AMA Marketing Research Conference

Congrats to AMA’s Emerging Market Research Leaders: 4 under 40

On the concluding morning of the AMA Marketing Research Conference, the AMA recognized its Market Research Emerging Leaders, 4 under 40. We want to extend our congratulations to these outstanding market researchers who are shaping the future of our industry. Here are the winners and a little about them.

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Tom DeRuyck: Senior Consultant ForwaR&D Lab, InSites Consulting.
Tom is also deeply involved in one of the leading research sites in Europe BAQMAR.be. His specialty is online research and social media use in research. He is very active in the blogosphere and is often quoted as an expert in online market research.

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Kristin Luck: President of Decipher, Inc.
Decipher is a technology-driven firm in the survey data processing space.
Previously, Kristin was one of the founders and an EVP of OTX which was the fastest growing market research firm in 2002 and 2003. The company was recently sold to Ipsos. She is very active in the industry appearing and speaking at numerous conferences.

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Nick Harrington: Consumer Research Manager, Procter & Gamble
Nick was educated in the UK but now works in Cincinnati with P&G.

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Tom H.C. Anderson. CEO, Anderson Analytics.
Anderson Analytics is a market research consultancy that leverages new technologies, such as data and text mining, with traditional market research techniques. Tom has been active in industry associations including ESOMAR and the Merlien Institute. He is very active in leading discussions on many market research sites.

Conferences Show DIY Market Research on Everyone’s Radar

Everyone wonders about the impact of DIY (do-it-yourself) market research. However, the proliferation of easy-to-use and inexpensive tools on both the qualitative research and quantitative research sides leave little doubt that DIY research will grow.

A couple of weeks ago at the ESOMAR Congress in Athens, we noticed organizations attempting to better understand the depth and speed of DIY proliferation. This week at the AMA Marketing Research Conference in Atlanta, a session on DIY research was one of the best attended break-out sessions. In addition, when talking to end-user “client” researchers, I notice that they show a high level of interest in easy-to-use solutions that allow them to save their budget and conduct more research.

Currently, most researchers think of DIY as “fast and dirty” Zoomerang surveys or maybe a large community that they can access themselves. However, DIY will grow into many other methods as social media gets easier to access, qualitative research software becomes simpler and mobile qualitative research grows.

Everyone is anxious about this trend. Research firms worry about the amount of business they may lose. End user research teams wonder how much more work will be added to their workload, yet they also see opportunities for broader research capabilities on limited budgets.

So, a significant trend to watch is the spread of DIY research and the support it gains (or loses) among the various industry players who have skin in the game.

AMA Research Conference: Challenging Researchers to Be BOLD

Day 1:  Direct from the AMA Marketing Research Conference

Market researchers and research agencies are being challenged to step out of their “research” roles and step up to being a catalyst for transformation in their organizations.

Words used this morning to describe the best “researcher” have been:

  • Bold researcher
  • Game changer
  • Creating business impact
  • Provoking transformation
  • Focus on business outcomes, not research outcomes

End users are tired of researchers who are good at supplying data but don’t impact the business. Gayle Lloyd of Batesville Casket Company says  69% of executives want a researcher who is a business partner. In that same survey, 29% said they had one.  Researchers and agencies are “head down” in data and not “heads up” addressing transformational business issues. She notes that the corporate researcher should be an “oracle” within the company as a source of knowledge and insights, not just a databank.

It seems to me that this transition is difficult and will require a different personality type. For most researchers, the functional research process is easy and comfortable. It is the rare researcher who can accept Gayle Lloyd’s challenge to be a “Bold Researcher” and become a true asset to the decision-making for strategic initiatives in an organization. As an industry we will need to change how we hire, motivate and compensate the research team.

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