This past year was filled with challenges and triumphs for the market research industry and the world. So, as 2023 kicks off, we review the sage advice shared from the global experts featured in ‘Insight250’ Winners Series, from leaders and legends across the market research, consumer insights, and data-driven marketing sectors.
The following is a rundown of top tips from experts who span a spectrum of points, perspectives, companies, and countries. These individuals provide helpful advice to any professional, whether they are just embarking on their career or have extensive expertise. Here is hoping that having this insight organised in this two-part series helps you focus on kicking off a great 2023.
I’ve attempted to split these top tips into themes that reflect different dimensions of professional life. If you want to hear more from any of these innovators and leaders of our profession, you can find all of the interviews on Insight250.com.
I hope you find this as helpful as I did - here’s wishing everyone a fantastic coming 2023 and don’t forget to submit your Insight250 nominations at Insight250.com.
Focus on people
Darren Henry, Head of Insight & M&I, ATOS
“Always remember to ask questions in the way people think and feel, as it will help improve the volume and depth of feedback provided. In short, the surveys and feedback need to be human-centered in their design and delivery.”
Danny Sims, Founder and Chairman, DJS Research Ltd.
“Create a purpose-driven and inclusive culture where you listen to staff and harness their ideas – you will uncover hidden talents that will help fuel growth and business improvement.”
Martin Filz, Chief Executive Officer, Pureprofile
“Put your team front and centre, this will mean people are engaged, proactive, positive, problem-solving, innovative, and motivated. In turn, this will attract clients and more team members.”
Joaquim Bretcha, International Director, Netquest
“Technology has blinded us during the last decade. I like to repeat that technology is not neutral, it is not an end, but a means to improve our profession. Understanding human behaviour is what our profession is all about. This is a profession made by people who understand people for people making decisions. Let’s always keep people at the heart of our activity.”
Trust your strengths
Sinead Jefferies, Founder, Vela
“Take time to figure out what helps you be the best at work, and then take ownership of achieving that for yourself. Find the best way for flexibility to work for you and go out there and get it.”
Rita Clifton, Former Chair, BrandCap
“Be yourself because you’ll never be as good at trying to be someone else. Just make sure you are developing the skills, experience, and mindset to be your best self.”
Have an attitude of gratitude
Martin Squires, Director of Advanced Analytics, Pets at Home
“Always remember, even on the high-stress days, this is a great way to earn a living, getting to interact with all areas of a business, and influence decision-making. My grandad was a coal miner and then served in the RAF. When I think it’s heavy going, I just look at his picture and remember how lucky I am to be doing this stuff. Keep going, keep learning.”
Keep an eye out for opportunities
Rob Key, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Converseon
“If you're looking to forge a career in quantitative analysis, unstructured conversation data still represents a compelling and largely "greenfield" opportunity. With unstructured data growing exponentially, there is a palpable need to better mine this data for critical insight. The ability to
transform this messy, wild data into effective business intelligence through applied AI, data science, and some savvy subject matter expertise is in high demand for a world where speed to insight can't come fast enough.”
Kristi Zuhlke, Founder and Board Member, KnowledgeHound
“There is almost always a possibility to pilot technologies, so don't skip out on the opportunity to understand how they can add real value due to a price point. Just ask for the pilot.”
Mark Langsfeld, Chief Executive Officer, mTab
“Maintain a keen eye on technology advancements, but don’t get easily enamoured with them. Make sure that they serve an effective purpose in bettering your business while removing complexity or obsolete practices. Technology needs a purpose for it to drive success.”
Consider your widespread impact
Jem Fawcus, Owner and Group CEO, Firefish
“Play an active part in the discussions as we continue to work out how our industry can have the biggest impact on issues like helping to solve the climate crisis.”
Jo Causon, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Customer Service
“I often talk about the importance of purpose, relevance, and impact. As a business, ask yourself who you are here to serve, why you are relevant, and who would miss you if we weren’t here. Measure impact, not activity, and think about the legacy you want to leave.”
Understand your business
Ed Clarke, Market Research Director, Microsoft
“Spend the time to understand the business question(s) and background related to the business issue your stakeholders are solving for. This will put you in a much better position to push back when a stakeholder says they would like you to conduct some focus groups or IDI’s for them. That may or may not be the optimal approach to helping them solve their business question.”
Embrace the team
Kyle Findlay, Senior Data Science Director, Kantar
“Don’t assume that everyone knows better than you or that all problems are solved; there’s often a better way of doing it, and if you build the right networks, and surround yourself with the right people, you can do cool things and make money.”
Anne-Sophie Damelincourt, Founder & Owner of Blue Lemon Insight & Strategy “I believe that we must keep joining forces with our innovative spirit to showcase the value and ethics of our insights & analytics industry.”