Post by Ray Poynter, 12 March 2018 For anybody interested in the current hype around Bitcoin, blockchain and smart contracts, I would recommend reading David Gerard’s book ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain’ (many thanks to Richard Young for recommending the book to me). The book is a thorough deconstruction of the history, mythology, and outrageous over-claims of this popular new technology. The book provides a useful and timely counterpoint to all those making claims for the benefits of blockchain and its associated technologies. The book is short and very readable. The tone is clearly negative about blockchain and I would advise any reader to crosscheck the information they gather from the book (I have done that and so far everything I have checked has been confirmed.) Key items covered in the book are: How blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts work. This requires some technical understanding of the language of IT, but even without that you will get a sense of what is happening. The problems that cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin and Litecoin) have had with criminality, fraud, lack of security, volatility, and more recently with capacity. The reasons why smart contracts seem doomed for the foreseeable future, despite the […]
Post by Ray Poynter, 3 March 2018 Have you noticed that there seems to a lot of people who are shouting about how important blockchain (and or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) are going to be for market research? In November 2017 a Quirks article claimed “blockchain is turning marketing research on its head” and at IIeX Europe Rolfe Swinton and Snorri Gudmundsson presented “10 Reasons Why Blockchain is a Big Deal for MR – And What You Can do About it”. Although I am a fan of technology, I am a sceptical fan, and all the buzz about blockchain stimulated both my interest and my scepticism, so I set about finding out more about blockchain and issues such as cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin) and smart contracts (such as those created using Solidity and Ethereum). Whilst I can’t be 100% sure, my gut feel is that blockchain will not disrupt market research within the next five years (and maybe never), and here is my line of thinking. Of course, I could be wrong 🙂 What is blockchain? Blockchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin. Indeed, in 2008 blockchain was Bitcoin, and Bitcoin was blockchain – but now there are other blockchains, some with […]
To read the Japanese version of this post (from Mr Ryota Sano) click here. Post by Ray Poynter, 21 February 2018 I have just been reading an interesting HBR article (Rob Cross et el, Collaborative Overload, first published in 2016) that I think highlights the need for people in organisations to develop a personal brand – especially if they are amongst the most productive and collaborative people in their organisation. The paper reports on studies that looked at collaboration inside organisations and found that, on average, 20-to-35% of the value added by collaborations came from just 3-to-5% of employees. These productive people were the ones who were able to offer one or more of the following: Informational resources, knowledge that can be passed on to other to use. Social resources, knowing who to refer a problem or query to. Personal resources, including time and energy – this is the most draining of the three. The researchers reviewed about 300 organisations, using a variety of tools to map collaboration and value added. The studies found that at least 50% of the people who were most valuable to the organisation were not known to be so important by senior management. Think about […]
‘To lose one may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.’ From time to time, you will hear this useful phrase. Here are some notes about what it means, where it comes from, and key facts about Oscar Wilde (the originator of the phrase). Where does it come from? The original quote comes from a play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, written by Irish poet, author and playwright Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900). The quote in the play is spoken by Lady Bracknell, “‘To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” What does it mean? The statement implies there is something wrong with the person being spoken about. For example, ‘To lose one CFO is unlucky, to lose two looks like a pattern.’ The device shifts the focus away from the event (for example a CFO leaving) and moves it to the person being ‘judged’. The tone of the comment sounds humorous, but the intent is quite sharp. The speaker is saying there is probably something deficient with the person/company being spoken about. The term is similar to ‘There is no smoke without fire.’, but it […]
In November 2017 Ray Poynter and Sue York conducted a study into Market Research Knowlege and produced a report. This post reproduces the Executive Summary and the start of the main section. At the bottom of this post, we will tell you how you can download the whole report. Executive Summary This report looks at the state of market research knowledge and the factors associated with higher levels of knowledge. The authors believe that skills are going to be a key driver of the future success the market research and insights profession. The study supports our view that there are specific initiatives (such as attending webinars) that are associated with higher knowledge levels. This report covers a study conducted globally (in English and Japanese) in November 2017, with 730 market researchers and insight professionals. Key Findings People differ in terms of how many market research terms they are familiar with (i.e. able to explain to somebody else). This is not surprising, but it reminds us that when data is presented or reported there will be variations in the knowledge levels of the audience. Nearly 40% of this sample did not attend a single training session or workshop in 2017. The […]
Earlier this week I attended the IIeX APAC Conference in Thailand and it was a fantastic event – I strongly recommend it for next year. Although most of the presentations were great, there were occasional reminders about things that presenters need to be aware of when presenting at conferences, and in particular at international events. Make your first couple of sentences clear, welcoming, and redundant. When you first start to speak, the audience needs to tune in to your voice, to assess your speed and volume, and get used to your accent. If you have a truly international audience, there is a good chance that 50% of the room will not really understand your first couple of sentences – that is why they should be redundant. For example, I might start a presentation about the ESOMAR Pricing Study with something like “Good morning, my name is Ray Poynter, and I am based in the UK. Today, I am going to be exciting you with five important messages from the ESOMAR Pricing Study”. This sets the tone, is polite, is redundant, and allows the audience to tune in to my voice and pronunciation. Avoid words, examples and metaphors that might be […]
From time to time, I am asked to write some notes (or teach a section) on hypothesis testing. Each time I do this, I am reminded how little the theory of hypothesis testing has to do with modern, commercial market research. Perhaps we should stop focusing on a theory that does not really apply, and talk about what we actually do? At its simplest, the hypothesis process is as follows: Decide we want to show X is correct Design a situation ‘Not X’ and collect data to investigate ‘Not X’ Show that ‘Not X’ is very unlikely Assume X is right. This is highly unnatural for most people. People want to focus on X, not show it as a by-product of something completely different. This method is loosely what is done in academia, but almost never in the commercial world. Consider an example from concept testing Assume we are testing three new concepts and the forecast market share values are 5%, 6%, and 12%. What do we really want to know? On most occasions, I think we would like to know whether we should choose the concept with the 12% score. For example, is it genuinely better than the 5% […]
This week, Ray Poynter was the opening keynote speaker at the JMRA (Japanese Market Research Association) Annual Conference in Tokyo. Ray’s topic was ‘Where next, and how do we get there?’ The four final points, the big picture, that Ray left the audience with were: Traditional Research is yesterday New methods are the future A dichotomy is emerging Data / DIY / Automation / AI Consultancy and Storytelling The tide of change is mostly English The key priorities for clients are usually in the following order: Speed Cost Agile Quality If you would like to download a copy of Ray’s presentation click here.
AMSRS (The Australian Market & Social Research Society) has just published an article from Ray Poynter in its members’ magazine, Research News. In the article, Ray sets out his perception of the global picture for market research. If you are not a member of AMSRS and would like to read the articles, click here. Perhaps you would like to add your views, why not add them as a comment to this page?
Update, the survey is now closed and the analysis has begun. When we have finished the analysis, reporting and story creation we will update this page and tell you how to get a copy of the final report and provide a link to a short form of the report. You can still see the topline result from the data collection below. We (Ray Poynter and Sue York) are running a study that seeks to benchmark the current state of play in terms of what research terms are understood. Once the data is collected we will be analyzing the data and creating a report, looking at the key issues identified by the research, and making suggestions for career and professional development. Before looking at the data results so far, please take part in the survey by clicking here [survey now closed]. The survey comprises: 9 terms used in market research, asking participants which are they familiar with (as in could explain to somebody). A series of questions asking how often people do things like attend conferences, listen to webinars, take part in training, and read articles and books. There are just two demographics, age and country. A question about topics you would […]