Saturday, 25 October 2014

Robert Bain

Robert Bain

Features Editor, Research, London, UK

I look after the features content for and Research Magazine, and contribute to the blogs.

Recent activity

Blog Posts (108)

  • Marketing lessons from God

    Reporter's Notebook | 29-Mar-2012 11:11 am

    “God is a great behavioural economist,” says Ogilvy UK vice chairman Rory Sutherland on the final day of the ARF Re:think conference in New York.

  • Attention-grabbing market research

    Reporter's Notebook | 28-Mar-2012 2:45 pm

    Automotive industry veteran Bob Lutz and Nielsen CEO Dave Calhoun (pictured) discussed how research can get top-level attention in business at the ARF Re:think conference.

  • How ESPN changed the ad conversation

    Reporter's Notebook | 27-Mar-2012 5:47 pm

    Sports broadcaster ESPN is one of the companies that has been pioneering cross-media measurement. Findings shared by the firm’s research bosses at the ARF’s Re:think conference in New York showed what can be learned from understanding media usage on multiple platforms, and how it changes the firm’s relationship with advertisers.

  • ‘Oh my God, I like Celine Dion’

    Reporter's Notebook | 27-Mar-2012 5:43 pm

    The success of internet radio service Pandora is testament to the power of personalisation. Founder and CEO Tim Westergren told the ARF’s Re:think conference in New York how the company has managed to reach nearly 50 million listeners and a market capitalisation of $1.75bn.

  • Putting emotions in context

    Reporter's Notebook | 27-Mar-2012 3:24 pm

    Biometric data gives researchers the power to measure emotional reactions. But ABC TV’s Justin Fromm reminded delegates at the ARF’s Re:think conference in New York of the importance of using these tools alongside more conventional methods.

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Comments (12)

  • Comment on: Focus pocus

    Robert Bain's comment | 9-Sep-2009 12:00 pm

    Hi Simon I agree, and I think it goes beyond bad use of focus groups. I fear that the term 'focus group' has become a kind of shorthand for misguided research – very easy for commentators to knock. That seems to be the case in the MediaPost article - as you say, there's no detail on how focus groups were used by these firms - the simple statement that they used them is sufficient condemnation.

  • Comment on: Between an MROC and a hard place

    Robert Bain's comment | 23-Oct-2009 2:17 pm

    Mike - in the light of your comment I listened back to my slightly fuzzy recording of our chat, and I see I misquoted you above as saying 'branded communities' instead of 'brand communities' – a distinction that I wasn't so sensitive to at the time! Sorry – amended now.

  • Comment on: Treating respondents right

    Robert Bain's comment | 1-Apr-2010 2:05 pm

    Thank you all for your comments. I get the impression that, among agencies at least, it is still the exception rather than the norm to give someone specific responsibility for this.

  • Comment on: Another day, another accusation of polling bias

    Robert Bain's comment | 26-Apr-2010 12:33 pm

    When I say YouGov "deny the accusation", I mean that they deny the accusation of push polling. They don't deny testing people's reactions to negative statements about Nick Clegg (and it's no surprise that these results were for their client's own use rather than for publication). That's a legitimate and not uncommon type of opinion research. A push poll, on the other hand, is basically a campaign message disguised as a poll, which is clearly dishonest and wrong. Of course, some people may find the testing of negative messages distasteful too, but then, this is an election campaign.

  • Comment on: The morning after the night before

    Robert Bain's comment | 13-May-2010 11:33 am

    The exit poll was impressive, I probably should have said more on that in the post above. Some of the pollsters did ask about certainty of choice and likelihood of changing mind etc, and published these numbers alongside the voting intention results, although I don't know what efforts were made to combine the two to refine their predictions. On your other point, I think there is an issue with the way opinion polls tend to be assessed as 'right' or 'wrong' based on whether they match the final result. They might be a perfectly accurate reflection of people's intentions 24 hours or so before they voted - and still turn out to be 'wrong' in the sense that that's not the same as the election result. But the problem is, the media and the public aren't interested in those sorts of excuses (and arguing that the polls were right but the voters were wrong would, I suspect, be particularly unlikely to win much public sympathy). Particularly in the case of the final pre-election polls, newspaper editors and readers just want to be told who's going to win, and if you choose to do political polling, you're pretty much choosing to play along with that.

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Discussions (2)

  • Short story competition: Market research in 2029

    Posts: 0

    In The Open Zone | 17-Sep-2009 2:53 pm

    You might not have expected to see the words ‘short’, ‘story’ and ‘competition’ together on these pages, but here they are. We want you to embrace your inner novelist and give us your vision of the f

  • Pronunciation of "MROC"

    Posts: 0

    In The Open Zone | 10-Sep-2009 4:39 pm

    Are we saying "em-ar-oh-see" or "em-roc" ? Or are we still saying "market research online community"? Is it different on different sides of the Atlantic? I am intrigued.

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