FEATURE31 December 2020

Preview 2021: New year’s resolutions

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As 2020 ends and we start 2021, what are our market researchers’ new year’s resolutions? From increasing diversity to self improvement to simply enjoying life more, we look at some of the answers.

Deborah Mattinson, founding partner, BritainThinks
Like many agencies, we have worked hard this year to improve the diversity of our team and it has paid dividends. Next year we will be working even harder on this. It makes business sense.

Ben Page, chief executive, Ipsos
As always – spend more time with clients and read even more.

Stephan Shakespeare, co-founder and chief executive, YouGov
It is my ambition to provide high-quality, ethically activated, self-service research at scale. We see it as one of the key innovations in the marketing and research industry as it enables clients to get exactly what they need as quickly and easily as possible and allows consumers to get fair value for sharing their views and data.

Sinead Jefferies, founder, Vela
To support as many insight teams, agencies and individuals as I can to thrive and be able to be their best when working remotely.

Peter Totman, head of qualitative, Jigsaw
To help make qual a little more human for all involved. Lockdown and Zoom groups have shown that the qual lifestyle need not be quite so punishing. We need face-to-face back, but could this be a chance to reset and change the way we work? Doing evening work will always be part of the mix but endless late-night finishes need not be an inevitable part of the job. Such change would also help make the career at lot more appealing to talented (but normal) people.

Ryan Howard, freelance data science consultant
This year has taught me the value of building relationships and making efforts, beyond my comfort zone, with researchers of every persuasion, particularly with those who do not necessarily regard themselves as part of this industry, nor appreciate what I offer from the get-go. I’ll also be doubling down on informal conversations with my clients, the kind we all enjoyed in 2020, unfettered by the specifics of the next brief.

Kenny Imafidon, co-founder and managing director, ClearView Research
Making better use of my LinkedIn and checking in on a daily basis. I have had LinkedIn for years but I have not really been an active user or responsive to messages. I have many great connections and I need to intentionally seek to engage with all the fascinating and interesting people out there. So next year I will be an active LinkedIn user and I have already started making steps now.

Sabine Stork, founding partner, Thinktank
This year I have really come to appreciate collaborative relationships with people from outside the industry. Qual is such a flexible discipline and we can grow our work and its relevance by bringing in experts from adjacent areas. I am intending to do even more of that in 2021.

Caroline Frankum, global chief executive officer, Profiles Division, Kantar
Being disciplined on taking time to regularly pause, assess, anticipate and act as situations and market conditions change. What I have learned from my own experiences as a leader throughout Covid-19 is that it’s in those moments when you think you can’t go on, but you keep going anyway, when you’re actually at your strongest. However, you do need to allow yourself the time to pause and reflect on these moments and what you have accomplished to consciously appreciate them and draw from them again as and when needed.

Caroline Hawkings, executive vice-president, Savanta
Following the disruption of Covid-19 and 2020, to get the team back into the office and ensure we create a truly diverse and inclusive culture, and putting that front and centre. With lots of initiatives started this year, let’s make sure we maintain the momentum, take the opportunity and don’t find ourselves simply talking and not acting. In fact, we would take that a step further and apply it across other issues where 2021 needs to see us ‘doing’ and making progress in areas such as sustainability.

Andrew O’Connell, managing director, Dynata
After this year, to appreciate and enjoy all social interactions.

Ben Hogg, managing director Emea and Asia-Pacific, Lucid
To wear shoes with laces and shirts with buttons. To see as many of my colleagues, clients and competitors as is humanly possible and tell them how much I’ve missed them. To make up for lost time.

Jane Frost, chief executive, MRS
Top of my agenda for 2021 is delivering a 75th anniversary that is worthy of our sector. For me, that’s about more than plaudits and fanfare and means using this milestone to fuel our progress on key issues like diversity and inclusion. I want meaningful change to be the legacy of our 75th year.