Reflections on a
ROB BREE MARIA TYRRELL DANIEL SHAW CHARMAINE FUHRMANN JASON SHOEBRIDGE GEORGE GLUBB GEOFF LOWE HORST FELDHAEUSER
ROB BREE < contents
WORD FROM THE BOARD By Galina Mitchelhill
Publisher: The Research Association of New Zealand
Hi Everyone, Hard to believe we are at the end of 2019 already! The idea of 2020 seemed so far away and sounded almost sci-fi! This year and this month mark the end of an era, as we say goodbye to Rob Bree. Rob has been CEO of RANZ since its inception. He was part of the group instrumental in driving the formation of RANZ, bringing together the Market Research Society (MRS) and Associated Market Research Organisations (AMRO) where Rob was previously executive director. Rob has been key in the development of our new strategic plan, setting RANZ up for the future. I’m sure you will join me in saying a heartfelt thank you to Rob and wishing him every success in his future endeavours. We’ll be having a “farewell to Rob” at the RANZ Auckland Xmas event, so do come along and join in toasting Rob on his new adventures. With Rob leaving, we’re fortunate to welcome Susanna Baggaley as our interim general manager. Susanna has agreed to step into the role for the next few months whilst we explore, given our new strategic plan, the key executive skills we need for RANZ going forward. Susanna has a long history within the industry, both agency and client side. There will be some who remember back to when she was MRS president at the time of the famous (or is it infamous!) MRS conferences held at the Chateau!! There are other new things happening at RANZ. The board has endorsed five new HUBs – suggested by you, our members. These are: 1. Independents, 2. In-House Research (e.g. CX, VOC), 3. Data Ethics, 4. Quantitative Analysis and Statistical Reasoning, and 5. NonProfit and Social Sector. We have a vision of the HUBs providing a catalyst for learning, development and networking opportunities in areas of particular interest to members. The new HUBs add to the three already up and running: RANZ Social,
The publications dedicated team includes:
Chair of the RANZ Board All of Government (AOG) and last, but not least, the Polling HUB.
Anyone who is interested in being part of a HUB (or two!) or wants to know more, can contact Claire, our executive secretary. Leading up to election year, polling will gain more spotlight in the media and likely we might see more debate on the accuracy of polls. The Polling HUB is currently reviewing the RANZ Polling Code to ensure it is up to date and fit for purpose. It is also looking closely at how things are done in the UK and Australia in the polling space, especially in regard to providing guidance to journalists and the wider media for their coverage of poll results. We want to make sure we are on the front foot from here, and the board and myself are keen to ensure we provide a good solid evidence base in support of our pollsters. One final bit of good news to end the year is that RANZ has just signed a partnership agreement with ESOMAR. This gives us greater access to numerous global resources that we’re sure will be of great value to you as members and the wider insights community – watch out for further details in future editions of InterVIEW.
Editor: Lauren McKee Ad Coordinator: Kia-Mae Beniston Layout and design: Charmaine Fuhrmann We thank our many contributors for your time and efforts
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 subcommittee 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 Email us: email@example.com
As the festive season gets into full swing, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday. Enjoy and stay safe out there! Galina < contents
Au Revoir Rob Bree
InterVIEW December 2019
Maria Tyrrell - NeedScope International
Daniel Shaw - Perceptive
NOTE With December now in full-swing, audio-streaming platform Spotify released personalised ‘Spotify Wrapped’ playlists, giving users a look into the music they listened to and had on repeat throughout the year and during this last decade. Spotify Wrapped isn’t new, but recently gained virality through the ability to share these personalised playlists to social media. There’s something great about re-discovering an old favourite song and Spotify Wrapped tapped into the greatness of reminiscing and reflection.
This decade also marks the length of time that Rob Bree has been with RANZ and AMRO, which we farewell him from in this issue – reflecting on his dedication, friendship and significant contribution.
It’s ‘reflection’ that has guided the InterVIEW editing team in putting together this decade’s final issue. After reaching out to leaders within New Zealand’s market research industry, we are excited to share their reflections and perspectives on the last ten years, and what the future may have in store for the industry.
From all of us in the RANZ InterVIEW editing team, we wish you a happy and safe summer holiday, we look forward to seeing you in the new year!
As 2019 comes to an end and 2020 draws closer, offices are busy getting the year’s work wrapped-up, secret Santa gifts will be appearing under the tree and possibly, like myself, you’ve already kicked-off the festivities with a round of Snoopy’s Christmas alongside your colleagues.
Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx Do you love the market research industry and want to spread your wings? Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx Does rubbing shoulders with some of industries brilliant minds interest you? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx INTERVIEW MAGAZINE IS LOOKING FOR AN EDITOR xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx to work with our passionate team. xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Please email Claire here > for this great opportunity to get involved!
60 Seconds with
Charmaine Fuhrmann NeedScope International
Kantar NZ Auckland
Geoff Lowe - Infotools
Rob Bree - RANZ
Jason Shoebridge - Kantar
George Glubb - Dynata
Galina Mitchelhill - Word from the Board
Looking back on an ever shifting industry with some of our whoâ€™s who in Market Reserach
We are always looking for new and interesting content! If you would like to write in with your comments, or send us an original thought piece, email: firstname.lastname@example.org >
Xxxxxxxxxx Horst Feldhaeuser - Infotools Xxxxxxxxxx
b Bree After David Innes resigned in mid-2009, my view
as the Chair was to find someone from outside our Industry to bring a fresh perspective, somebody who was a good marketer and could forge links with the marketing fraternity. Furthermore I wanted someone who was strong enough to help us change. Ian Mills who was my Deputy and I were clear that the industry was too small to have a Market Research Society and the Association so the plan to merge the two was hatched with Rob’s appointment. Looking back since his appointment in November 2009, it is clear that Rob was the perfect fit and the perfect CEO to take us through the merger transition and the creation of RANZ. His experience and wisdom was certainly a help to me and I am sure Ian, Rob and Maria would agree that his support for the Chair and anyone involved with RANZ activities was always appreciated.
His problem solving skills and strategic thinking made such a big difference. Having been involved with AMRO since the late 1990’s where all positions were voluntary, having a paid member on staff can make a huge difference to the professional running of the Association and all the regulatory affairs involved. I, for one, thank Rob for his massive contribution!
Colin Yee Fellow Chairman of AMRO 2008–2010
I started working with Rob at the end of my MRSNZ in-
volvement in 2009 and then on my return from Australia as a RANZ board member from November 2014 to July 2017. I found it refreshing that Rob always brought us back to the industry business issues and how we can best address them, both for RANZ itself but also for our members. He was a great support in getting things done and often looked outside our little enclosure, e.g. when we joined the association of associations, got association trainers and mentors in etc. He also managed to be extremely flexible with his time allocated to RANZ, something that is hugely beneficial for a non-profit organisation with tight budgets. I know that not everybody did appreciate his direct no-nonsense approach, but I enjoyed it as it helped us to stay our cause. Thanks for all your support mate.
Horst Feldhaeuser Fellow Group Services Director Infotools
I thought I’d try to make it like a research survey! Q1. How would you describe Rob Bree? Tick all that apply • A leader capable of bringing people together • Understands the importance of research in business decision making • Great networker with intricate strands of contacts • Determined, doesn’t give up if he believes it’s the right thing • And lots of fun, always! Q2. What’s the most important contribution Rob has made to the industry? Rob was the glue that brought us all together when RANZ was being formed. He pushed us to set it up as strongly as possible and should be very proud of what we achieved creating one, united industry body in a short amount of time! It hasn’t always been easy, we’re a diverse bunch, but without Rob’s guidance successive Boards wouldn’t have been able to operate so well. 8
Q3. Got any embarrassing stories? He’s the consummate professional so there isn’t much! But I know Rob believes you have to love what you do so there was always lots of laughs and a few drinks along the way!
Maria Tyrrell Fellow Managing Director NeedScope International
I magine this situation. You’ve been offered a role leading an organisation where the people that are responsible for delivering the projects you’re leading are also the people you report to, pay your salary, and are themselves the owners and managers of successful organisations. Oh, and there are about twelve of them and one of you. This is the role of an Association Chief Exec, and what Rob initially stepped into as the CE of AMRO and then RANZ.
It takes a unique mix of strategic ability, cat herding, diplomacy, sales skills and patience to do the job successfully, and it’s one that Rob has done exceptionally well for more than ten years. He’s helped us successfully navigate one of the biggest down-turns the sector has experienced, overseen the merger of the two industry bodies, kept the lights on, events running and set us up with a forward-looking strategy for our future. Rob’s calm, positive approach has been a huge asset to the industry and the work he has had to do in the background has benefitted us all more than most will ever know. Thank you, Rob. I’ve enjoyed working with you, learning from you, and sharing a few glasses of wine. All the best for the future.
Ian Mills Fellow Executive Director Consumer Insights - Nielsen
Bree….my mind back over the years… I when he joined AMRO, 2009…surely it can’t be ago already?
wanders met Rob was it in that long
We worked together when I was Deputy Chair of AMRO, then on the One Industry Working Group, charged with merging MRS and AMRO, and then continued our efforts for the resultant RANZ. I enjoyed the support of Rob while being Chair of RANZ. When I think of Rob, there’s a continuous theme of reliability, expertise, professionalism, quick thinking, diplomacy, a lovely sense of humour, patience, and did I say patience? Rob is positive, outgoing, personable and very even tempered. I’ve never seen him lose it, he’s always willing to try another approach. He must have developed a skill of silently sighing when having to deal with some of the challenges he was presented with over the years. I’d like to say “Thank You, Rob, for all the enjoyable years working together, and for teaching me so much! Goodbye, and wishing you all the success and happiness possible on your next adventures!”
Winifred Henderson Fellow Director - Minds in Motion; Business Development Director - Yabble < contents
LOOKING BACK ON
MARIA TYRRELL Everyone talks about the massive change our industry has
been and is going through. But we’re still relevant, and that’s because a couple of key things haven’t changed.
Firstly, it's never been about the technology, the surveys or the statistics. It’s always been about the people: Whatever we call ourselves – researchers, insights managers or futurists – WE are the ones who make the difference. A number is just a number without someone giving it meaning. And secondly, we’re needed! Who better to bring the consumer into the boardroom than us – we’re independent, we’re smart and we get what makes people tick. That will never change. So let’s celebrate the fact that our industry has always been, and I believe will always be, central to the success of business, trade, social policy or whatever area you work in. And change is good, it keeps us relevant and on our toes – life would be pretty boring without it!!
Maria Tyrrell Working with NeedScope for 25 years, always changing and always relevant! RANZ Fellow and former MRS president, RANZ chair.
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
< contents 11
DANIEL SHAW When I cast my thoughts back to
the beginning of 2010, it is amazing how far customer research and intelligence has come. Ten years ago, New Zealand, along with many other countries, had just emerged from the GFC. It was a tough time, with many businesses focused on surviving, let alone spending precious revenue on gaining insights into their customers. Fast forward to today, and customer research has boomed with fields and expertise the industry didn’t even have names for ten years ago. However, despite the challenges and change, one thing has remained the same in the customer intelligence field: the desire to help our clients understand their customers to drive success. In short, it’s not the why that’s changed. It’s the how. And wow, what a journey it has been. ONE JOURNEY HAS BECOME MANY
Media is more fragmented than ever. And where media goes, brands soon follow. Prior to 2010, the customer journey – the points of contact a customer has with a brand on their way to purchase – was reasonably 12
straight. A customer researched a brand (online or in store), maybe consulted a salesperson, then purchased. At the dawn of 2010, this linear journey was already showing a few kinks in it thanks to rising e-commerce, social media and the recent introduction of smart mobile phones.
ness over the years. We’ve gone from offering market research to helping our clients untangle their webs, understand their critical touchpoints and uncover who their most valuable customers are and how to engage with them.
Today, the single linear customer journey is gone, and a web of touchpoints has taken its place. Pre-2010, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace were kings. Now, MySpace is dead and the rest are rubbing shoulders with WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, Tumblr, TikTok, Reddit, Pinterest and Snapchat , to name a few. It’s a crowded place these days.
Customer intelligence sits at the intersection of insights, data and technology, a place made possible thanks to the computational advances of the past decade. And nowhere else have we seen the biggest development than in data science.
It’s also forced brands to evolve – for the better. Brands now engage with their customers differently. Transactional relationships are a thing of the past. The most successful brands of today are those who are more available and willing to nurture authentic relationships with their customers, wherever they may be. This is where I’ve seen some big changes in Perceptive’s busi-
THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY
By 2020, experts predict that there will be 40 times more bytes of data than there are stars in the observable universe . Process that for a moment. Forty times more. From emails to tweets, social media posts to Tinder swipes, texts to Google searches, it is a staggering amount of data. And that’s before we add our qualitative and quantitative surveys into the mix. We’re only just starting to scratch the surface of the data we generate every day – all thanks to technology. Until recently, computers simply weren’t powerful enough
to allow us to crunch through the data. Now they are. In the last few years, data mining, predictive modelling and machine learning (a subset of artificial intelligence) have come into the fore and are giving us brand intelligence like never before. At Perceptive, we’re using brand intelligence to help our clients understand where to focus their brand and marketing efforts with unprecedented precision. For example, we’re able to quantify the influence one brand attribute has on another, such as how a 5 percent lift in advocacy might, for a particular brand, increase perceptions value by 3 percent and trust by 4 percent, which, in turn, lifts overall market share by 1 percent. For big brands, that kind of lift can be worth tens of millions of dollars. But that’s not all that’s changed. It’s all very well to get results, but another thing entirely to communicate them in a way that is meaningful to the client. Simply having the data is not enough – it needs translation. Which is why it’s critical to have experts on the team who are skilled at interpreting the data and turning it into stories that help clients understand, empathise and, ultimately, do better business. NO MORE HUNCHES
Perhaps one of the biggest differences from 2010 to today is our ability to help our clients make informed decisions based on real data, every day. In ten years, we’ve seen the development of software that aggregates multiple data streams into one intuitive dashboard. From customer feedback to brand KPIs, these dashboards can track customers, along with a business’s brand health and performance, and display the results in a way everyone – from office intern right up to CEO – can understand. Most critically, these dashboards don’t just visualise data for clients, they allow clients to interact with and explore it.
This technology is helping businesses unearth trends and themes from the highest level right down to branches and even individual salespeople. They’ve used it to identify and reach out to their most unhappy customers and ask their most satisfied ones for referrals too.
Machines may give us better insights, but people will give us better stories – and better ways to understand and connect with each other, which is fundamentally what customer intelligence is all about.
And therein also lies the challenge. Brands are already working flat tack to keep up with technology. Many are still dealing with legacy systems and fragmented and siloed data. I think the next ten years will be about connecting all that potential together and using it in more efficient ways. There’ll be more automation, more machine learning, more scalable cloud services to process and store our data. But just as important will be the human storyteller. Artificial intelligence might be on the rise, but we’ll still need our people to translate and communicate what it tells us, to explain and give insight into thought and attitude that will, ultimately, drive change. Machines may give us better insights, but people will give us better stories – and better ways to understand and connect with each other, which is fundamentally what customer intelligence is all about.
Ten years ago, this type of interactive “live tracking” was a pipe dream; something we longed to do but didn’t have the skill or expertise to execute. Today, it’s the tip of the iceberg.
1 Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, “The Rise of Social Media”, Our World in Data, September 18, 2019. Available here >
2 Domo, Inc. Data Never Sleeps 7.0. 2019. Available here >
The problem with predicting the About Daniel: future, particularly in our industry, Daniel is passionate about growis you’re ing brands and driving profitable n e v e r outcomes for clients through better customer intelligence. sure what Over the past 10-plus years, Daniel has achieved this for b r e a k brands across a diverse range of industries and marthrough is kets. around the corner. That He has been instrumental in building the customer caveat said, my intelligence agency Perceptive into the leading prediction as we technology-based market research agency of Ausmove into 2020 tralasia, winning several milestone clients along is that AI, data inthe way. As managing director, Daniel is focused on harnessing the collective power of Perceptegration and protive’s highly skilled researchers, analysts, data cessing power will scientists, creatives, developers, strategists allow brands to creand account managers to deliver great work ate an unprecedentfor clients and to continue to grow Perceped, 360-degree view of tive’s capability. their customers.
< contents 13
Jason is CEO of Kantar New Zealand. He has led consulting assignments across a range of industries and disciplines in New Zealand and overseas. Before his consulting career, Jason held a number of senior commercial and financial management posts, both internationally and in New Zealand, in large corporates and with an international chartered accounting firm.
and the rise of the
It is a privilege to be asked to write an article for
InterVIEW giving my view on the changes in the industry in the last decade. As it happens, this is almost exactly the length of time that I have been working for Kantar, firstly as Managing Director of TNS New Zealand and then as CEO of Kantar New Zealand. Over this time, I believe the three trends that have had the biggest impact on our industry are technological development, the rise of the millennial workforce and the need to be able to respond to clients in a more agile manner. Technology means that organisations have almost unlimited access to data, whereas maybe a decade ago they would have had to come to agencies like ours to get it. We never have clients say to us, “We don’t have enough data”, but the challenge is always how to draw meaningful insight from it. This technological development means the range of tools and techniques we have at our disposal to draw meaning and insight from the data has also proliferated. We are a people business and increasingly our people are millennials, who quite rightly have different expectations of what they want from their employer and their career, compared to previous generations. Our challenge is to ensure we recruit and retain the best, and as a result this means we are continuing to evolve the way we work and the career opportunities we provide to our people to meet these expectations. Our clients also expect, quite rightly in my opinion, that we can respond faster and provide them more timely insight. This is driven in part by the fact that technology makes this easier to do, but also by their need to respond faster in the markets in which they operate.
The days of setting up a tracker, providing quarterly reporting and revisiting the design every three years are long gone. It is the intersection of these trends that makes me bullish about the future of the industry. There is, in my opinion, too much focus by the industry on its growth rate being at best stagnant. That might be true of the growth in demand for market research, but the market for insight continues to grow year on year, as witnessed by the entrance of new types of competitors into this market, and it is the people who work in our industry who are best placed to capitalise on this growth in demand. And it is not just me that is bullish about the industry’s future. Our parent company WPP is in the process of selling 60% of Kantar globally to Bain Capital, a private equity firm. Bain Capital were the successful bidder out of 16 private equity firms and have paid a price that reflects the strong growth potential they see. The big data that technology now provides us is excellent at answering the “what” and the “who” questions, for example, what did the consumer do and who was the consumer? What it doesn’t answer well is the “why” question – why did the consumer do what they did? To answer that “why” question, the role of primary research and the skills of insights professionals are critical. Insights professionals have a deep understanding of why people behave in the way they do. When you combine that human understanding with technology, you can deliver true insight in a timeframe that allows it to be acted upon to make a difference. As someone who works in the insights industry, I think that is a pretty exciting place to be.
< contents 15
Academia and statistics were never a great passion of mine and my school results certainly reflected this – much like many creatives around today. With this knowledge in hand, I left behind the ledgers and stats and went to college to study art, but much to my horror, realised I could not draw either! That’s where graphic art stepped in and set me on my way. “Ctrl-Z” became my go-to, providing me with a tool to take a few quick and easy steps back when needed, as opposed to erasing a badly drawn section over and over only to be left with a tissue thin canvas to try and create on. I was hooked and the rest is history. No one would argue that creatives aren’t a vital part of the advertising process. But increasingly design is becoming an essential function in the research and insights industry too – helping bring data to life to tell compelling and visuallyrich consumer stories. And that’s what I now do as a designer. I started my career designing business cards and flyers in the back of someone’s garage at the age of 17. From there I was thrown straight into the deep-end, heading up a design department for a publishing company in South Africa. I had to learn fast as publishing was a long way out of my comfort zone. From that moment on it has been a case of crash coursing through different platforms, constant up-skilling and trying to catch up with the everchanging technical advances and packages.
The truth of the matter is that the packages I started with are no longer even used in today’s world. As a designer in 2019, you must play a “Jack of all trades and master of none” role to stay ahead of the game. We do not have the luxury of specialising in a certain area anymore. One used to either be a print / repro designer, a DTP artist or a website developer, now it’s a case of having to do a bit of photo editing, animation, digital programming, website development and DTP all at once - and that’s just the first half of the day. While exciting and challenging, it can sometimes be overwhelming too. It’s tough enough to deliver creatively. But a big part of the job is keeping your ear to the ground and upskilling where you can. Who knows what’s around the next corner or what tomorrow will bring? Life as a designer in a creative agency can be surprisingly harsh at times. You must put yourself on the line with your work. It can come as a shock to graduates who arrive with a preconceived, romanticised idea of the design industry. You soon come to realise that you are having to work at a pace which pretty much runs on par with a small sausage factory and that 90% of the time you won’t like or agree with what you produce. You are there to serve the client.
Charmaine Fuhrmann has worked in the design industry for 24 years and is currently head of design at NeedScope International (Kantar). She is also the RANZ and InterVIEW magazine’s designer, which gives her access to some of the brilliant minds in New Zealand’s market research industry. Charmaine moved from South Africa to Ireland 11 years ago and then to Auckland 5 years later. She loves the outdoors, the ocean and anything that doesn’t require being indoors, which is why she has found the perfect home here in New Zealand. 16
So, while you can advise and guide your clients, you can’t get too precious about your work – and that is something that your education doesn’t prepare you for. Of course, you still need to take pride in your work and bring your skills and ideas to bear. The trick though, is fitting them into a client’s budget and time constraints. In addition, designing has far more to do with selling than you might think! If you can get clients to buy into your ideas, it gives you greater autonomy for the next project. Which brings me back to my current role, designing in insights and consultancy. Ironically, I seem to have come full circle. I have the privilege to work with the NeedScope tool which answers many of the foundational questions a designer would ask themselves: “why have I chosen this audio for this brand?” and “why am I going with this typeface instead of another?”, “what do these visual elements say about this brand?”. Although it’s pretty intuitive for those who choose to work in the design field, it is something I would have appreciated knowing and understanding right from the start. Research consultants and agency creatives sometimes seem to mix like oil and water. But it’s clear to me that neither one can do without the other and neither should they try to. We both have vital roles to play. Although we may sit on opposite ends of the spectrum, finding ways to work well together and respecting each other’s role will go a long way toward successful branding and campaign outcomes. It is a future that we will need to venture off into together, not only to stay ahead of your game, but to do better for our clients.
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
< contents 17
George Glubb is the ANZ regional director at Dynata (formerly ResearchNow SSI) with over 15 years’ experience across the media, market research and data industries. Aside from his work at Dynata, another great passion of George’s is cricket. He is a committee member of the Queen Street Cricket Club, a charity focused on making cricket accessible to all New Zealanders. Always on the hunt for new members... If you share this interest, please feel free to get in touch with George. He will be delighted to chat with you.
THROUGH AN OPTIMISTICALLY
BIASED LENS In an article published in The Guardian, neuroscientist Tali Sharot writes:
To make progress, we need to be “able to imagine alternative realities – better ones – and we need to believe we can achieve them.
Easier said than done? Well, consider these two facts:
1. We are all wired to be more optimistic than realistic. Science tells us that, regardless of our race, culture and social status, all of us tend to look on the brighter side of things. Being overly optimistic can lead to poor decision-making. However, Professor Sharot posits that this bias can also work to our advantage, inspiring us to keep moving forward. 2. The core function of our memory system is not to perfectly replay past events but to flexibly construct future scenarios in our mind. 18
GEORGE GLUBB Scientists who study memory suggest that the reason for our memories’ being susceptible to inaccuracies when recollecting past events is that our mind is designed not just to remember past events but to envision the future, which would prepare us for what is yet to come. To help set us onto this positive path, let us go into a cognitive time travel, recall some key developments in data collection in our industry and imagine how it might evolve in the future. WHAT ARE THE KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN DATA COLLECTION? In a paper on applied marketing analytics, Dynata Global Knowledge Director Pete Cape outlined three major innovations in data collection: Telephone –> Online –> Mobile. We can clearly see this same transformation from telephone to online in New Zealand. In 2009, telephone accounted for about 40% of all quantitative spend. Over the past 10 years, the position has reversed, as online has grown to represent 42% of all quantitative interviewing spend in the country today (source: ESOMAR’s annual Global Market Research Reports). We saw this evolution first hand when ResearchNow (our legacy name before the new Dynata brand identity) first opened an office in Auckland in 2009, and panel recruitment was largely driven by offline activities. As the decade went by, we grew our panel progressively through online and mobile recruitments, and today our panel has grown five times as many from 40K to 200K give or take. Looking at trends in the online space generally, we can see the move towards mobile. Back in 2015, Google announced that, globally, searches via mobile devices had overtaken those coming from desktops.
Do we see these same trends reflected in the surveys we conduct? Not yet. In the 2019 Dynata Global Trends Report, 34% of surveys globally were reported to be taken on smartphones, with 58% on desktop and laptop computers. However, looking at younger age cohorts, the numbers shift in favour of smartphones with 56% of surveys being taken on smartphones vs. 41% on desktops and laptops. WHAT MAY THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? To see what the future may look like, we just need to look at the wealth of opportunities that the mobile device offers and its relationship to us, the users. Our mobiles have become like an umbilical cord to everything we do: communication, shopping, travel, banking, etc. As reported in a 2013 study titled At Home and on the Go with the Millennials, people would rather go without their wallet than their mobile. The device is always on and always with us. The reason is that our mobile phone has virtually everything we want. A smart mobile device has email, SMS and all kinds of apps that make it possible to do anything almost anywhere. It helps us to stay connected via social platforms, has all sorts of technologies and sensors that tell us directions and locations, allows us to pay cash-free as well as hardware functionalities like camera and video recorder, for example.
Not to mention capacities to integrate with other portable connected devices in homes and while we are out and about, including voice-activated technology. All these have opened doors for us to access and interview people. Think about mixed access and mixed mode. We could be sending an SMS to someone to call into a voice recognition system that does the actual interview, or we might post something on their Facebook page inviting them to go into a store and find a product while simultaneously using their mobile to record data. The possibilities are endless. To change our reality, we need to look through our optimistically biased lens – recognise the value in what is currently possible and the challenges that we face. If the future is going to be mobile, we must adapt agilely to make our surveys suitable for mobile devices, just as brands and marketers wisely adopt a ‘mobile first’ strategy to engage with consumers. We need to examine the need and effectiveness of conducting 30‒40 minutes’ long surveys with even stricter discipline and find smarter ways to ask the right questions from the right people to achieve insights for clients and meet the brief we set out for. Embrace new practices and techniques, make that our second nature to move us along to the new reality. As Sharot tells us:
become self-fulfilling “ Expectations by altering our performance and actions, which ultimately affects what happens in the future.
And this trend continues. According to Statista, global traffic on the internet coming from mobile is set to increase nearly sevenfold by 2021.
< contents 19
As we approach the beginning of a new decade, the
As market researchers, what things do we think of as being new these days? Online surveys? Mobile first? Text analytics? Implicit methods? Eye tracking? Virtual or augmented reality? AI? Is the industry really moving quickly or are we a little slow to adopt? Let’s find some insights!
By the end of 2009, we’d been using Google for almost a decade already, Facebook for half a decade and Twitter for at least a couple of years. The iPhone had fully established our index finger as a stylus (launched in the middle of 2007) and Tesla had been selling electric cars for over a year (the original Roadster was launched in 2008).
Not entirely surprisingly, online surveys have been with us for over 20 years. SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999 for goodness’ sake – Qualtrics in 2002! Mobile first, on the other hand, that’s new, right? Well, yes, it is – relatively… but not that new. I’ve just been reading “The use of mobile phones as a data collection tool: A report from a household survey in South Africa”… from 2009!
2020s, I’m having a bit of fun looking back at what was going on 10 short years ago. How different were things back then? How much has really changed since the end of 2009 – in the wider world as well as in our little research corner?
Fast forward to today, and Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Tesla, each with their original visions intact, are all still with us and stronger than ever. Perhaps too strong, some might say! Looking around, a lot of the things we “OK Boomers” think of as being new are actually pretty well established on the scale of decades. Is the same thing true in the insights world? Were we even referring to ‘insights’ back then? 20
What about text analytics? We’ve had word clouds for a while, but natural language processing (NLP) is pretty recent, isn’t it? Actually, no. NLP was established in the 1950s with the goal of making computers understand human language. According to Professor Bing Liu, it’s been applied to insights generation since the late 90s.
Geoff Lowe is executive director at Infotools, serves as deputy chair for the Research Association New Zealand and is the NZ representative for ESOMAR. Geoff has been involved in consumer insights in various ways since 1986 and is driven to help researchers realize the potential of the data they are collecting. He believes knowledge is power, but shared knowledge is super power!
GEOFF LOWE Implicit research methods seek to skirt around our inherent biases to get at what really motivates us to do what we do, where we do it, with whom and why. A number of agencies have implicit offerings, but not that many, so it must be new. Again, yes, but not as new as you might think. The online “Implicit Association Test” was first used in 1998 and was based on ideas that are even older. Eye-tracking systems were all the rage for a while a few years ago – hardly a research conference went by without one or more eye-tracking booths attracting a crowd. It’s now so cheap, everyone can do it, and no one sings about it. In fact, eye-tracking has its origins in the early 1800s – wholly mechanical back then, of course, but even modern camera-based applications in marketing have been around since the 1990s. Even a technology like virtual reality, which has the perception of being brand spanking new, has much older roots. Have a read of this to find out more.
You’ll see that even augmented reality is a wellestablished concept. As for AI, it’s as old as the hills – almost literally – the ancient Greeks had myths about robots! What about cloud-based analysis and reporting of research and insights? We do a bit of that here at Infotools, so I did a little digging through emails my colleagues and I were swapping with each other back in 2009. It turns out even insights in the cloud aren’t new. In 2009 we launched the first generation of our online “Consoles” – interactive dashboards that have evolved over the course of a decade into our current Harmoni offering. All in all, I think we’re a fairly conservative bunch, we researchers. Perhaps as an industry we should aim to increase the velocity of change over the next decade – if we want to stay relevant. And, yes, to answer my question posed earlier, we were indeed referring to ‘insights’ in 2009. Coca-Cola had changed its research function’s name from “Knowledge Innovation” to “Knowledge and Insights” in 2003. Boom! < contents 21
Rob Bree was GM of AMRO from November 2009 until the formation of RANZ, which he was intimately involved with. We all know him as chief executive of RANZ, and he officially handed over the reins to Susanna Baggaley last month, just shy of his 10-year anniversary. As well as working for RANZ, he has run his own strategic consulting business for the last 15years, and this year he has joined Prime Strategies Group, which specialises in helping SMEs. Robâ€™s main interest is developing and implementing strategies for business growth.
22 InterVIEW December 2019
YOUTHIFICATION, COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
The last decade perfectly coincides with my time at
RANZ and previously AMRO. No doubt people a lot smarter than me will be able to provide some very insightful reflections on research, so I’ll hopefully stick to what I know and talk about the wider business environment.
The themes I want to discuss are: 1. Youthification 2. The Myth of Competitive Advantage 3. On Purpose Youthification Yes, I know it’s not a real word, but it’ll do for now. Over the last decade I’ve noticed a shift to a world where we are very careful not to offend anyone for fear of being the target of social media abuse and worse. But the world is inherently ageist, and old crusties like me are finding it very difficult to keep up with technology trends, consumer trends and general cultural attitudes. What this means for businesses is that they need to be quite proactive in ensuring that they stay close to consumer trends, have easier access to their younger audiences and maintain a workforce that has a fair representation of youth. The world I grew up in changed quite slowly through the 60s, 70s and 80s, and with each technology breakthrough thereafter (the personal computer, the internet and social media) the rate of change increased dramatically. Employers (and associations!) now need to ensure that they build an organisation that blends the benefits of maturity and experience with the benefits of the wireless generation. The Myth of Competitive Advantage Everyone is seeking it. Some are finding it. Few are holding on to it. Now more than ever, competitive advantage is at best transient and businesses have to work damn hard to build it and hold on to it.
No sooner do you think you have it than someone undermines it through new technologies, changing consumer needs, disruptive pricing or just straight out copying it and creating a more efficient business model. What this means for businesses is that they have to be extremely agile and able to change gear at very short notice. Typically product advantages and pricing advantages aren’t sustainable over the long haul, so you need to be constantly reinventing your offer and getting closer than ever to your market, ensuring that you understand the audience at least as well as your competitors. On Purpose In this tricky, unpredictable, complicated business environment, “purpose” becomes more important than ever. Businesses need to be crystal clear about their purpose, the need they serve, the why. Without great purpose they risk getting confused by the constant change and the activity required just to keep up. When RANZ worked on its strategic plan, what became really clear to us was that much of what our members want and need, they won’t get from the association. So we switched our focus or purpose from being a provider to being a champion. As such, the purpose of “champion insights genius” won’t become irrelevant as methodologies change or machines take over much of the work previously done by researchers. So, given the constant of change, be the agent of higher meaning for your clients. Focus on their purpose. Just a final word to say farewell to you all and thank you for your friendship, support and challenges over the last decade. I’m easy to find, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ll always have time for my RANZ friends. < contents 23
One ongoing challenge in our industry is gathering feedback on things that have been done or experienced in the past, otherwise known as ‘recall’. We are all familiar with questions such as “What did you have for breakfast yesterday?”, “How many times did you buy a certain soft-drink in the last week?”, “How satisfied were you with your interaction with XYZ?”, “Why did you buy XYZ?”. These are hard questions for anyone to answer. This is one reason why we’re moving towards things like passive data collection, in-the-moment diaries and other methodologies that don’t rely so heavily on recall in order to get more accurate insights. Now, I’m facing a recall question of my own, as I have been asked to reflect on the last ten years. I can’t even remember what I did last week! One thing I do remember is that 10 years ago, in 2009, we still had the appetite for a two-day event when it came to the annual RANZ conference. In recent years, the conference has been reduced to a single day, only this year going back to a successful two-day event. Maybe this reflects the changes and challenges we’ve been facing as an industry, while also taking into account renewed opportunities to drive business success. As an industry, we like the idea of innovation, change, and disruption – but in reality, we’ve been historically slow to move. We know change needs to happen, but an inherently conservative view seems to hold us back.
While social media and DIY “everything” (think Uber, AirBnB, etc.) have changed consumers’ lives, it took us a while to make progress in areas like offering market research DIY solutions, handling the big data explosion and integrating data from multiple sources. But we might finally get there. Many conferences this year focused on the business outcomes as a result of utilising technology instead of the tools themselves. The tools are just a means to an end, enabling us to move from results to insights, to full-sight and eventually to foresight. We said two years ago that the heart of our wider market research and insights industry will remain: curious individuals who enter this field and ask the question “why” – something machines can never do. In 2020, we will be seeing more examples of the continuous integration of humans, data and technology to drive business success. With data and technology becoming a commodity, we need the human ‘translators’ to create real value. We (the humans) also need to ensure that insights deliver impact, making sure that they are communicated, shared and implemented. Technology will provide cheaper, faster research, but if the resulting insights aren’t being used or enabling better decisions, then we are just creating more faster, cheaper research and less impact from what we do.
HORST FELDHAEUSER Horst Feldhaeuser is group services director at Infotools, a New Zealand owned software company that has been specialising for over 25 years in data harmonisation, visualisation and socialisation. Horst is a Fellow of RANZ (Research Association 24
New Zealand) and Qualified Practising Researcher (QPR). His active involvement in the research and insights industry saw him on the Board of RANZ in 2015–17, as NSW chair of AMSRS (Australian Market & Social Research Society) in 2013–14, as well as president of the MRSNZ (Market Research Society of New Zealand) in 2007–10.
These are exciting times to be part of the insights industry with many different roles to play. Our current ecosystem reminds me of Duncan Stuart’s “eight hats of market researchers” that he introduced many, many years ago during his market research induction sessions. The colours and fabric of the hats might have changed, but now more than ever we need trusted advisors, psychologists, fortunetellers, court jesters, diplomats, data shapeshifters and many more. So now the question is (and this one doesn’t require any “recall”): Which hats are you going to wear in the next decade?
Horst won the Best Paper Award at the 2019 RANZ and 2015 APRC/RANZ conferences and is a multiple Supreme and Platinum winner at the New Zealand Research Effectiveness Awards. He’s a sought-after conference presenter and contributes regularly to industry publications.
Recent conference presentations include IIeX NA 2019, Data Viz Forum 2018, IIeX APAC 2017, NewMR 2017, RANZ 2017, IIeX NA 2017, ESOMAR 2016, NewMR 2016, RANZ 2015, IIeX NA 2015.
< contents 25
SECONDS Sara Sara is a recent graduate from the University of Auckland and has been working in the market research industry for one year at Kantar New Zealand. She has played significant supporting roles in several key projects across a diverse range of industries, where she was able to apply her ability to problem-solve alongside her theoretical knowledge of marketing strategies in order to develop insightful and actionable recommendations to solve business issues. Friday night drinks? Meet me at: HeadQuarters (because I’m basic)
An ideal weekend: Includes having a few drinks and relaxing
Chilled out weekend brunch? Meet me at: Anywhere in Parnell
The best thing I’ve learnt in my career is: Not to sweat the small stuff
Special night out? We’re going to: Dinner and drinks I get stressed out by: Traffic
The MR innovation I’m most excited about: Predicting consumer behaviour with AI
To relax, I: Watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S and eat junk food
When I win the jackpot, you’ll find me: On a first class flight travelling around the world
InterVIEW is coming to dinner. I’m cooking: Tacos!!!
My worst job was: Waitressing
The music I’m listening to right now: Mariah Carey’s Christmas album
If I wasn’t a market researcher I would be: A lawyer
Last good book / article / podcast: An article about the health benefits of drinking wine My dream holiday is: Bali 26
The life lesson I wish I had learnt sooner rather than later: Prioritise self-care :) I love my life because: I’m surrounded by people that make me happy
< contents 27