Tag Archives: cmrp

Best Vue Paper 2014 Winner: John Willis #MRIA15 #MRX

John Willis Vue Best Paper Winner 2014On behalf of the associate editors of vue magazine, Jeff Hecker and Paul Long, I’d like to thank everyone who submitted papers to Vue magazine over the last year. A lot of people feel like they have no voice or no expertise, but I can assure you that you do. And this is evidenced by the contributions of more than fifty authors from around the world, including Canada, USA, UK, Portugal and more, who wrote about face to face research, eye tracking, big data, gamification, storytelling, polling, and more. I encourage each of you to think about the things that make you passionate about market research and to share your personal expertise in our wonderful magazine.

Choosing a winner of the 2014 Best Vue Paper award was difficult but among the three Vue editors, we narrowed fifty articles to ten and then down to just five. Our three final judges included Shane Skillen, Carolyn O’Keefe, and Frank Graves who so kindly volunteered their time to choose the winner. I’m quite happy that this year’s winner is a Canadian and a CMRP, who wrote about how companies like Google and IBM are looking at innovation and market opportunities by paying attention to people who are rarely considered in the marketing research process – people who are disabled. The winning paper, which is available in the December issue of Vue, was awarded to John Willis, CMRP, Founder of John Willis & Associates.

Do read his paper. I’m sure you will agree it offers much to think about.

Congratulations John 🙂

Fad or Foible: MR Trends by Bernie Malinoff #NetGain8 #MRX

Live blogging from MRIA’s #NetGain8 conference in Toronto. Any errors or stupid jokes are my own.


“Fad or Foible” MR Trends Affecting the Industry, and Skill Set Needs To Delight Your Client, Bernie Malinoff, CMRP, President, Element54, Montreal

  • remember “second life”   – just because it’s a shiny new toy doesn’t mean it’s relevant
  • researchers tend to be conservative, risk avoiders, it’s a strength to some degree, people trust that we will be disciplined about our work, but this can also hold us back
  • we used to be data poor, now the problem is data obesity – Hal Varian, Google
  • [Bernie has written out tweets on our slides that we can write into twitter, now isn’t that thoughtful 🙂 ]
  • don’t be concerned about the person sitting next to you, worry about people who’ve never been to a market research conference and possibly never consider themselves market researchers
  • the dirty dozen – are you afraid of gamification, online communities, social media, crowdsourcing, facial analysis
  • many emerging technologies are now mainstream
  • you can now capture emotions of 43 facial muscles and vocally detected intonations – add that to your basic film plus sound – now you have what i said and HOW i said it. these are off the shelf products you can buy now
  • supplier selection is often based on more creative and energetic modes
  • researcher of the future is a strategist, synthesizer, method agnostic, story tellers – now it’s use the right method for the research objective, not the tool you’re most familiar with
  • blend technology with rigour, find a fit for purpose technology when it’s appropriate
  • 3 cases do not make a norm, a new method will not and cannot replace all other methods
  • replace fear of the unknown with curiosity

MRIA Annual General Meeting Notes from Toronto

AGMmriaTonight was the first time I’ve ever attended an MRIA annual general meeting. I showed up, signed in, got my YES and NO voting cards and now I’m ready to rock.Why haven’t I attended before? I’m not really sure.

Below are my unofficial notes. Any errors, whether by interpretation or typo, are my own. Please refer to official MRIA for official details.

  • Jalapeno popcorn, sushi, chicken skewers for those who came early enough to nibble [caution – jalapeno popcorn is not recommended for people who don’t do hot!]
  • The Karaoke microphone has been placed in the middle of the room, have your song lyrics memorized
  • Sandy Janzen called the meeting to order at 6:40 and introduced the board [Rick insisted we hold the applause]
  • Last year’s minutes approved and seconded
  • President’s report
    • Strategic plan every three years – consider member value and focus on what members want
    • Several years ago we focused on education, this time we focused on growing and responding to change, how must we evolve to meet the changes
    • Lots of staffing changes this year, welcome to Grace Woo
    • Look forward to continuing change
    • MRIA is the single voice of market research in Canada, no competing groups in Canada, we have responsibility to do it right for our members
    • Proud of several things – our website, online a lot more now, digital brings more possibilities to engage with our membership
    • Members love events, meeting each other, networking, want more opportunities to learn, webinars, speakers
    • Reached out to other organizations, CMA, AMA, Greenbook, other associations, what can we do together, perhaps discounts or just awareness, make our events known to people outside our association
    • Strong member relations this
    • Looking forward to political panel at Niagara conference this year
    • Got our financial house in order again
    • Reserve fund is where it should be now
    • Proud of moving MRIA to a downtown location, will happen this year
    • Strong partners on the board
    • Thank you to the board, volunteers and members
    • Stay strong, move forward in a positive direction
  • Financial statements by Rick Hobbs
    • Fifth consecutive year – clean, unqualified opinion, that’s kind of a big deal
    • Ended year with surplus, fourth time in eight years, hope it marks a trend for years to come
    • Pleasure of working with professional staff, thanks to team members and office staff, thanks to board of directors and officers for submitting timely receipts and minimizing costs
    • Auditors said they wished everyone was as prepared for audits as MRIA was
  • Auditor was appointed
  • Tribute to departing members
    • Rick Hobbs, John Tabone, Cora Waters, Ruth Corbin, Michel Saulnier, Eleanor Austin, Edward van dam, Don Williams, Roland Klassen
  • New president – Anstasia Arabia
    • Goodbye and thanks to Sandy Janzen
    • National board is vibrant, heart working, considerate people
    • Top goal is further strategic plan as laid out in 2012, further standards, education, government portfolios, further ties to sister associations, focus locally on our roots the chapters
    • Standards – members are passionate about standards, this is why people are members, backbone of our association, unites us all, from coast to coast, motivates them to continue being a member, but we must adapt to changing environment particularly as pertains to new technology; reviewing standards in political polling area
    • Membership – member development, need to gain increase in membership, outside traditional backyard, emerging industries like social media, analytics, need to align our values to member needs
    • Education – develop courses etc that are relevant to new and existing audiences, need to spend more time here. CMRP under formative review, want it to thrive, status quo is not an option, don’t have critical mass for it to survive, need to come up with options to increase the number of CMRPs, will review recommendations in less than a week, options for how to engage the membership in this decision, discussed at length in every board meeting
    • Outreach – office of privacy commission and CRTC often speak with us in terms of how they affect our industry, we are currently self-regulated, need to ensure anti-spam legislation will not adversely affect our members
    • Glocal roles – poised to advance presence globally, we work globally, strong global relationships, want common standards, learn from each other, share costs, time to shine a greater light on our greatest asset which is our chapters, want to increase chapter engagement, want more tools for chapters to share information, continue to gain local exposure, relationship with MRIA happens at local events
    • Looking forward to fantastic year ahead
  • Questions
    • Does board have CMRP? Only half of board does – Anastasia owns a data collection house and so CMRP doesn’t apply to her
    • Will the board review the minutes of the unofficial CMRP meeting that were posted on the MRIA blog? Yes, Anastasia was first to comment on that note.
    • Decline in revenue, where is membership/publications going, achieving strategic plan, want explicit report card? Yes, membership is down. Education is not selling as well. Publications is having challenges with advertising. Membership has been static for many years. Membership fees were frozen this year.
    • Standards and polling – early thoughts on this direction? First step is add a panel to the conference. Christian Bourque will moderate. [Check the MRIA blog and add your questions to the comments to the section.] Will organize a mini-conference around this topic very soon. Ruth Corbin will be working in this area.
    • Plan to engage younger members ? Talk about this a lot. Set up a speaker’s bureau at universities, run student only events, many chapters involved with students. Sponsor students at conferences. Please share ideas, connect with your local board to get involved.
    • How can board/member discussions be more open, more quickly?  Appreciate the increased involvement of members. MRIA does not have a social media policy for board members, therefore is a comment on behalf of a person or the association? Different comfort levels on social media, need a policy so board can act as professionally as possible.
    • Didn’t like dirty laundry in open LinkedIn forum, can we have a forum only open to members, looks bad on us? Great suggestion.
    • Want discussion on MRIA website, don’t like going to ten different social media sites to have a discussion.  Will put this forward as a suggestion.

Be All That You Can Be: Be A Research Mentor

Baby with book

Image via Wikipedia

In Canada, there are very few schools that specialize in teaching the skill of market research at the undergraduate level. In fact, I only know one.

Now, there are many, many programs that inclde a couple courses in statistics, or research design, or marketing. These at least provide some fundamental knowledge so that when you hear a term later on, you at least recognize that it is a term. If you can’t find an MR program, the next best thing is to do a degree in psychology, sociology, geography, or marketing. I may be biased but I think the best option is a major in psychology with a minor in marketing. You can see though, that even if you create an optimal program, none of these focus on the art and science of MR as its own academic area.

Even those folks who go on to earn graduate degrees fall into the same bucket. Psychology graduate students do their research on psychology topics and probably never take a marketing course. Their research skills are top notch but an internalized perspective on marketing is lacking. And, marketers do their research in marketing and don’t have the background in social psychology to better understand why people buy the way they buy.

What it means is that most new market researchers come to the table with serious gaps in knowledge. They must resort to learning on the job. If they’re lucky, the person who trains them is a wonderful mentor with many years of experience. But those folks are few and not always readily available to the junior folk. What is more likely the case is that someone barely senior to them tells them just enough to get the job done because they are still trying to learn the skills themselves. In my case, the only mentor I had was an intro marketing textbook that I picked up at a used book store.

We are fortunate that our MR societies have ongoing training courses and certification. Unfortunately, these cost money and new graduates just don’t have that kind of cash. Nor do their employers have money to invest in a newbie. Which means a lot of people in the MR industry are not as skilled as they should be.

Maybe this is partly why our industry is struggling through data quality issues. Not enough people understand the psychology behind survey answering. Not enough people understand the myriad precise techniques of writing survey questions. This lack of MR skills leads to bad surveys which leads to bad survey experiences and results in declining response rates.

So, here’s my idea. It’s not new. If you work with newbies, be that missing link. Be a mentor. Teach them everything you can. Send them to conferences. Make the time to set up lunch and learns not because you have to, but because its the right thing to do. Invest in your company by financing their CMRP certification. This will lead to a better research product, happier employees, and a stronger company.

I thank you, and your newbies thank you too!

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