Baby Steps…

Having spent the last 14 months on maternity leave, I have recently returned to the office to start my new life as a working mum. After initially crying into my Weetabix (other brands are available) at the prospect of dropping my son at nursery to forge ahead with my market research career, I am now settling back into the daily routine slowly but very surely.

So, what’s changed since I’ve been gone? The answer is quite a lot actually! Whilst the people are just as lovely (and there are quite a few more new faces too), the company seems to be going from strength to strength, embracing new technologies and new research techniques and has generally become a more prominent fixture in the market research world.

Here’s a brief summary of some of the changes:

New technologies
Just before I left, I was working on a new large scale tracking study, which involved us making a substantial investment in tablets to conduct interviews. We’d used them before but not on such a large scale and in June of this year, we undertook our millionth tablet interview. Our interviewers have really embraced using the tablets and they work out great for everyone involved and mean our clients can see the results much quicker than pen and paper surveys.

Although not a new technology as such, we’ve also recently been using eyetracking in more of our research projects to complement our more traditional quantitative methods, which gives a different spin on how we deliver our findings to clients. You can read more about a recent case study on eyetracking here. We’re excited to find new ways of incorporating eye tracking into more of our projects so keep a look out!

We’ve also been exploring the world of online bulletin boards and online communities and in particular have created our own “Savvy Shopper” community with members recruited based on their attitudes and behaviour towards shopping around, finding the best deals and discounting. These “savvy shoppers” make up about 7% of the overall population and are looking for the best deals and spend time to ensure they maximise their money. In light of the current economic situation, it’s allowing us to gather some really useful and interesting data on how people shop and gives us real insight into the mind of today’s consumer.

New faces
There have been lots of new additions in my absence and we’re continuing to hire, which means really exciting times for us all at Marketing Sciences. We’ve welcomed new faces to our DP team (Nick Rafferty), product team (Jenny Guerreri) and Technology team (Richard Snoxell).

New growth
Finally, 2013 has been a great year for Marketing Sciences (hopefully nothing to do with my absence!) and in the first quarter of the financial year, we saw our turnover increase by 30% – a great achievement in such a challenging market.

Here’s hoping the next year brings such exciting and promising results…watch this space!

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Hanna Bentley
01962 842211
Article date - 04/11/2013
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