Babita Earle, ZappiStore’s face of Strategic Partnerships, shares her views on an evolving approach to MR at ESOMAR Congress 2017

In September, I flew for Amsterdam to experience ESOMAR’s yearly celebration of data (so did our own Roxan Toll with Coca-Cola Japan). It was an invaluable opportunity to network with other research professionals, gauge key conversations within the industry, and evaluate the all-important role ZappiStore can play as we continue to disrupt the profession.

Key findings

Overall, ESOMAR shone a light on three undeniable developments in the world of research:

  • There is a truly tangible movement towards bold change
  • Agile and iterative learning were front and center
  • Clients are focussing on building foresight-led insight teams

As a result, I left with an overwhelming reaffirmation that my move to Zappi – believers in automation – was the right one. The vision we live and breath every day is more pertinent than ever.

ESOMAR Congress 2017

Finn Raben kicks off ESOMAR Congress 2017 in Amsterdam

What’s happening?

Increasingly, marketers with modest research experience consider themselves well-enough equipped to tackle critical business decisions based on bare-boned feedback – whether through DIY surveys or, as is increasingly prevalent, social media analytics.

The marketplace is moving faster than ever before and businesses are defining themselves as data-driven, innovative, and agile.

This was a point made by Philips International, who expressed concern over the potential oncoming ‘de-skilling’ or death of research expertise – in contrast to eye-opening futurist theories expressed by Daniel and Richard Susskind in The Future Of The Professions.

Market research

Who needs quality market research?

While DIY solutions might work for some business models, it’s not appropriate for generating intelligent results at scale. Swapping industry expertise for speed does little but produce low-quality insights on the fly.

ZappiStore, however, has identified that the power of automation and machine learning can bridge this rift.

As such, I can alleviate the concerns expressed by Philips; the death of research expertise is a long way off yet. ZappiStore for one, supports, safeguards, and cultivates expertise through a stringently expert-led model.

While our platform encourages personalization, it also leverages industry know-how to deliver not only validated results but also high-quality analysis.

What do businesses want?

Corporate giants PepsiCo, Diageo, and Philips all gave presentations aligned in the following key areas:

  1. Data-driven research analysis is becoming more and more of a board level consideration
  2. There is a profound urgency to bring in bold, foresight-led partnerships
  3. This new innovation mindset requires a quicker, less expensive approach
  4. Businesses are seeking new talent and adopting new behaviors
  5. Iterative test and learn systems are recognized as building an invaluable collective intuition

Clients understand that in this new environment they need to operate differently. Many are seeking agency partnerships and developing tech platforms with the power to address wider business issues.

Insight is one of the most critical business functions and it’s in need of reinvention  –  Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi PepsiCo

CEO and chairman of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, is in agreement; clients want to know what they’re doing wrong and, crucially, through the consumer.

With insight an indispensable asset, researchers’ work can ripple outwards, helping raise the bar at every level within an organization.

The way forward is digital

We partner with the world’s leading researchers to empower both client and agency to increase their commercial value. What’s more, our automated platform ensures quality and can guarantee high speed at a much lower cost than normal.

PepsiCo specifically talked of utilizing digitized tools to perform research tasks that have, thus far, been conducted manually. With these in place, their creative talent will be able to place a much greater emphasis on the response to their findings.

Change is hard, but with the right collaboration, it can be positively transformative. Tech adoption is key; those with a command for the industry should be on-hand to help guide marketers through any ambiguity as they transition to digital.

Research, dead? Quite the opposite. Agencies can be ‘heroes’ at the forefront of an industry-wide technical revolution.

Learn more about ZappiStore.

Babita Earle

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Babita Earle

As Zappi’s Global Head of Partnerships, Babita takes a passionate interest in how technological innovations are changing consumer behavior. She supports partners and clients on their journey to adopt automated research and insights platforms.

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