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The Insight Revolution: Question Everything – by Andrew Grenville – Book Review

Posted by Ray Poynter, 25 November 2018 If you work in a client-side insights team, then this is a ‘must read’ book for you. This relatively short book is based on interviews with leading figures from the industry and highlights the need for change in the way insights is conducted. Indeed the message is ‘change or die’. The book starts by setting the scene, briefly recapping the history of insights, highlighting that what we did in the past was correct in the past, and showing why it is wrong now. The second chapter is perhaps the most important in the book; it exposes the weaknesses in the way that insight teams relate the rest of the business. The book shows that insights teams tend to be order takers, rather than being proactive. To summarise, a stakeholder asks for the wrong thing (because they are not aware of all the options), the insight team delivers it, the stakeholder is disappointed because it does not help the business take an action, and the insights team are disappointed because nothing is done with their research. As a consequence, more decisions are made without insights, and the insights team are seen as a cost centre […]

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Do you know how to assess innovations in market research and insights?

Posted by Ray Poynter, 1 November 2018 We are surrounded by new approaches to understanding customers and markets, for example: behavioural economics, automated facial coding, neuroscience, chatbots, passive tracking, Artificial Intelligence, and of course big data. However, evaluating these new options is becoming ever harder, because there are so many of them, and because they make claims that are based on technologies that are hard for non-experts to understand. In this post, I want to share some of the techniques I use to assess innovations in market research and insight. In essence, I look at the following issues: Can it be provided by multiple suppliers? If an innovation can only be utilised via one supplier, it is much less likely to be successful, and I am much less likely to recommend it. Good innovations benefit from competition, prices come down when there is competition, and the diffusion into a market is accelerated if several solutions are available. When online surveys burst on the scene, we could use several different platforms to write the surveys, and choose between several difference panel companies for the sample – this promoted adoption, and cost reductions. Does it increase speed and/or reduce net price? In […]

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What is Agile Market Research?

Posted by Ray Poynter, 11 May 2017 One of the hottest terms in market research at the moment is the word ‘Agile’. However, there is not a lot of clarity about what exactly it means and how it should best be utilised. Two definitions, with Two Different Derivations One of the reasons that there can be confusion around the term agile market research is that there are two separate definitions, based on two different perspectives and derivations. Agile, as in responsive, a term that has been used in research for many years. Agile, as in the Agile Movement, a modern method of project management often identified with the software industry and concepts like minimum viable product, sprints, and scrums. In this post, I am going to use agile with a lower case ‘a’ for the first of these meanings, and Agile with an upper case ‘A’ when referring to the adoption of the Agile Movement approach to market research. Responsive Research is Often Bespoke Research Using the word agile in its more traditional way, it is often used to describe research that is flexible in the sense of being designed specifically for the needs of a client/project. Whilst this form […]

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The key areas of innovation in Market Research in 2017?

In February next year, I am, once again, curating and co-chairing IIeX Europe. We are currently putting the structure together and will be issuing a call for speakers and contributions shortly. For the last few years IIeX has been at the forefront of showcasing innovative MR and we want to ensure that 2017 is another leap forward. IIeX will be held at Beurs van Berlage in, Amsterdam from 20 to 21 February 2017. In good NewMR fashion I would like to crowdsource ideas for where the cutting edge is going to be in 2017. Here are a few questions and I urge you to either: enter your suggestion below as comments, or contact me directly via   1 – What cutting edge topics should IIeX should cover in 2017?   2 – What companies are you keen to hear more about?   3 – What new thinking is most worth sharing?    4 – Which new technologies are you most interested in?  BTW, if you think you or your company meet one or more of these four criteria, give yourself a shout out below or contact me to say why you should be on the agenda in Amsterdam.


Automation the Driving Force Behind Agile Research

Two of the hottest topics at the moment are Automation (especially developments utilising Artificial Intelligence) and Agile Research. Separately, they are both interesting, but the key story is the way they interact and the role that automation has in facilitating and enhancing Agile Research. Agile Research is a movement that has borrowed its approach (and name) from the world of agile software development. For decades, software was developed through a process of mapping the space, developing a plan, and implementing it with a big bang approach (for example the move from Windows XP to Windows Vista and then Windows 7). However, the software world realised that their planning was often faulty; the world tended to change between design and implementation, and the effectiveness of the final product was often limited by the designer’s ability to envisage how the product’s use would evolve once it was available. Agile research picks up on many of the same trends as agile software development, for example: Accepting that forecasting the future more than a few months ahead is usually beyond us; That new products and services are unlikely to be designed right the first time (or the second); That an iterative, test and learn, […]