Experience matters

November 28, 2010 at 8:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week it was my absolute pleasure to attend and present the Asia Pacific Research Committee meeting and JMRA conference in Tokyo. As always I learnt a lot being there and I realised again that there is nothing like experience to aid understanding. 

What I mean is that for years I have thought I understood why so many Japanese tourists visit our Gold Coast. Great weather, beaches etc. When I actually flew overnight Friday from Tokyo to the Gold Coast and got off the plane, I realised what an amazing contrast Australia is vs. Japan.    Big blue sky, space, mountains, colours that are amazing.  Experiencing something really aids deeper understanding. 

This is not new but it’s easy to forget this, especially in an age of technology.  I work for a great company that has great technology but I need to continue to experience the issues that I am researching.  Tomorrow I am running a workshop with a great new Casino client so tonight I am staying at the hotel, eating at the restaurant and hanging out in the Casino with punters to prepare. How can I really design interesting research for players and members without the experience?

For all new projects/clients and opportunities I am going to make it my business to get some experience.  Our clients will get a better result and I will have to find a way of getting clients to pay for this additional insight!


Changing Marketing Landscape on Strategic Planning in Australia

November 10, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I was talking to a friend of mine last month about the role of Strategic Planner’s in Australia right now and how we can better infuse the Planning discipline with research discipline (or at least start some knowledge sharing or appreciation of roles and areas of expertise).  I would be interested in hearing about the evolution of the planning role and the attributes of an ideal account planner.

To this end, I would love to hear how the changing marketing landscape is impacting planning. 

It is also interesting that in the past 12-18 months, at least 3 of Australia’s largest and most successful Ad Agencies have put planners at the helm (Mike Daniels at Ogilvy, Todd Sampson at Leo Burnett and Jeremy Nicholas at BMF).  I know Mike and Todd and these guys have a very strong knowledge, background and appreciation of research (dare I say they LOVE research?).

I think that many Planners in Ad land have distanced themselves from the professional body of researchers in Australia (AMSRS) because they think we are boring, long winded and all about technique.  I would like to challenge that perception.


November 9, 2010 at 6:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scary fact 1 from 2010 member survey: AMSRS has too few young members under 30 and the proportion appears to have dropped between 2005 and 2010.

Scary fact 2 from 2010 member survey: Many members over 30 and especially those over 50 do not see ‘Attracting and developing young talent’ as a top priority.

Good to know, but scary fact 3 from 2010 member survey: AMSRS members identified ‘Providing leadership for the profession’ as the top priority and leadership was partly defined as ‘attracting talent’.

I am ashamed of the first two facts; if Derryn Hinch were involved we would receive a massive well-deserved ‘shame, shame, shame’.

John Batistich, general manager of marketing at the Westfield Group, is pictured here during his presentation of the Client Advisory Board (CAB)’s action plan entitled ‘Growing research talent’ at the recent AMSRS National Conference in Melbourne. John is about as subtle as a sledgehammer and he was clearly reminding me that now it is time for action.

So let’s get on with it!

The action plan developed by the CAB, which you may have read about in September’s Research News, was designed to answer the question, ‘how do we grow talent in the industry, on both the supplier and buyer sides?’ The guide that CAB put together supports the growth and development of professionals to support engagement, performance and retention, and the framework provides both functional skills and leadership behaviours designed for talent development.

The recommendations to actively promote this model to members, to use the framework to plan ongoing professional development and to identify current gaps in training, will be discussed and implemented from this month. We will also investigate if we can use this model to guide discussions with universities in Australia looking to develop a curriculum in market and social research.

There is also a role for members who are HR directors at agencies, senior client-side
researchers who recruit teams, and members who are professional HR recruiters. All three should meet/collaborate and consider adopting parts of the model to inform job planning, recruitment, internal training, performance management and career development.

It’s time to step up and turn ‘shame, shame, shame’ into action – action that will grow talent in our profession.

Peter Harris, national president
Twitter: @peteraharris
Blog: https://peteraharris.wordpress.com/

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