ESOMAR 25th Latin American Conference, interview with Xabier Palacio

3 March 2023

I had the pleasure of speaking with Xabier Palacio, Head of the Intelligence Unit at ESOMAR and a well-respected industry expert who will be presenting at the event.

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5 min read
Xabier Gaby Interview

I am thrilled to share that I will be attending the 25th Latin America Conference - Magic of Insights, taking place in Mexico City for the very first time! As a newcomer to this event, I was eager to learn more about what to expect and the significance of ESOMAR's decision to hold this event in Mexico City this year. Luckily, I had the pleasure of speaking with Xabier Palacio, Head of the Intelligence Unit at ESOMAR and a well-respected industry expert who will be presenting at the event.

During our conversation, Xabier shared valuable insights about the event's relevance to the industry and the region, and he also gave us a sneak peek at the topic he will be covering. Join me as we dive deeper into the 25th LATAM Congress - Magic of Insights and gain invaluable knowledge from the expert himself.

Gabriela Küsters: Hi Xabier, it is good to have you with us and give us your perspective on the industry.

Xabier Palacio: Hi, Gabriela, thanks for the opportunity.

GK: So, ESOMAR will be organising its 25th anniversary of Latin American events in Mexico City in April, and you will be addressing the crowd during that event. Why is this event relevant?

XP: Indeed, and I am looking forward to presenting my ideas to the attendees. The Latin American event is a very special one. It gathers the best experts in the industry in the region. It is a great window to peek into the industry’s complexities in these countries, the challenges they face and the creative ways they are using to overcome them, especially during and after the pandemic. Latin America showed the world how to best deal with the shortcomings of a crisis and how to adapt to them successfully. The historical instability of the region turned out to be a very particular strength during these uncertain times. And the world should draw quite a few lessons from it.

GK: What will be the topic of your session?

XP: I will delve into the idea of the added value of the reporting and business advisory part of the research journey.

GK: And why is this topic relevant for this audience?

XP: Well, according to our reports, the Latin American region shows relatively high levels of established research methods and an intense usage of human input in data collection. When we look at some other countries of the world, we see a possible path of how the industry could develop. My presentation will explain the next step to add value to the production of insights, as well as revenue to the companies, without needing to take the long road for development and discovery that other countries had to take.

GK: Could you highlight what this next step looks like?

XP: I can summarise it, but providing all the details here would probably keep us in our seats for the rest of the day… [laughs]

GK: [laughs] No need to go through the entire presentation; just a teaser for our audience.

XP: No problem. We have been witnessing the well-known phenomenon of the democratisation of data collection. It is usually described as the easier accessibility to data by research agencies and companies’ insights and customer insights departments. At a more financial level, however, this means that choosing the right collection methods has a lesser impact on the cost of a project than before, and this is further influenced by self-serve research platforms, of course. With the price of research falling, the margins for profit are falling as well, and, equally, client firms perceive, rightly or wrongly, that they can achieve at least the same results with the same or lower budgets. I will argue that the key to higher margins for profit lies not in managing the costs of the research function but in expanding the role of the researcher into business advisory and enterprise consulting.

GK: That is a great teaser, and I wouldn’t want to miss this presentation! ESOMAR’s 25th Latin American conference will group more than 20 presentations from 40 industry experts, will bring a selection of companies to its expo, and we will continue to follow its content both onsite as well as online. All the info can be found at Xabier, thanks so much for your input, and we will see you in Mexico City!

XP: Thank you for having me here, and I hope to meet all the delegates at the event. The LATAM conference never ceases to amaze me, and while the presentations are top of their game, it is the participants that really make it unique. I’d recommend it to anyone. Thanks!

I invite you to visit our website to explore The Magic of Insights - Latin America. You can still purchase tickets, and the complete programme is now available. Let's celebrate 25 years of uniting the top leaders of the research industry at the ESOMAR LATAM event.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Gabriela Küsters
Head of Marketing at ESOMAR