Are Surveys Heading For Extinction? The Approaching Storm.

October 26, 2009

In the next few years there will be a significant lift in the use of traditional “fact gathering”,  ad hoc surveys. This will be driven by demand for data in growth economies and in sectors where currency services and data-bases are still in their infancy. At the same time, in developed markets, as the recession recedes and firms start to generate cash they will realise a need to reacquaint themselves with consumers whose lives and values have been transformed by recent events. This Indian Summer of the traditional survey will not last, however, and firms that get fooled by the burst of prosperity and fail to prepare (by investing in R&D, software, and training) for a new world will ultimately fail.
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Faced with Two Conflicting Choices, the Best Advice is – “Take Both”

October 16, 2009

When building a career in MR, researchers are faced with the dilemma of whether to specialise or take the path of a generalist. There’s often the temptation to avoid specialising and instead chase as wide a range of experiences as possible. This exposure to the whole gamut of options helps you select the ones most appropriate and ultimately beneficial for you, personally. But how do you balance being seen as well-rounded but possibly a bit shallow against being typecast as too specialised and thus potentially not adaptable to changing circumstances in mid-career? Over time there are definitely advantages in being a Jack of All Trades, so long as you’re a Master of One. Read On..>

Are Surveys Headed For Extinction?

October 8, 2009

Every year an increasing number of surveys are being carried out in more and more countries. Only a decade or so ago many people lived out their lives without a single interviewer asking their opinion on the government of the day or paper towel brands. In major cities at least, it’s a rare person who can say that today. Yet, these staples of our industry are increasingly under threat, partly by new alternatives, partly by social changes and possibly, in largest part, by our collective inattention as an industry. Time, in my view, to rethink what a survey is good for and reinvent what we do with them.
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Managing and Maximising the Budget Process – Play the Game not the System

October 2, 2009

Leo Burnett once wrote “When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either”. Early in my career as a ‘gopher’ in their London office, I recall being regularly inspired by this quote neatly embossed in copper on the wall behind reception.

Both senior management and country leadership would do well to heed Mr. Burnett’s words by as they work together on next year’s budgets. One of the big challenges at this time is to get the more conscientious country managers to set the best target they can achieve, whilst in the back of their minds lie fears of failure, low bonuses, and even missed promotions, should they not make or exceed their targets.

As much as a measure of prudence rather than deceit, the system often directs managers to lowball their forecasts with tales of woe built around faltering economies and slashed client budgets. When it comes time to pitch to the board, they will hope to distract their seniors with all manner of unfortunate circumstances peculiar to their country and their country alone. Read On..>