Image of a Temple Gate

Hints for Presenting at International Conference

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 […]


Is it time for market research to ditch the ritual of the Null Hypothesis?

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% […]

Hokusai's The Great Wave

What can market researchers learn from Hokusai and the Great Wave?

To read the Japanese version of this post (from Mr Ryota Sano) click here. Many of us from outside Japan are familiar with Hokusai’s picture the Great Wave, but I suspect that I am not alone in being less familiar with his other works. Luckily for me, that situation changed today. In learning more about Hokusai, I was struck by its significance for market researchers, insight professionals, and anybody looking for the story in the data. I spent the afternoon attending an exhibition of Hokusai’s work. The exhibition showed Hokusai’s work and highlighted the enormous impact he had on painters such as Monet, Gauguin and Pissarro. I won’t go into all of the many things that I learned today, instead I will focus on a few lessons for those of us trying to find meaning in data and information. One of Hokusai’s great works is his 36 views of Mount Fuji. The great wave is one of the 36 views, as are the other two on this page. In the West, at the time Hokusai was becoming famous (the mid-19th Century), painters rarely painted the same scene repeatedly. In contrast Hokusai did one hundred black and white views of Mount […]

Ray Poynter on stage

Ray Poynter’s presentation at JMRA Annual Conference 2017

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.

Image of the report

The State of the Global MR Industry

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?

Set of steps

How does your knowledge and MR learning compare with others?

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 […]

Photo of cut out technique

Using découpé to find the story in the data

Découpé, or to give it its anglicised name ‘cut up technique’ is a creativity device that dates back to at least the 1920s, but was popularised in the 1950s by William Burroughs (the beat writer and artist). More recently pop stars such as David Bowie have made it famous as a device for creating the narrative of songs. The cut up technique can be a great way to find the story in the data when analysing market research information, particularly for teams trying to transition from traditional reporting approaches to a more narrative style. Here is one example of how to make this transition: Create a standard market research report, reporting the key questions, using the key breaks, addressing the key topics in the research brief. For each output (which often means a PowerPoint slide if the analysis has been delegated or automate), write a comment about what the main message on the page is. Put each comment onto a separate piece of card or paper (making a note of which slide number each comment links to). Now shuffle the cards and then on your own or as a team, try to arrange the cards in a way that creates […]

Image of a mobile phone

Are you up to speed with mobile research? Probably Not!

I hear lots of people saying they are doing mobile research properly, but when I look at what many of them are doing, it falls well short of what I think is acceptable, and incredibly short of what we should be achieving with mobile market research. The Good News In the GRIT study we see some evidence of good news. One of the questions asked late in 2016 asked about which techniques were in use for market research. Key mobile-related answers included: Mobile Surveys 74% Mobile Qualitative 44% Mobile Ethnography 34% Indeed, the values for Mobile Surveys have been so high that this year’s GRIT survey asks about Mobile First Surveys. The Bad News There are three key elements to the bad news: Most online surveys are not optimized for mobile (see the chart below from Research Now). Many clients and researchers do not seem to be aware of the lack of representation they are creating by not fully embracing mobile. The additional benefits of mobile research are only being accessed by a tiny proportion of projects – because research has become stuck in a PC First mentality. Data from Research Now (Global Figures), this chart was shown by Sue York […]

Keyboard with Subscribe

Why you should subscribe to NewMR’s newsletter?

Every week NewMR sends out one or two newsletters/updates that we think you will find useful. You can subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here. Last week’s mailing included: How to access the slides and recordings from our recent webinar on Artificial Intelligence and Market Research (8 great presentations). How to become a speaker at NewMR’s Festival of NewMR, to be held in February 2018. Three new webinars to be held this year: Maximising Mobile, New! But Not Tech, and Beyond Market Research. So if you want to be aware of all the new resources, of the chances to speak at events, and hear about new blog posts, subscribe to NewMR’s mailing. You can access last week’s newsletter by clicking here.

Stormy sky

When will surveys disappear? (2017 update)

Back in 2010 ,I caused a minor stir in the research world by predicting (at the MRS Conference in London) that surveys would have disappeared in 20 years (i.e. by 2030). This prediction was put into wider circulation when I clarified my prediction in a blog. The key point being that I was predicting the end of the commercial, long survey, and it being replaced with social media listening, online communities, new ways of researching, the use of open-ended questions, and the use of stored information to remove the need to keep asking questions. In 2014 I updated my prediction and showed some numbers from the ESOMAR Global Market Research Report. The table below shows the figures from ESOMAR for 2007, 2010 and 2013, and my projections for 2016 and 2019. Note the figures show the spend on research, not the volume. (Click on the tables to enlarge them.) So, how did my predictions stand up? The table below shows the ESOMAR figures for 2016, below my estimates. Note, I have added a new column which combines Other Quant (e.g. traffic and audience data) with Other (e.g. big analytics). In the future I will focus on Surveys, Qual, and a single […]