Pause Button

Hit the Pause Button

The world as we new it two weeks ago is gone. We are in a new normal, and we do not know how long this new normal will last. Ray Poynter explains why you should hit the pause button.

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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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Blockchain and Market Research – A force for disruption soon?

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 […]

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Are you a collaborative and productive worker? Does your employer know that? Are you sure?

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 […]

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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 […]