“Your opinion is important to us”? Really?

December 15th, 2014 by

Kate AndersonI’m getting very opinionated of late – everyone seems to want my opinion.   Leastways, that’s what they all say when they email me links to their customer satisfaction surveys.   (more…)

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Recycling – no time to waste

December 4th, 2014 by

Anna RobertsI read with a certain amount of surprise a recent article in the Standard stating there has been a decrease in the amount of waste recycled by London households in the year (more…)

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Re-thinking delivery as a B2B differentiator

October 30th, 2014 by

Richard Barnes

As a B2B marketer I have been fascinated by the delivery initiatives and innovation in B2C markets and wonder what it could mean for B2B markets.

There’s a lot happening in B2C

Delivery has become a critical factor for many consumer purchases and a battleground for retailers, especially brick & mortar vs. online retailers. (more…)

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Land of hope and glory? (This is not a blog about Scottish independence.)

September 19th, 2014 by

Kate Anderson

I thought you’re probably ready for a break from discussion re Scottish independence so let’s change the subject, let’s talk about Will.i.am!

I read an article this am in the British press mocking will.i.am for his entrepreneurial hyperactivity – what a depressing read. (more…)

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Why work experience before Uni is a great opportunity

September 9th, 2014 by

Freddie BorgWho am I?

My name is Freddie. I’m 17 and going into my final year of school, and I have to start applying to university soon. After a few long trips to university open days, I’ve decided that I want to study industrial economics (more…)

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Where’s your focus in your focus group?

August 26th, 2014 by

FionaP_SmallFocus Groups, once the mainstay of the creative development process, have come under fire in recent years. Some companies, such as Yahoo, have already outlawed them on the basis that the correlation between stated intent and actual behaviour is usually low. (more…)

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Look out B2B marketers! Here come Amazon & Google

July 14th, 2014 by

LookoutMarketersThis article looks into the potential disruptive threat new entrants pose in the industrial distribution market (Google pulled their Google Shopping for Suppliers service shortly after this article was written).  I argue it’s vital for existing business suppliers to focus on the value they add in the supply chain, (more…)

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SME segmentation conference paper available

May 21st, 2014 by

BIG ConferenceThe MRS supported BIG conference took place back in May. Martin Wootton spoke on the ‘crime’ of lazy, ill-defined SME segmentation, and the impact this could have on your business. Martin’s presentation is now available here.

 

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A shortage of women in STEM – how do we crack the problem?

April 24th, 2014 by

Kate AndersonReading Amy’s blog about her experience as an apprentice (Great blog Amy!) got me thinking again about how we can fix a problem that I blogged about back in February,  the dearth of women in  STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). (more…)

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Thoughts on my Apprenticeship

April 23rd, 2014 by

Amy GrewcockHi, my name’s Amy and I’m the first Apprentice here at RS Consulting. You’ve probably heard of apprenticeships, they’re the new, innovative scheme to help young people combining practical training in a job with study, usually as an alternative to university. (more…)

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Forget two front teeth, all I want for Christmas is an ickle wickle 3D printer

April 9th, 2014 by

kateAHype or reality?  Is 3D really going to be the disruptive technology it’s mooted to be or is it just another fad with no real practical application outside niche design sectors?

If recent news stories of the printing of guns, prosthetic limbs and customised pasta shapes don’t get you excited, then today’s news surely will. (more…)

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Facebook expansion – widening the rift

March 31st, 2014 by

kerryRSo Facebook has added another notch to its belt by acquiring yet another digital company, Oculus VR, makers of the upcoming Oculus Rift head-mounted virtual-reality display, for $2 billion. Of course this is nothing in comparison to the $19 billion recent acquisition of the free messaging app, Whatsapp. (more…)

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FREEEDOOOOOMM!

March 20th, 2014 by

Andrew Wood rec PortraitAll my dreams have come true. For once I don’t need to begin a blog by explaining the details of the most radical changes to pensions in years, which were announced in yesterday’s budget.

This story isn’t hidden in the depths of the Money pages. Everyone’s talking about it! (more…)

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The housing crisis and the pensions crisis – joined at the hip?

March 14th, 2014 by

louiseAThe UK has recently embarked on the most radical reform of pensions in recent memory, with all employers now obliged to automatically enrol most of their employees into a workplace pension. (more…)

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Automatic enrolment: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

March 12th, 2014 by

Kate Downer I’ve just re-read the chapter of Nudge called ‘Save more tomorrow,’ in which the authors consider ‘how private and public institutions might nudge people in directions that will make them a bit wealthier and more secure.’ Now, I reckon most of us are up for more wealth and more security. And as luck would have it, our latest report for DWP which looks at peoples’ experiences of automatic enrolment (more…)

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A pushy email is no remedy for a bad trip

March 11th, 2014 by

Niall BakerMarketing emails from companies I’ve recently made a purchase from usually have little effect on me; I usually delete them within the first 10 seconds of looking at them, unless they really stand out.  However, one caught my eye the other day from a major UK airline (more…)

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Failure is an important part of success

March 10th, 2014 by

brianKIt was very refreshing to hear Conny Kalcher, VP Marketing and Consumer Experiences of LEGO, talk at a recent Big Questions Live show about their approach to innovation and driving customer satisfaction. She spoke candidly about failures at LEGO, how they learnt from those, quickly adapted and put in place alternative plans. (more…)

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In B2B markets, listen to your customers’ customer – then share your insights

March 7th, 2014 by

martinWI reckon B2B marketing is much, much tougher than consumer marketing.

When you’re selling to businesses, there’ll typically be complex supply chains, multiple decision-makers and intricate contracts and deals to hammer out. (more…)

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Don’t gamble with your retirement

February 14th, 2014 by

Andrew Wood rec Portrait

Some seven years after RS Consulting originally reported on it, the FCA has finally confirmed today what we have known for some time. That the UK annuities market isn’t working and that 80% of us could get a better income by shopping around. (more…)

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Girls, ditch your pink toys . . . and pick up a spanner

February 7th, 2014 by

Kate AndersonThere’s much talk of a shortage in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in both the US and the UK.  In the UK, there is general consensus that there is a shortage – Read Professor John Perkins’ Review of Engineering Skills (BIS Nov 2013) (more…)

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Big data – let’s have some fun!

January 30th, 2014 by

Kate AndersonArun hit the nail on the head when he highlighted the merits of gamification. We researchers love how this helps us engage respondents in the survey process or, in Arun’s case in the process of learning Spanish. Well done Arun! Or should I say, ¡bien hecho! (more…)

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If it’s engagement you’re after, play the game

January 27th, 2014 by

arunSAnother year and another set of resolutions. Some vow to quit smoking, others join a gym for a year and give up after a few weeks. My resolution, however, was to learn another language.  After all, I speak 2.5 languages already, how hard can learning another one be?  The problem is, I get very easily bored. (more…)

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Are your key accounts like puppies or dogs?

January 22nd, 2014 by

niallBI’ve never been a dog person, but after some persistent campaigning from my wife, I finally gave in last summer and agreed to take on an eight-week-old beagle.  Training Fergal has been quite a challenge.  (more…)

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Putting the smackdown on the TV and sports’ rights industries

January 17th, 2014 by

philSWhile  the tech world was distracted by the toe-curling horrors of Michael Bay’s meltdown at CES2014, what may turn out to be one of the most important announcements of the year was made on US cable TV stalwart Monday Night Raw. Interrupting its usual fare of poorly acted comedy skits and men in their underwear pretending to punch each other, the WWE announced the WWE Network. (more…)

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Strategic growth – How big? How fast?

January 16th, 2014 by

Richard Barnes

Dealing with strategic growth issues

In addition to the “where to invest and grow” issue, B2B companies must also answer the “how big” and “how fast” issues.  As we continue to climb out of the global recession of 2009 and more companies seek growth opportunities, these size and speed issues are becoming more critical. (more…)

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CES – Four innovations to get excited about in 2014?

January 8th, 2014 by

martinWTechnophiles everywhere rejoice! The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is upon us once again. The annual forum brings together gadget lovers, tech companies and the world’s press, in an orgy of gadgetry and shininess. I’ve been there a couple of times and I absolutely love it.  Despite all the whooping and the hype, it’s a great place to discover what’s buzzing in the tech world. (more…)

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Will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four? Probably not

December 5th, 2013 by

louiseAThe government has announced today that the State Pension age will now be determined by a new formula linked to life expectancy: having already announced that it will go up to 66 by 2020 and to 67 by 2028, we now know it will be 68 by the mid-2030s.  (more…)

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Hello, is it SME you’re looking for?

November 25th, 2013 by

kateAI got this letter from O2 the other day and I must admit it delighted me but for all the wrong reasons.  From opening salutation through to sign-off and all the text in between this really is an example of how not to do it. (more…)

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Driving in reverse: How behavioural economics can change smoking behaviour

October 25th, 2013 by

With October nearing a close it marks the end of Stoptober. Stoptober is a scheme which encourages smokers to stop smoking for the whole of October in an attempt to quit in the long term. The campaign came about after research revealed that stopping for 28 days means a smoker is five times more likely to not go back to cigarettes.

(more…)

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3D printing: the next technological revolution?

September 23rd, 2013 by

pekANo one reading a tech news website these days can avoid articles on 3D printing: it’s everywhere. 3D printing is not a new technology though and it has been on the market for at least two decades.  What makes it news is that it’s now accessible to anyone in their home, and the price tag is coming down all the time. (more…)

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When opportunity knocks do you have the intelligence to hear?

September 18th, 2013 by

martinWLast month I gave a talk to the UK Market Research Society on how shopping is becoming an increasingly complex process where the customer is faced with an array of options to choose, experience and buy products.   (more…)

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Learning to love Excel

September 4th, 2013 by

sophieI’ve just completed 2 weeks work experience at RS Consulting and they asked me to write a short blog about my time here. Having completed my second year at University (still with no idea of what I wanted to do after graduating), I thought it was probably time to sort out some work experience to give me some guidance. (more…)

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Barely scratching the surface

August 2nd, 2013 by

PhilSwebSince the election of the current Government there has been lots of heat and noise about the unsustainable bill for public pensions.  The tone of debate, in the media at least, has long since become impervious to attempts to introduce reality, such as the fact (more…)

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Vital statistics and the Large Hadron Collider

August 1st, 2013 by

Kate AndersonIf you have 10 minutes over lunch today, check out this fly on the wall account of a day in the life of the ONS (the UK’s Office for National Statistics) in The Guardian. It sheds rare light on just how national statistics are produced and shows just how complicated this can be. (more…)

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No news, not such good news

July 23rd, 2013 by

Kate AndersonYesterday, I emerged from a long weekend at the Latitude festival in Suffolk to be bombarded with “news”  that the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour but that there was as yet no news. (more…)

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Spying in the clouds

July 22nd, 2013 by

DanL smallerAs a business in today’s world, you need to be sure your data is safe. For some industries this may be more critical than for others, but I think we can all agree that data security is important for every business. (more…)

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Another take on growth

July 18th, 2013 by

Richard-BarnesAs we all know, looking at a situation from a different perspective can lead to major breakthroughs.  I think that business executives, now more than ever, need to do this to jump start revenue growth. (more…)

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Driving change and delivering sustainability

July 5th, 2013 by

Last week my colleague Niall and I visited FESPA, the world’s largest event for wide format print. Despite knowing that the main printing manufacturers would be there, I thought the event might be niche and small. But, I was wrong. (more…)

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Donald Rumsfeld and the Lean Research approach

June 26th, 2013 by

ClaytonF-webIn the build up to the Iraq war of 2003, Donald Rumsfeld famously said:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.

There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. (more…)

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Reflections on work experience at RS Consulting

June 21st, 2013 by

cecileAWorking at RS consulting was my first work experience. I go to a French school called the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington and in year eleven it is part of the curriculum to do work experience for the first time. (more…)

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Why are retailers allowing their home delivery arrangements to tarnish their reputations?

June 13th, 2013 by

philsHaving moved house recently, I’ve experienced enough home deliveries recently to be approaching a quantitative sample and the results show some real problems. This is a complete list of the last half dozen home deliveries I received. (more…)

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How would you like to be decontrolled?

May 23rd, 2013 by

kateaNiall and I were decontrolled yesterday. A customer service representative and numerous other staff at Gatwick Airport informed us that we were being “decontrolled”.

What on earth had we done in order to incur this punitive treatment?  (more…)

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The ‘internet of things’ – big data providing big opportunites for research

May 21st, 2013 by

ClaytonF-webThe ‘internet of things’ is rapidly gaining momentum in the modern digital lexicon and represents the expansion of the internet beyond browsers, phones, tablets, and glasses, and into refrigerators, toilets, food packaging and just about anything you can shove a microchip into. (more…)

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Why converting ‘Big Data’ into bigger insights is the real challenge

May 2nd, 2013 by

ClaytonF-webI have spent the last two days at the Innovation Enterprise Big Data conference. At first I felt overwhelmed by the barrage of new terminology and acronyms - HadoopHiveStormMap ReduceETL, distributed nodes, polyglot infrastructure…I could go on. (more…)

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Are you a hedgehog or a fox?

April 30th, 2013 by

Phil StubingtonThe question comes from an essay by philosopher Isaiah Berlin. Berlin divides writers and thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea and foxes who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea. (more…)

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Get committed – for the long term

April 29th, 2013 by

Niall BakerIn business there are always points when organisations are guilty of treating their customers as just that – a customer.  You take them for granted assuming that, as they come back to you time and time again, you’re providing them with the products and services they want, but how can you be sure that they’ll keep coming back? (more…)

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Insight – a powerful weapon when negotiating with trading partners

April 25th, 2013 by

Kate AndersonAs Martin detailed previously, it’s great to see how Canon are fuelling their PR with relevant, well researched insight into their markets.

Another example of where sharing research can really stimulate commercial relationships is when we support our clients in negotiations with trading partners. (more…)

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Great research? If you’ve got it, flaunt it, I say

April 23rd, 2013 by

MartinWwebOne of the most frustrating things about being a market researcher is that often we can’t tell other people the details of the work we do. Findings, data and sometimes the methods themselves can be bound in secrecy by client confidentiality agreements and contractual obligations. (more…)

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It’s a research conference, let’s show some intellectual rigour

April 11th, 2013 by

CW blog photo

One of the key concepts within behavioural economics is that we humans have two distinct ways of making decisions.  System 1 is quick, intuitive and based on instinctual emotional responses that can act below the level of consciousness.  System 2 is slower, deliberative, based on rational and conscious thought processes. (more…)

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Gazing into the future through GoogleGlasses

March 13th, 2013 by

ClaytonF-webI blogged a few weeks ago about the possibilities that the smartwatch might offer market researchers.  Of course there is one bit of kit already – well almost sort of already – out there today. Google goggles …or GoogleGlass as it is more properly known.   (more…)

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Horse or ostrich – which is the real scandal?

March 8th, 2013 by

Kate AndersonIt’s interesting to see how industry has responded to the horsemeat scandal.  When’s the right time to come clean? When’s the right time to take the glory for a transparent supply chain?  Or shall we just bury our heads in the sand. (more…)

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Sustainability is a matter of credibility

March 8th, 2013 by

Niall BakerSustainability’s great, isn’t it?  When you see a product labelled ‘sustainable’ one of the first impressions that springs to mind is ‘it must be good’.  Many companies have latched on to this and proudly display their sustainability credentials on their websites and in flashy leaflets they spent considerable time and money on developing. (more…)

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Making sense of the data

March 1st, 2013 by

It’s the job of media outlets to cut through the morass of complex data, to interpret and to present the salient facts in digestible chunks.  It’s a shame that many put out material that ignores some of the very basic principles of statistics and good charting.  (more…)

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Function inflation vs back to basics

February 27th, 2013 by

Kate AndersonI read an article in The Guardian today about how household appliances are becoming too complicated due to  “function inflation” or,  to use the phrase coined by the author, “setting creep”.   Nothing earth shattering here but it brought a smile to my face. (more…)

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Conference speaking do’s and don’t's: a plea from the floor

February 20th, 2013 by

Conference speakers! Loads of you have talked to me in the last 12 months. And I have (mostly) listened. I’ve been intrigued and inspired by what some of you, elsewhere in research-land, are doing. I’ve enjoyed talking further with many of you afterwards in the queue for coffee. (more…)

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Data visualisation – time to get back to basics?

February 15th, 2013 by

Chrissie WellsData visualisation is, quite rightly, a hot topic at the moment for those of us involved in quantitative research. However, in the drive to make our visual presentations more interesting and engaging are we in danger of forgetting the key purpose – to communicate clearly the story the numbers are telling. (more…)

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Spotlight on the supply chain – not just for food

February 12th, 2013 by

Kate AndersonThe European horsemeat scandal is rolling on, seemingly implicating another country, another household brand, another retailer each day. (more…)

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Is the next big tech revolution on your wrist?

February 11th, 2013 by

I haven’t owned a watch for quite a few years, but The New York times are reporting that Apple are apparently playing with loading their iOS software into a wrist watch.  Apple aren’t the only ones investing in smartwatch technology. A great crowd funded start-up called Pebble also has a bluetooth enabled watch. (more…)

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Bring your own device…and bring your own conclusions, too

February 6th, 2013 by

One of the hot topics in technology research at the moment is BYOD. Or, in plain English, Bring Your Own Device. This is the much-vaunted idea of allowing employees to use their own, personal smartphones, tablets and laptops at work, rather than rely solely on the technology provided by their employer. (more…)

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Are you underestimating your Chinese competitors?

February 4th, 2013 by

By now you must have heard that China’s economy is set to surpass both the Eurozone (2012) and US (2016).  Just take a glimpse into the future via this OECD forecast.  So it’s not surprising that  a common theme running through so many of our projects is understanding the impact of Chinese market entrants.   And the common answer is that they are very much underestimated. (more…)

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Squeezy the pension python

January 31st, 2013 by

In many Western economies the term “pensions crisis” has entered popular discourse, attributed to a variety of causes including an ageing population, under-funding, apathy towards saving on the part of the public, and poor financial returns.  (more…)

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Give a home a dog!

January 25th, 2013 by

There’s debate around whether Albert Einstein ever did say “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”  But, whoever did actually say this, I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. (more…)

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Small Steps to Healthier Living

December 17th, 2012 by

Working a 9-5 job in an office, it’s difficult to avoid a largely sedentary lifestyle, complimented by a desk drawer full of sugary snacks and a kitchen often containing foods – mostly edible – from colleagues’ travels. So when I was first given the opportunity to participate in a company-led pedometer initiative, I was a little afraid of how embarrassingly poor my results would be! (more…)

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Reboot, recharge and retool your routes to market

November 30th, 2012 by

Channel consultant Susan Heintz defines the critical factors that underpin your go to market system here

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Why this energy tariff simplification won’t work

November 30th, 2012 by

Ed Davey, the Energy Minister, recently proposed that each energy company should provide no more than 4 tariffs for each fuel: one fixed, one variable and two more of their own choosing. The stated goal of this policy is to make choosing your gas and electricity suppliers simpler and cheaper for the consumer. (more…)

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Algorithm blues

November 12th, 2012 by

The BBC recently published an interesting article about how the initial stages of the recruitment process are increasingly being handled by computers, which filter applicants CV’s by using keyword analysis to ensure the candidates are saying the right things. (more…)

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US election latest: nerds 1 – pundits 0

November 7th, 2012 by

The market research industry collectively held its breath last night and hoped that our colleagues working for American polling firms had got it right. Faced with one of the hardest elections in living memory to sample the final average of the polls (more…)

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Remember, remember …

November 5th, 2012 by

November – traditionally a time of bonfires and fireworks, and latterly the increasingly premature start of the Christmas stampede. In the charity world, it is also the time for two charities to take centre stage, as the flurry of pink ribbons from October takes a step back. (more…)

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Household financial decision making – let’s talk!

October 30th, 2012 by

The thing about decisions – the ones that matter – is it’s often hard to say when or how you made them. Do you remember the moment you chose whether to do A-level Economics? (more…)

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Talking self-harm

October 24th, 2012 by

Our new CSR initiative across the whole Cello group is called “Talking Taboos” and aims to tackle subjects “where ignorance, fear, or shame can lead to problems going unnoticed and untreated”. (more…)

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Don’t forget to say thank you

October 19th, 2012 by

I saw this the other day and it gave me a spring in my step. I lose count of the number of lost cat/dog posters I see and some really bring tears to your eye.  (more…)

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A crisis in giving?

October 17th, 2012 by

The front page of this week’s Third Sector magazine asks if there is a long-term crisis in giving, focusing on declining donations from younger people.  This follows on from the Mind the Gap report published by CAF in September. (more…)

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Cloud game changer

October 16th, 2012 by

Last time I blogged on cloud gaming, I was writing about a company called OnLive. They basically run games in server farms while the user streams the video remotely and inputs commands from their terminal (PC, tablet, phone, TV, etc) thus eliminating the need for expensive hardware and having the game installed locally.   (more…)

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A scandal in the making?

October 12th, 2012 by

For years I have been trying to get pensions research, and the need for pension saving generally, higher up the agenda.  Now at last this month, we’ve hit the big time. Every newspaper’s talking about it. (more…)

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7 questions you should be asking about your channels

October 10th, 2012 by

Kate AndersonWe’ve just completed a project where channel strategy proved to be the vital piece of the jigsaw. It set me thinking, as researchers we spend a lot of time analysing the way people buy, and working out how our clients can tailor their approach to maximise sales.  (more…)

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Fear and loathing on the campaign trail

October 8th, 2012 by

The US elections provide a lot of fun for data junkies and while we don’t have the talents of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman to entertain us anymore there is still plenty of fun to be had if you are a researcher. (more…)

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It’s an ugly business!

October 5th, 2012 by

Kate AndersonTime was when an ugli fruit was a mottled green and yellow citrus fruit that is a hybrid of grapefruit and tangerine, obtained from the tree Citrus × tangelo. (more…)

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Everyone’s an opinion pollster now…or how sample weighting became part of a giant media conspiracy

October 3rd, 2012 by

US Presidential elections, rather like American football, have always provided a rich seam of data for anyone who likes number crunching and with candidates separated by less than the margin of error in almost every poll, this cycle is no exception. (more…)

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UK press in level-headed pensions coverage shocker

October 1st, 2012 by

If you’re anything like me (and I know you are), this year you will have got married, bought your first house, and been counting down to the introduction of Automatic Enrolment on October 1st. (more…)

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Making ethnic diversity mainstream

September 28th, 2012 by

Sania HaqWhy is ethnic diversity important? Ethnic identity is often a very personal subject that impacts us in our daily lives, but how individuals from different communities function has wider implications for society as a whole—both good and bad. Complex cultural, social and economic factors all interplay to impact how different ethnic groups function in a given area. (more…)

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When commuting is competitive and fun

September 24th, 2012 by

Niall BakerCommuting is competitive and tactical. Seasoned commuters have perfected their strategies, knowing the exact spot on the platform where they can board the train with the minimum risk of getting elbowed in the ribs, safe in the knowledge selecting this carriage will mean they have the shortest walk to leave the station at the other end. (more…)

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Unity in diversity – the view from an Indian IT hub

September 18th, 2012 by

The basis of independent India post-1948 was, to a large extent, the nurturing and maintaining of ‘unity in diversity’ – seen as the only conceivable blueprint for governing a people divided along regional, linguistic, religious and (far less so now) caste lines by the ruling Congress Party. (more…)

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Let’s ask The Audience ……..

September 14th, 2012 by

Did you see The Audience last night on UK’s Channel 4?  It’s a new show in which, 50 members of the public follow an individual facing life-changing decisions for a week and decide how they should resolve their dilemmas. (more…)

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Olympic fan wars

September 13th, 2012 by

So given that Facebook is increasingly becoming the benchmark by which brands, and frankly most people, use to determine how popular and worthy they are, it only seems pertinent to have a look at how the big hitters (sponsors) did during the Olympics…am I allowed to say Olympics or will I get sued by the IOC? …during the summer of sport. (more…)

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The consequences of a misplaced. full stop

September 7th, 2012 by

Why did you not win that £10,000 contract? Were your costings poor, was your methodology wrong, do your staff not have the right experience, did the client see that small stain on the carpet by the front door? (more…)

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The Olympics, nationalism and the power of imagination

August 13th, 2012 by

I’m normally irritated by the predictable use of sporting competitions to stir up nationalism. It seems pretty irrational to identify with other people just because you’re from the same place, rather than sharing the same interests: doesn’t a British nurse have as much in common with a French nurse as she does with a British banker? (more…)

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On stage at the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony

August 6th, 2012 by

On the evening of Friday 27th July I was sitting in a state of great excitement at Eton Manor near Stratford , the holding area for most of the volunteers who were performing in the Opening ceremony of the 30th Olympic Games.  (more…)

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Are you spoilt for choice?

July 31st, 2012 by

What do customers appreciate more when buying a product, a long menu of options or short list? My immediate reaction was to assume that brands offering more choice would be preferred. (more…)

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Y should I?

July 25th, 2012 by

Echo-boomers, Millenials, the dot.com generation, whatever you choose to call Generation Y (those born between 1980-2000); there’s no getting away from the fact that we are a key generation with our own habits and characteristics (and yes, I am including myself here!). Having grown up during a technology and culture rich period there are certain expectations that we have of the world.  (more…)

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Comic Sans – the font of all insight?

July 6th, 2012 by

Well, you may not be aware, but Comic Sans is a pretty controversial font, still reeling from the online hate campaign unleashed on it in 2010.

But in an exciting turnaround, Comic Sans is having a renaissance.  (more…)

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When things go wrong…..do the right thing!

July 5th, 2012 by

Last week I travelled by Eurostar to a client meeting in Paris.  On emerging from the Channel Tunnel in France we were informed that we would have to swap trains in Lille due of a technical fault with the train, meaning we would be over an hour late into Paris.  (more…)

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RS and Leapfrog, defying the laws of mathematics

July 2nd, 2012 by

I’ve always been a strong proponent of cross fertilisation: What can we learn from those around us? What can we learn from parallel markets, parallel disciplines? As researchers you can’t help but be a bit nosey!

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Decision making in the blink of an eye

June 21st, 2012 by

Over the past month or so I have been reading one of Malcolm Gladwell’s books about decision making. The Blink is all about those instant decisions we make all the time and the subtle factors that influence our responses. (more…)

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The paradoxical theory of change

June 7th, 2012 by

Union flags, street parties, the Queen just about everywhere (and on just about every conceivable product) – yes, Blighty has gone Jubilee and Olympics-tastic and an outbreak of very un-British pride in being British is evident all around.  Well, almost all-around because we wouldn’t be British if there weren’t a few grumbling cynics hanging about! (more…)

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Why we don’t have strawberry flavoured crisps

May 25th, 2012 by

I spent the day yesterday at the MRS food and drink conference – some really interesting stuff about shaking things up, doing things differently including a really interesting case-study from Pepsico snacks and MMR re new innovation approaches and the need to match concept with product early in the process.  (more…)

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Behavioural economics to promote healthy behaviour

May 25th, 2012 by

Earlier this week I attended a Government Communication Network/ Government Procurement Service event on the future of government communications and communications procurement (sounds enthralling, I know!). (more…)

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Cupcakes and vegetables – changing customer ideals

May 21st, 2012 by

When things at work are tough and you day-dream about your alternative career, what are you doing in it? In my (rose-tinted, ultra-sentimental) version, I run a deli selling cupcakes and artisan goat’s cheese on the high street in Earlsfield. (more…)

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The revolution will not be televised … It will be segmented

May 18th, 2012 by

Gil Scott-Heron told us “The revolution will not be televised”. He goes on to add “The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.” He should have gone on to say that it would be surveyed, segmented and tracked though! (more…)

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Are you talking to me? Or, what Justin Bieber has taught me about trade shows

May 16th, 2012 by

Exhibitions and trade shows are a great idea in principle – bring lots of buyers and suppliers together, talk about the hot topics, meet new people and show off your wares. They’re a great leveller, too – a rare opportunity to compare brands head to head. (more…)

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A history of the world – in 140 characters

May 15th, 2012 by

A recent trend on Twitter has been the reliving of historical events as if they were happening in the here and now. A couple of examples include @RealTimeWW2, a ‘live’ account of World War 2, and @TitanicRealTime told from the perspective of a passenger on Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage tweeting as if they had just boarded the ship. (more…)

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