“We Have to Take the Advice We Give to Others”

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Der diesjährige Esomar-Kongress mit dem Thema „Impact – Research Reloaded“ tagt derzeit in Amsterdam. Im Vorfeld des Kongresses erläuterte Ged Parton, CEO Global Clients, Practices and Capabilities bei Synovate UK und Chair des Kongress-Programmkomitees im p&a Interview, was vom Kongress zu erwarten ist und wie dieser die Zukunft der Marktforschungsbranche voranbringt.
Ged, you are the programme committee Chair for this year’s Esomar Congress. Congratulations on a job that probably involved a lot of – admittedly rather exciting – work. Did you enjoy it?
The quick answer is I am loving being the Committee Chair for Congress! It has been a real privilege to read the submissions. The entire committee has been stimulated and engaged by the caliber of papers, many of which add to the body of industry knowledge as well as provide hard core proof of the contribution of our discipline. And of course in many ways the best is still to come, the event itself. I am hugely excited about going to Amsterdam!

The Congress theme is Impact – Research Reloaded with the by-line question Why does impact matter? This sounds a little like self-defence of market research. Do we as researchers really have to reload and refocus, as if we have lost sight of the impact and effectiveness of research designs and results?
I believe that Esomar and more specifically the Congress is a focal point for our industry’s image and reputation. It is the moment in time where we signal to the outside world and each other our preoccupations, our passions and our endeavours. I see the Congress as a critical event. In very real ways, Congress helps set the tone for our global industry narrative for the year and the coming 12 months.
So, for me it is crucial that this Congress has the tone of positivism and celebration. All of us who work in the industry believe in its power to contribute. We see this contribution on a daily basis, so I believe that we should use this opportunity for controlled communication and put our great work on display.
Hence, Congress will focus on the good, the positives in our industry and speak to our direction of travel as an industry. This does not mean that we have lost focus or that we are no longer focused on impact; but it does reflect a recognition that sometimes we are not always our own best advocates. We have to take the advice we give to others and accentuate the positive, build our positive attributes!

So what can we expect to hear at and learn from Congress this year? As you created the programme with your fellow committee members, what are the key take aways? And how did you choose the contributions?
The process for selecting the final papers from the wealth of great work that was submitted was driven by a small set of criteria. Essentially this criteria can be expressed through 3 ideas: the paper demonstrates the positive contribution made by research, the thinking adds to the body of industry knowledge and that there is a degree of originality in the conceptual foundations, the study design and so on. In terms of the theme from the event, you should of course expect to see and hear outstanding examples of our industry making a difference.
There is also plenty that reflects our sensitivity to the zeitgeist as many of the submissions were built upon our new frontiers: mobile, gamification, neuroscience and so on.
The core takeaway is that whilst we are finding new ways of doing the old things, and even finding new ways of doing new things, the purpose of our work remains steadfast. Namely the use of data through our analytics, analysis and our insight to inform, shape and direct decision making.
In short we are pushing the boundaries on method, yet we are keeping our eyes on the prize: the output, the impact that flows from the project work.

Das vollständige Interview mit Ged Parton ist in p&a international market research 2/2011 erschienen. Zur Einzelheftbestellung >>

Hier können Sie weitere Interviews lesen!