OPINION24 April 2013

Delivering Impact


For the past four months, the team at and its publishers MRS have been developing a new quarterly magazine. Welcome to Issue 1 of Impact.

impact cover

Click the image to access the free digital version

That’s not to say it was an entirely fraught-free process. None of us here at MRS or had ever created a magazine from scratch before so for a lot of the time we were learning as we went.

Thanks must go to our design and production partners, CPL, who provided us with unrivalled support in taking our vision for Impact from concept to reality.

So what was our vision? First and foremost, we set out to surprise and delight you, the reader.

Speaking frankly, we felt that Research magazine had grown stale; that people had come to know what to expect of it and that receiving it each month wasn’t quite the ‘event’ that it should be given that the bulk of the content appearing in print had already appeared online here at – which has grown massively in popularity in recent years to over 700,000 visits last year.

Closing the print edition therefore, and making the Research brand digital-only, afforded us an opportunity to start over; to rethink what people want from a magazine and to take a long, hard look at what we’d need to do to ensure that we surprise and delight you each time the new magazine lands on your desk.

I’ve spent a good four months discussing the Impact concept with various people, and have tried to whittle it down to just a few short lines that cut to the heart of the real difference between Impact and Research. Here goes:

“If Research is about interesting things that happen in the market research industry then Impact is about the things that the market research industry should be interested in.”

Impact has a broader focus. It views research not only as something that companies do, but as something that they absolutely need to use to make a difference. It takes the perspective of the end-client and asks, “What is it that decision-makers need to know and how can research deliver it?”.

But the focus stretches beyond research too – out to the myriad other sources of evidence and insight that factor into business decisions. As you’ll see from our first special report on foresight, we’ll be constantly looking outside our own sector to see what lessons we can learn from people in related fields; to share their insights with you so that you can ensure that your own insights achieve the required level of impact for your clients, from the chief executive on down.

Early feedback on the first issue of Impact has been positive, but we’re keen to gather as much response as we can to help shape future issues, so please let us know what you think in the comments thread below.

And if you haven’t had a chance to read your print version of Impact yet, click here to browse through our new digital version.

Brian Tarran, editor