is very desirous of the newest and most advanced technology options for market research. He wants: “Artifical Intelligence moderation of online qual; AI analysis of online qual; Virtual Reality stimuli for research and VR solutions for reporting of insights”.

Kristin Luck, Founder Luck Collective & Women in Research

“My wish is that, as an industry, we continue to look for innovation in unlikely places. Innovation doesn’t ‘belong’ to small companies, or tech companies or firms just breaking into the research space. #MRX pros are data scientists by trade, living in a time (unlike any time we’ve experienced before) of unparalleled access to data. With a little creativity and critical thinking, each of us, regardless of the research role we play, is capable of creating breakthrough methods.”


Ray Poynter, Managing Director of The Future Place, Founder and Chair of NewMR, Director, Vision Critical University

“I’d like to see a standardised professional qualification in MR, with specific options for Qual and Advanced Quant. I would like the trade bodies to help clients separate the game changers from the snake oil salesmen. Lastly, I am looking forward to using more and more AI.”

Jeffrey Henning, President, ResearchScape International

“The biggest thing I need from a marketing point of view is more time, more time to experiment, more time to investigate new marketing methods.”

Kristof De Wulf, Co Founder & CEO, InSites Consulting

“Getting people positively addicted to consumer insights. Despite the fact that the market research industry has embraced novel and relevant ways to generate new consumer insights, insight activation is unfortunately poorly developed in most organizations. As insights are useless unless used, let’s start turning consumer insights into company-wide memes!”

Don’t miss The Market Research Event this October 17-20 where some of the most influential market researchers in the world will share their insights on everything from apps to big data as they apply to market research.

Carol Cunningham and Oliver Hayward: Disrupting Market Research Through Innovation

The Next Gen Market Research Award recognizes companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and made significant contributions to harnessing disruptive innovation to drive research industry progress. In 2015, NGMR teamed up with Women in Research (WIRe) to encourage their members to submit nominations. What happened was unprecedented – not only were there a huge number of submissions, but over 58% of them ended up being from women. Two winners of this highly competitive race were interviewed by The Research Insighter – you can see the full interview here. Each gives their strategy and motivation for doing what they do every day. Not only is their work completely innovative, it is also apparent that they do what they do out of a passion for their customers and even for the greater good.

Carol Cunningham VP of Consumer Insights and Business Strategy, BET

Carol Cunningham, Vice President of Consumer Insights and Business Strategy for Black Entertainment Television (BET) won the prestigious Individual Achievement Award. Cunningham’s work exemplifies “insight” as she applies a combination of sophisticated data and analytics skills, over 20 years of practical experience and sociological expertise about our current society to her strategies.

Carol Cunningham: “I think a lot of what I am doing at BET is about stealth innovation. Really focusing on being a change agent. I am probably one of the unique people who sits at the intersection between big data and also insights, I do a little bit of both.

My primary goal is to make sure that I give dimension to the African American consumer, change perceptions and sometimes stereotypes. We do it through a variety of different things, we have a lot of quantitative research studies that we do. Everything is to find out and probe and figure out who these consumers are, why they’re important, why they’re impactful, for any business to embrace. At the end of it we’re really trying to help people understand them a little bit more intimately.’

When asked what the greatest challenge Cunningham had in her role, her answer was surprising. (It isn’t bringing the right data together to tell the story which seems to be the number one problem most market researchers face.)

Carol Cunningham:
“I think one of the biggest challenges we have is that we have to constantly go in and educate people about who this consumer segment is, what they represent, how they can actually keep your business in the black if you really focus on embracing them.
A lot of what I end up doing is helping people see them beyond what they know.
So we will do studies on the color of beauty because one of the things that we know is that African Americans really do have their fingers on the pulse of what’s hot, what’s next and what matters. And they really are cultural catalysts and we need to have people understand that more.”

Oliver Hayward, partner at Global brand consulting agency Hall & Partners received the NGMR award for Innovative Research Deployment. If you haven’t heard of Hayward’s innovative work and you’re a market researcher  – well you may have just had all your prayers answered. While it has become a highly valued skill set to be able to actually figure out what data to put together in this “new world” of market research, Hayward is a few steps ahead of the rest. What Hayward is developing is a way for you to not only not have to dive into hundreds of spreadsheets, but you don’t even have to do the powerpoint anymore (which Hayward half-jokingly asserts no one reads anyway.) Here’s Hayward to more articulately describe what The Hub will do for the market research industry.

Oliver Hayward: ‘I look after a platform called The Hub; it’s a digital tool for helping our clients and researchers. It helps our clients who are drowning in data. We believe there’s a lot of value to be gained from ‘small data’ the data you already have within your organization. Our mission is to help our clients manage that data, spend less time chasing data and more time on extracting the valuable layer of insight.

I am excited about the notion of storytelling. A lot of tools do a very good job of helping people get to the story but don’t do a good job of helping them tell that story. Our main focus for next year is around journalism, helping people within the platform publish well written engaging short copy stories that can engage people across the business. We know in reality people don’t open big powerpoint reports, and one of the challenges our clients have is getting their stakeholders to look at the data, let alone use it.” So basically what Hayward is developing is a complete report you can give to stakeholders that will both show and explain the market research data, in story form. You can keep an eye out for this to come to fruition here.

What these two innovators have shown is not only an expertise in their field, but a drive to push the limits of what market research is and can do for business.  Want to learn about more disruptors in market research? 2016 NGMR winners will be announced at TMRE this October!