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Careers in Social / Market Research Jacquie Potts John Gibson Marketwise Strategies Durham University 9 March 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Careers in Social / Market Research Jacquie Potts John Gibson Marketwise Strategies Durham University 9 March 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Careers in Social / Market Research Jacquie Potts John Gibson Marketwise Strategies Durham University 9 March 2011

2 Marketwise Strategies Research and marketing strategy consultancy Rooted in North East, expanding nationally Founded in permanent staff Several associates and part time staff Based in Newcastle City Centre

3 Clients – Knowledge Intensive Public sector –One North East, Tees Valley Regeneration, Tourism Partnerships, NHS, Natural England, Environment Agency Universities and colleges Environment and technology –New starts, knowledge intensive growing companies, technology companies

4 Marketing and social research Market entry / proof of concept: –Sustainable construction, healthcare products, energy efficient lighting, assistive technology Higher Education: –student perceptions; Ucas decision-making; market positioning; employer engagement Campaign development and evaluation: –Inward investment studies, LEGI branding Customer perception: –Universities, public, private and third sector Strategic marketing: –Wide range of clients

5 Research methods Depth interviewing (telephone & face-to- face) Focus groups and workshops Surveys (online, telephone, street) Desk research

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7 Marketwise Strategies People Degrees –Business and marketing –Communications –Criminology –Politics –Environmental management –Immunology 2 PhDs, 4 MA / MSc, 2 CIM DipMs, 2 MRS Advanced Certificates Range of career paths

8 John Gibson, Senior Researcher Lead researcher on qualitative projects –Research design (proposals) –Desk research –Questionnaire development and sampling –Depth interviewing –Focus group moderation –Analysis (qual and quant) –Interpreting findings / report writing –Presenting results –Recommendations and strategy development Business development –Building client relationships –Writing proposals and delivering pitches –Networking

9 A recent “day in the life” 09:00Telephone interview: expert informant discussing assistive technology 09:30Analysis of interview findings for technology client using Xsight software 11:00 Meeting with new client to discuss new research project 13:00Writing up findings from earlier Xsight analysis 15:30Reading report about mobile phone technology for university client 16:30Team meeting concerning new research enquiry Need to be flexible to respond to any changing demands as they emerge

10 Best bits Happy clients! – Practical action –Our case studies on One North East website (www.northeastengland.co.uk)www.northeastengland.co.uk –Environmental client has much clearer understanding of market for his products –University has better understanding of its internal communications practices Using knowledge and theories learnt –Research techniques: e.g. projective techniques in focus groups –Knowledge of Higher Education issues Interesting subject matter –Researching perceptions among teachers and students about university applications –Investigating how visually-impaired people use mobile technology –Discussing environmentally-sustainable building materials with architects and civil engineers

11 Challenges The real world (different from academia!) –Budgets –Timescales –Gaining respondent participation –Achieving quality while making money –Flexibility (can be assigned to help other projects) Working with people –Colleagues: Different skills / needs –Clients: Different expectations Things go wrong! –ICT systems –People make mistakes

12 How did I get here? 1999Newcastle University, BA (Hons) History – 1st 2001 Newcastle University, MA International Studies - Distinction 2006Newcastle University, PhD Politics (ESRC-funded) 2007Newcastle University, ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Politics) 2007London School of Economics, Research Officer (Centre for Civil Society) 2008Research Executive, later Senior Researcher, Marketwise Strategies

13 Important Skills / Qualities Inherent –Attention to detail –Pride in presentation From education –Research principles –Knowledge of Higher Education –Use of IT Learnt at work – experience –Getting things done (Drive, initiative, ownership) –Professional standard of written English –How to communicate: clients, colleagues, suppliers, research respondents

14 “I wish I’d known…” Variety of opportunities available in research –Commercial / market –Not-for-profit –Public sector Opportunities available outside the “milk round” –Job markets are competitive – but most employers don’t advertise Difference between commercial and academic research

15 Advice Find out about potential careers early – there are qual and quant routes into market research Small companies often recruit through specialist agencies or specialist websites (e.g. MRWeb) Any work experience is good experience Think re: postgraduate qualifications (MRes/ PhD) Get the basics right –Writing skills –Maths –Presenting data: charts, tables, base sizes –Working with others Show initiative and take responsibility – e.g. extra- curricular activities Learn to understand the why – what is research actually meant to be achieving?

16 Websites to look at – a wide range of jobs in the UK in market research. – similar to the above (with some of the same adverts), but includes international adverts as well. – a focus on social research opportunities Consider third sector research roles as well.

17 Finally... Leaving academia (even after postdoctoral research jobs) is NOT “failure” Commercial research will provide you with far more job opportunities in the coming years than academia will You do not have to go to London to have a successful commercial career

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