Let's open the dialogue event
On March 21st, SEDEA and the Communication Institute, Greek Associations, in cooperation with ESOMAR, represented locally by Angela Stathopoulou, organized an event on the theme: "Let's open the dialogue".
I was very honored to be speaking and to be interviewed by:
Aimilia Tseimazidou, representing the Communication Institute (ATTP)
Valeria Tsamis, representing SEDEA (Focus Bari)
Angela Stathopoulou, representing Esomar for Greece (MetronAnalysis)
Kostas Houndas, representing the Advertising side (Tempo-OMD)
Maria Chrisikopoulou, representing the end-client side (OPAP).
In my presentation I could share my vision & answer the following questions:
What is the big picture of the MRX, Data & Insights Industry globally?
What are the main challenges?
How to win in this landscape?
This open discussion was followed by a written article in AD Business, the Geek Marketing magazine.
It was published in Greek, please find the full article in English below.
Anne-Sophie Damelincourt is Founder & Owner at Lemon Insight & Strategy. Passionate about cultures, behaviors & the digital transformation of organisations and of our societies, Anne-Sophie is an MRX Expert, International Speaker and Thought Leader, working elevating and shaping the future of MRX.
With a background in Marketing (Unilever & Lactalis) and Consultancy, she specialized in extracting and applying insight to help define brand strategy and deliver growth. Her particular areas of expertise and interest are brand positioning work, innovation and advertising, notably in the Media and Food & Beverage industries.
How has technology and Data Science affected the Market Research World?
Technology with digitalization and Data Science have had a massive impact on Market Research. Technology brought DIY research, automation and visualization which was a first transition and the biggest change came from active with questioning to passive data thanks social media and Artificial Intelligence. Because of the explosion of Data worldwide and more specifically in the USA, some Consulting agencies or Technology/IT companies have integrated Data & Analytics thanks to acquisitions or mergers with Data organizations. The investment of SAP in Qualtrics some years ago is a very good illustration of this phenomenon. This movement has led to a fragmentation of the Data, Analytics & Insight Industry and to the decrease of Market Research with more agile, quick and cheap solutions but essentially with solutions which are anchored into the decision making process.
In the recent virtual event regarding the future of Market Research that was organized by the Institute of Communication and SEDEA, you also mentioned that consulting agencies are offering services similar to the ones Market Research agencies are offering. Do you think Market Research has to compete with Data/Tech companies and consulting agencies or can these industries work together and complement each other?
I think that Market Research agencies can’t compete with Data/Tech companies and Consulting agencies. First because basically our market is too small in front of Technology and Big Data (bare in mind that from my presentation the ‘Traditional’ Market Research sector is less than half of the whole market - source: Esomar Global Research report -2020) and second because I think that we are too far from decision making and to strategy. For many decades Market Research was the owner of Data, which is not true anymore and we have been stuck to this data collector image. Also we have the image of people who work to avoid risks, rather than predicting the future. Businesses are run so differently today, with real time decision making (ie: consumer experience / CX), so the idea of risk does not exist as we knew it some years ago.
What are the main challenges that Market Research is facing?
The main challenge of the Market Research Industry is to rethink its positioning and its value proposition. What is our Vision? What is our Mission? How can we articulate our values with what we offer? What are we really good at? What do we have unique? What can we learn from Data & Analytics? And beyond our biggest challenge is to preserve our existence.
What are the opportunities that lay ahead for Market Research?
As I mentioned in my presentation we have lots of similarities but also many differences with the Data & Analytics world. So let’s work on what to have in common to create links and paths and let’s see how we could use our differences for something which is positive. But before doing so, the prerequisite would be to open our eyes and minds, we really need a mind-shift. Technology is offering so many capabilities for more accurate and strong decision making. More than ever organizations have the possibility to be so close to their consumers and customers, to anticipate their needs and to predict their behaviors. The shift of organizations from being product or service-centric to human-centric is a fantastic opportunity for our market.
I think that we can bring our ethical values with consent as well as our capabilities in analyzing complex data, taking the most of them and telling stories to bring the data to life in decision making process.
Will we see changes regarding the business models and the services that Market Research agencies offer? How will the Market Research Agency of the future look like?
Market Research agencies or more widely Data, Analytics & Insights agencies (I am not sure whether Market Research is still relevant to define what we do and what we will be doing) should rethink first their mission and their structure, offering with human centric solutions instead of pure data services. I truly believe into organizations offering fully integrated solutions gathering data (active and passive, science-based and coding-based), science-based solutions and human thinking and storytelling, the perfect balance between Science & Art, gathering the What, the How and the Why.
One other key aspect is our capabilities to answer strategic and tactic, short-term and long-term issues, to work on quick and longer projects, with cheap and high budget solutions.
During the event, you mentioned that Market Research must get closer to decision making. How can this be accomplished?
This has been one of our biggest weakness and it has been reinforced by the evolution of the market. As I previously mentioned we are seen as data collectors to avoid risks rather than predictors. Embracing the new world and the capabilities of technology as well is a fantastic opportunity to be part of this real time decision making process. And we are known for our intellectual and good thinking skills, for our expertise in interpretation and in delivering clean and good data without bias. I am convinced that the sweet spot to be closer to decision making can be found into this alliance. The Science & the Art explained above.
In your opinion do market research agencies need to recruit people with a new skillset?
Definitively. If we want to tackle this sweet spot we need to find new skills, new cultures, new visions. In this space, integrating these new skills, either individuals or companies, is more challenging than hiring new talents. Management for a smooth and performing team is key.
During the event you stressed out that the Market Research industry need to be purpose-focused rather than method-focused. Could you elaborate a little on this?
That’s another key issue but linked to the idea of being data collectors. If we want to be part of the decision making process, we need to think purpose, strategy or tactic and to stop being method-focused. Or in other words, to think the What and the Why rather than the How only. When to go to a restaurant you want to enjoy a delicious meal, you pay for an experience not for the ingredients for their own sake.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and my article. Please share, comment, like, oppose!
Thank you so much to SEDEA, Institute of Communication and to bright and fantastic people who made this happen.
All the best to Greek people and to the Greek market!