FEATURE4 July 2022

Abi Allard – Research Hero

Features People

The Market Research Society launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Abi Allard has joined the cadre of Research Heroes 2022.

Abi Allard (nee Pursey), Director, Savanta


Abi joined Verve in 2015 where she worked for a range of retail and healthcare clients. During her time at Verve, Abi was seconded to the Chicago office for three months, supporting the development of the US team.

After six years at Verve, Abi moved to Savanta where she is now a director in the media team and supports the agencies team to build out and deliver their full-service proposition.

Abi was nominated for her support of junior team members and for putting ‘others ahead of herself, and in so doing she has become an absolute beacon and reference point for the core values Savanta holds dear'.


What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?
Realising that things are often out of my control has definitely (and continues to be) a big challenge to me. Being a perfectionist, I always want to ensure that everything is perfect for my clients, but in reality, things go wrong and it’s about how we handle those mistakes and the learnings we take from them that matter the most. Some of the most memorable projects I’ve worked on, and the ones I’ve learnt the most from, are the ones that were really tricky and challenging at the time (and didn’t necessarily go to plan), but were incredibly valuable in the long run.

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?
A trend that we’re already beginning to see emerge, but I expect to grow further and continue to gain momentum, is automation. With increasing demands on research teams, automation will play a key role in cutting out the menial daily tasks, providing us with more time to dig into the insights and provide a greater influence in decision making for clients.

Who inspires you as a researcher?
I’ve been very lucky to work with some of the most talented researchers in my career, I could be here all day listing those that have had a huge impact on my career and inspired me to be the researcher I am today. However, it would be amiss of me not to mention Phil McCann. His unflappable nature and calmness in the face of crisis, as well his extensive knowledge of the industry and his love of digging into the data to tell compelling stories, continues to inspire me and encourages me to be the best researcher I can be.

View the full list of Research Heroes for 2022