NEWS8 October 2010

OnePoll appoints consumer trendspotter William Higham managing director

People UK

UK— Online pollster OnePoll is looking to open up new sectors after recruiting consumer trends specialist William Higham.

The firm specialises in online polls for the PR industry but is taking a new direction with the appointment of Higham, who aims to bring in a more qualitative and insight-based approach to its work.

Higham (pictured) told Research that he was given the newly created role after working alongside the firm while he ran his own trend consultancy, The Next Big Thing.

He said: “I’ve been working with OnePoll for almost two years now. I was working for a client in the financial services sector and they were using OnePoll for quantitative and I was running qual and trends. I really liked what they did and after a while I started utilising them.”

This relationship with the firm led to him being offered the role of MD by 72point, the marketing and PR company that owns OnePoll.

As a result of his appointment, The Next Big Thing has been folded into OnePoll and will continue to offer consumer trends and future research. “The Next Big Thing’s customers will not be disappointed,” he said.

Higham said that he has “hit the ground running” at OnePoll and shed light on some of the initiatives he is already leading: “We’re looking at new segmented panels,” he said. “We currently have Young Poll and Mum Poll and we’re looking to expand those into new areas. We’re also looking to create Silver Poll and Pink Poll for the grey market and the gay market, and several others that will be behaviour, attitude or demographic based groups.”

He added that the firm would be targeting advertising and media agencies as possible new clients, and that a new service called Pitch Polls, a tool to help people running new advertising pitches, was in the process of being created.

These new panels are set to be rolled out in the next few months, although Higham hinted that there may be new offerings available before Christmas.

A big part of Higham’s plan is the introduction of “marketing led” approach to its work in a bid to become more insight-focused and provide clients with more useful and relevant information from its polls.

Higham said: “We understand what marketing directors need so we need to ensure it’s not just ‘Let’s press some buttons and get some numbers” it is ‘what will those numbers mean, what do they mean in the greater scheme and how should they affect your strategy’”.

Before starting out in the market research industry, Higham worked in the music industry where he handled advertising and communications campaigns for the likes of The Rolling Stones and Meat Loaf for record labels Epic and Virgin.