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FEATURE1 May 2009

60 Second Soapbox – Fabio Martins

Fabio Martins, Global Shopper & Retail Research Director at Ipsos, is dreaming of faster global travel, a battery-powered sports car and less boundaries in MR.

The product I’m excited about at the moment is…
The Tesla – an electric car that does 0 to 60mph in under 4 seconds. The Tesla is an awesome answer to keeping the fun and thrill of driving a fast car while being the greenest car in the market. I wish I could afford one!

A client I’d like to get my hands on is…
Apple. Their retail strategy and delivery are great, they are willing to push the boundaries and deliver insanely great experiences. Apple is a notoriously hard client to work with because they demand flexibility, ingenuity and speed. Understanding their shoppers and ways to wow them further would be so cool.

An idea I wish I’d had is…
Rapid airplane-free global travel – and by rapid I mean anywhere in the world in one hour. Global travel is cumbersome, time consuming and archaic. The scientists working on new ways to get from place to place, teleportation, how to do it quicker and do it more effectively have a great job. I find that the mysteries of quantum physics, teleportation and mirror particles really inspiring. Granted, no one has invented rapid global travel yet, but I’d bet a significant amount that whoever gets there first will be richer than Carlos Slim.

A campaign that grabbed me recently is…
The people of Northern Ireland campaigning to stop the senseless violence. Had I been there I would surely have been one of those people in the streets. It is interesting to see how it was organised too, with email, SMS and even Twitter helping to tap into the crowds and taking us ever closer to perfect information sharing.

A campaign that needed more research is…
The Sony PlayStation ads: from the graffiti viral campaign to the ‘racists PSP’ billboards, they were all awful. In a world where the simple Wii destroyed the competition the PlayStation campaigns have really missed the boat.

One thing this industry could use more of is…
Cross discipline: have you ever seen how few market research people have had their roots elsewhere? Market research is a dynamic sector with multidiscipline challenges that makes advertising look, at times, tame. Yet, there are few people who come from advertising’s heavy-duty client service or retailing logistics. I’d certainly like to have more of these people in my teams.

One thing this industry could use less of is…
Boundaries. Researchers like to hide behind the technical details and statistics and are often hesitant to make the leap to how the data is used. Many researchers all too easily accept the suggestion to “go fetch data”. Only a select few of the best break through that boundary to truly offer client value.

In five years time we’ll all be talking about…
Prediction research and virtual environments. The wisdom of crowds will find a profitable way to make it into the research industry and online is just the way to go. Every research exec will be wondering how those folk of old used to do research any other way.

And the one thing never to forget is…
Quality of life. I practise Swasthya Yoga and it has allowed me to appreciate what quality really is. Quality is about drawing satisfaction, being healthy, knowing yourself and achieving your dreams, Swasthya Yoga has allowed me to discover and practise this.

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