FEATURE5 July 2021

Lizzy Pottinger – Research Hero

Features People

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

Lizzy Pottinger, associate insight director, Kadence International

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Lizzy Pottinger has worked at Kadence International since 2018 and prior to that held roles at ACA Research and Fiftyfive5.

Pottinger was nominated as a Research Hero for “supporting her colleagues with their mental and physical health” during the pandemic. She initiated activities and support networks including exercise classes and step challenges, and encouraged colleagues to go outside during daylight hours and avoid having meetings between 12pm and 2pm.

On mental health, she has led an internal initiative to explore the agency’s culture and ways in which culture can be maintained while working from home. She also implemented a social initiative that randomly allocated people in the office for a catch-up every two weeks and introduced a mental health afternoon and mindfulness sessions. 

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

By far the biggest challenge I’ve faced was in February 2020, when a much loved and talented colleague passed away suddenly. Everyone at Kadence was devastated but we all pulled together to support each other as much as possible. Shortly after, we went into lockdown, meaning the team had to be physically separated during this tremendously upsetting time. This is what triggered me to start up my Kadence exercise classes and other initiatives, to ensure we still felt connected and encourage those support networks which can prove so valuable to all of us in difficult times. 

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

We are increasingly seeing brands try to tap into the values of consumers, whether that is around environmental concerns, race and equality or helping communities. This has triggered more research to firstly understand the values of relevant consumers, but also to assess the authenticity, credibility and impact of this type of messaging. With consumers becoming more sceptical and many brands being criticised for tokenism or unsubstantiated claims, research is increasingly important to help get their approach right. This is a really exciting area to research, and I see it only continuing to grow in the coming years.

Who inspires you as a researcher?

I’m a strong believer that you can learn as much from colleagues at all levels in the business and I’ve been lucky at Kadence to work with some amazing young researchers. These colleagues have challenged me to think differently, and offered new and different ideas to research projects, helping me to progress while making work a lot more fun.

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.