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FEATURE6 January 2016

2016 Preview: success in 2016


In the last in our series of preview articles, our panel give their views on what success will look like in the year to come.

While some panellists focused — understandably — on healthy margins as a key indicator of success in 2016, others turned their thoughts to the industry as a whole. A recurring theme was the idea of integration – of both data sources and experiences.

“The successful businesses will be those that create a total 360° experience that’s consistent across every single touchpoint. They’ll do this by mapping customer journeys, and knitting together different data sources to understand consumers’ behaviour and needs. With so much data at their fingertips companies have been struggling to ‘marry apples with apples’ and make sense of it all, but they’re really making headway on this now.” Amanda Phillips, head of UK marketing, Millward Brown.

“Success will entail relevant and engaging research content for participants, combining declarative and inferred data sources to deliver superior insight.” Christian Dubreuil, MD, Northern Europe, Research Now.

“The integration of passive measurement alongside existing research methods.” Jane Rudling, MD, Marketing Sciences Unlimited.

“Success will look like qualitative, quantitative, big data, and neuroscience merged into one thorough understanding of people and their use of products and services.” Annie Pettit, chief research officer, Peanut Labs.

Other notions of success encompassed ideas around confidence, speed, and stature:

“Confidence. Consumer, economic, social and political confidence will contribute to driving growth and prosperity for one and all.” Joe Staton, strategic innovation director, GfK.

“Last year I said I’d like market research agencies to have more of a share in the marketing communications space, showing we have a critical role to play in intelligently influencing brand decisions. I still believe this is the biggest challenge facing the industry. We have the huge benefit of being guardians of data – we gather it and curate it, we can make sense of it and interpret it – but we must be more involved in turning that data and our insight into meaningful difference for brands and businesses. Because of where we sit in the value chain our contribution is often ignored, but surely our work is as worthy of awards in the broader marketing community as great creative campaigns are? It’s easy to ignore the thinking and analysis that went on behind that great ad campaign. So there’s still work for us all to do collectively if we’re to be taken more seriously.” Andrew Wiseman, MD, ICM Limited.

“Success will be fast. Mobile technology has radically changed all our lives in just five years, allowing us to access information at the touch of a button. Its ability is now reaching another level, which will lead to a much greater impact on everyone’s lives and the products and services it is possible to offer. Traditional products and services of every kind need to find a new relevance amongst modern day consumers, or rapidly become replaced.” Richard Waring, CEO and co-founder,

“More organisations with more time and effort dedicated to understanding customer needs, acting on them and influencing future customer behaviour.” Nigel Cover, VP, business services, Maritz CX.

“For the UK, continuing to play our part on the global stage.” Deborah Mattinson, founding director, BritainThinks.