DJS Research Annual Review 2015

18th December 2015 15:40

DJS Research Annual Review 2015

A huge thank you to our clients, respondents and team: a summary of 2015…

2015 has been a year of real growth for DJS Research, with new additions, big targets and two new product launches; continuing the growth that we have seen over recent years.DJS Research Annual Review 2015

We have seen impressive financial growth in recent years and 2015 has been no exception. During the financial year 2014/15, we surpassed our own sales target of £3.3 million, to reach a turnover of £3.6 million - representing a 26% growth on last year’s £2.8 million - meaning that we can further invest in improving operations, developing existing team members and delivering our clients market research and insight of excellent value.

We have outlined our key highlights from 2015 below but are thoroughly excited about what 2016 has to bring – we have a feeling it’s going to be a prosperous year!

For now, we would like to wish all of our clients, suppliers, employees and respondents a very happy festive season and all the best for 2016!

Innovation and new products…

This year we have introduced two new products to our market research offering, in the form of Chatter Zone, a parents, kids and teen online community, and alumnus, an alumni market research solution.

Aware of the many challenges faced by alumni relationship teams, we developed alumnus, specifically targeted to meet the needs of the higher education sector.

alumnus helps drive contributions and target groups of alumni more effectively by determining and establishing key drivers that impact alumni DJS Research Annual Review 2015engagement. The product can be linked back to existing databases in a number of ways.

Julie Rundall, the researcher leading the alumus team, said:

“The higher education landscape across the UK is changing – increasingly universities are being asked to demonstrate their effectiveness, and they are looking to engage with alumni more and more to develop mutually beneficial relationships. alumnus is a tool to help facilitate that, and we look forward to working with many more universities and other providers in 2016.”

We launched Chatter Zone in April – our online community with parents, kids and teens.

Proving to be a highly useful route to gaining insights from families, the Chatter Zone community has been extensively used by numerous high profile clients from sectors such as: confectionery, dairy, drinks, breakfast cereals, publishing, games & hobbies, greeting cards, stationery and arts & crafts.

The Chatter Zone community hosts a range of client activities across a variety of research requirements, including; concept testing, DJS Research Annual Review 2015marcomms, NPD, trend tracking as well as more general consumer opinion, experience and behaviours.

Lead Director of the Chatter Zone community, Gill Redfern (who will be speaking at the Market Research Society’s Kids & Youth Conference in January 2016), said:

“We’re delighted with the feedback we’ve had from our Chatter Zone clients – increasingly clients require a low cost, convenient and fast response to their insight needs and Chatter Zone fits the bill perfectly!

“Our community of parents and kids/teens enables clients to tap into insight on demand and get to the heart of what their youngest consumers really think of their products and brands.”

As well as two product launches, we have produced a number of engineering polymers reports which are available to purchase, they compile findings from worldwide research into the demand for engineering polymers. An excerpt has also been published in the Reinforced Plastics journal.

We interviewed hundreds of purchasers across the entire engineering polymer value chain – including from Volkswagen, GE Aviation, Honda, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Ansaldo Breda, Nobel Automotive, Sintex NP, Kartell spa, Hella Group, Loewe Technologies – in order to reveal customer satisfaction levels and the demand for engineering polymers. Further information about these reports can be found, here.

More than 11 new team members…

During 2015, we expanded in size and now have a team of more than 55 permanent employees, as well as a UK-wide field force of more than 1,000 interviewers. Our in-house CATI unit has 60+ stations and has recruited many new interviewers during the year, as well as Michelle Bainbridge, who joined the CATI department as Projects Team Leader. We have also seen expansions this year within the Research, Marketing, Business Support and Field Recruitment teams.

DJS Research Annual Review 20152015 marked the 5th year of the graduate scheme, and continued our long-standing commitment to developing young talent.

After holding an assessment day for shortlisted candidates in July, we offered Junior Research Executive roles to Charlotte Cochrane, Ben Stern and Irina Dimitriade, who we are delighted to welcome on board!

As well as three graduate appointments, we also expanded our research team, with Emma Slater and Faye Waterhouse joining DJS as Research Manager and Junior Research Executive, respectively. In addition, two of our team – Christian Easdown and Elliot Simmonds – successfully achieved the MRS Advanced Certificate in Social and Market Research.

Following on from 2014’s rebrand, 2015 also saw us recruit a full-time, in-house Data Visualisation Specialist, Stephanie Skupien, who revamped our deliverables and outputs, including creating striking infographics for the likes of the Church of Scotland, Nottingham University and the Consumer Council for Water.

Zara Clarke and Emma France also joined the Finance, HR and Support team as Accounts Assistant & Payroll Administrator and Administration Assistant, respectively. As well as this, several individuals joined the operations team, including Holly Slater, Rowan Willis and Christine Scally.

A venture overseas…

This year we have conducted market research globally in 72 countries.

We have also recruited a number of foreign speaking telephone interviewers, with the aim to carry out surveys with businesses and consumers overseas and thus expanding our in-house capability even further.  

As well as this, following the successful release of our Engineering Polymers market research report (mentioned above), David Marchant - who heads the project - attended the Fakuma trade fair in Germany to showcase the research findings to industry professionals.

The green market researchers…

As a result of the company’s growth, from 1 employee in 2005, to more than 55 permanent and over 200 other staff in 2015, our carbon DJS Research Annual Review 2015footprint has inevitably increased.

With this in mind, we sought a Green Growth efficiency review, with the aim to reduce our impact on the environment and maintain our reputation for being an ethical and responsible business. Although we performed well on the review, we took on-board feedback and made changes to further reduce the impact we have on the environment. For example, we trained our staff on how to decrease our impact through simple actions such turning monitors off, installing movement sensitive lighting within the building, and we even elected a ‘Green Champion’ from the team to pioneer new measures and introduce new ways of being green to the wider company.

Giving back to the community…

We’ve supported many charities and local good causes throughout 2015 – the main one being CLIC Sargent, our charity of the year, who we chose to renew our charity partnership with for the third consecutive year in December 2014.

This year we have donated £1,900 to charity through fundraising activities such as bake-offs and activities days, through to national events, such as Wig Wednesday, Red Nose Day and the Morrisons’ Great North Run, where we were awarded Fastest Mixed Team

We aimed to support as many charities as possible - alongside our charity partnership with CLIC Sargent - including the industry charity,DJS Research Annual Review 2015 Market Research Benevolent Association, Comic Relief, Together Trust and Cash for Kids.

We also extended our support to other organisations, who do not necessarily boast the charitable status, this year, through a range of pro bono research projects and donations. The organisations we have supported this year, are: Friends of Strines Station, Whaley Bridge Water Weekend, Whaley Bridge Fireworks, Hillsboro’ Pumas Girls Football Team, and the Prince’s Teaching Institute and Teacher Support Network Group, through VoicED, our education market research arm.

Also, our team members have been taking advantage of a day out of the office to volunteer their time to worthy causes, with James Hinde and Claire Jackson volunteering at Together Trust, during a day of transforming an outhouse into a sensory room. Elliot Simmonds volunteered at the University of Manchester, mentoring existing students, and Stephanie Skupien and Beth Harcourt are set to volunteer at Key 103’s Mission Christmas HQ, later in December, sorting Christmas presents destined for underprivileged children in Greater Manchester.

National and industry press coverage…

Throughout the year we have been covered in both national and industry press, including the Guardian, in which we have been entered for theDJS Research Annual Review 2015 Marketing and PR excellence award. As well as this, we have also been cited in the Manchester Evening News, following our adoption of an environmental policy and our commitment to the Green Growth pledge.

In terms of industry press, we have been featured in several large publications, such as Utility Week, for the water industry, EPPM and Science Direct for the engineering polymers industry, POST online in the finance sector, and the Market Research Society’s Research Live, as well as other outlets such as Market Research World, MrWeb and Quirk’s.

In August, Ali Sims spoke to Utility Week about the levels of trust the public has in water companies and what the industry can do to help regain lost trust. The article was published online and featured recent research findings from a project conducted by Ali herself.

Plans for the future…

2016 is set to be another great year for us. Our financial targets are ambitious, however, the addition of several new products and more than DJS Research Annual Review 201510 new team members should help us to further develop our market research offer in a variety of sectors, and in turn, propel us to meet our goals!

We’re looking forward to maintaining and building on our existing relationships with some really great clients, as well as gaining new ones throughout the next 12 months.

We plan to attend many conferences in 2016 and hope to speak at several ourselves. Gill Redfern is already on the roster to speak about gamification in online research communities at the Market Research Society’s Kids and Youth Conference, on 28th January. As well as this, we plan to carry on showcasing our live satisfaction scores, with the intention of continuing our tradition of openly publishing our clients’ opinions of our work, as well as furthering our on-going commitment to quality.

We plan to continue developing our team by investing in training and upskilling. Further to this, we hope to see promotions and new hires in 2016, and look forward to welcoming more graduates through our newly refreshed graduate scheme in the summer.

A final word from Danny and Ali Sims…

“We’ve had another exciting year at DJS Research! Ali and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, those who commissioned research and all participants who have taken part in the many projects that we have conducted: without your support we wouldn’t have a business!

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of our contacts this year and are looking forward to working with you and others in 2016. All of us at DJS Research would like to wish you a happy festive period and all the best for the New Year!”

DJS Research Annual Review

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