This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here

FEATURE1 December 2009

60 Second Soapbox – Roger Donbavand

BDRC director Roger Donbavand wants the industry to stop assuming that every piece of research work will provide insight and hopes that attitudes towards the ‘grey market’ are changing.

?The product I’m excited about at the moment is…
I’m not really into products but experiences. Earlier this year my wife and I went to Cuba and saw the real country. It’s a country where the people are largely happy; they don’t live in nice houses and there is still food rationing, but they seem far more content with their existence than we do and of course the credit crunch is something that has not affected them. Sleeping on a mattress under the stars in the interior of this beautiful island was a great experience.

A client I would like to get my hands on is…
Virgin – any part, travel, financial, media, phones. Why? Because I think they are so good at communicating to consumers it makes you want to work with them. Virgin has a knack of touching the right nerve to connect better with customers, which is not always the case with some companies.

An idea I wish I’d had is…
20/20 cricket. It’s got its critics but it has brought people to matches who would never have dreamt of going. And it has brought in families and children to see this wonderful game. At BDRC we always have a staff bash at one of the Lord’s games and it’s great to see people’s eyes light up and see how exciting cricket can be.

A campaign that grabbed me recently is…
Standard Life’s ‘People don’t grow old like they used to’ with well-chosen celebrities like Mariella Fostrup. It really touches and reaches out to the expanding 50+ sector and like all good advertising really connects the brand to the person. Over the past decade I’ve been researching consumer life stages and so far no one has really tapped into the psyche of this badly labelled ‘grey market’. Perhaps at last things are changing.

A campaign that needed more research is…
I suspect it will be Gordon Brown’s forthcoming election campaign.

One thing this industry could use more of is…
I think there are two. Firstly, what I call “insight architecture”. Up until now, market research agencies have offered insight on specific issues. I think more multi-agency collaboration with the market research industry working together with other types of agencies will really help clients achieve a big picture view of their business and the market, especially important in the current tough economic climate. Second is greater hands-on involvement with clients on the use of results beyond the presentation. I feel we could add so much value to the next stages in the marketing mix and improve our offer and visible value to them. It happens to a degree, but it’s not automatic and I can see the commercial issues. It’s a lost opportunity.

One thing this industry could use less of…
Assuming there will be insights on every piece of research. Sometimes it’s just not possible. Also insights can come to you not necessarily when you are preparing a presentation. Often they come to me when presenting because I have been stirred by what a client has said about a particular issue. You can have that ‘ah ha’ moment in the most unlikely places.

In five years’ time we’ll all be talking about…
We will have forgotten about the credit crunch and gone back to our old ways of living with lots of debt. Debt has become automatic.

And the one thing never to forget is…
It’s no use having insight if you don’t link it to your client’s bottom line.

0 Comments