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Tuesday, 01 December 2015

Time to play favourites

Debt crisis in Europe. Double-dip recession in the UK. There seems little cause for celebration at the moment but plenty to be cautious about.

But here’s some good news, courtesy of IBM. Its annual survey of global chief executives found that: “CEOs are most focused on gaining deeper insights about their customers. Seven out of every ten CEOs are making significant investments in their organisations’ ability to draw meaningful customer insights from available data.”

That sounds like a good thing to celebrate to me, which is why we’ve revamped our annual awards to include a new prize – Client of the Year, which sets out to recognise the organisation that can best demonstrate how research has played an integral part in evidence-based decision making leading to improvements in the bottom line. Clients can nominate themselves, but agencies are also well-placed to judge the really exceptional users of research, so I’d invite them to nominate their favourites – with the client’s permission, of course.

We as an industry need to be doing more to promote the kinds of companies who value research and put data to work in ways that help the business. This is for our own benefit and that of other companies. Want proof? IBM found that organisations that outperform the average are twice as good as underperformers at accessing and drawing insights from data. “Outperformers are also 84% better at translating those insights into real action,” IBM said.

But driving value from data is not only the prerogative of the end-client. It should also be the responsibility of the in-house research team and the research agency to help the client find that value, and that is reflected in the criteria for the Best In-house Team and Best Agency awards. (NB: two Best Agency awards will now be given – one for companies with under £20m in revenue and one for companies over £20m.)

Rounding off our annual awards, which will be presented in December, are prizes for Best Place to Work, Best New Agency and Best Innovation. The call for entries is now open; the deadline is 31 July.

Brian Tarran
Editor and chair of the Research Magazine Awards Judging Panel

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