Telling our Story with the R-Net'ers

We had a great session last week with the RNET’ers at MRS HQ.

As well as sharing some of the key headlines from our work to date, we had our attendees work on developing the "Story of Research" that will form the central core to our future planned communication activity.

Attendees completed a storybook to identify the key aspects of what should attract and engage people about a career in market research as well as how they can develop themselves as they progress in this varied and exciting area of work.

The delegates also had the opportunity to draw out how they thought a communication approach could be shaped – a couple of the great ideas are shown below

In the coming weeks the project team will be liaising with a number of industry bodies to develop a co-ordinated series of activities to start to action and communicate in a new way about our industry.

One of those areas will be about looking for representatives of our industries to go and talk to people at colleges, universities and schools about what a great career market research can offer – all materials and content will be provided centrally – we’d perhaps just need a few hours of your time each year to go and give a couple of presentations in your area.

If you are interested in being kept in the loop on this developing activity, please drop a short email to Mark  Hirst, one of the project team at and he will add you to our growing list of potential volunteers keen to turn our growing knowledge in this area into targeted action.

Building "The Story of Research"

We had a great time at our session on Thursday evening Edinburgh with the MRS Scotland group. Thanks to everyone that turned up and helped make the evening a success.

After explaining the journey of discovery we had made to date, including sharing some of the key facts and figures we have identified, we then got into the interactive part of the session.

The audience were asked to reflect on both what they had heard as well as their own experiences as researchers to help them set out a number of key areas of how they would go about selling the Market Research Industry to someone who had not heard about it before, never mind considered it as a career path.

We will be bringing these ideas together with similar outputs from other sessions we have/are running with the aim of developing a series of strong messages to share wider afield.

The attendees were then split into two teams and in a short amount of time, asked to produce a 60 sec advert selling their industry.

These proved to be very informative as well as demonstrating the ingenious and resourcefulness of those people who work in the world of Market Research!!!!

Again, we captured these adverts on video so we can use aspects of each in our developing communication plan.

We finished with a Q&A session over sandwiches and wine where everyone shared their own views about a number of aspects we had discussed.

Certainly our project team got loads from the session and judging by the comments we received on the evening and via Twitter, our audience found the interactive session a good use of their time.

We will be keeping everyone in the loop as we continue our different steams of research activity, and most importantly as we move into the Action phase of the project.

We're in Scotland on the 30th October

At the MRS networking event on the 30th October, our project will be presenting some of the headlines from the work we have done so far as well as getting the attendees to help devise some of the actions for the industry to take.

Full details of the meeting can be found at:

Survey of Esomar Members

Starting tomorrow Esomar members will receive an invite to take part in a survey, giving them the opportunity to share their opinions and experiences to help us on the project.

The survey will allow us to build on the findings from the UK and give us a truly international view of this subject.

The fieldwork period will run for 3 weeks.

Writing the Story

One of the key points that we keep hearing on the project is that the industry has not been good at engaging people with the compelling story of what our industry is about, and the great careers it offers.

So as we start to look at actioning some the findings from our research, we decided that we should reconnect the R-Netters, who originally helped us with an interactive workshop.

So in early November we will be running another workshop where we will share the headlines of what the team found out, and then spend the rest of the time, using creative exercises to help write the story of our industry.

75% of people working in our industry don't believe the industry is portrayed well to the general public, so there’s a job to do amongst the public at large, as well as people considering entering our industry.

Once its created it’ll be used as collateral for all members of our industry to be able to use – when they are introducing what we do to any audience, in particular we are keen it's used to inspire people to consider moving into our industry.

If you are not a R-Netter, don’t worry, you can still get involved. Following the event, we will be publishing the key headlines and the 5 areas of activity for the future including how we want everyone involved in the industry to get involved.

Keep watching the blog and follow us on Twitter for more news.


Liz Norman writes - As a result of the study ENI have been doing with Chime, into market research as a career, I was asked to take part in a debate at ESOMAR congress  on whether  ‘the industry is guilty of failing to articulate it’s strengths to potential entrants’.  Presented as a court case we even had a judge with a wig and gown.  Despite the fact our own study shows that our industry is guilty; 53% of recent entrants fell into the industry with almost no knowledge of what is involved, someone had to be a defence witness and I foolishly volunteered.  Needless to say we didn’t win!
Whilst I can understand why no one wanted to speak for the defence, I think there are individual pockets of hope.  More and more agencies are taking on interns, and many have stated to me that visiting Universities before recruiting, quantifiably improves the quality of those that apply.  ESOMAR and the MRS have individual initiatives with which we are involved (keep an eye on the changing MRS website).  What we could do with is a bigger more co-ordinated approach and to do that we need more of the industry involved.
The talk was part of whole morning of Congress papers dedicated to youth in research.  There were inspiring presentations by young researchers, conveying their passion for the industry.  They discussed the sorts of things GenY are looking for in a job; flexibility, mentoring, variety, opportunity.  All things that market research could offer in  a career.  The young researcher of the year finalists showed the amazing talent we are attracting to the industry, and the winner Pallavi Dhall’s, presentation on how to reach the gay male population  in India was fascinating.
The morning also showed we have a some way to go, Preritt Souda talked about why his friends are leaving the industry.  Salary seems to be a big issue, and I wondered is it perception or reality; are we really earning less than other areas of marketing services?  Something ENI will be researching with Chime and the MRS.  It also came out that in research that undergraduates think that management consultancy offers a better work life balance than market research – surely that can’t be true!
I’m looking forward to going back to ESOMAR next year and rather than talking about the issues, talking about the initiatives we have undertaken as an industry to make market research a career of choice.  Watch this space............

September Activity

Firstly today Liz Norman is taking part in a debate about the promotion of the industry at the ESOMAR Congress in Nice with the Fringe Factory - looks quite serious!!!!!!!!

Secondly tomorrow, Caroline will be presenting some of our results at the Insight Management Academy's joint Client and Agency forum which is looking at the retention of Talent in the industry. The attendees will be helping to flesh out one of 5 key next steps we are hoping everyone in the industry will get involved with.

Watch this space for more details

Interim results from our work – No.1 - Falling into the Industry

Over the coming weeks, we will start to share some of the key insights and observations we have identified as part of our work to date on this very interesting subject.

We start by looking at how people came to enter the industry – go to any research industry gathering of experienced researchers and ask how people began their career and I bet you hear the phrase “I fell into it” a number of times.

One of the objectives of our project was to establish whether or not those entering the industry now, have a more planned route into becoming a researcher.

Well both our first quantitative survey and all the qualitative interviews we have undertaken have shown that many people still enter the industry in this unplanned manner (and even still use the same phrase!)

Our quantitative survey showed that for researchers with less than 3 years experience of our industry:-

This was echoed in our 1-1 interviews with young researchers across the globe – regardless of continent or language, the experience of discovering by chance the wide variety of roles and that a career in our industry can offer was a common theme.

So, is this situation a bad thing? – some argue that the adhoc nature of entering the industry is not a bad thing as it allows people to be able to find a home for their talents that perhaps at 6th form or University they were unsure how to direct into a career path.

The counter argument to this is perhaps, how many people don’t ever get the chance to even consider the wonderful world of research because they don’t see any proactive communication or engagement from the industry at the key career decision points in their life? We know from our own experiences and those that we talked to in our study, most people in the population consider a career in research as consisting of standing on a street with a clipboard – as we all know, a career in research offers much more than that!

In the coming weeks we will look at more insights and observations from the research as well as highlighting the ideas for action that our respondents at the various stages of our research are suggesting should be put in place to help the whole industry move forward and shout about the great things it does.

2014 Activity

Just a quick 2014 update to let all our followers know that we are currently reviewing the results of the quantitative study undertaken in the UK at the end of last year. Full results will appear on here in due course and we'll be letting you know how you can get involved in commenting on the key points the research has raised.

We are also starting to plan a number of speaker slots and events to share the findings of our project during the next few months and also using these events to get more input and reaction - watch out here for more details as and when we have them.