FEATURE5 July 2021

Graham Idehen – Research Hero

Features People

The Market Research Society has launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Graham Idehen has been named one of the Research Heroes for summer 2021. 

Graham Idehen, director of customer success, Lucid

Graham Idehen

Graham Idehen has worked in the research industry for over 20 years, with roles at GfK, Research Now and Vanson Bourne prior to joining Lucid.

In 2020, he was one of the founding members of Colour of Research (CORe), whose mission is to champion diversity within the industry. He is also part of an MRS committee to ensure that voices of minorities are also heard in research studies, and that ‘nationally representative’ research goes beyond age, gender, and region.

Idehen was nominated as a Research Hero because: “He is an inspiration to everyone that has had the pleasure of working (or playing) with him and seems to be the perfect fit for this new recognition.”

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?

I’ve spoken openly about some of the challenges I’ve faced in my career which resulted in myself and my fellow co-founders creating CORe, though another of the challenges I've faced more recently is something that all of us probably experienced during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns; accepting that it’s more than okay to not be okay.

I always felt I had to be the one raising spirits and motivating my team. I refused to allow myself to admit when times were hard, when I was struggling, or when I needed help, viewing this as a sign of weakness. I now realise how flawed this way of thinking was and I am so grateful for a wonderful support network of family, friends and colleagues who have all helped me during the more challenging times.

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?

I've been lucky enough to have seen an array of trends that have disrupted and shaped the research industry during my time. The one that I'm most excited about is research technology, more affectionately known as restech. Online research has facilitated the recent growth of marketplaces across the industry, adopting the programmatic approach at the heart of advertising has allowed companies to level up in a way that was previously unthinkable.

Restech opens up the industry to everyone and anyone, regardless of the size the company or their budgets, allowing the power of technology to supercharge their offerings. The impactful benefits of real-time results, increased cost and time efficiencies, and countless integrations into the rising number of restech companies mean that we’re able to better understand customers.

Who inspires you as a researcher?

I have no qualms in admitting that my three children inspire me the most. As well as the fact they help me to better understand the youth of today, I also see so many attributes in them that both amaze and inspire me. Their inquisitive nature leads to them always asking questions and wanting to understand ‘why this’ and ‘why that’ on a deeper level. Their continuous learning and constant absorbing of knowledge in a spongelike manner enables their further development. Their fearless approach to challenges and stubbornness to succeed helps them to face anything head-on, looking for positive solutions. They inspire me every day of their lives and inadvertently give me the skills that I need to progress throughout my career.

View the full list of Research Heroes for summer 2021

Research Heroes is an ongoing programme throughout 2021, with a second tranche of Heroes to be published in the autumn.