Editor’s Note: ESOMAR Council Elections are coming up, and as big fans of the association and friends of many of the people standing for election we thought we’d open the blog for any who want to advocate for their candidacy to explain to our readers why they should get their vote.
Every two years ESOMAR, thé global market research association, elects its Council Members. This council, made up of 11 members from across the globe, is responsible for achieving ESOMAR’s overall vision, mission and objectives. And yes, such a membership entitles much more than just a LinkedIn profile update, the ESOMAR Council is a crucial influencer and thought leader in our industry. As a global organization (active in 130 countries) this Council has a major impact on the direction our profession is evolving, both locally and internationally.
We’re continuing the series with Christophe Ovaere of ZappiStore on why you should vote for him for ESOMAR Council. If you’re an ESOMAR member, you can support his candidacy by voting on the ESOMAR member platform (this link only works if you are a signed-in ESOMAR member) and save the date as voting opens on 10 October.
My background in technology has helped me form a plan of action. The two key focuses of my initiatives are as follows:
Start-up mind-set: a forum for innovation and opportunity
In recent years, ESOMAR has made significant efforts to put young researchers in the spotlight – good examples are #YES and the Young Corporate Award. This is a bid to draw in new talent and ensure fresh thinking has a forum – fantastic steps in the right direction, though we need to go further if we want bolder changes. We should expand our focus to include fresh-faced start-ups, or any person or grouping who present big ideas with passion. They too are a source of innovation that could serve as an important catalyst for growth in our industry. We mustn’t rely too heavily on internal growth and innovation from existing players.
· What I would love to work on…
a) “Research’s Got Talent”: a start-up incubator wherein ESOMAR forms a panel of clients, agencies, and research service providers who evaluate submissions from start-ups. Selected participants would be granted mentorship and guidance from ESOMAR members in order to present their pilot at Congress. Unilever Foundry is a great example – they’re already using this model to source innovation. ESOMAR could be a valuable enabler, matching the pool of creators with potential customers, ensuring their ideas are nurtured, shared, and given the opportunities they deserve.
b) ESOMAR’s ‘Wall of Frame’: presented at each conference, this would be a wall with the contact details of nominated start-ups (above). Attached, iPads play their ‘elevator pitches’. This is a non-intrusive and budget-friendly way of giving these companies exposure to the wider community. The ESOMAR website could play host to this content too.
Stronger together: tech – clients – research
Technology companies should no longer be seen as mere suppliers. They are becoming genuine partners in the client-agency relationship, however, there still remains an ‘us versus them’ feel. Living as mere neighbors is detrimental to both sides – we should actively and wholeheartedly welcome ‘new-age’ providers into our realm, relaying to them our energetic past, teaching them our most effective methodologies, and explaining our core beliefs. We’ve all a lot to learn.
During the Technology workshop at ESOMAR congress, a participant asked, ‘Why do we need to know all this stuff?’ Another was quick to answer: ‘Because we cannot afford not to!’
Whether we like it or not, these conversations are happening. We can chose to look away and be ‘out’, or we can choose to take an interest – and be ‘in’. Only then can we help steer our expertise towards data science and analytics.
I would work with the ESOMAR Council to ensure we can create tailored opportunities for learning and inspiration, from a tech perspective:
· Newsletter tech section – featuring tech updates relevant to the research industry and an annual survey of research agency CTO’s, informing us of challenges, accomplishments, and innovations.
· Tech-in-Research (TIR) group – an association where all developers, data scientists, and CTO’s can interact as a valued and empowered group within our industry (an ‘IN-sider’).
· Tech track at ESOMAR Congress – a mix of workshops (base coding classes, mini hackathons, etc) and presentations (Google on text analytics or Facebook on sentiment analysis), together with a Technology Innovation Prize at Congress as a signal that we want to reward the best use of tech in research.
By bridging the worlds of tech and research through open dialogue, I believe I could bring further strength and greater value to ESOMAR with a discernible impact for all of its members.
I hope I get your vote for Council Member of ESOMAR.
If you’re an ESOMAR member, you can support my candidacy by voting on the ESOMAR member platform (you’ll need to be signed-in as an ESOMAR member). Voting opens on 10th of October! If you’re not an ESOMAR member you can still show your support by commenting on and sharing this post – I would love to hear your thoughts!
PS: here is the short video pitch 😉