Live blogging from the #MRIA national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.
Moderator: Mark Wood, Vice President, TNS
Panelists: Raj Manocha, Vice President, AskingCanadians, Jara Ulbrych, Corporate Insights at The Coca-Cola Company, Scott Switzer, VP, Business Development, Vision Critical, Megan Harris, Consumer Insights at SABMiller Canada
- Raj: Scalability depends on the job, how do you not comprise on service when you go with vastly smaller sample sizes. need to hire people who can do multiple things
- Megan: discovered MR during her MBA, disappointed she didn’t learn of it earlier. Research is an investment, not a short term payback. People want to put money against fastest return on investment.
- Scott: Got into MR playing poker at Angus Reid’s house. We don’t profess solutions will do everything for everyone. Provide means and flexibility for clients.
- Jara: Had a friend working at Ipsos who told him of a job opening. Decision to increase investment in brand led to increase in research, much is tracking and global obligation. Tough to find money for ad hoc projects. Looking for productivity saves – global contracts, extra services.
- Scott: There is a lot of stress regarding what to do with limited resources, people don’t want to feel like a vendor coordinator, need to empower the internal research person with external services
- Megan: Exposure to other areas of the business is a good thing, MR feeds into other areas of the business, can see what other areas need.
- Jara: multiple hats means other areas of the business not other areas of the business
- Raj: every conference says technology is changing, we need to educate people, talk to people in the way they want to be talked to. Test a new method just to see what the data looks like and how it matches the other data you have.
- Jara: new technology needs to be for something that isn’t possible in an existing method, open to new things but it must be proven and provide new information
- Megan: People fall back on methods that they’re comfortable with, don’t know what the payoff will be; Need to build better story telling skills
- Scott: supplier side must become better storytellers to move things up the chain, especially when there is consensus buying. Story is a mindset shift. Many high levels executives still see research as a nice to half. Average age of VC employee is 33 years old.
- Megan: She is the only dedicated researcher in Canada. Globally there are many resources and she can tap into that resource.
- Raj: Everyone mentors everyone else. He counts on younger folks to tell him to to do, tell him how they need help. 360 degrees is how to become a strong company.
- Jara: no formal mentorship program, but experiences they get happen outside the research team. some work in different workstreams to solve real issues. gets you out of the research world and explore parts of the company that you migh tnot have otherwise.
- Scott: conferences often feel the same, the piece of learning together is lacking, it’s just listening to people talking [introverts love this! if conferences were groups and talking, i would never go]
- Megan: want more content about advancement of knowledge by function, pressure to make a good impression so conferences need to be friendly
- Jara: want more young people involved in the MRIA and research in general, most people fell into MR, we should present at career fairs and present at career days [yup, i fell into it after building/validation police officer selection tests]
- Raj: Emerging Leaders Taskforce is to get more involvement, need more people to be a part of the team, better networking so that young people can get involved and learn
- [Thanks Jara for skyping in!]