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The newsletter of the Market Research Society of New Zealand

InterVIEW Q4 2011

We track them down to find out the truth about NZ MR’s brain drain.



InterVIEW | October 2011


October 2011 | InterVIEW


Publisher: Market Research Society of New Zealand The dedicated team which produced this newsletter includes: Sue Cardwell Claire Lloyd Karin Curran Nicola Legge Robyn Moore Kris Mayo Visit us:

Like us:

Follow us:!/ResearchNZ

Images are copyright to their owners and should not be copied without permission. Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos InterVIEW is published four times a year by an enthusiastic sub-committee of the MRSNZ committee. The views expressed are not those of the MRSNZ. We welcome your input.

InterVIEW | October 2011


irst and foremost, the MRSNZ conference was uplifting. It showcased the great minds and emerging talent in our industry, and wowed us with the application of innovative tools and techniques. But more than that, the conference was a manifesto. It challenged us to stay brilliant, to be more of a voice in the boardroom, to be a hothouse for talent. In short, it was a cry to keep reinventing ourselves to remain cutting edge in five years’ time. This issue of InterVIEW looks at stepping up to those challenges. Our cover story, ‘Runaway researchers’, looks at why researchers train here and then leave. Many of you will have fond memories of ex-committee member Ngaia Calder who writes a special guest article about why she ran away to London. Rob Bree of AMRO gives us food for thought as he proposes a vision for the future of our two industry bodies. I recommend a careful read of Rob’s letter - it could change our industry. Jesvier Kaur looks at some of the frightening effects of the technology we designed to help us, a theme which is echoed in ‘Last Good Reads’. Colin Ingram shares what a psychologist makes of our ads coming up to election time. Bringing it all together, Research Now’s James Burge sums up the top ten trends taking place at the moment. You’ll also find the regular features you love: there are gems in our Letters page, good and sad news in ‘Movers & Shakers’, and make sure you diarise the upcoming events in ‘Save the Date’ - I look forward to seeing you there!

Patricio Pagani, President of the MRSNZ

October 2011 | InterVIEW




Leaving the door open Cover story

Letters It’s all about talent



P14 Runaway Girl Ngaia Calder


MRSNZ conference reviewed

Note to self Colin Ingram

Save the date Opportunities galore


P26 And the award goes to... MRSNZ conference


InterVIEW | October 2011


Movers & Shakers People & co’s

Last good read Guaranteed to terrify!

This matters Letter from AMRO




Are we losing our minds? Jesvier Kaur

Recent events SUGGing, social media & more

Welcome to new members

Top ten trends James Burge





October 2011 | InterVIEW

Letters to the editor 8

Thanks to all contributers for their thought-provoking letters. A bottle of bubbly goes to Linda for being our star letter writer this issue.

Star letter!

How do I get into research?

I am interested in the possibility of turning my career towards market research, specifically data analysis. Could you give me some advice on which are t h e most respected avenues of qualification? Or do any organisations provide ‘on the job’ training? My inquiry into market research and data analysis has come from a lifelong interest in statistics and its ability to 'paint a picture' of information that would otherwise remain invisible. I’m writing in search of guidance as to how (aside from embarking on a lengthy degree in statistics) one begins to aquire the skills required to gain employment in this field. There's a wealth of information on 'marketing' in general, but less so in the specifics of research and analysis. I would be interested to see reader feedback about what qualities employers in this industry value. Linda, Auckland

Peer review my segmentation I'm wondering if MRSNZ could help me with something? I have a customer segmentation underway and before we implement it, I'm quite keen to have someone from an organisation which has fully implemented their own customer segmentation peer review what we've done. Do you have any suggestions? Tess Labett Customer Intelligence, Housing New Zealand Corporation

InterVIEW | October 2011


Inspirational talent I want to share how much I was inspired by the MRSNZ Conference. I particularly want to comment on the wide range of experience and tenure represented by the attendees – ranging from well-experienced industry leaders through to new, up and coming people. We are so fortunate to have the depth of knowledge and experience in our industry and this is complemented by a strong sharing culture where we delight in encouraging and developing new talent. The Pecha Kucha-style presentations were a great example of this. During the conference there was much discussion about the future direction of Market Research and it is my hope that the training and development of our new talent is an integral part of our future. I look forward to a time when the Market Research industry is known and sought after as the best choice for those who really want to learn and excel in their career. The combination of experience and commitment to the development of our future-thinkers makes our industry well placed to become the career of choice for the truly curious. Diane Dickinson, National Research Director, Synovate October 2011 | InterVIEW


I wear a necklace all the time, it has two things on it, a St Christopher which was my dads when he was over here 30 years ago, and the Karen Walker runaway girl charm.

Runaway Ngaia Calder compares home sweet home with her new life in London.

InterVIEW | October 2011


Ngaia It has been seven months since I left the safety Aptly, wears her of New Zealand, my home sweet home, and Runaway Girl arrived in London. One week later I started pendant and full time at TNS Research International right her father’s St – in the heart of thriving ‘More London Place’ a Christopher patron saint of travel skip and a hop from the historic London Tower – close to her heart. Bridge. It only took me a mere few weeks to get into the groove of things. Sure I got lost my first day at work and was an hour late due to an ill-timed tube station fire drill. Yes, I have marvelled at the mushy peas accompaniment and lack of potato and gravy at KFC. But what really surprised me was just how easy it has that changes, and the more dubious I become been. I feel the exact opposite of intrepid, and about exactly where my place would or could yet I couldn’t be more fulfilled and satisfied be? with my lot in life at this very moment. We should be proud of our NZ market research I moved over here industry. In no way, shape or form do I believe primarily to explore that NZ research is inferior or behind the the world, the Kiwi times. In fact the only challenge we face is ‘OE’ you could say. our remoteness. Much like other industries Although unlike with a similar exodus of ‘youth’, there must be the vast majority recognition that it is not easy to explore the of my peers, who world from the edge of the world, financially ‘contract’ work for and otherwise (approved annual leave). This much higher hourly is a reality that we all need to face and largely rates, and can travel for weeks at a time at embrace. the drop of a hat, I fit all of my travel around my working year. I made a conscious decision It is important to be understanding in order to to maintain my career whilst I was here, to attract and keep talent, to embrace the innate stay very much in touch with the industry and curiosity that we foster as an industry and continue to build and strengthen relationships. celebrate as a mantle of a great researcher. I was lucky enough to have an amazing first We must also keep the faith, that what four years in the industry at Focus Research. goes around comes around, and that our And it must be said, that my experience and young researchers will return with different training has put me in a fantastic position and experiences, life lessons, and will hopefully be the better for it. At the end of the day, whether opened many opportunities. we stay or whether we go, attracting and I had every intention of returning to NZ when keeping talent is all about carving an industry I left, and to be honest at the moment I still which has tangible career development do. Although the longer I am here, the more opportunities, room to move, generally in an

I feel the exact opposite of intrepid, and yet I couldn’t be more fulfilled


October 2011 | InterVIEW


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Email: InterVIEW | October 2011


upwards direction.

There is no place like home, but will home have a place for us?

I know a ‘brain drain’ is usually associated with negative attributes, turning your back on your country, chasing dollars, pounds or euros, leaving your obligations behind whilst no longer contributing to the economy. But let’s focus on the positives: an opportunity to understand other places, people and cultures to better appreciate the unique challenges that our global clients and indeed our global colleagues face.

There is something about that ‘global’ word that gets my heart racing, that strikes a chord with me. The one thing I have loved so far is the scale, scope and size of the ‘global’ multi market studies I get to pitch for and manage. Poles apart from my NZ experience. As a marketing graduate, I thrive on the opportunity to deal with global marketers, to communicate October 2011 | InterVIEW

on a daily basis with the strategic decision makers directly, often face to face. There is a real feeling here that this is where the action is… I sometimes wonder what will happen to me. Do I want to head back to NZ – absolutely! Will it be the same – I’m uncertain. Will the local market stimulate me in the same way, or will I crave the big, bold and beautiful? I suspect the journey and the destination will continue to change and evolve until there is no place like home, but the bigger question is – will home have a place for me and people like me? ■


Leaving the door open “Wouldn’t it be great if our industry became renowned as a leader in the nurturing of talent?” A winning idea at the MRSNZ Conference, but can New Zealand really compete with London, Sydney, New York and Buenos Aires for our talent? InterVIEW spoke to migrants to find out.


elegates at Rising Up & Standing Tall, the MRSNZ Conference 2011, chose the following as a top future idea for our industry:

feel delighted to be a part of the New Zealand research industry forever, or do they learn here and then set off to seek their fortune in the wider world?

“Wouldn’t it be great if the encouragement and development of new people in the industry became a real focus and our industry became renowned as a leader in the nurturing of talent?”

The emigrant view: the grass really is greener

At the same time as we set ourselves this bold, positive goal, the media declares the New Zealand brain drain to be “the worst in the world”. Various commentators over the years have pointed out the stream of educated young people leaving New Zealand; the issue has come to the fore once more as economic uncertainty affects graduate decision-making. What about market research? Do people

InterVIEW spoke to some NZ-trained researchers who have abandoned our shores in recent years. Coralee Marshall believes “working overseas for a period of time is actually a part of our 'culture'.” But others see more material attractions to moving abroad. “There are more opportunities in Australia and the UK - and more money,” says Jane McKellar, who is now in Sydney, having practised research in New Zealand, England and Scotland.

InterVIEW | October 2011


Four out of the five emigrant researchers we spoke to claim to have moved overseas for “career opportunities”. Jennifer Mullan, now at 2CV in London says, “New Zealand is small and remote so there are limitations in the scale of projects you can get involved with. It’s easy to get stuck inside a bubble of what is done in NZ, so you do need to push yourself to challenge the status quo.”

doing MR in New Zealand! I worked for a good agency with terrific people, who I learned a lot from,” says one. Another mentions learning “to do it properly! There is a lot of purity in NZ research methods, particularly qualitative.”

However, they do see limits to the research projects here. Horst Feldhaeuser feels “New Zealand is a small market with limited client And Kate MacDonald, now in Melbourne, spending. A disadvantage of working there feels she’s now in a world of “faster paced is clients not being brave/smart enough to try decision-making, where quicker research is new things – there is a fear of the unknown/ untested.” And several interviewees point needed.” None of our interviewees mentions limitations out the local nature of the work: “There’s not much opportunity to work on major global in the kinds of research that go on here. On the contrary, they mention the quality brands across multiple markets.” and integrity of research here. Several feel There’s a flip side, however. Bella Hwang, lucky to have been trained here. “I learned who has worked in several countries, notes everything I know about agency work from that there’s a lot of pressure that comes

October 2011 | InterVIEW


“In New Zealand the sky really is the limit when it comes to innovation and forward-thinking. New Zealand really does enable and nurture creative and new ways of doing things. I found it hard to make changes to the way things "were done" while overseas. When I offered a solution for a problem I was blown away by their response i.e. "wow, how on earth did you think of that?", whereas back here in New Zealand this kind of problem solving and use of an "outside-the-square" approach is all in a day’s work.” Coralee Marshall

with global clients: “When compared to North America, the clients in Australia/NZ are much more understanding and flexible. Clients in NY/Canada always seem to be under tremendous pressure internally, there is also more bureaucracy over in the bigger cities. Some accounts are worth significant value and therefore require a lot more servicing at every level because there is much more at stake.”

Brain drain or brain transfer? Some years ago, the NZ Treasury published

a paper pointing out that “our immigrants are more skilled than our emigrants.” New Zealand has also had a net gain from migration over the past 15 years – that is, more people have moved here than have left. (Worryingly, the trend shows signs of reversing in recent months.) And with Auckland consistently reaching the top ten in ‘most liveable city’ surveys, there’s plenty to draw people here. Research is no exception – many MRSNZ members join with experience from overseas. Like the good researchers we are, we found out their views for this article.

Number of migrants per quarter

More people immigrate to New Zealand than leave - until recently. Source: Stats NZ 30k

20k Arrivals 10k



InterVIEW | October 2011


Having seen differe nt ways of doing things, our interviewees offer a great perspective on the New Zealand MR industry. We picked their brains about what New Zealand should be learning from other mar kets‌ 1. Leverage new tool s more quickly 2. Get a bit less excit ed about research proc esses and more excited about th e client business proc esses and business outcomes 3. Get to the point 4. Really get to know your clients: get to know the varied challenges a business faces beyond the rese arch 5. Get creative. Ap plying academic theo ry sounds boring but keeps things interesting 6. Realise that just be cause we are "far aw ay" doesn't mean we can't conn ect with global clien ts and colleagues 7. Learn to deal with complexity, such as wo rking with many different culture s (questionnaires from some of our clients in India ne ed to be translated into twenty different dialects before they go to field!) 8. Pay more attention to detail in every step of research, e.g. checking that qu estions really make se nse for respondents Are they right? Write to InterVIEW and tell us yo ur views.

October 2011 | InterVIEW


Postcards fr Visiting Argentina? What should you...

See a tango show (or take lessons if you dare!)


Iguazu Falls, Salta, and the Patagonia

Empanadas, Sorrentinos... and obviously Asado!


Red wine, Malbec preferably

The immigrant view: open minds make good research Our incoming researchers value New Zealand’s innovation and focus, helped by both agencies and clients. As Alan Yang points out, “I have been trained to be a more logical researcher who always tries to associate research findings with the real world.” Patricio Pagani praises NZ clients for building relationships with their agencies. “The big difference with doing research in NZ is the value you put on long term relationships. In Latin America, it's quite common for agencies to fight a client over a couple of pennies without worrying about the potential loss of accumulated knowledge that inevitably happens when you change

boat too often. I'm not saying that never happens here, but from what I've seen, it's a lot less frequent. Clients tend to value long term strategic relationships over short term cost savings.”

Keeping up with big brother So how much of a recruitment challenge does NZ MR really face when up against the bright lights of Sydney and London? Jane McKellar sees the threat as serious, but a couple of our interviewees describe the boomerang effect: New Zealanders are eventually drawn back home. Several say they will probably settle here (even those who weren’t born here or have chosen to live overseas), suggesting New Zealand has a long term appeal for those who spend time here. ■ InterVIEW | October 2011

rom old friends Gidday from Sydney!

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Opera House ba r to watch fireworks

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Beer, beer and

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Hello fro m Mullan in L Jen ondon


ea Fresh s am Hickenboth ? k n i r .d .. inter iraz if it’s w 2004 Sh

on Horst & partner Sonya rk recent visit to Eden Pa

References wp/2001/01-22 New-Zealand-brain-drain-worst-in-world.html's_most_livable_cities

October 2011 | InterVIEW

Coralee Marshal l enjoyed the snow in Can ada


Save the date QTR 4 2011

UNMISSABLE EVENTS IN MARKET RESEARCH IN THE COMING WEEKS If there are upcoming events you would like to see listed, please email



16 November

8:30am – 5:30pm

30 November


28-29 November

2 day event

7-9 February 2012


13-17 February / 20-24 February ‘12

2-5 day courses


International Insights Workshop


ISO 20252 Quality Certification


Summer Programme

InterVIEW | October 2011




How much?


The Langham, Auckland More details:

From $695+GST or 2 for 1 tickets


Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland More details:

From $1195 plus GST


University of Auckland More details:

Starting from $150

More details: Please contact to find out more

Contact AMRO

Victoria University, Wellington More details: contact Website:

Starting from $400 inc GST



October 2011 | InterVIEW


Note to self… ‘Banks Should Understand People.’ Fair enough, I thought. But it left me oddly perturbed. ‘Banks Should Understand People’ Colin Ingram I was confronted with this message on a prominent billboard on the Victoria overpass earlier this year. Fair enough, I thought. But it left me oddly perturbed. Why does a leading bank need to tell us that? Particularly one which until now at least, hasn’t had any problem regarding its customer oriented image.

1980s, our company hired a clinical psychologist. He’d become bored with ‘neurotic old ladies from Remuera’ and wanted to delve into the infinitely more fascinating world of consumer psychology. He knew little about marketing, and being a recent migrant from Holland, he knew even less about the history of local brands.

A client was one of the two major breweries at the time and he offered to do an analysis of their advertising. He took a sample of print advertising for the two breweries over the previous 10 years. He laid them out side by side and looked carefully at each one. ‘Here they’re feeling positive and optimistic, here they’re feeling under pressure, here something has gone seriously awry…’ He drew a graph depicting what he believed were their relative market shares over the period of the advertising. Remember, he knew nothing about the two companies apart from what he saw in the advertising. His graph accurate.



The message was large and bold, determined to be heard. What was going on? Was it a message to customers? Or perhaps a message to self – a symptom of something going on inside the organisation? In my early years as a market researcher in the

InterVIEW | October 2011


Simply plotting the tone expressed in the advertising confirmed his belief that advertising can communicate as much about how the advertiser is feeling as any rational product messages. One ad featured a group of friends posing for a photo. All were smiling, their camaraderie evident by arms around one another. But one had a black eye. The caption something like:


‘Everyone agrees, we drink only one beer around here’. It seems obvious now; the advertising was communicating a brand under threat and struggling to maintain loyalty. It was in decline, while the competitor’s advertising was up-beat and positive October 2011 | InterVIEW

It seems obvious now; the advertising was communicating a brand under threat.

as it gained market share. While the client mood can be translated into the creative brief, how the agencies feel about the target audience also comes through in the communication. Our psychologist would occasionally enlist young actors. He would be film director, asking them to act out scenarios portrayed by various advertising and apply his years of therapeutic practice to offer a ‘diagnosis’ of the dynamics at play. He’d get the actors to ‘channel’ the characters in the advertising and ask probing questions, a particularly telling one being ‘How do you feel about the people (the consumer) you’re talking to?’



about the author

Dark days

Their responses ranged from respect, fondness and concern, to patronising and even contempt. If advertising feels patronising and insulting, this can tell you how the advertiser views its audience. When advertising is not a conversation between equals, the audience will simply not engage. With the election coming up, the party spin doctors will avoid any hint of expectations of defeat –‘the only poll that matters…’ etc. At the time of writing, the billboards were just starting to appear. These two caught my eye. With Labour trailing in the polls, who can blame them for a ‘note to self’ message of encouragement.

Colin Ingram is a Director at Focus Research. A graduate of the University of Canterbury, Colin has over 30 years’ experience in market research.

Like Labour’s billboard, the NZ First message is not a promotion of their product, but an expression of their desperation. The conversation with the audience goes no further than an appeal to help them win, with an implied payback.

He was made a Fellow of the Market Research Society of New Zealand in 2006. Colin is a regular contributor to MRSNZ activities.

For those involved in the development and testing of advertising, it pays to look at the message from both inside-out and outsidein perspectives, and ensure the communication is consistent with the intended objectives. ■ InterVIEW | October 2011


e a nc w e r a e rds! f n o C Congratulations to Andrew Lewis and Connon Bray (The Research Agency) for their inspiring paper “Why Kate Moss will Drive the Future Growth of Market Research”, which won Best Paper! Further congratulations to David Sakey (Colmar Brunton) and Fiona Lee (Air New Zealand) on the People’s Choice Award for their whizzy paper “Using Technology to Keep Market Research Relevant at Air New Zealand” ...And yet more congratulations to Catherine Frethey-Bentham (University of Auckland) and Spencer Willis (Colmar Brunton) for winning the David O’Neill Award for Innovation for their clever paper “Identifying Influence in the Corporate Blogosphere” Finally, congratulations to Meadhbh ní Challanáin (Synovate) on the Best New Speaker Talent Award for her 20:20 presentation “Ireland, Me and a Place Called NZ”

The Market Research Society of New Zealand would like to thank the sponsors for their generous support of this event.

October 2011 | InterVIEW

NZ Suppliers of SPSS Software since 2001


The r e s i n a org How was it for you? Fantastic! Great attendance, fun, interactive and an excellent opportunity to put faces to names of those I’ve spoken to but never met.


What worked well, what didn’t? Ending the day with an interactive discussion that got everyone on their feet. Only things that didn’t work were venue issues, nothing to do with the actual conference. We have given feedback to the venue about these.


: 1 1 20 w e i v e R e h

Marks out of ten? 8 Interesting sessions? Pecha Kucha session was inspiring and Lee Ryan’s interactive discussion forum was fun and thought-provoking. Things you learnt? What Dashboards are and how they work. How our industry leaders see our industry progressing in the next 5 years and finding out the great ideas members have for moving the MR industry forward.


InterVIEW | October 2011

The e i b w ne How was it for you? The conference was balanced perfectly in terms of the mix of subjects covered and the format of the day. The attention to detail in terms of how the day was planned was amazing. Marks out of ten? 10 out of 10! Interesting sessions? I particularly enjoyed the ‘Identifying Influence in the Corporate Blogosphere’ as it felt like really groundbreaking stuff. ‘Why Kate Moss Will Drive the Future Growth of Market Research’ was very interesting - a clever premise for an entertaining presentation. Things you learnt? I learnt that there is a huge amount of passion and dedication out there for the industry. I discovered that there are many stakeholders in the industry but we’re all working to achieve the same goal – understand the world we live in.

October 2011 | InterVIEW

The y c n age head

27 27

The de i s t n e cli rcher resea

How was it for you? A great confidence boost for the industry – a reaffirmation.

How was it for you? It was well organised, we had a good choice of papers we wanted to attend.

What worked well, what didn’t? The format (multiple papers, panels and talking heads) kept the variety going and the energy was great. I felt some of the content was weak or its purpose wasn’t clearly communicated.

Marks out of ten? 10

Marks out of ten? 7.5 Interesting sessions? Alistair Gordon’s and the first panel session. Things you learnt? Reaffirmed the quality of people we have in the industry, there is still some leading edge stuff going on.

Interesting sessions? Enjoyed Debra’s session with the up and coming researchers. Also enjoyed the Facial Coding session. Things you learnt? Learnt about attempts being made to facial code, and trying to get respondents into a mental state where they could more easily convey subconscious thoughts.


InterVIEW | October 2011


A timely warning about how the Internet is shaping our minds. Jesvier Kaur, Fellow of the MRSNZ, reports from the Australian Market & Social Research Conference.

October 2011 | InterVIEW


Are we losing our minds? Here’s a snapshot of a fascinating talk on the impact of digital technologies on our brains from qualitative researcher Dr Sheila Keegan (one of Wendy Gordon’s peers for those in-the-know): she and others question whether we’re losing our minds. Keegan was a keynote speaker at the recent Australian Market and Social Research Society conference in Sydney. Neuroscientists have discovered social media and the web are changing how our brain works – making some capabilities sharper and others duller. Changes to brain function are especially evident amongst heavy web users. The brain is hugely plastic (dynamic, connected and adaptive) even as we grow older. Neural pathways within our brain are very sensitive and responsive to stimulation. Whenever we perform tasks or have experiences, neurons activate and transmit messages to other neurons. Connections between neurons can grow stronger or weaker, e.g., if someone loses their sight, hearing and touch become sharper. Various studies have led to unusual discoveries. An experiment with London taxi drivers discovered their working memory (hippocampus) was bigger than normal. Drivers are required to pass a street knowledge exam and scientists found taxi drivers’ brains had changed to accommodate their work demands. Another experiment focusing on piano practice found our brains can even change in response to ‘imaginary’ acts. In this study one group practiced piano and showed a significant increase in brain function. A control group showed no change. Another group was asked to ‘imagine’

The web is changing how our brain works. Heavy web users experience: • Difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. • More distraction, with shorter attention spans & concentration. • Increased instant gratification & ‘need-it-now’ demands. • Greater selfcentredness & less empathy for others. • Increased addictive behaviour via: Second Life, gaming, tweeting, etc. • Decreased ability to think through & reason out problems. InterVIEW | October 2011


piano practice – despite not physically playing piano, they still showed a significant increase in their brain function. The flip-side of a plastic brain is a rigid brain where neurons can strengthen through repetition – this helps us form habits and is how both good and bad habits become ingrained. Given social media and web use has become addictive amongst heavy users (via Internet browsing, checking email, tweeting, gaming, etc.), neuroscientists are examining how digital technologies affect our mind and affect the way we live and make sense of the world. The negative upshot of all of this is Internet use scatters our attention as it encourages speedy reading with hurried and distracted thinking. The consequence is superficial and shallow learning. We’re less able to concentrate and reflect. To be fair, she points out there are positive aspects to Internet use. There’s evidence it improves the mental ability of older users and the brain activity of experienced web searchers is broader than the inexperienced. Internet users retain their mental faculties for longer,

October 2011 | InterVIEW

“Technology is not passive or neutral – its effects sneak up on us.”


are more efficient at data gathering and have more active decision-making and reasoning skills.

Keegan argues digital technology has both skilled & deskilled us because: 1. The Internet is influencing our brain in very direct ways by changing how we think & by playing so many roles in different aspects of our lives. 2. Online use is expanding & using up our time in ever-increasing amounts. It’s repetitive, intensive, interactive & addictive generating significant changes to the way our brain functions.

Keegan is concerned there is so little discussion of the negative effects of digital technologies. Consequently in the public arena it appears negative effects don’t exist. Technology is not passive or neutral – its effects sneak up on us. She says we risk a possible future in which we sleepwalk in a mind-state that mimics computer (mechanical) thinking. We’re losing our ability for receptive, creative and reflective thinking. Our brain increasingly expects multi-media messages, news flashes, pop-ups, hyperlinks and 140-character content. There’s an underlying assumption that computer and mechanical thinking is superior to human and dynamic thinking – it’s not! Human thinking is creative, fluid, interactive, improvisational and emotional. Neuroscience shows our brain is not mechanical – it’s dynamic, complex and adaptable. Drawing on the work of neuroscientists, Keegan points out the big issue is the Internet disrupts deep thinking. This may have significant consequences for marketing and research. Deep thinking involves focused concentration, active interpretation, making meaning, sparking thoughts, personal associations, generating ideas triggered by other ideas and creative thinking. The risk is that marketing and research may shift to shallow and superficial thinking. It shows up when researchers abandon thoughtful and time-consuming analysis for speedy and sketchy responses. She says, clearly the Internet provides huge benefits and there is a role for surfing over

InterVIEW | October 2011


topics and diving into data, yet we also need to muse and reflect for creative and deep thinking. In a ‘need-it-now’ age we have too much data and not enough thinking. As she says, “Data…is widely available. What is scarce is the ability to extract wisdom from it.”


about the author Jesvier Kaur is the founder of QZONE and a qualitative marketing and research specialist. A graduate of the University of Auckland, Jesvier was made a Fellow of the MRSNZ in 2006. She won a Gold Market Research Effectiveness Award in 2008. Sheila Keegan at the AMSRS Conference - photo courtesy of AMSRS

“The Internet disrupts deep thinking.”

October 2011 | InterVIEW

Jesvier is a frequent contributor to InterVIEW.


Shallow depths The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr this, Carr is resigned to the inevitability of it. By drawing parallels with other changes (for “I can feel it, I can feel it” example with the struggle writers felt when Nicholas Carr identifies with HAL, the adapting from the flow of consciousness computer from 2001: Space Odyssey, as it and self-editing abilities is dismantled. of pen and paper to The balance of my Carr writes in an entertaining way the clarity of thought leisure reading is fiction, about the impact of the internet and sentence structure by the but I found this book on humans, comparing it with demanded typewriter) he shows surprisingly engaging. other man-made developments how the discomfort we At the centre of his that have affected our thinking feel today is similar argument is the science and society such as the to that experienced in of the brain, how it alphabet, printing press, clocks other times and left me works and adapts hopeful that we will gain according to the tasks and computers themselves. more than we lose as it is applied to. His we progress. However, premise is that the use other reviewers have taken the view that he of the internet encourages us to collect lots is more pessimistic in his conclusions. of small pieces of information quickly from across a wide range of sources, but that this If you are interested in hearing more practice means we are losing the ability for from him, Nicholas Carr blogs at: and has written deep thinking. several other books and articles. I got the impression that while he mourns Nicola Legge, Synovate “Dave, my mind is going”

InterVIEW | October 2011


Bursting the bubble The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You, by Eli Pariser He’s on TED talks, he’s been in the Economist... If you haven’t heard of Eli Pariser yet, then he’s right. Algorithms designed to give us the news we want to hear are stopping us from hearing what we need to know. This, in a nutshell, is the Filter Bubble concept.

“A world constructed from the familiar is a world in which there’s nothing to learn ... (since there is) invisible autopropaganda, indoctrinating us with our own ideas.” Eli Pariser in The Economist, 2011

Unconvinced? So are critics who feel thought regardless. Pariser’s claims are exaggerated. But the Filter Bubble gives us worrying food for Read it. If only to prove that the latest ideas are still on your radar.

October 2011 | InterVIEW


Recent events So just how do I measure my social media success? A good question, and one which a good number of marketers turned up to have answered at the recent MRS event led by Dr. Sarah Henderson from the University of Auckland Business School. Dr. Henderson started by explaining how a social media strategy should be the third sphere of a multi-faceted approach to the use of electronic media; the other two spheres being a web strategy and internet marketing strategy. These three spheres overlap, so it is important to consider each strategy not only on its own merit but also how each supports the others. The question of measurement, she says, depends on what your goals are – without a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you won’t know the correct metrics against which to gauge your progress. Interaction can be just as valid an objective (sometimes more so) as response. Dr. Henderson introduced the audience to a hierarchy of social media metrics, designed to cover the range from low engagement to high engagement interactions with your social media. At the bottom of the scale are metrics that measure traffic or views – designed to record those who get only a fleeting impression of your brand or offer. At the other end of the

scale are sales made thanks to social media – the ultimate in engagement. Dr. Henderson also pointed out that without scale, these measures are not particularly useful – you need to measure reach with measures such as page views and unique visits, as well as engagement. The second half of the presentation introduced the audience to a range of free tools that can help track your social media success story (or that of your client). In addition to these, “buzz” is an important benefit delivered by a social media presence. Free tools such as Google Alert and Tweet Deck or Hoot Suite enable you to track not only your presence but also that of competitors, key figures and industry presence – all important components providing context. Of course, these services only go so far. Clients making a significant investment in social media may find a paid measurement service worthwhile. Examples of these are brandseye, radian 6, sproutsocial and trackur. Market research companies may partner with such providers to provide an integrated service to their clients. Overall, the presentation was a user-friendly and thought-provoking one, which we thank Dr. Henderson for sharing with us. Dr. Henderson is a Lecturer in Information Management at the University of Auckland Business School, with a long list of awards to her credit. Her research interests include: human-computer interaction, application usability, how people manage information and online recreational environments such as InterVIEW | October 2011


gaming, blogging and gambling. Nicola Legge, Synovate

SUGGing Debate Attendees at the Great Sugging Debate were rewarded with a very informative and thoroughly entertaining evening as six industry leaders debated with great gusto the proposition that “The MRSNZ strategy to combat SUGGING in the public arena should include ‘naming and shaming’ of recidivist offenders.” Both teams presented their arguments with enthusiasm and witty banter. The audience followed up with a lively exchange of views. Feedback shows that those who attended found it very worthwhile. By audience vote the Negative team won the debate. While there was strong support for some sort of action to be taken against companies that repeatedly use SUGGing as a marketing tool, concerns were also expressed regarding legal ramifications for the Society and the market research industry in general, as well as cost implications. The Committee is currently working on the wording for a new motion that full members will have the opportunity to vote on at an October 2011 | InterVIEW

Extraordinary General Meeting of the MRSNZ. Members will have at least 21 days’ notice of the meeting. Debbie Sheehan, SUGGing Officer, MRSNZ

Text Analytics At the recent MRSNZ “Learn” event, Keith Roberts (GM of Hearne Scientific Software NZ) demonstrated a text analysis package that is likely to become one of the standard market research tools of the future. The difficulty of coding open ended text responses for surveys is that human language is inherently inconsistent and highly reliant on context. SPSS® Text Analytics is one clever solution that can code text responses in an efficient, reliable and repeatable way. It uses proven linguistics-based technologies to navigate the nuances and ambiguities of the way in which we communicate. While not a silver bullet, it comes loaded with a vast bank of word libraries, synonyms and code frames that generate a high level of consistency in coding. Although not able to recognise irony or humour, it is highly adaptable and also retains new inputs for future analyses. It is definitely a tool worthy of further investigation. Philippa Gilbert, Synovate

Cont. over


Sharing conference papers in Wellington At Wellington’s branch meeting earlier this month, we were treated to two great presentations from the recent MRS conference. The first was by Alastair Gordon called “Say It to My Face! - Applying Facial Imaging to Enhance Marketing Decisions.” Fresh from winning the 2011 AMSRS Conference Best Presentation Award, Alastair showed us how facial imaging can be used to assess different emotions caused by advertising. While there is considerable theory behind the approach, overall it is based on the idea that emotion is an important trigger for action, and a person’s face is a canvas for their emotions. Facial imaging can be done manually, but technology allows greater consistently and efficiency. Alastair took us through several well known ads showing how the system works and the results (some of which were quite surprising) plus the advantages and potential application for Public Service, Programme Evaluation and Educational marketing.

Our second presentation was by David Sakey “Using Technology to Keep Market Research Relevant at Air New Zealand.” This was the winner of the 2011 MRSNZ Conference People’s Choice Award. David described how Air New Zealand, in conjunction with Colmar Brunton, approached the survey experience like any other touch point - emphasising the need to engage with customers in an interesting and entertaining way, aligned with the Air NZ values which are evident throughout all other interactions. The result is a survey that is truly interactive, flexible and groundbreaking. Air New Zealand also recognises the importance of engaging staff in the survey results. David demonstrated some of the innovative methods they are using to disseminate results, including videos (‘Qualumentaries’) and a comprehensive multi-media online reporting tool. ■

Market Research like herding CATI? ...then use the new Web CATI module from The Survey System! See how The Survey System offers you a great deal of power and functionality without breaking your budget by attending a 45 minute online presentation by HRS on 24 November at 2pm. Gather your respondent data quickly using a combination of one or more mixed methods - telephone interviewing, online, in-person interviews, mail surveys - whichever is the best way to contact people. Visit for full details and to register, or phone Glen on 0800 477 776.

InterVIEW | October 2011


Movers & Shakers

Colmar Brunton and Focus welcome new staff, changes to Australia’s industry leadership, and the end of an era with a big retirement party.

To include your organisation’s people news here, please email October 2011 | InterVIEW


Prime welcomes Ann Williams and says goodbye to Shaye Grieve. After two years at Prime, Shaye has moved to Melbourne – she will be sorely missed but we wish her all the best for the future! Ann has joined Prime as a Senior Account Manager. Ann comes with many years’ market research experience. She used to head up qual recruitment at Consumer Link before going to the UK for a couple of years. She is back in NZ now and we are privileged and excited to have her on board. I’m sure you will enjoy working with Ann and we’ll benefit from her extensive experience. Colmar Brunton welcome four new staff members since the last newsletter. We have three new Quantitative Client Executives fresh out of University: Alesha Buckwell, Dale McCarter, and Clara Tang. We also welcome a new Account Manager, Qual and Quant, from spectacular Canada, Coralee Marshall. We say goodbye to David Sakey – Group Account Director, Quant, Sean Connolly – Account Director, Qual, and Eric Chen – Client Executive, Quant. We have a couple of

Wellington Account Directors who are on Maternity Leave until next year – Celine Yockney – Account Director, Qual, and Kate Brazier – Account Director, Quant. Best wishes and good luck! Focus Research welcomes Melanie Edmonds to the team. Melanie has a BCom in Marketing and BA in Psychology and Statistics from Auckland University and is joining the team as a Quantitative Research Assistant. Sarah Campbell is now the Executive Director of AMSRO (Association of Market & Social Research Organisations, Australia). Sarah is a communications specialist with over 15 years’ experience in public relations and corporate communications. Sarah replaces outgoing Executive Director, Jane Gregory.

Retirement 31st October sees the end of an era as industry leader Debra Hall (Synovate) retires. Debra began her career as an Engineer in South Africa, then in Hong Kong. She started Research Solutions in her garage in 1992 and sold the company to Synovate in 2007. Debra was made a Fellow of the NZ Market Reseach Society in 2006 and is currently the Chairman of the Board for the New Zealand Marketing Association. She will be missed in the industry. Some of her colleagues have said: “She’s a brilliant presenter – so entertaining and engaging. Even if you know she’s giving the presentation InterVIEW | October 2011


for the third time that day, she makes you sit up and take notice.” “It’s sad to say goodbye. Things are a lot of fun with Debra around.” Debra says: “What have I loved the most... The huge crowd of fabulous people that I have met, people who have generously taught me what they know, told me what they think and listened to what I think. I have loved being able to provide, in a very small way, a place for other people to grow, personally and professionally, and that has been the greatest joy in October 2011 | InterVIEW

having my own company, being able to make that small difference in other people’s lives, while having so much fun (most of the time) myself... I came to research as a second career, and when I found that people would pay me simply to be nosey about why other people do what they do, and that those people would willingly answer my questions, I was well and truly hooked. This was the career I would always have chosen, if only I knew it existed! I will miss the people, of course, but I hope they’ll

keep in touch. I’ll miss the really high quality debates and arguments about what the research means, and how it should be used (and in our office, about life in general!). So what am I looking forward to? More time for me, time to think, time to sort out my house and walk the dogs and get fitter... I’m looking forward to having fewer “must do”s and more “want to do”s, and being able to say exactly what I really think! (Yes, I know you all think I do that already...)


Company News cont. And finally yes, I am REALLY retiring...I’m going to continue in my current role as Chairman of the Marketing Association, and may pop up occasionally as a speaker or commentator on marketing issues (but only because I really won’t be able to keep quiet!). I’m going to knit, and cook (a lot) and sew... and may well pop up in one or two directorships in the future (but only one or two). Most of all, as I’ve told my team, I’ll be sitting on my hill in Parnell, eagerly awaiting visitors bearing coffee, cheese or wine....” Thanks for all you have done for our industry, Debra. We’ll miss you, too.

Exciting times for two MRSNZ member companies... Nine Rewards have now reached a milestone of over 15,000 members on their NZ panel since launching at the end of May this year. E-Tabs Verify (automated table checking solution) has been shortlisted for the 2011 ASC / MRS Joint Award for Technology Effectiveness. This prestigious award recognises outstanding innovation in the application of software or technology for market, opinion and social research, which has directly achieved a demonstrable improvement in the effectiveness of actual research delivered. AMRO launches ISO 20252 Rob Bree: “ISO 20252 is fast becoming the global standard for research quality and government and multinational clients are increasingly demanding their suppliers have it. AMRO has engaged the services of the Cruse Partnership to lead the exercise which is kicking off in February 2012.”

■ InterVIEW | October 2011

Welcome to new MRSNZ members Full members Kristo Fallas, Project Manager Melinda Gibbon, Client Services Manager Charles Che, Account Manager


Selina Knapp, Research Manager


Richard Hall, Consultant


Arti Badiani, Associate Director – Qualitative


Associate members Monika Llewellyn, Marketing Co-ordinator


Allanah Bates, Research Advisor


Enrico Tronchin, Research Advisor


Simone Johnson, Researcher Ilya Davydov, Research Assistant




If you know of anyone who would like to become a member of the MRSNZ then please direct them to our membership information on the website:

October 2011 | InterVIEW

43 43

44 InterVIEW is the forum for issues that challenge us and spur us to think about things in a different way. As with most publications, the views expressed are those of the contributing author and are not necessarily held or endorsed by the MRSNZ. This poses an interesting situation for our first forum, because this issue needs a counter point - it screams out for people to form and share their opinions as it could affect each and every one of us. Rob Bree is part of AMRO’s leadership team; you may also know him as “The Marketing Guy.” I like Rob - he’s smart and has an opinion he’s willing to share. He recently sent a letter to the industry outlining a proposition that would change the way our industry is structured and governed. The importance of this proposal and the general lack of public response has prompted us to re-run it in our newsletter with a challenge to our membership. In Rob’s letter, he clearly states that he believes that the New Zealand market research industry would be better served by a single entity rather than separate AMRO and MRS bodies. A bold statement and one I’m not sure I’m totally behind. It’s hard to back an idea or statement without


. I got d my first ever MRS Conference en att to me for ure as ple at gre It was a ink d some great presentations, dr en att le, op pe at gre lly rea me to meet so great lunch queue. On behalf so t no a in d an st d an ils ta ck some great co ing committee who really nis ga or e th te ula rat ng co to e of AMRO I would lik ional event e Claire bringing such a profess sid ng alo job ing nd ta ts ou an did ne, dings Patricio, Duncan, Catheri ee oc pr of t on efr for e th At er. togeth an enjoyable, entertaining, er th ge to t pu rs he ot ny ma d Spencer an . Congratulations again. informative and unifying event of nse of one industry; one group se ing lm he erw ov an t fel I nt nt At the eve use, standards and developme ca e th er th fur to er th ge to ng people worki a tremendous level of energy in ch su s wa ere Th . ion ss ofe pr of the research commitment of the people e th t ou ab t ub do in r eve s wa the room. If anyone e day that Friday 2nd September was th en th , try us ind nd ala Ze w Ne e in th at I this theme of industry unity th is It . ay aw t ep sw en be ve ha it would would like to pursue further. me on was people's engagement with me d se es pr im at th e els ing th Some s, of the industry and a willingnes ure fut d an e nc rta po im e th of the topic . And while I know that the ed olv inv t ge to , cy en ag ge lar from small to ted, what came up again and ita ag le litt a le op pe ts ge es subject sometim with a smallish research try un co all sm a is NZ at th t gh again was the thou r cards on two industry bodies? Laying ou for m roo lly rea ere th s ...i try indus ! position on this is no, not really RO AM he ...t all for d an ce on the table ere are many aspects to th e us ca be e tiv tia ini e th ing While we are not rush be best e NZ research industry would th at th ve lie be do we , red ide be cons ive ded group with common execut fun d an e siv he co d ifie un e on served by

InterVIEW | October 2011

45 45 truly understanding what it would look like in real life. This needs rigorous inspection and challenge from both sides of the issue.

support. This group would need to make sure that all players, large and small, have representation and a voice. The new entity would require different parts to serve all the different needs e.g. industry to government relations, professional development, member ship services etc. And we believe we could ultimately do this better tog ether than we have historically done it apart. As a matter of fact, during 2011 we have laun ched a number of initiatives where AMRO and MRS are already working clos er together. MRS members are participating in AMRO initiatives and vice -versa. AMRO was platinum sponsor of this year's event and if the truth be known AMRO members are likely to have purchased a large share of the paid tickets to the event as well. Just last month AMRO reviewed its constitutio n to allow for small research firms to join as Associate Members thus overcoming the traditional too-high-price of membership for smaller firms. In this way we hope to move towards a situation where more firms are able to join not only the MRS but AMRO as well. On the topic of closeness we are not alone. Our colleagues in Australia are also moving increasingly closer, to each other and to NZ. There is much to be gained by forging stronger relationships wit h our Australian cousins who are considerably further along in some are as, particularly formal programmes around professional developmen t, industry standards etc.

Thanks, Rob October 2011 | InterVIEW

I love my industry and I think that Rob’s letter is another positive step, like the conference was, in our standing tall and having the passion to ask real questions that have the potential to make a difference. Rob, on behalf of AMRO, has made his position clear. With that in mind, read what he has to say and show that you care by sharing your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree with his view? Do you need to know more first, and if so, what? Stand tall, speak up, this matters.

What do you think? Email nz or go to our LinkedIn discussions to share your thoughts and questions. Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance for your feedback – your industry needs to hear your voice. Spence


James Burge’s Top Trends

InterVIEW | October 2011


The times they are a changin’ Research Now’s James Burge considers which way the wind is blowing in his top ten trends. When thinking ‘what’s on my mind right now’ the most striking realisation is not ‘what’ but ‘how much’. As the Market Research industry continues to expand into new territories there are a host of new tools and methodologies out there. This brings opportunities as well as concerns and obstacles, both old and new. Here are Research Now’s top 10 of the moment.

October 2011 | InterVIEW


James Burge’s Top Trends


Industry Standards


Price v Quality v Time

Certifications, accreditations and disciplinary actions - recently we have seen increased calls for the industry to come together and ensure that there is a united front. Ensuring quality, whether it be transparency of sample source or the recruitment of respondents, is vital. This is nothing new but is crucial for the future of research.

The topic of quality is ongoing across the industry. But we are faced with a complex triangle where all 3 are rarely achievable. Amongst all of these valid constraints, quality must stay top of mind.

Recently the future of panels has been questioned. The fact is, people are increasingly online, on average we spend a staggering 32 hours per month on the internet. Social Media and mobile devices offer a new approach and ready supply of respondents to delve into. Now is the time to engage them.


Emerging Talent


Social Media

This buzz word is an integral part of our everyday lives; it is what we do, where we are and how we convey feelings, emotions and intentions. Whilst extensive research examples are still to arrive, Social Media not only offers a forum to pose questions but, most importantly, a tool to listen.



Having attended my first MRSNZ conference earlier this year I was struck by the sheer talent emerging from within the industry. Promising times lie ahead, not just in the level of aptitude but in the interest New Zealand is showing in these up-andcoming individuals.

InterVIEW | October 2011



Online Advertising

Spend is a loaded topic but one place it is rapidly increasing is in online advertising - growing by a vast 25% this year alone. The nature of online offers the measurement marketers need and as such, the opportunity for researchers to provide further insight.


Engaging Respondents


Going Mobile


DIY Research

Clients with in-house research departments have bought fieldwork directly for many years; this is nothing new. Some end clients are going direct to panel companies on occasion, while most of their research agency spend goes to valued-added consultancy work. Both approaches have their uses.

A comparative study Research Now carried out last year confirmed that a panel member is three times more likely to abandon a poor survey than a well-written, Flash-enhanced survey. Furthermore, a new member is more likely to drop out of a bad survey. As motivations and priorities evolve, the need to recruit, reward and retain respondents becomes increasingly important.

With Asia-Pacific smartphone penetration expected to more than double to over 200 million by 2016, online communication is now easy to achieve on the go. Research apps are becoming a reality, including the launch of our own in Australia earlier this year. Surveys anywhere, anytime is an exciting prospect.

10 The Future?

October 2011 | InterVIEW

With so much going on, the future is not clear but it is definitely shifting at a rapid pace. As we adapt, utilise and respond to market shifts, it is less about what and more about how we, as an industry, progress.


“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.” Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

InterVIEW | October 2011

MRSNZ Newsletter - Q4-2011  

InterVIEW, the newsletter of the Market Research Society of New Zealand