Researchers Need To Engage Good Design To Have Impact

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The world is changing, and research needs to change tack, says marketing expert

Lucy Davison Managing Director Keen as Mustard Marketing
We are all, to an extent, seduced by good – and bad – content. We expect to be entertained. We expect simplicity according to Lucy Davison, Managing Director, Keen as Mustard Marketing.

Many researchers are not keeping up with fast-paced changes in the business world and urgently need new approaches to presenting research to improve output, according to Lucy Davison, Managing Director, Keen as Mustard Marketing, UK.

Davison was speaking to more than 150 delegates on the importance of good communications at the two-day ESOMAR Best of MENAP 2013 Conference at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.

The annual conference, organised by ESOMAR Live and now in its second year, was staged under the theme ‘Navigating Change for Growth.’ It brought together regional and international market research, advertising and marketing experts to share industry and sector insights, opportunities and challenges.

“We are all living in a vastly more visual world than 10 or even five years ago, and researchers need to create presentations and materials that will impress clients and help influence and drive decisions,” said Davison.

“Most client research materials lack motivation or impact, and although industry feedback shows that some recognise that there is a problem with the communication tools used for clients, too little is being done too slowly.”

Davison went on to quote Andrew Doyle of Holmes & Marchant, who has worked both as a marketing client at multi-national companies and now as managing director of a brand design agency, as saying that he has never seen a well styled presentation from a research company in 40 years of being on the receiving end. “The design element in research presentations is getting worse instead of better,” Doyle stated…

A sector expert, Davison explained that the internet holds the key to instant visual and mental gratification with hundreds of image sites, videos, presentations and infographics available for download.

“We are all, to an extent, seduced by good – and bad – content. We expect to be entertained. We expect simplicity.”

Meanwhile, Aziz Cami, founder of design agency The Partners and now creative consultant to Kantar, said that successful research communications are ones that create action. “We have to provide materials that are motivating solutions to a business issue. Unless we make our outputs vivid, exciting and actionable, it’s just data.

“From our very first experience of fairy tales, stories are archetypes that allow us to make sense of our world,” adds Davison.

“It’s my view, that without the basic skills of storytelling, researchers are not able to create great communication. The true value of research lies in how much impact it has,” she concluded.

The two-day conference threw a spotlight on trends and challenges of post-Arab Spring communication in markets such as Egypt and Tunisia, and a session on Health Consciousness Levels from a consumer perspective to understand local nuances, attributes, preferences and in depth segmentation of the Arab consumer.

Founded in 1948, ESOMAR aims to promote the value of market and opinion research in effective decision-making. Through its codes and guidelines, ESOMAR promotes the highest ethical and professional standards for researchers around the world.


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