Tag Archives: Marketing research in Business Strategy

Marketing Research Sector – From Insight to Foresight?

Another morning that made me thinks in which direction is my career heading? Am I going to be the new hype – the Nate Silver of Middle East? Or am I going to drown in the data piles around me? Marketing research sector at large, haven’t introduced a game-changing idea for quite some time now and as the information age is coming of age the need of conventional researchers is reducing. So what should we do….? Lead or follow? change careers?

And guess what! Miss Monneypenny from ‘Sky fall’ was able to answer my question – She says “An old Dog should learn new tricks”

Here is a presentation, that you might find useful

Jokes apart, I recently attended a training course on Business Planning, and I have learnt one key thing. All markets mature and all products age, you must stay ahead of maturity and keep on innovating. Innovate anything like process, customer expectation, resource utilization, market differentiation. But you must innovate if you want to survive.

So what should I innovate in my projects, what should Marketing Research Sector at large innovate?

In my opinion, we should innovate our human capital. Instead of producing a whole squad of insight discoverers we should aim at producing decision facilitators.

Market Researchers who can give input on processes, business scorecards, performance monitoring and managing systems, marketing strategies, sales plans and forecasts.

To enable us increase and improve the pricing model of research sector. To help us sustain the competition from social media monitoring industry and consultancy firms.

The slide deck reflects my thinking, and following is what I think is a summary of my vision for MR sector. have a look and let me knowwhat do you think

Data to Decision Value Chain

P.S. And while you are thinking about it, listen to this song – it helps to focus. (or okay lets’ admit it I liked the movie a lot)


Turn Data into Decisions through this Simple Decision Making Grid

Who wants to drive corporate decision making through his data? I do. I want to drive organizations decisions in the light of insights.

In my career I have seen ‘numbers’ predicting future like Mad. And I have seen brand managers ignoring numbers like Maaaaaaaad too 🙂

So now that I am a client myself and have dealt with a lot of agencies, here is a simple Grid that I follow to drive key decisions internally.  Continue reading

3 Emerging Consumer Trends

Customer Trends helps us to shape ourselves according to consumers’ expectations, following are 3 trends which are affecting the consumer. It is now up to us to use them or ignore them.




The Aware Consumer

We are talking to consumer, who are well traveled, informed and aware about their rights.   They are becoming allergic to meaningless brand promises. And legislation and watchdogs are giving them new information about their choices  

They seek a genuine relationship with brands. Be Honest with them, try to be a partner to them in their journey of life.

Lonely but connected

Massive friends on FB but Living alone. Consumers are disconnecting from real life. And they know this.

 Help consumers’ to get back in touch with Real Life

Seeking a Meaning

Gen Y is more aware and hence are more conscious. Trend watching calls it Emereging Maturlism, you may call it a consumer who wants to make a positive impact

Offer consumers a chance to add a positive foot print, you will be pleasantly surprised

The key that sets good researchers a part from bad researchers is not the ability to compute. It is basically, the eye for an insight and the guts to inculcate that insight in to decisions. Best of luck to everyone out there who is trying to do that, sooner or later we will crack this code together.

Data visualization future in Marketing Research

I started today with the typical Monday blues. (for those who don’t know, in Dubai we work on Sundays’)

Reports, tables, data sets started to pile up in my inbox and the brain just refused to work. So I went online and surfed through some of my favorite blogs & websites and landed on the results of WPPed Cream. And there is when I found something which can make your weekend a little brighter.

TNS Digital Life is the winner in the WPPed Cream, Consumer Insight section. I strongly recommend that you have a look at it, you might be pleasantly surprised with the data visualization and cross country comparisons.

Infographic – TNS Digital life UAE-Singapore

The second thing I observed that Kantar has a Creative Director….! Aziz Cami. I am delighted to know that Research companies have finally realized the importance of data visualization and presentation and this is a warmly welcomed move by Kantar. I hope others will soon follow. This indicates that in future, we expect to have a creative division in Agencies’ looking after syndicated data.  Finally. Continue reading

Risk Management practices Marketing Research can learn from Prince2

What is Prince2?

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management, providing an easily tailored and scalable project management methodology for the management of all types of projects. The method is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK and is practiced worldwide.

What are the lessons Prince 2 can teach MR:

After managing a lot of projects in MR quantitative field and managing a few projects using Prince 2, I realized there are a couple of best practices which MR (marketing research) can learn from Prince 2. I will discuss one best practice per post, this post is dedicated to risk management.

Risk management: Prince2 follows a very robust risk management methodology. In which a risk is not only identified through a methodological approach but it is also mitigated through regular monitoring and reviewing process.

Marketing research project managers usually follow an informal approach of tackling risks. 

Learning for Marketing Research Projects: Marketing research project managers usually follow an informal approach of tackling risks. But MR Managers handles large-scale and complicated projects, especially the syndicated projects, where MR Managers face huge pressure primarily in terms of quality and accuracy of data. Such projects will not only impact current clients but can also affect the organization’s repute at the large scale. And hence, these projects demand a robust risk management system in place.

Why apply risk management in marketing research?

    • Continuous learning: A good risk management system identifies potential loopholes in all areas of MR projects i.e. proposal development, field work, data management, report writing. And by mitigation actions eventually organizations manage to put effective controls in place to avoid such threats in future.
    • Reality of negative news: By putting in place a method to ensure an open communication environment, MR Managers ensure that all foreseeable risks/threats are brought forth on the table and are being discussed openly. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, but a systematic approach helps people bring forward the probable but unwanted points
    • Ensure Responsibility: Having identified possible risks, a team can then assign the most relevant party (internal staff or external experts as appropriate) to deal with them. And once a problem is owned by someone, only then it can be resolved
    • Stakeholder involvement: The biggest danger to a marketing research project is lack of communication about the potential threats with stakeholders (it applies to internal MR depts. as well) Open communication helps to have clients’ buy-in for possible delays and will also helps the team to enhance their reputation by being transparent.

Practical application of Risk management in Marketing Research

Identification of risk requires you to understand the categories of risk. Following Risk Matrix identifies key categories and the key risks in those categories for MR projects. [Recommended tool – Brainstorming session amongst project team]

A good risk statement should highlight the risks (variables that can go wrong) and how they will impact the project.  Attached file highlights major MR risk categories and most common risks; these can serve as a starting point for internal brainstorming session.

Analyze the risks: Provide an input to decisions on whether risks need to be treated and the most appropriate and cost-effective risk treatment strategies. [Recommended tool – checklist of categories of risks]

Once you decided a starting point for risk register, next step is to treat the risks by deciding upon steps that will help the team to Avoid, Reduce or Transfer the risks. [Recommended tool – Risk Register]

After all that, team leader/project manager should decide how the risks and mitigation actions will be communicated. Usually, risk registers are shared with the whole team at least once a week.

In case you are convinced that this is something you would like to undertake then download the sample risk register. You might find it useful.   Download the sample risk register for MR projects: Basic MR Risk Register Template v1.0

Download Toolkit:Basic MR Risk Register Template v1.0For more details about Prince2 in Dubai

For more details about prince 2