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FEATURE1 November 2007

If there's one thing I've learnt... Danny Russell, marketing strategy director, British Sky Broadcasting

Careers advice from research practitioners

The best advice I got... was to never underestimate the power of the customer – they can break you far quicker than you can ever imagine.

Always bear in mind... the debrief ( in whatever format ) is king. Whilst it may be the end of the project for the researcher and agency, its only the start from the perspective of the business and internal client.

You know when you're doing well when... you get invited to comment on business issues not solely related to research.

Don't overestimate... the importance of research. There are plenty of examples where people have ignored research findings and still been successful.

A career in market research offers you... the opportunity to be the voice of the customer – the most important voice there is.

If I hadn't been a researcher... I'd be playing right midfield for Spurs... In fact I'm still expecting that call any day now...

You really should read... 'Simply Better' by Patrick Barwise – it's about customer focus and the importance of getting the basics right, and applies as much to the research industry as it does to businesses in general.

Don't worry about... trying to do everything – focus on the most important battles that need to be won.

The test of a great researcher is... providing business-changing insight rather than simple regurgitation of responses and data.

Young researchers should... have a point of view and step out of their comfort zone – be commercially focused and don't hide behind methodology.

The worst advice I got... was being convinced, aged 5, by my best friend's older brother that I should support Tottenham Hotspur. I wish he had said Man United – I'd have fewer grey hairs.

Keep asking yourself... 'What would the CEO want to know?'

If this industry could only... stop navel gazing.

My career... hopefully, isn't over yet.

November | 2007