Guest Blog: The Magic of Market Research

Wale Omiyale

Wale Omiyale

Author Bio

Author Bio

Last week we held an event for Market Research professionals to network, share their views of 2010 and plans for 2011, and to have a glass of something festive at the same time. The event was at the headquarters of the Magic Circle in London which provided the perfect backdrop to some of the discussions around the mysteries of innovation in the MR industry. And there was a spot of magic too which added a bit more sparkle to the day.

We had 2 excellent presentations from Confirmit customers, Darren Webb of Fieldworks and Mark Ursell of TPoll. Both men are forward-thinkers in the industry so it was fascinating to hear their different takes on what’s affecting MR agencies and what challenges and innovations they’re focusing on for the next year.

Darren presented a project which Fieldworks has been working on which is an excellent example of a mixed-modal project for a major UK telco which incorporates online and telephone data collection, interlocking quotas and alerting based on responses.  A key point that Darren made was that mixed methodologies such as these are not right for everyone, and if done poorly, can be disastrous.  In comparing the  work of MR mixed methodology, Darren drew an analogy with a triathlete, who competing in multiple disciplines, is able to excel with the same core piece of equipment—the triathlon body suit, robust and agile, compares rather well to the Confirmit Horizons platform. It’s wonderful to see an agency taking a complex series of applications and turning them into a seamless project that, when delivered to the client, looks clear and simple.

Mark from TPoll focused on the influence that social media is having on the MR space. He explained that the blend of qualitative and quantitative research is shifting as people choose to provide feedback in a range of different ways, leading to a shift towards surveys that embrace more Twitter-like feedback mechanisms. This is something I’ve heard from a number of MR companies this year and I’m keen to see how they address these changes in 2011 and beyond. Mark commented that many businesses are simply playing lip service to the changes while focusing on their old methodologies which they know generate income. This might keep clients happy in the short term, but won’t stand them in good stead over the next 10 years.

Both presentations highlighted the ways that MR agencies are evolving to meet the increasingly complex demands of their customers. It’s a world away from the rigid approaches that used to dominate in MR and it is a privilege to know that both businesses are using Confirmit to help their businesses to achieve their goals.

After the presentations there was plenty of networking, food and drink, and some more magic tricks which made us forget all about even the most innovative aspects of Market Research—temporarily at least!

Wale Omiyale is a VP of Business Development based in Confirmit’s London office.

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