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FEATURE12 May 2016

The challenge of relevance

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Behavioural economics Data analytics Features Impact Innovations Mobile Trends UK

There has never been a greater need for market research to reassert its relevance – whether that’s to help clients make confident decisions, ensure the public’s perception of the industry is accurate, maintain panellists’ interest, or to appeal to the best talent, as Tim Phillips reports

“The people who drive our cars have dogs, they have kids and they have gloveboxes full of tissues, wet wipes and cables, ” says Steve Hill, consumer insight manager at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). “The more data you get into the business, the harder it gets for people to see customers for the humans that they are. You see people as being numbers on a spreadsheet, or points on a data chart.”

The fear that insight could become an impersonal, data-driven function was the inspiration behind a project for which JLR and its agency, C Space, recruited a panel of 100 drivers. These motorists were asked to interact, give feedback, join video calls, and even go for a pie and a pint – but, significantly, not with the insight team. JLR’s panel communicates directly with the designers and engineers, sharing their happiness, frustration and any other emotion, often without mediation through research professionals.

“If we can use ...