NEWS10 December 2021

2021 Young researcher of the year – supplier

Awards News UK Youth

UK – Matt Hellon of Northstar Research and Ande Milinyte of Opinium have been jointly awarded young researcher of the year – supplier at the Market Research Society (MRS) Awards 2021.

Ande Milinyte and Matt Hellon

Hellon (pictured right) joined Northstar two-and-a-half years ago following an MSc in behaviour change, and has since then improved how Northstar, the firm’s clients and himself thinks and operates. During this period he has earned himself two promotions.

This includes educating colleagues on behavioural science, including running monthly internal training sessions that explain behavioural change models and their use and application, as well as a ‘Bias Bible’ that consolidates research-relevant behavioural science biases.

Hellon has also used behavioural science to develop a value measurement tool that measures value perceptions, including identifying how Netflix could generate £2.6bn incremental revenue, and established randomised control trialling to test behavioural nudges’ effectiveness.

He has also run bespoke training sessions for clients including M&S, WSP and TD Bank on using behavioural science, and all of Northstar’s proposals now include behavioural science and research has been designed to be more sensitive to behavioural biases.

Hellon has completed 106 hours of training, written content on cyberpsychology and for numerous industry publications, and has co-written published research with Arm’s global communications group.

Ande Milinyte
Milinyte (pictured left) has been passionate about using research to raise awareness on societal issues and drive real change. She leads the diversity and inclusion tracker for the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and has presented their cornerstone measurement of diversity in TV advertising at MRSpride alongside senior industry leaders such as the chief executive of Gay Times.

Milinyte is also the lead of Opinium’s collaboration with WiPA, which produces an annual report tracking progression opportunities for women in public affairs, presenting the research to professionals and participating in panel discussions.

As well as this, Milinyte co-leads the Direct Line Group account at Opinium, and has delivered research supporting their diversity and inclusion initiatives such as employee diversity surveys, minority hiring targets and diverse advertising campaigns.

Milinyte has made an outstanding contribution to the growth of Opinium’s brand and communications work, leading 39 opportunities with a total value of £950,000, converting it to £360,000 of revenue. She has delivered projects for clients such as Kingfisher, Blast, Yorkshire Building Society, City of London and NewDay.

Gaming is another area that Milinyte has worked on, and in 2020, she created a business strategy that led to winning new clients Xbox and Blast. She initiated and put together a team to execute Opinium’s first gaming thought leadership report which looked at the effects of Covid-19 on UK gamers.

Milinyte co-leads Opinium’s advertising optimisation tool AdVantage, designing AdVantage marketing materials and leading the annual AdVantage Xmas Ad Tracker to determine the best Christmas advert of the year. She regularly delivers research briefings and training sessions to the agency.