There's so much more to market research

There’s a running joke within the research industry. It’s that nobody grew up planning to be here – we all just sort of fell into it. So whose role is it to attract fresh young talent to our industry? There is so much for market research to be proud of and we must start shouting about what we do.

On Monday, I spoke at the MRS Graduate Roadshow. It’s an initiative led by Ken and Trish Parker. The roadshow travels,with recently graduated researchers, to universities across the country. They introduce and explain our roles along with the type of projects/brands we work on. The group of marketing students I met at Oxford Brookes love brands but actually knew very little about market research.

There is still a certain ‘clipboard on the street’ stigma attached to our industry – and many people associate us with it. For this particular group of students who claim to love brand strategy and development, there was much confusion around what market research is. Perhaps in line with their out-dated perceptions.

After talking to them for 15 minutes, explaining the broad work we do, I certainly got the feeling they begun to understand the exciting opportunities within research. They were actively embracing the possibility of being able to work on multiple brands across varied projects. These students are looking into careers in branding/advertising/marketing when, in fact, much of what they’re interested in is covered by research.

The MRS Graduate Roadshow is doing great work at highlighting consumer research and the influential work we do, but I think it’s time for stronger action. As an industry do we take enough credit for it? Let’s stand up, be proud, and start turning heads!

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.49.34