MRS Roadshow comes to Winchester…

Marketing Sciences Unlimited once again hosted a team from the MRS to come and update us, as a Company Partner as well as individual members from the surrounding areas representing their agencies, companies, councils and Universities.

As always, it was a great opportunity to see what the MRS sees as a priority for them in the coming year and gave a helpful review of what they have been up to in the past year.

The highlights included:

An overview of the market

Following a thorough assessment of the size and impact of the UK research and evidence market in 2016, the MRS predicts that

  • The market value of research and evidence has grown; helped by data analytics, qualitative research (to accompany the ‘big data’ sets many clients now have access to), in-house research teams looking across the businesses rather than operating in silos and even in local government (although this may not last given the recent local budget cuts)
  • There is certainly room to help our clients create an insight culture to drive business growth through insight; a disappointing 17% of those who took part in the MRS & Delphi group report felt they were able to champion the customer voice and 43% said that customer impact measurements had a limited impact on decision making

The researcher of the future

  • They outlined the researcher of the future, which is something that we at Marketing Sciences have been discussing for a while and how these ‘super humans’ will need have strong business acumen, strong analytical and interpretation skills and be a good communicator/storyteller. Oh, and also be flexible, agile and an early adopter. For many of us in the industry, one or two of these are usually evident. The good news is that all of these can be learnt or improved and don’t forget the MRS has great training courses relevant to those of us in the industry.

Engaging young professionals

  • The Market Research Society hugely under-indexes on young (under 30 if you are wondering!) researchers joining as members. The current R-net does not have cut through in terms of what these millennials want; something free, cool and tech appropriate with access to bite size learning, networking and access to industry leaders.
  • So look out for &more which is a new initiative to engage young researchers, encourage more local networking (great news for us non-Londoners) and bring membership right up to date. Check out the website but the free and cost saving initiatives certainly seem to make it a great opportunity.
  • It’s great for us as an employer too as there will be lots of opportunities for our young talent to network and develop outside of our business

A guide to procurement

  • Great news! The MRS have worked with CIPS (a key membership association for those working in procurement) to produce a guide for ‘buying market research’. The aim is to help those who have little or no understanding of what research is and how it is difficult to buy 100 interviews in the same way as you would buy, say, 100 chairs. Market research should be seen as a ‘business investment spend’ that will improve the client business, not just a cost.
  • It is about to be signed off and launched so, again, look out for it but the MRS are more than happy for us to share this guide with our colleagues in procurement as some ‘free training’ for them, certified by their own organisation.

Preparing for the EU General Data Protection Regulation

  • OK, so not always the most exciting topic but so, so important.
  • With potential fines of up to £20 million, it certainly got us paying attention!
  • Oh, and by the way, it is not even a benefit of Brexit; we won’t leave the EU until after this comes into force (May 2018) and we’ll need to have some standards in place anyway.
  • Rather than me try and outline what they said (other than we need to start acting now if we are not already), can I suggest you go to the MRS website where there are some fantastic webinars and documents on GDPR which really help (and these will continue to update over the next few months).

And of course a plug for Codeline who are there to help us with any queries we may have – thanks Julie and team.

So all in all, loads to take in and some exciting (and daunting) challenges for the year ahead.

Thanks MRS.

Danni is Head of Retail at Marketing Sciences Unlimited.

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Danni Findlay
01962 842211
Article date - 16/02/2017
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