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NEWS19 March 2014

‘With knowledge comes power, and with power comes great responsibility’

Camelot Group CEO Dianne Thompson gave her inaugural speech as MRS president last night to a packed final session of MRS Annual Conference.

Thompson told delegates that what is happening now in the field of market research is “truly exciting and transformational”.

“I’ve had a varied career,” she said. “But all the companies I have worked for have been consumer facing – and in all of them I’ve used consumer research to be able to do my job well.”

Having taken over at Camelot as CEO in 2000, she said that she had restructured the research team and “relentlessly” championed it. “It is a key component in the marketing mix. It informs choices; it helps to set the direction of the business.”

She praised both the MRS and the UK research industry more widely, and pointed to the power of research to add context to ‘big data’. “We look at the why, not just the what. We combine factual understanding with what consumers think and feel,” she told delegates.

Thompson also described the re-launch of the Lotto game as an example of the power of effective research, describing the work undertaken to modernise the game as an “unprecedented” research project in Camelot’s history. “It’s working exactly as the research told us it would,” she said. “But without detailed, forensic research we could have gone down a different path and that would have cost the nation dear.”

She said that the UK research industry has an opportunity to hone its interpretative skills, in order to understand and predict consumer behaviour, while harnessing the power of digital technologies.

“But with knowledge comes power, and with power comes great responsibility,” she warned, echoing MRS CEO Jane Frost’s earlier calls to treat data fairly, as laid down by the MRS Fair Data scheme.

“We are all the custodians of data,” said Thompson. “We must let customers know it’s safe in our hands.

“This will be very real very soon. Start planning now – before your lose your customer’s trust.”

@RESEARCH LIVE

1 Comment

5 years ago

Great post. Thanks for sharing this.

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