ESOMAR Members! As a two term ESOMAR Council Member, I am presenting myself as a candidate for Vice President for the 2019/2020 term.
Although the research industry has reported growth the last two years (2.3% in 2016 and 1% in 2017 according to the ESOMAR GMR) in truth revenue is down nearly 4% in two years from what we have historically defined as market research. In 2016 alone, 28.6% of growth came from social media monitoring- a method that literally didn’t exist 10 years ago. Nearly 10% of industry growth came from web traffic measurement. Again, this is a method not defined as “traditional” market research.
It’s these fundamental changes to the industry that drove the Council to create a broader vision and some key priorities for ESOMAR that I hope to continue to drive as Vice President – priorities that reflect the changing consumer data landscape and open up ESOMAR to everyone who is involved in data-driven marketing strategies (in both the commercial and public sectors).
Following are the key priorities I intend to focus on, should I be elected:
1. Attracting a more diverse member base
I am keenly aware that we need to make ESOMAR more relevant, not only to survey traditionalists, but also to providers selling into the industry, those in the related consultancy, planning and communications fields, and those in the new data analytics world.
Research has become more agile and programmatic in nature. We’re moving toward a constant stream of information that comes in without even having to ask a question. There is more focus on passive and secondary data streams, predictive analytics and behavioral data and, as a serial research technology entrepreneur, I hope to share my unique perspective and illuminate what I see as the biggest opportunities for researchers.
We also need to continue driving awareness of our industry among Millennials and GenZ through our YES initiative. It’s imperative that we increase our efforts to demonstrate the value of a career in market research so that we can attract the next generation of researchers.
2. Growth in underrepresented markets
ESOMAR needs to be truly global with its programming and services while ensuring that it meets (and exceeds!) the changing needs of its different categories of members. We remain underrepresented in key research markets like the US and, high growth, markets like Africa, LATAM and Asia Pacific. We also want to make sure we’re respecting, and working closely with, national associations to boost the overall relevance of the marketing intelligence industry.
3. Increasing our influence in the C-Suite
Less than 20% of our member base consists of client side researchers. Increasing the representation of client side thinking is imperative to ESOMAR’s position. And although we saw significant growth in our client side membership in 2018, continued focus is needed to ensure we represent the diverse perspectives of both clients and suppliers.
For instance, at industry conferences and events we’ve focused on technology innovations around sampling, data collection and primary research analytics. But what about stakeholder engagement and insight management? Instead of focusing on technology as a method for consumer engagement, why aren’t we also asking, executing and then measuring how we can use technology to better connect with key stakeholders and the C-Suite?
The future is all about competitive collaboration and ESOMAR offers unique opportunities to share solutions and to help grow and build overall markets, while putting the onus on both brands and suppliers to identify their own inner values and philosophies that make them uniquely competitive, and therefore able to thrive in an environment where ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’
I’d appreciate your consideration for Vice President, and your vote.