Sunday, 01 March 2015

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 | 13-Oct-2009 4:52 pm

    Thanks for that Jeffrey – I didn't realise it was Brad that coined MROC. Mike Hall did also make the important point that research represents the 'fusion element' in any branded community – the one business discipline that is central to the use of the community for any purpose, be it marketing, brand building, feedback, whatever. But that still doesn't make it a research community, apparently.

  • 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: Think first, then speak

    Robert Bain's comment | 9-Jun-2010 10:48 am

    Thanks for your comment Ray. I wasn't trying to suggest that 'fast' is a synonym for ‘real-time’, but that 'real-time' gets thrown about without much thought because people think it sounds good. So it's helpful to consider whether you mean anything more than just 'fast' or 'now', which, in many cases that I’ve seen, would be simpler and more precise alternatives. We appreciate that language changes and can’t be controlled, and it gets on our nerves when people see change only as decline. What I’ve tried to highlight here are words that I feel get in the way of communication when they are used without thought. They’re all useful in their place, but people fall back on them because they sound fashionable or clever or businessy or just because they're the words everyone else is using, when there may be a more effective way of getting across what they mean. It's not about arbitrary rules, it's about putting thought into what words mean and what effect they have.

  • Comment on: Behavioural economics in the pub

    Robert Bain's comment | 24-Nov-2011 4:07 pm

    Orlando's suggested changes might seem unappealing to bar owners at first glance, but surely there's an opportunity for pubs to sell themselves on encouraging moderation? Wouldn't most people rather spend time in a pub where people are not off their faces and getting into fights? Having said that, I wonder how many specialist/'elitist' pubs, like the ones Tom describes above, the market can support. Anyway, the challenge here is clearly not just changing drinkers' behaviour but bar owners' behaviour too.

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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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