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Personalise and engage – what market research really needs to do


Personalise and engage – what market research really needs to do


The recent Australian Market and Social Research Society’s (AMSRS) conference in Sydney was, in my opinion, one of the best events of its kind for some time. There is a great buzz in the research community and it’s energising to hear the creative and innovative thinking in our profession.

Listening to the presentations, a couple of clear themes emerged for me. One is personalisation and the other is engagement.

We’ve always known that people love research, but don’t like being involved. The imposition of an interview or responsibility of filling in a survey diary can be an unwanted interruption in our busy lives.

But thankfully, new approaches to research mean that it can be a much more collaborative endeavour which provides customers a deeper engagement with a brand.

Decipher president Kristin Luck’s (@kristinluck) presentation was spot on in identifying that the industry needs to stop focusing on making good research and instead design research people actually want to be involved in.

And that means involving people in a personalised experience, not asking them every time how old they are or how many kids they have or if they buy brand X or Y.  We already know all that! Personalisation also equates to delivery via mobile.

Kristin reminded us all that the magic happens outside your comfort zone. We in the research industry need to remember this and deliver research people enjoy. Shorter surveys. To the point. Not a catch all.

InSites Consulting’s Annelies Verhaeghe reminded us that research is another touch point to brand engagement. What we do with people is as important as what we ask them and we should treat consumers as colleagues who can help our business.

It’s a theme Ben Smithee, CEO of Spych Research, also elaborated on – his point was that consumers know more about companies than companies know about consumers.

As an industry and profession we have been guilty of not building a relationship with consumers – to be close to them and understand what they love.

Of course, this presents us now with the opportunity to do just that.

The technology available to us can improve the experience of research as a touch point and improve brand equity (if we do it right).We can build beautiful communities where customers are happy to share, participate and learn, but we as professionals need to stop using old research practices in these new world environments. Short, interesting and relevant, shared back at pace.

This also allows the brand to really get to know customers over time and build a picture of how to make their lives more interesting and rewarding by being closer to the brands they interact with.


Peter Harris

Peter is one of Australia’s leading consumer and insight community experts with 25 years of experience in marketing, research and strategy planning across multiple sectors globally. As managing director of Vision Critical Asia Pacific, he is responsible for a growing team of technology-enabled researchers and community managers, ensuring the quality output of all research and key client relationships within the region.

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