Creston Next Generation – Day 2: Insight

Day 2 of the ‘Next Generation’ programme was all about the insight division of Creston, something we Market Research Executives should be very comfortable with. Again, we headed to the Creston head office in London, a little more confident this time about finding our way there without getting lost!

Today’s presentations focussed on a range of Insight topics and techniques that we would be able to incorporate into our brief. The day started with Iain Carruthers from ICM welcoming us back and introducing all of the speakers that would be presenting throughout the day. There were a range of different researchers from the Creston Insight companies – ICM and our very own Marketing Sciences colleagues. We then split into our pitch teams and were sent off on our whistle-stop speed date of Creston Insight!

My team started with a session on Qualitative Research with Sunita Bhabra, one of our ‘Quallies’ from Marketing Sciences.  As our brief was for Clearasil – a skin care brand targeted at teens, we needed to know how to gain insight from this age group. Sunita helped us understand how we could speak to teens by giving us general guidance on different qualitative research techniques such as focus groups, depth interviews and observation. She also discussed with us the importance of ethics and the MRS code of conduct as there are a lot of regulations to bear in mind when conducting research, especially with anyone under 18.

Next we moved on to Iain Carruthers from ICM, his session focussed on Brand Mapping. This involved helping us to understand the importance of identifying where a brand sits within the market, where it needs to be to succeed and then working out how to move from the former to the latter. To help explain this, without us getting lost, he asked us to physically move sets of products around, grouping them into a variety of different sets to visually understand the many different ways brands can be categorised and mapped. I found this very interesting as I’d had little previous experience of Brand Mapping.

We then moved on to a session on Social Media & Brandwatch. This was presented by Danni Findlay, one of our directors at Marketing Sciences. This again was very interesting as I hadn’t seen the Brandwatch tool before. Danni showed us how it could be used for data-mining to search across the many social media outlets. This enables us to discover how popular particular topics are in the social media world, on which platforms they are most talked about, at what times activity is occurring and exactly what people are saying about the topic. This could be a very useful tool for our brief as there is a strong focus on digital channels and Brandwatch can enable us to explore how & where Clearasil is currently being spoken about online.

Next up was Ian Ralph, another familiar face from Marketing Sciences, talking to us about Social ROI (Return of Investment). This again ties in strongly with our brief to focus on digital channels. It was interesting to see how much thought and measurement would be needed to ensure that use of social media platforms were successful in turning potential consumers into consumers, or current consumers into loyal ones. Or in other words, making sure that money spent within digital channels was able to transfer into real profit.

Our next session was with Charlotte from ICM, who took part in the ‘Next Generation’ programme last year. She showed us how her team had used video to conduct research for their brief. As well as showing us actual video clips used in research she also talked to us about the benefits that video research could bring and the practicalities of using it.

We finished the morning sessions with Andy Myers, one of our Stats experts from Marketing Sciences. He spoke to us about using segmentation in research, looking at meaningful differences within the population of interest. This could be important for our brief as I’m sure not all 15-19 year olds are the same/like the same things!

After lunch, with our energy levels refuelled and minds still buzzing with all of the techniques we’d been taught about that morning, we began to discuss the brief within our teams in more detail. We started off simply (or so we thought!) identifying the 3 key issues: who we needed to conduct research with, what we needed to know, and how we could find it out. It was difficult trying to decide which techniques we would use, as they all seemed so interesting and potentially useful but we wouldn’t have time to use them all!

We finished the day in a similar fashion to our previous session: winding down in the top floor bar after a busy day of learning and idea generation. All in all, I think today was very useful to everyone, both the people unfamiliar with insight and even those of us already working within research roles. I’m sure the techniques that we learnt about today will be seen in all of the team’s final pitches and will be continually useful throughout the whole process of this scheme, and definitely in future work too!

The Class of 2014 will be updating you on our progress through the Next Generation scheme, so check back for future installations!

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Sarah Bruce
01962 842211
Article date - 12/05/2014
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