Front cover of Skills and Training Report

Market Research Skills and Training Study 2018 Report

Posted by Ray Poynter Sue York, 8 August 2018 Below is the Executive Summary of our Market Research Skills and Training Study 2018 Report. You can download the full report by clicking here. Executive Summary Market research is a knowledge-based industry, its key asset is people – software comes and goes, techniques evolve, but if the future of market research is to be secured, it will be on the strength of its people to add value, and importantly, to add value that non-researchers cannot. To ensure that value-added future, market research needs to develop its people, and a key part of that process in training, to build the competence of the people who make up the research industry. However, this report suggests that too little training is happening. The authors believe that if market research and the insights profession is to prosper in the upcoming world of big data, automation, and artificial intelligence, this must change, and we will outline some of the key steps needed to achieve that. This report is based on a study conducted globally in April to June 2018, with 1108 market researchers and insight professionals, and builds on our Market Research Knowledge Benchmarking Study 2017. […]

Sign with two directions

What is semiotics and how is it used?

Posted by Ray Poynter 17 July 2018 At the most basic level, semiotics is the study of how meaning is made. We often hear that semiotics is the study of signs, but that is only true when we take a very broad view of what a sign is, i.e. anything that communicates a meaning beyond itself. For example, the word Rose is a sign that can signify the plant, and the plant (a red rose) can be a sign that signifies love or passion (or the England rugby team). At one level, we all interpret signs every day of our lives, we negotiate the signage of human interactions, purchases, work, travel etc. In most cases we do this successfully because we have learned how to decode and use the signs in our everyday lives. However, the ability to understand how other people interpret signs, how new signs might be interpreted, and the linkage between different signs is a specialised discipline, that of the semiotician. Where semiotics becomes useful to marketers, market researchers, and insight professionals is where we hope to change behaviour, which typically means either creating new signs, or changing the way that signs are interpreted. For example, a […]

Image of the report

Market Research Knowledge Benchmarking Study 2017

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 […]

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.

Picture of Chicago

Should Ambitious Market Research Companies Adopt the American Way?

Market Research is becoming more and more USA dominated. The ESOMAR revenue figures for market research show that in 2006 the USA accounted for 34% of all market research. By 2015, the USA accounted for 45%. By contrast, many other key countries have declined in terms of their share of the global total: France from 8% to 5%, Germany from 8% to 7%, Japan from 5% to 4%, and Brazil from 2% to 1%. Does this shift, from the rest of the world to the USA, indicate that the USA model is better? Should aspiring research companies, ones that want to expand internationally, become more like USA companies? In my opinion, there is some merit in the benefits of the USA model, but (as I will explain in this post), I think there are also benefits in what is sometimes called the ‘mid-Atlantic model’ – something that lives part way between Europe and North America. Why has the USA done so well? First, let’s look at why the USA has grown so strongly, in terms of market research. Key reasons include: The USA economy has grown, which facilitates growth in MR. The dollar has gone up in value – making […]