Q&A With Jane Frost CBE, CEO of the Market Research Society

4th December 2012 16:06

On November 26th 2012, Jane Frost CBE arrived at the combined offices of Market Research World and DJS Research Ltd to give a talk to the research and operations teams on innovation, the state of market research and the future of the Market Research Society. After a year in her new role, Jane has certainly made some positive changes to the MRS – a new logo, an upgraded company partner scheme, the possibility of Chartered states for full members, and indeed her commitment to ‘get out there’ and talk to member companies if they so wish.

In terms of innovation, Jane noted the need to keep up to date with current trends, and innovation is certainly something the MRS has pushed in recently – ‘The Shock Of The New’ being the title of this year’s Annual Conference. Elliot Simmonds, Marketing Executive at DJS Research Ltd, felt Jane’s visit was symptomatic of what can be seen as a changing approach from the MRS:

“Having Jane come to our offices was a fantastic accolade for DJS Research, but also a real statement for the MRS. That Jane put aside time to come and visit us, and answer some questions we had about the future of market research and some possible developments, is surely a sign of increasing engagement with the wider market research profession – not just the larger agencies. Jane was very forth-coming with her time, gave us a detailed and interesting presentation, and also stayed for a lengthy session of Q&A. I’d advise any market research agency to get in touch with her with any questions they have.”

Some of the questions asked, and a summary of Jane’s answers, are given below:

 Q: We’re thinking of giving a paper at a future MRS Conference, do you have any tips for how to create a good piece?

A: Make sure it links with the theme; consider looking at some of the regional one-day conferences; and feel free to call us and talk through what you have that may be interesting.

Q: When a change to the MRS Code is being considered, what sort of opportunity is there for agencies to get involved with change?

A: We have a standards board who are made up of Fellows, and also a large number of people who are prepared to work on the change, and we always refer to work going on the MRS website, so if you see it you can get in touch with your views. To be honest, around 75% of the Code is actually just the law, so if a client wants to go outside the code, then it’s quite likely they may want to break the law.

Q: What’s your recommendation on how to manage a multi-faceted positioning if you’re a cross-sector agency?

A: Strength is in doing what you do well very well. One of the interesting things when I was in Government was that people were always trying to learn from someone else, so that was often a very good way in.

Q: Does the MRS have any plans to promote MR as a career to more graduates, similar to the way in which PR and Marketing are becoming increasingly ‘hip’ careers for graduates?

A: MRS are working with AQR in trialling an approach to Universities to promote research as a career. It is a priority for our PR agency and we have already secured significant articles in the Sun and the Daily Telegraph. Even more significant however will be to increase the visibility of what research does and the people who conduct and use it. I believe this is an important role for our Patrons.

Q: Can Jane provide some insights on the overall global performance of market research in 2012 and perhaps tell us what, if anything, makes market research activities in 2012 stand out compared to 2011?

A: Globally research has had a patchy year with export led revenues performance tending to be more robust than domestic. Mergers and acquisitions continue to be a theme as ownership consolidates. At the same time, there is some anecdotal evidence that budgets are fragmenting, which should give some hope to specialist suppliers.

For more details on the content of this article, please contact Elliot Simmonds via email.

About DJS Research Ltd

DJS Research Ltd is a leading market research agency based in Cheshire. The company specialises in research across a wide range of industries and clients include leading organisations from the public, private and third sectors. If you would like to know more, or if you would like help and advice with a market research project, please feel free visit our corporate website or to get in touch with DJS Research Ltd on +44 (0) 1663 767 857, or via email.

About Market Research World

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