The Break Down
- Just like the U.S., budget is an important factor in the way research is conducted in the U.K.
- Consumers are open and willing to participate in research studies
- The way companies conduct research when working with a budget
I heard from many experts in my area of expertise while in the U.K. In speaking to James Fraser a Strategist at Mother, Anna Cremin the Head of Research and Consumer Insight at Pearl & Dean, Joe Faul the Senior Social Media Analyst at We Are Social and Stephan Waddington the Digital and Social Media Director at Ketchum I learned many companies are budget orientated.
Companies such as Pearl & Dean, We Are Social and Ketchum tend to use more quantitative rather than qualitative research. Anna explained that although she would like to use qualitative research more, the nature of having a budget and having to answer a specific objective means that people always want numbers behind the research. These agencies all use types of online monitoring to obtain their research on consumers. Anna spoke about TouchPoints, which is “the first consumer-centric multimedia survey” conducted by the IPA in the U.K. Anna went on to explain, “although it is a quantitative piece of study, it’s actually a sort of qualitative observing method.” I also learned that when using qualitative research they stick to traditional methods such as online focus groups and focus groups.
When working with a budget advertising agencies, such Mother, which is a small independent agency, only do small research projects in house. When a client has a large research project they send it to a research company. James explained that when Mother does in house research they prefer to use nontraditional methods of qualitative, such as shop-alongs, instead of quantitative research.
From my interviews, I also concluded the culture in the U.K. is similar to that in the U.S. in the sense that consumers are very open and willing to participate in research studies as long as they care about the topic and they are compensated for their time.
“If people feel like they’re making a contribution and their opinion matters then they are happy to take part” (Anna Cremin).
Phil Johnston, one of my U.S. interviewees, told me the way qualitative research is used in account planning depends on the culture of the agency, not the country. I have to say this is very true. While in the U.K. I went to ad agencies and PR firms and I agree that it is the culture of the agencies that affect the type of research conducted and the way the research is used.