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Research Next. Let’s open the dialogue!

On March 24th, a virtual event regarding the future of Market Research was organized by the Institute of Communication and SEDEA.

The event was attended by 57 companies in the area of retail, food, telecommunications, technology, e-business, banking services, gambling, digital communication, market research & opinion polling, research and strategy, media, advertising, legal services, service and business solutions, academics and individuals.

Anne-Sophie Damelincourt, ESOMAR Council Member | Treasurer, Blue Lemon Insight & Strategy – Founder & Owner, answered key questions about Market Research and the role it will be called to play in the near future. In particular, in her speech she emphasized the following:

  • The massive impact of technology has blown up the traditional scope of Market Research to a much wider one including passive data collection; however, this is still anchored into collection and the how rather than what we deliver (i.e. supporting decision making for organizations, individuals and societies)
  • The explosion of digital and acquisitions from within the traditional MRX as well as from beyond our traditional market shows: 1/the interest of data and 2/redefines the boundaries
  • The aim should be for seamless project management, embracing all kind of methodologies
  • We need to be purpose-focused rather than method-focused

Valeria Tsamis, President of SEDEA & Managing Director, FOCUS BARI, in her speech pointed out the following:

  • Reflection on the role of Market Research in an ever-changing landscape with the development of new technologies and the constant redefinition of our customers’ needs is not current but now is the right time to take the next steps.
  • As a sector, we need to re-examine practices, beliefs and even stereotypes of many years and remember the purpose and role of Market Research & Opinion Polling. We are not a process of gathering information; we are enablers and supporters of successful decision- making. The purpose together with our inherent characteristics is what should guide us to our future, to the way we will operate and the means we will use.
  • Changes are real, we must integrate them in our mode of operation without forgetting who we are. As a brand that needs to be re-positioned in the market to remain competitive while maintaining its identity, this is what we must do as an industry.

Maria Chryssicopoulou, Head of Customer Research & Customer Insights, OPAP, giving the perspective on customers’ requests from Market Research, stressed:

  • Data Science & Market Research are two separate worlds right now that simply coexist. We need to merge them. To merge research with internal data. They both deal with what matters the most: the customer.
  • Expectations from the client side from market research sector revolve around the output: an output that needs to be delivered faster, to be more action focused, with the ability to prove its predictive value.
  • The next worst thing than being blind is to be able to see without having sight, without having perspective. With Data analytics we have the customers’ behavior but we don’t know their needs, how happy they are or not with us or with another competitive proposition. Market research gives this necessary perspective and frameworks accordingly the available internal data information

Costas Houndas, Strategy and Business Analytics Officer, TEMPO-OMD having the experience of media agencies, mentioned among other things:

  • The pandemic has meant an acceleration in digital transformation by months or even years. The move to digitization has accelerated, and the benefits will be permanent.
  • It is hugely important that MRX agencies need to make big steps forward in their data and technology credentials. They need to embrace AI, ML, Automation, in going forward.
  • The job is to understand people, not to understand the technology and how it works. It is a people business and to succeed we always need imagination, ideas, creativity, ambitions. That’s what makes the difference!

The panel also included Aimilia Tseimazidou, President of IoC & Chairperson, attp group and Angela Stathopoulou, ESOMAR Representative & Partner-Research Director, METRON ANALYSIS. Angela Stathopoulou coordinated the participants’ questions, which mainly focused on the following topics:

  • the integration of traditional Market Research methodologies with data analytics/big data
  • the time issue and how MRX can be ahead of the changes that new technologies bring,
  • the impact of the current changes to market research and its future,
  • cases where traditional MRX companies adopted new methodologies successfully.

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