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5 things I have learnt from the sector in 2017

5 things I have learnt from the sector in 2017

As we move closer to 2018, I thought it would be useful to step back from market research. New to the sector, a lot of learnings have taken place. And some spring to mind…

  1. Individuals are worried about technology!

More and more individuals are worried about technology and how this could change their job. Or whether a computer/robot could take their role. In my opinion, this is many years away, the sector should keep moving in the direction it is going. Everyone likes to be efficient and technology can only enhance the opportunities to work on some very interesting projects. Having said that, it should challenge our thinking for the future to deliver work for clients and businesses.

  1. Market Research training

A topic rarely discussed but something I find very interesting. In a sector that is constantly client or/and customer related, any training opportunities are within a classroom. At present, training opportunities are put in front of individuals.

Isn’t this the opposite way around to how market researchers work?

We work in a world that first wants to understand what the customers would like, then use insights to deliver/create a product.

What training needs are required by you to develop in the sector?


  1. Being nice (I hate that word!) to clients!

In a sector that is client friendly, its seem to be a fashion statement to be nice to clients. Clients receive reports that may not detail the full story. But show results they may like on the face of it. For example, showing a high percentage rather than a figure that could actually help but may not look as good.

So what?

This lends its self to number 4…

  1. How many clients challenge you constantly?

Not enough. You see different reports published each week by leading market research agencies whether that is client work or their own internal piece of work. Sometimes I question why businesses have selected a specific agency because the standard is questionable. This will always depend on what the client has received previously but if you are paying for a service, you must question things; don’t except the norm.

  1. Don’t forget to reflect

My final though for 2017 was the fact that individuals in the sector do not necessarily look back in time. Yes, it is all well and useful to talk about new methodologies and automation, and how to improve the sector. But remember where we have come from. The sector has come from paper surveys in newspaper to VR and using data from Pokémon Go and other Apps. The data utopia we live in today is frightening but something the sector should be proud of.

5 ways to improve your Net Promotor Score (NPS)

5 ways to improve your Net Promotor Score (NPS)

5 ways to improve your Net Promotor Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) question puts respondents into Promoters, Passives and Detractors; and then appears as a score. In fact, the index could range from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a product/company or services to others. I deem a score of 0-50 being seen as good and a score of 50+ as excellent.

Low and behold, we go to a meeting and we see someone rambling on about a single NPS score. A figure we are somewhat meant to make sense of. For the naked eye or those none research/insight savvy individuals; a number on a screen could mean many different things.

But is it a victim of its own success?

How could NPS be integrated into other research methodologies?

Here are 5 top tips and ideas you could use..


There are many different agencies and technology advancements that enable individuals all around the world to take a recording of themselves. This could be their opinion about the product or specific company. You can then relate their NPS score, whether they are a promoter, passive or a detractor against their video. So, you can put words and scores against actual meaning. For a research or Insight manager, what a valuable tool and process to go through, that can be translated for product or marketing managers to understand what customers are talking about.


Many companies can become disheartened by the fact that individuals do not like a particular product they have worked so hard to create and develop. However, they are the most invaluable teacher for your business to grow and improve. Finding out why they are unwilling to pass on the good word about your product can be more valuable than evaluating the consumers who like you most. Poor customer service can be rectified, as can glitches in your product that make it second best to your competitors.


Have you made some changes from your NPS? Even if they are minor changes that customers may not actually recognise. You now need to let them know about the improvements that have come from their feedback. There’s nothing more satisfying as a customer than taking the time to fill out a survey and then actually seeing your feedback make a difference. It could be anything, as long as it closes the feedback loop.


Depending on what you want to know, you could deviate from the standard “Why?” question. Some would say this is heresy, but there is no harm in testing and it could serve you well.


I don’t like naming companies and I am sure you can have a think of those who create bias within a survey, specifically an NPS question. You could argue, this is helping those individuals who do not understand the concept and therefore, it helps them to make a clear decision instead of a middle ground. Alternatively, it could actually attract someone to make a favourable score.

If you’re going to spend the time to track your Net Promoter Score, you need to actively and continuously try to improve it. By turning more customers into promoters and eliminating detractors, you will increase customer loyalty significantly. However, there are other metrics and ideas that you could use:

  1. customer satisfaction
  2. Customer effort score
  3. First response time to communication
  4. Van Westendorp pricing
  5. Repurchase ratio’s

What step are you taking to improve your Net Promotor Score?

Tweet me at @Jakepryszlak with your thoughts and how you are going to improve your NPS!


How much is the term ‘market research’ used?

How much is the term ‘market research’ used?

How much is the term ‘Market Research’ used?


In one sense the professional history of market research could be defined by professional associations such as the MRS and ESOMAR in the late 1940’s.

Definitions typically suggest that marketing research is a broader term implying understanding of customers that happens within organisations and marketing functions. Market research is a more macro analysis reflecting work done by research agencies. It is notable that whilst professional associations, such as the MRS or ESOMAR, provide their own definitions these seem designed more as a means of marking professional territory than in providing clarity to researchers or users of research. In practice, this is how you notice differences between market research in the UK and USA.

In the late 1990’s an additional term ‘insight’ began to emerge in addition to and as an alternative to market research. This can be seen as a response to the need to generate greater influence amongst stakeholders, particular amongst senior management. The term customer insight emerged not from the field of market research but from the emerging field of customer relationship management, where agencies became aware that they needed to sell both the technology and the benefits it would bring to the bottom line.

Check Jake’s speaking availability today by emailing:


Research within this post has been created and analysed by myself, and anyone wishing to use the information should contact me to ask for permission.

To analyse the use of the term ‘market research’ I looked for data representing views from a number of stakeholders. Such key stakeholder groups were identified as market research agencies, professional bodies, and obviously the more general public perception of research.

Firstly, the most recently available league table from the MRS at the time of analysis (2017) ensures the maximum value of findings.

For each of these agency public facing websites the following were analysed:

  1. The presence of the term ‘market research’ in a description of the agency in the page title
  2. Presence of the term ‘market research’ in description of the company’s core activities on an about page, or similar page explaining core company activities.
  3. Presence of the term ‘market research’ in a business unit or set of product offerings.
  4. Alternative phrases used instead of, or in addition to, market research to describe core business activities



Out of the top 10 ranking agencies =


Rank Company MR mentioned on Homepage? MR in About Page MR in Product Description
1 Kantar NO NO NO
2 Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting NO NO NO
3 Dunnhumby NO NO NO
5 Garnter NO NO NO
6 Nielsen YES NO NO
8 Teradata UK NO NO NO
9 Omnicom/DAS NO NO YES
10 Euromonitor YES YES YES


CRITERIA % of all top 50 agencies in Consolidated table
The term ‘market research’ is evident on the home or/and description page 28%
Presence of term in product descriptions and ‘about us’ pages 36%

These were some of the key descriptions of core business products:

  • Research, data and insight
  • Technology research
  • Survey research
  • Strategic insight
  • Market intelligence
  • Customer experience
  • Insight
  • Generating insight
  • Understanding consumer decision making
  • Social research



This data provides only a partial picture in that it measures the presence or absence of the use of ‘market research’ in certain contexts.

But what industry am I in?


What is its relevance in 2017?

The evidence suggests that the use of the term market research today is as a placeholder or a descriptor of a certain set of skills and it appear to be largely used within the industry. The potential for research to grow has, arguably, never been greater. However, the term market research is at the intersection of a number of declining factors – not least a perception in the decline in the value it can generate for its customers. This raises a number of important questions that need to be address by key stakeholders in research, including:


Should universities continue to offer courses that are labelled ‘market research’?


Should new graduates and other young professionals seek skills to develop a career in market research?


At this stage it would be tempting to make a recommendation that the market research world needs to reinvent itself but the data analysed suggests that the industry is already doing so. In conclusion, the market research ‘industry’ has moved on and is increasingly defining itself in other ways – and in showing this flexibility helps to secure its future success.


Should I make online survey questions required?

Should I make online survey questions required?


You’ve designed your survey and you’re ready to launch.

But one of my problems and a question clients ask all of the time is: I’ve put all this work into writing my survey, but what if people skip some of my questions? Ah-hah! I’ll just require that respondents answer all my questions—problem solved.

Not so fast. According to researchers there are some definite downsides to requiring questions.

If you require all questions in a survey you might end up with fewer responses overall. How does that work?

Say your survey included a question like ‘What is your favourite fizzy drink?’, and you made the question required.


How can you answer this question if you don’t have or like any fizzy drinks, yet the question requires an answer in order to continue through the survey? This is a frustrating experience for a survey taker, and they may get so frustrated that they drop out of the survey entirely. Not good.

Similarly, if you ask personal or intrusive questions, people may choose to end the survey rather than give an answer. Recent pieces of research have shown that 35% of respondents dropped out of a survey when they were required to answer personal questions compared to 9% when they were allowed to skip questions that felt too personal.

This particular survey asked about relationship satisfaction and sexual history, but other types of questions that may be considered personal are those about health and medical history, criminal behaviour, income and debt, or questions that just don’t seem relevant to the topic of the rest of the survey.

An even bigger potential problem with requiring questions is getting wrong responses. Let’s go back to the two scenarios above: the question that isn’t relevant (What is your favourite fizzy drink?), and the personal question that people don’t feel comfortable answering. Faced with either of these types of questions the survey taker could choose to drop out or they could choose to make up an answer or pick an answer at random in order to continue.


How honest do respondents answer?

In reality, dishonesty like this is even more problematic than missing data because enough of these untruthful answers could lead you as the survey designer to draw incorrect conclusions. So what are you to do if you want to get as much (accurate) data as possible?

The best advice? Only require questions when absolutely necessary. For example, it’s a great idea to make a question required in order to create weighted responses or to cut your data.

Some of this comes from the survey taker’s level of engagement. The more someone cares about a survey, the more time and effort they will put into completing the survey. Since Audience members are contributing to charity with each survey, they care a lot about the surveys they take.

Uncovering true insights using video surveys

Uncovering true insights using video surveys

Uncovering true insights using video surveys

When it comes to engaging your customers, market research has been trying to stay ahead of the curve of innovation. This has been helped by organisations such as Plotto who have created a new and exciting product enabling users to uncover true insights using video surveys.

Why use the product?

You’re already aware that video content on your website and social media channels is more valuable than written content when it comes to engaging customers.

It is the modern way after all…..

And with the growing prevalence of mobiles, webcams and affordable digital cameras, along with video sharing sites like YouTube, everyday folk also have the opportunity to create and share their own videos easily.

With ever more affordable options for businesses to create videos, and so much user-generated content being shared online, there are numerous opportunities to use video to reach out to new customers or to cement your relationships with existing ones, whether it’s you or your customers who create those videos.

Plotto is one of the best platforms that enables researchers to create, analyse and edit video surveys quickly and efficiently

Plotto’s mission is to bring together new media and storytelling; oriented towards privacy and qualitative content relevance. But what is special, it allows you to turn big data into smart and actionable insights that can be used at a strategic level.

I think there are 10 main areas why Plotto is the GO TO platform to use:

  • It allows for product feedback and sampling
  • Video ‘free text’ in online research surveys – More and more individuals want to freely speak about products in their own time. And on the sofa!
  • It can enable ethnographic research and video diaries that can be transcribed and used
  • Creative testing pre & post campaign
  • Video testimonials
  • Surveys and content for pitches or PR
  • Insight generation
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Employee engagement & client feedback
  • Focus group homework or pre-screening

Areas of improvement

With any platform, there are areas for improvement and I am sure Plotto are already a step ahead of these, but…

Is the platform accessible for all communities whether they are elderely, disabled, young or from a community where technology is not as important to use?

Also, the willingness of so many to share the intimate details of their lives, coupled with the rapid development of technology allowing them to do so, presents numerous unprecedented opportunities for researchers…

And it will take brave organisation to take a new step into the world of video technology and surveys. Until the mass market do; the product needs real life case studies and impact.

My final recommendation for the product to take that step further is to look at ways of innovating data into a wide range of data visualisation formats enabling the less data savvy individuals to interpret the information quickly and efficiently.


Did the product live up to expectations?

From using Plotto and testing the platform I am going to give it a score of 8/10. It is one of the easiest platforms to use and better yet, you can:

  • Create your survey quickly using the drag and drop interface making it a doddle to use.
  • Get straight down to the core insights when you are up against it and short of time, using the interactive analytics tool.
  • Create video testimonials for presentations using the very simple showreel creation meaning bullet points and insights can be brought to life
  • Export all of the data and information; enabling you to show information to clients away from your desk at any time

The real value for researchers, though, will come in the form of opportunities to take a first-hand peek into important aspects of people’s lives, such as what they do in their spare time, which topics they’re talking about and how they really feel about them. We’ll also get insight into how they present themselves publicly – and while it might never quite be possible to know how these people behave when they’re not being watched, observing their online persona can still tell us a lot…

With so many possibilities emerging, it’s an exciting period of time where live streaming technology is becoming increasingly accessible. And I feel Plotto is one of the first organisations to nail it!!

Using Plotto, you will be able to gather new data that will help you understand people’s lifestyles, emotions, and how they share them online quickly, and cost effectively.

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