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This month’s “Word from the Board” is contributed by Carin Hercock. Carin joined the Board in July and has held senior positions in the industry both in client and agency land. She currently holds a senior role at Nielsen and is a member of the newly formed RANZ Strategic Plan Steering group. The Steering Group is currently made up of 7 members being 2 Board Members (Jason Shoebridge & Carin Hercock), 2 Fellows (Jesvier Kaur & Duncan Stuart), 2 RANZ Social Members (Jenni Anderson & Nicholl Oblitas-Costa) and RANZ CEO (Rob Bree). This is an exciting time for the Insights industry, as clients increasingly strive to become more consumer and customer focused, we have also seen new technologies & methodologies rapidly develop to meet needs for faster, deeper and more actionable insights. Given this changing environment and in accordance with the planned bi-annual review programme, it is timely to review the Purpose, Vision and Strategy of the Association. This review will be undertaken by the Board, in consultation with our membership and other key stakeholders. This will also be aligned with a review of our Constitution. To help facilitate our consultation process the Strategic Plan Steering Group has been formed. The objective of this group is to consult current, lapsed and potential members on their views around the Purpose, Vision and Strategic imperatives for the Association. The Board has agreed on a set of key questions that we will use to gain feedback from our broad community. These questions will cover a range of topics including who we should rep-

Publisher: Research Association Carin Hercock Executive Director, Consumer Insights, Nielsen

resent, the role we should play, and how we can best position ourselves in an evolving environment. The aim of the Steering Group is to develop and implement a consultation process to gain feedback for the Board by the end of February 2018. We know this is a busy time for our members, however we think this is an exciting opportunity to re-set our future path and strongly encourage you to participate in this process. We need you to have your say! In terms of the development of the Purpose, Vision and Strategy, the Board will be taking a clean sheet approach based on feedback from the consultation phase. Our aim is to have a draft recommendation agreed by the Board in March with a view to distributing a document for member feedback in April. A final set of recommendations will be distributed prior to the 2018 AGM which we would hope to formally adopt at the AGM. I am personally really excited to be a member of the Board in this changing environment and am excited about the opportunity to help develop a positive Purpose, Vision and Strategy for our Association and Industry. I hope you will all get involved and share your opinions and ideas. We know you all have them!

The dedicated team which produced this newsletter includes: Emily Bing Sue Cardwell Rachel Prendergast Nicola Legge Daniel Peeters George Wilks Robyn Moore Andrea Mitlag Layout and design by Charmaine Fuhrmann Images are copyright to their owners and should not be copied without permission Copyright (c) Stock.XCHNG Photos, 123RF Stock Photos, RA. InterVIEW is published four times a year by an enthusiastic sub-committee of the Research Association committee. The views expressed are not those of the Research Association. We welcome your input and your requests for advertising space.

Visit us: www.researchassociation.org.nz

Carin 3




Creating customer centric solutions with Andrea Mitlag


Word from the board

Book reviews with Duncan Stuart

60 Seconds with Ashita Nepak 4

5 Trends for market research with Sue Cardwell



24 RANZ Social Christmas party 2017


Are you denying your clients their natural high? Horst Feldhaeuser explains

Online advertising data sharpens brand understanding



Get ready to roar Best Practice Guide to Buying Research and Insight

The innovators hunt for value



In memory of ...

Movers & Shakers

QPMR Accrediation with Emily and Horst


29 Industry news

30 5


CENTRIC SOLUTIONS Back in 2014, business was booming for construction industry leader Hawkins. Conscious that this was at least partly due to the positive economic outlook, they recognised the need to drill down and identify what they were doing well so that they could ensure continued growth in any market. That’s when Think - Research to Results stepped in.

Andrea Mitlag

General Manager at THINK, Committee Member at RANZ 6 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017

Historically, the construction industry is a price-driven territory, based on small margins and long hours. Hawkins has been in the game since 1947 and the company’s track-record covers iconic buildings to award-winning developments. Gary Walker, EGM of Hawkins Building Projects (formerly known as Hawkins Construction), regarded his project teams as the foundation of the company’s success, but he knew their clients were becoming increasingly knowledgeable and involved with their projects and this had the potential for increased tension due to growing expectations.

Hawkins needed to shift from a transactional and price-driven approach to one of established long-term relationships and collaboration. It was crucial for project teams to identify clients’ pain-points, needs, and requirements, and service them accordingly. Think - Research to Results proceeded with a customised qualitative (Thick Data) approach, independently interviewing Hawkins’ clients. Project team members were rated on core client-centric capabilities such as accessibility, adaptability, problem-solving, communications and knowledge. Based on their findings, Think Research to Results built a new service model that was specifically targeted towards the clients wants and needs. This model was rolled out nationally to ensure a consistent experience for all customers. Tailored behavioural staff training was carried out and regular project team and client forums were established to keep up regular dialogues. “Think - Research to Results has helped us unlock the power of collaboration with our customers by providing a framework for identifying our barriers to effective communication and

providing the tools and training that allows us to think collectively about what matters to us all”, Gary Walker, EGM Hawkins. The team’s appetite for change and improvement really helped smooth the way for positive change. By continually measuring team’s client-centric effectiveness with benchmark results, Hawkins has achieved positive longterm collaboration with their customers that add value to all parties and avoids issues, delays, and added costs. Big Data may have been the talk of the town for the last few years - but as this article demonstrates - Thick Data is not to be overlooked. While Big Data provides a wealth of information on customer brand choice, frequency, repetition and preference, what is measurable isn’t the same as what is valuable. Thick Data sheds lights on buyer’s motivations for choosing one service over another, and the reasons behind repeat purchases. Get to know your customers better today, get in touch with Think – Research to Results. Andrea Mitlag (e) andrea@thinkresearch.co.nz (w) www.thinkresearch.co.nz 7


trends 1 for

market research By Sue Cardwell

Coming from a background in marketing and market research, Sue Cardwell now looks after customer experience and insight at Public Trust. “5 trends” is her regular contribution to InterVIEW. Sue helped relaunch InterVIEW in 2011, but is now happy to have handed the magazine on to fresh talent. She loves to hear your comments - tell her what you think with a tweet. lnked.in/suec @tuesdaysue 8 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017


Speaking of using technology for jobs traditionally done by humans, the unmanned retail store is a step closer to the mainstream. Picture this: you swipe in with your credit card to identify yourself. You self-check-out your goods, with remote attendants to support when needed. Stock (including expiration) is the responsibility of the delivery person. Genius or jobstealing? Either way, it’s becoming reality, mainly because it helps retailers stay open longer whilst controlling for rising staff costs.



The Singapore Red Cross is getting the elderly to talk to robots - and it’s working. “Ella” is aimed at isolated older people - not for social enrichment but to elicit a regular response from them - are they okay? In what is the most innovative use of Facebook chatbots I’ve seen so far, Ella not only understands when older people are in trouble and gets help, but she also reminds them to take medication. What great applications of chatbots have you seen?



Mobile now represents seven in ten of our “digital media minutes”, most of those on smartphones. Facebook is by far the most prevalent app used. The smart brands have been investing in talent that can produce mobile-ready, social media content so they can talk to us where we spend our time. But what does that mean for marketers? The content needs to work on a small screen. It needs to be simple to engage with - the fewer clicks the better. And if it’s “ephemeral content” - that is, the disappearing content features such as Instagram Stories - it’s even more exclusive and desirable. Read more at AdWeek.



With all these technology advances, some experiences can only delivered by a human being in person - your life depends on it. To say that having friends makes life better sounds obvious. What might surprise you is why. Psychologist Susan Pinker showed that face-to-face interactions boost brain chemicals that lower stress and “give us a little high”. Pinker describes the benefits as “stunning” - and with far-reaching implications. They also explain why women live on average 6 years longer than men - women spend more time in contact with others.


We’ve seen brands become more politically and socially aware recently, embracing controversial causes to grab the limelight. But what about staff? Some employers feel staff should also be able to support the causes nearest their hearts, so they’re giving them discretionary time off to do so. This is not just a day out fundraising for a charity, or doing a sporting event, however. We’re talking about being able to protest their government or attend an anti-abortion rally. Is this liberalism gone too far, a headline-grabbing stunt, or an enlightened view of the employee as a whole person?


Are you denying your clients their natural high? D

elivering insights to our clients is a moment of truth in our business. It’s exciting and immensely satisfying and, if we’ve done our job well, can deliver significant, long-term commercial value for the people we work with. I was reminded of this recently while attending the bi-annual Research Association of New Zealand (RANZ) conference and listening to a fascinating presentation from insights strategist Mark Buntzen of The Distillery. Mark’s thesis was that research agencies can be guilty of depriving clients of the ‘dopamine hit’ of uncovering insights. That is, we are so focused on delivering value (in the form of insights) to our clients that we often neglect to include them in the process and, as a result, they miss out on the excitement of helping to uncover those insights.

My own experience certainly confirms that there are many other benefits from involving clients more deeply in the research process, one of which is summed up by the old saying “Two minds are better than one” – that is, having more minds focused on the same problem increases the likelihood of discovering something significant. Clients also bring what I call a ‘watercooler’ view of the research data, the ability to connect it with their knowledge of the subtler, more nuanced aspects of their business – knowledge that only comes from being immersed in their business day in and day out.

Perhaps most importantly, involving clients earlier and more often in the research process means they are more likely to take ownership of the insights that result and focus on trying to leverage them in their business. Overall, it strengthens relationships between client and agency, based on a healthy degree of mutual respect. Mark urged research agencies to take more of a coaching role in the insights process, helping clients to arrive at an outcome, rather than managing the whole process themselves. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in this cocreation approach to uncovering insights. Modern tools allow research data and visualizations to be shared and modified more easily between agency and client. Agencies can share findings and encourage clients to discuss and comment – even to dive into the data themselves and have a play! Agencies and clients can collaborate to investigate different views of the data, or try different ways of visualising the data in an easy, iterative process. It’s an exciting way to ‘mainline’ the dopamine of insights.

Achieving ‘Kodak moments’ In a similar vein, I also enjoyed a presentation from RANZ Fellow Murray Campbell of Baseline Consulting. Murray talked wistfully about the disappearance of ‘Kodak moments’ – that is, the good old days when you queued at the photo shop counter to collect your envelope of holiday snaps, enjoying the anticipation of seeing your photos for the first time. What would be revealed? Had you managed to capture the essence of experiences you enjoyed? Would there be any outstanding photos in amongst the inevitable dud shots? Would there be an otherwise fantastic photo ruined by that one friend who always manages to close his eyes at just the wrong moment? Those days of anticipation are long gone. The rise of digital photography means we now get instant gratification when it comes to photos. Didn’t quite get the shot you wanted? Take it again (and

Horst Feldhaeuser is Group Client Director at Infotools. With over 15 years’ experience in the market research industry, Horst is a Fellow of RANZ, a Qualified Practicing Market Researcher (QPMR) and regular conference presenter. @nzfeldi 10 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017

again and again…). Colours don’t quite match your creative vision? Apply a filter. Someone (or something) unexpected in the photo? Cropping will take care of that. Seeing life through a camera lens has become so easy and habitual that we are in danger of focusing so much on recording the experience that we forget to actually enjoy the experience in real life! There are of course lots of advantages to the immediacy of digital photography – but it’s also the thing that has killed the delicious thrill of anticipation and discovery that was such a compelling part of those ‘Kodak moments’.

significant moments, we as the researchers are the ‘developers’ who bring technical skill to the task of delivering the outcome. We need to work with our clients to co-create ‘Kodak moments’ of powerful insights, to ensure we share the ‘dopamine hit’ that comes with uncovering powerful insights that directly influence business strategy and execution. These truly ‘a-ha’ moments of powerful insights are rare and that makes it all the more important to share them when they happen!

Similarly, in much the same way that we are drowning in an overflow of photos, are we in danger of being lost in the constant stream of data at our fingertips? Is there so much to look at that there is a real danger of missing the ‘a-ha’ insights because we can no longer see for all the looking?

Again technology has a role to play, with tools available to help us sift through the large volumes of information and uncover trends and patterns that can support the insight process. The right platform can bring these together, align with other data points, and create dashboards that we can review together with our clients to uncover insights.

Murray used it as a salutary reminder to the research sector to remain focused on our relevance, and not go the way of the failed camera film company. For me, the ‘Kodak moments’ analogy resonated as a cue about how powerful those moments can be for our clients. If they are the photographers, looking to record

To extend the ‘Kodak moments’ analogy to breaking point, in this digital world we as researchers need to be able to produce the equivalent of the research photo album, a coherent collection of snapshots that when brought together help us and our clients tell a rich story. 11

In memory of ...

Daniel Yankelovich In September one of our profession’s great pioneers died at his home in La Jolla, San Diego. Daniel Yankelovich was aged 92. His legacy is profound, and it reaches our New Zealand shores.

working as an adviser to the Clinton government in the late 1990s. His reports became compulsory reading for an Administration seeking to read the temper of the times and reinvent Government to suit the changing mood of the nation.

After WW2, in which he served, he came back to the US, finished his Masters degree in philosophy and psychology before heading to the Sorbonne, Paris earning his doctorate. Returning to New York in 1950 he entered the market research profession, but found many studies to be shallow, and many opinion polls to be focused on the small picture rather than the bigger seismic movements that were occurring in the post-war years within the USA. After founding his own MR company in 1958 he became fascinated by segmentation as a tool to unearth social trends, and he became equally fascinated by the widening generation gap in attitudes between the older generation and the more liberal young generation – a group called the baby-boomers: a term he greatly publicised.

Yankelovich didn’t always read the public mood accurately. Critics picked on his optimistic belief in the common-sense of the public, and various political predictions didn’t always turn out. But the vast output of his, including a regular output of books about American values, created a body of work that was always thoughtful, evidence-based and worth reading. He frequently appeared on TV, in magazines and academic media to the point that he became a household name.

He took market research from the land of consumption to the wider landscape of social change. From small trends to the underlying mega-trends. A strong believer in the whole idea of giving citizens a considered voice in the public and political discourse, he founded the Public Agenda Foundation in 1975 and soon, this being post-Nixon America, had the ear of the White House, later 12 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017

His DNA can be found in every social research project and marketing mega-trends report published since the 1960s.“Opinion polls just measure people’s unresolved, half-baked feelings and views,” he said last year, when the University of California, San Diego announced a $2million bequest from Mr. Yankelovich. “The challenge is to help the public think through, deliberate, dissolve their own conflicts and finally reach considered judgment. From my view as a student of public opinion, converting raw opinion into considered judgment is indispensable to the efficient functioning of public democracy.” As told by Duncan Stuart, Kudos Organisational Dynamics Ltd.

Ken Fink-Jensen It is with the deepest sadness that the Research Association Board of Trustees acknowledges the recent passing of our dear friend and RANZ Fellow, Ken Fink-Jensen. Ken died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday 18 October 2017, after a short illness. Ken founded Research New Zealand as the ‘Business Research Centre’ over 25 years ago, after returning to Wellington from Dunedin where he had been lecturing in Marketing at Otago University. He will be fondly remembered by many of his students; many of whom have gone on to have illustrious careers.

Ken will be sadly missed by the research community and colleagues. He was witty, knowledgeable and always a gentleman we could rely on. As told by Emanuel Kalafatelis, Research New Zealand

In addition to his lecturing, Ken did many other things which stood him apart from his peers, including introducing New Zealanders to ‘fancy’ cheeses while he was working at the New Zealand Dairy Board, establishing the Deming Institute in New Zealand, and spending over 10 years as the ConsulGeneral for Denmark in Wellington. Ken was an active member of MRSNZ and AMRONZ and was involved in many industry projects and causes. He was deputy-chair of AMRONZ and contributed greatly in his capacity as Wellington representative; speaking on behalf of industry to government officials on such matters as privacy, public registers, unsolicited messaging and GETS. 13

analysed 700M+ banner ad impressions across an extensive array of ad (appearance) serving and banner (touch) engagement metrics.

How probable is the “opportunity to see” any advertising? How reflective are the media consumption metrics compared to the reality of media consumption? For instance, even if TV ratings shifted to second-bysecond statics do we really know if people are paying attention or ignoring the advertising? Since Acquire Online started tracking online advertising with MOAT from October 2015, we have 14 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017

The MOAT system helps advertisers measure whether people see and engage with online ads at a publisher (URL) domain, browser and device level. This is especially pertinent given growing concerns over viewability, fraud and brand safety. It’s efficacy as an advertising measurement tool is reflected on the fact that it works with some big names including Nestle, Unilever, Facebook, ESPN and Snapchat. HOW MOAT BUILDS STRONGER ONLINE CAMPAIGNS AND HEALTHIER BRANDS With data from MOAT, we have completely changed how we value and buy inventory. Through MOAT we are confronting some fundamental questions:


• Is the viewer a person or a bot? • Was the ad placed on a page in time to see?

• Did the user touch the advertisement with a cursor or finger? • How long was that ad viewable? • How fast or slow are people scrolling through websites? • Are people hovering on the ad but not clicking?

MOAT delivers quarterly benchmarks for various countries. New Zealand benchmarks should be used by media and creative agencies to set expectations for ad campaign objectives for key metrics such as viewability and engagement ..... as well as CPM, CTR, CPC & CPA. Having all objectives in mind when organising a campaign (building whitelists & blacklists, selecting devices & ISPs, choosing creative type etc.) will significantly improve online trading tactics. There is no better research on publishers than the insights achievable from online viewability and engagement tracking tools like MOAT, as almost every ad impression can be monitored versus a small sample of ads.

There has been a history of dismissing viewability & engagement All online advertisers should track online advertising to: tracking in favour of performance (CPL • Ensure that good publishers are rewarded with higher or CPA) campaigns. CPMs However, while per• Remove the worst publishers with blacklists. formance campaigns • Give brands full visibility on the sites their ads appear. are optimised to end goal, we know from • Reduce budget wastage by optimising on good creatives attribution tracking and engaged audiences. that better viewable • De- crease invalid traffic by significantly minimising bot inventory has a influence (i.e. increase targeting on real people engaging direct influence with your ads). on future conversion actions being • Understand how users are engaging with your banner taken. creative through heat mapping.


• Help publishers to understand the relationship between their audiences and advertising appearing on their pages (vs. their competition).

televisions for the first time (37.6% against 35.9%), totalling NZD$313.8 billion. Not only that, but within digital, programmatic (automated ad buying) is set to grow by 25.4%.

So, what does this mean for a research agency? At the analysis and reporting side, it means the WHAT DO WE KNOW? agency can have a greater understanding into (Desktop Benchmarks Q2 New consumer behaviour and interaction with a Zealand from MOAT) brand. Are rural customers not able to load ads because the creative is too complex for their The MOAT benchmark from Q2 internet speed? And is that why their awareness can give us a NZ perspective on of a new product line is low? Are urban performance for banner advertising commuters scrolling past an ad because it’s on desktop devices. These metrics too text heavy as they are scanning through include: the news during their morning commute? 97.8% In-View Measurable Rate. Could that be why they find the ads annoying The percentage of impressions and feel more negatively towards a brand? where viewability-related metrics Understanding these factors along with the were measured. It is calculated as insights gained from market research will give the number of In-View Measurable a deeper level of knowledge into a brand’s Impressions divided by the number ecosystem and in turn allow them to deliver of Impressions Analysed. stronger and more refined recommendations 61.9% On-Screen Rate. The percentage to clients in an advertising world that growing of impressions where at least one ever more complex, fast-pace and evolving. pixel of the ad was in-view with focus. 53.3% In-View Rate. Percentage of impressions where at least 50% of an ad was In-View for at least one continuous second. If the ad is as large or larger in area than 970x250 (e.g. 300x1050 or 970x418), then it only needs to have 30% of its area In-View. Click here to see full results DIGITAL AD MEASUREMENT IN THE RESEARCH AGENCY REALM There is no escaping that digital advertising is growing. According to Dentsu Aegis Network’s (DAN) Ad Spend Forecast (June 2017), digital’s share of ad spend is set to surpass 16 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017

Anthony Ord is a Founder of Acquire Online which is NZ’s leading independent trading desk, providing programmatic support to 30+ NZ Agencies and 120-150 advertiser campaigns per month. Acquire Online appeared in the Deloittes Fast 50 finals in 2016 & 2017 and has won numerous industry awards, such as the Grand Prix at the IAB 2017 and the best use of performance at the APAC Drum Digital Awards.



Nicola Legge Market research Manger BNZ 18 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017

MRS UK recently released a new publication with a very functional title: “Best Practice Guide to Buying Research and Insight”. But don’t let the title fool you. The 20 page booklet reflects and promotes the growing recognition among the Marketing procurement industry that Marketing and its cousins (including Market Research and Advertising) needs to be treated a little differently than other business purchases. For both agencies and clients this is important.

business is dynamic, and our industry, like many others, is fighting for attention in a world where technology is accelerating, margins are tight and good people seem to be harder than ever to find. According to Gerry Preece, an expert in the field of Marketing Procurement, agencies have been slow to realise that while their clients have professional buyers, this needs to be matched with sellers of similar standing. For that type of model to work, both agencies and clients need to work on their ROAR.

We are all too aware that our

ROAR? Not as primal as it sounds!

the key criteria for our very own RAEAWARDS. On reflection it is common sense that the same agency will deliver a different project for a different price – the quality of the agency hasn’t changed, but the constraints under which they are work have. Buying on price alone has never been a great idea.

investment mindset, highlights how specifications are difficult to set and may not reflect quality, how methodological differences matter in delivering the best outcome and how quality assurance is signalled in market research practice.

The MRS booklet is therefore useful for both clients and agencies alike. For clients, it clearly makes the argument for the purchase of market research to be based on more than just price, and what buyers’ basic expectations should be. It promotes the

For agencies, the booklet may prove a useful consciousnessraiser and a useful reminder to clients that the likely effectiveness of the research should be key to the purchase decision. It presents a strong argument in favour of a more nuanced approach than horse-trading. But it also has another implication – and

ROAR stands for Return On Analysis and Research. This concept recognises the special nature of marketing-related consulting, and a change in mindset from a cost-based one to an investment-based one. This distinction is important. We all know Marketing spend is among the first to be cut when the going gets tough – and Market Research along with it. It is largely regarded as discretionary expenditure, which makes it vulnerable to a cost focus. To mount an argument against this, the focus needs to be redirected towards the return generated – precisely one of

that is that the industry needs to get smarter about the way it presents research findings. We will increasingly need to communicate the implications of our work in the language the business understands. This may mean opening ourselves to greater scrutiny in terms of “standing by our work” – being prepared to link it (even indirectly) to hard metrics, so we can deliver a loud and persuasive ROAR. The MRS UK Guide To Buying Research and Insight is free to download upon registration and can be found here. 19


ProRoss Pearce, ager at gramme Man ovation Callaghan Inn many has assisted oss Auscompanies acr mercialtralasia to com how and ise their know d comdeliver improve through mercial results n and good innovatio e. design practic 20 InterVIEW


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tion Value Innova w e N ). n o ti va tial ative inno of the poten w e vi a s d e e certainly n es more on ape, but reli sc d n la t e rk icism, rema ideation, crit ve ti a e cr f o s veal new cycle g to slowly re in st te d n a n arch flectio Market rese s. ie it n u rt o p p bout value o ed to think a e n o ls a s n o organisati their offer in skill sets to se e th g in d d a te innovation de a comple vi ro p to r e ord ice. support serv et reditional mark a tr r fo s ge Challen e: search includ

data is g amount of in lm e h rw ve ng cusAs an o round existi a d te ra e n erns, being ge d buying patt n a rs u o vi a h tomers be sinesses is for most bu ge n e ll a ch e th ta and then g relevant da in fy ti n e id t u terms of abo that data in f o se n se g omers. makin ets and cust rk a m g n ti is et retheir ex rea that mark a s u o vi b o n vide a This is a and will pro rt o p p su n search ca wth for the advisory gro f o e rc u so rich next decade. value, novating new in to s e m co for reWhen it challenging re o m s e m pe of this beco nature this ty s it y b s a searchers ed and may future focuss is n o ti va o n in d. Data for g new groun in k a re b e b be counwell rch may well a se re f o e p e creathis ty constrain th d n a e iv ct u rough terprod d to push th e d e e n m o d omer tive free tics and cust ly a n a ta a d n what pure identify as a rch may not a se re rm t o gh sf n si in tra cremental vs n (i y it n u rt o opp

data • Too much telligence • Artificial In of change eed and rate • Market sp s the future o longer map n st a p e Th • onal Transformati vs l ta n e m e • Incr innovation cycles nd validation a g in st te id p • Ra products) imum viable (MVP: Min




NEPAK Having previously worked in various research roles in India, Ashita moved to New Zealand in 2014, and works with Auckland Transport as an Insights Advisor. She loves visiting new places and never misses a long weekend to explore more of the country. Seeing first snowfall in Queenstown was her best experience ever! She lives in Glenfield with her husband and is contemplating getting a St. Bernard puppy to join their family.

FRIDAY NIGHT DRINKS? MEET ME AT My den – Friday is movie night with popcorn, pizza and drinks on the menu! I GET STRESSED OUT BY I’m a neat freak so of course messy people stress me out TO RELAX, I Check out the latest fashion trends and indulge in watching make-up tutorials on YouTube INTERVIEW IS COMING TO DINNER I’M COOKING Some succulent, finger licking creamy butter chicken! It’s a winner! MY DREAM HOLIDAY IS To travel the world on an exotic cruise. To experience and be marvelled by the wonders across the globe, starting off from the heritage temples of South-East Asia to a breath-taking experience of witnessing the Northern Lights... AN IDEAL WEEKEND Late start to the day, a hearty brunch …. followed 22 InterVIEW


by a long drive, just soaking up the beauty of life around us! PEOPLE WHO HAVE INSPIRED ME RECENTLY I loved listening to Maysoon Zayid on TED Talks: I got 99 problems, palsy is just one THE BEST THING I’VE LEARNT IN MY CAREER IS Always leave a position or department better than you found it MY WORST JOB WAS More crazy than worse, I briefly worked at my dad’s clinic, allocating appointment slots to patients. You must be there to experience the mayhem IF I WASN’T A MARKET RESEARCHER I WOULD BE I would own a quaint restaurant, a space to relax and enjoy good food and of course there will be wine THE LIFE LESSON I WISH I HAD LEARNT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER That gratitude needs to be my BAE




Curiosity hasn’t killed this research cat, not so far. Duncan has been a researcher since 1993 and he continues to do the late nights and worried sleeps endemic in our profession. His strategy has always been: spend 20% of your working life learning truly new stuff and trying new things. He is both a Fellow and a Life Member of RANZ.




By Pedro Domingos Penguin 2015 $30.00

Domingos is an active champion of machine learning, and his talks on YouTube are lively and enthusiastic. Here he traces the pathway toward what he sees as the inevitable development: a Master Algorithm that will effectively discover everything and drive a revolution in the human experience. Our every want and need will be understood by our technology before we’re even aware of these needs. “Your gin, sir,” says the Robo-Butler. “Ahh, thankyou Bot, and would you fetch me…’ “…your favourite slippers sir? I believe I’ve already slipped them onto your feet.” Where Domingos is strong is in his explanation of the different types of machine learning including: 1. Symbolist – using logic, deduction and inverse deduction 2. Bayesian – probability based inference 3. Evolutionary – ‘genetic algorithms’ that mutate toward a better fit 4. Analogisers – looking for similarities 5. Neural Networks – iterative trial of different inputs to predict outputs Each has strengths and weaknesses, and the architecture of the ultimate machine learning will, the author predicts, combine facets of each approach it wades, at blazing speed, through the expanding universe of Big Data. Already the achievements of these algorithms are underappreciated by most of us. It takes a mountain of big data calculations for Facebook to recognise and name your friends automatically, when you post a photo. These different approaches are used in the development of robots too. For example, to enable a robot to recognise a situation and learn from it. Driverless cars don’t come as a pre-programmed package so much as they’re set forth, governed by a few rules, to learn their driving environment and to discern potential hazards. They don’t use a single learning approach: they seek an optimum, several times per second, between the competing calculations. The author is good at explaining things and the book is very readable, though it helps no-doubt if you already have a background in IT, computer learning or Big Data. I like the way he fills in the back story behind the different approaches, and the way he illustrates – through good storytelling – how things work. Where he falls short, in my opinion, is in his lack of discussion about the moral consequences of a world in which machine learning starts to (if it hasn’t started already,) to trump human decision-making. Think Tom Cruise in the 2002 film, Minority Report, in which artificial intelligence ensures murderers are predictively arrested before they commit their crime: such is the certainty of smart algorithms. Instead, Domingo who is a professor of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Washington relishes this brave new world with unrestrained zest. Bring it on, he says.

WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION By Cathy O’Neil Penguin 2016 $30.00

A good counterpoint to the cheerleading volume by Pedro Domingos is Cathy O’Neil’s critical take on how algorithms are increasingly screwing with people’s lives. A self-confessed maths nerd, O’Neil became aware through her Wall St job that smart algorithms are, at best, human assumptions and generalisations put into a seemingly anodyne mathematical format. Are they really so neutral? Not when general findings are then applied often quite wrongly to specific individuals. An example seen in the October 26th issue of the New York Times makes the point. In 2013, police officers in Wisconsin arrested a man driving a car that had been used in a recent shooting. The man, Eric Loomis, pleaded guilty to attempting to flee an officer, and no contest to operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. Neither of his crimes mandates prison time. At Mr. Loomis’s sentencing, the judge cited, among other factors, Mr. Loomis’s high risk of recidivism as predicted by a computer program called COMPAS, a risk assessment algorithm used by the state of Wisconsin. The judge denied probation and prescribed an 11-year sentence: six years in prison, plus five years of extended supervision. No one knows exactly how COMPAS works; its manufacturer refuses to disclose the proprietary algorithm. We only know the final risk assessment score it spits out, which judges may consider at sentencing. Something about this story is fundamentally wrong: Why are we allowing a computer program, into which no one in the criminal justice system has any insight, to play a role in sending a man to prison? The full NYT story can be read here: The point is an important one. It is one thing for research to show, for example, that people of a certain ethnicity are at greater risk of Behaviour A, but it is quite another thing to let such a generalised finding apply to all people of that ethnicity. A moral line has been crossed. In story after story O’Neil shows how people have been victimised by ‘smart’ analytics and ‘trusted’ algorithms, not to mention by the art of data merging which enables data scientists (like us) to draw inferences about individuals even when we have no specific data about those individuals. A good teacher gets sacked because of an algorithm. A university spends millions to game the University Rankings algorithm. City police forces target black citizens in a strategy that becomes self-fulfilling. An insurance company rorts people on the basis of their credit records compiled by another entity. Or Facebook technology, as we’ve seen recently, helps Russian trolls to micro- target individuals susceptible to pro-Trump propaganda. Where does it end? O’Neil is openly outraged, and since we are now in a data driven world where the data we gather might help build some of these smart algorithms, perhaps we should be too. These days we in the information profession are part of the story. 25








26 InterVIEW











RANZ 2017 CHRISTMAS PARTY! With an early start to the festive season, RANZ hosted the 2017 Christmas Party at The Oakroom on November 17. Thanks to everyone who joined us, it was a great night filled with food, drinks, and catch-ups all

round. To add to the festive spirit, we collected some generous donations from everyone for the Auckland City Mission. A big thank you to our sponsor SSI, for helping put on an awesome night and a fantastic end to the year. 27

28 InterVIEW DECEMBER 2017

Become a Qualified Practising Market Researcher (QPMR) in 2018! QPMR is the professional benchmark that recognises experienced market and social researchers. It is a recognised qualification in Australia and New Zealand by peers and clients that demonstrates your commitment to the industry, and your extensive experience and formal qualifications. This is the first time RANZ members have been eligible to gain QPMR accreditation through the Australian Market & Social Research Society. Two current RANZ members, Horst Feldhaeuser, Infotools and Emily Bing, Pureprofile (both accredited with QPMR since 2012) talk about the benefits of QPMR and why it’s an exciting offer for RANZ members. Why did you sign up for QPMR? Horst: I was working in Sydney at the time and QPMR is very prevalent in Australia. I also felt it was a good process to apply my practical knowledge to a ‘theoretical’ test. Apart from the application, at the time one had to sit a test (no longer required) and do the practical exam. I really enjoyed the process as it was all stuff I knew and was interesting to go through the whole process, including questions regarding qualitative and quantitative research. Emily: I was working in Melbourne and wanted to gain recognition in the industry as a qualified researcher. There is a sense of prestige being part of the QPMR membership and this is definitely recognised among clients - especially social researchers where we had clients who specified that QPMR was a requirement of their research project team. Refreshing my memory of research theory to prepare for the exam was challenging (like going back to university!) but I actually really enjoyed it. What are some of the key benefits you've gained since becoming a QPMR? Horst: For Australian clients QPMR is a recognised accreditation. Also, just an heightened awareness to constantly develop myself and keep up with the latest in our industry. Emily: Mostly the recognition from clients, but also it’s a good way to keep up to date with the industry and continue learning and building your knowledge.

Any advice for those considering QPMR? Horst: Becoming a QPMR is a great way for us here in NZ to piggy-back on the Australian accreditation process so just go for it! It’s interesting (and fun) to do the practical exam. And it’s not hard to continue to get your points and keep your QPMR diary up to date. Emily: Brush up on your reading and theory and lock in a date to sign up! It’s all stuff you probably know anyway so it’s definitely worthwhile doing once in your career.




NICOLA LEGGE From: Research Director, Ipsos To: Market Research Manager, BNZ After many years with Ipsos (and it’s previous incarnations, Synovate and Research Solutions), Nicola has moved client-side to BNZ. Joining the busy market research team at the bank, Nicola’s focus will be on actionable insights to support the business’s strategic agenda.

SPENCER WILLIS From: CEO, Bloggers Club To: Creative Technologist, Z Energy NZ Spencer joins Z Energy as part of a relentlessly curious team that is a catalyst for innovation by exploring and incubating next generation products and services that help solve what matters for a moving world. 29


Research Now and SSI announced their merger agreement in October bringing together their global capabilities in providing research solutions. The close of the merger transaction is expected by the end of the year, after the standard regulatory review process. Read the full news release here.

Colmar Brunton, Kantar TNS NZ and NeedScope International have moved into newly built premises on Sale Street in the Auckland CBD. While all agencies continue to operate separately, the new offices allow for greater collaboration when required by their shared clients. Read the full news release here.

Global Research Business Network (GRBN) have been busy creating ENGAGEa handbook of practical advice to help researchers create great user experiences. They have also just released their report on the ROI of Insights, based on the research by Boston Consulting Group undertaken earlier this year in partnership with GRBN.

Research Now Launches SmartTracker™, a tool that integrates tracker data with additional, relevant data for more actionable insights. SmartTracker enables market researchers, brand managers, and advertising agencies to directly connect tracker survey data to diverse data sources for more relevant insights to optimise strategic decisions. Read the full press release here.


SAVE THE DATE Start thinking about your Research Effectiveness Award entries for our event

FRIDAY, 17 AUGUST 2018 More details will be released in the new year

Profile for Research Association NZ

Interview Q4 December 2017  

Interview Q4 December 2017  

Profile for mrsnz