MARKET RESEARCH: The Personality Test - Campaign puts four leading market researchers through, um, market research

SIMON BURROWS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE PRACTICE



Q: How old are you?



A: 36 (although you would never guess).



Q: How much do you earn?



A: Enough for the lifestyle I have become accustomed to.



Q: Marital status?



A: Single, although marriage for me would mean a trip to Holland or

Denmark.



Q: How long do you work each week?



A: An average of 50 hours per week in the office, with another five to

ten at home.



Q: Own a car?



A: BMW 316



Q: What type of property do you live in?



A: A (bachelor) apartment in London, although I'm looking to combine

this with a house in the Dales shortly.



Q: Do you have any pets?



A: A cat named "Patsy" rescued from Battersea Dogs Home as a

nine-month-old abandoned tabby.



Q: What newspapers do you read?



A: Pass



Q: What are your favourite TV programmes?



A: The whole Friday evening slot on Channel 4 is great. Brookside.

Newsnight. Crimewatch. (God only knows what this says about me.)

Home-grown comedy such as Ab Fab.



Q: Your favourite band?



A: I grew up with 70s disco and punk movements, in which I was an active

participant; 80s pop plus 60s motown, Bolan and Bowie.



Q: Which footie team do you support?



A: I don't have any favourites as such, but I tune in for the big

matches.



Q: What are the best and worst things about your job?



A: Best thing is working in an environment that nurtures creativity and

innovation. Worst thing - not as much international travel as I'd

like.



Q: Which campaign are you most proud of?



A: A conference paper I wrote - The Pink Pound: A Missed Marketing

Opportunity? - gave me a great deal of satisfaction because of its

subject matter and because it enabled me to talk to the most stimulating

minds in advertising and marketing.



Q: What can market research do that other marketing disciplines

can't?



A: A 21-country consumer study conducted for a major financial

organisation, conducted centrally from London by telephone was something

I cherish. It was pioneering and set the standard for others to follow.

Market research is the gateway to the consumer view, one of the driving

forces behind most other marketing initiatives. You need customer

insight to determine how to move your business forward.



Q: Who do you most admire in the industry?



A: I would have to cite John Clemens, Peter Hayes, Sue Goulden and Nigel

Spackman as people I admire for having made the transition from skilled

researcher to captains of our industry.



Q: What's the main challenge facing the industry?



A: One of identity and positioning. As Sir Martin Sorrell has said time

and again, market research needs to be further up the "food chain" than

it currently is.



Q: Where would you like your career to be in five years' time?



A: Commercially, I want to see my agency grow - both in revenue and in

terms of stature. Regarding our publicity-shy industry, I want to look

back in five years' time and know I helped move the business forward in

terms of value.



MIKE KIRKHAM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TAYLOR NELSON SOFRES



Q: How old are you?



A: 54



Q: How much do you earn?



A: pounds 200,000 p.a.



Q: Marital status?



A: Married, two children.



Q: How long do you work each week?



A: 55 hours



Q: Own a car?



A: Audi A8



Q: What type of property do you live in?



A: Suburban semi-detached (Victorian).



Q: Do you have any pets?



A: No



Q: What newspapers do you read?



A: The Times, Financial Times, Evening Standard.



Q: What are your favourite TV programmes?



A: Have I Got News For You.



Q: Your favourite band?



A: Dire Straits



Q: Which footie team do you support?



A: Aston Villa



Q: What are the best and worst things about your job?



A: Best - winning business; worst - losing business.



Q: Which campaign are you most proud of?



A: Research isn't like advertising - it doesn't involve campaigns. What

I am most proud of is anything which involves complex multi-country

programmes such as our household panel and TV activities in Asia.



Q: What can market research do that other marketing disciplines

can't?



A: Research can tell you who your real customers are and why they use

your product or service.



Q: Who do you most admire in the industry?



A: Doug Brown and Bernard Audley, two of the founders of AGB.



Q: What's the main challenge facing the industry?



A: Recruiting and retaining good people.



Q: Where would you like your career to be in five years' time?



A: Doing what I'm doing now.



RICHARD SILMAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BMRB



Q: How old are you?



A: 44



Q: How much do you earn?



A: As much as Martin Sorrell thinks he can afford.



Q: Marital status?



A: Married, two children.



Q: How long do you work each week?



A: Too many.



Q: Own a car?



A: Mercedes E280



Q: What type of property do you live in?



A: Four-bedroom detached in leafy Bucks, convenient for shops and

station.



Q: Do you have any pets?



A: One dog.



Q: What newspapers do you read?



A: Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph.



Q: What are your favourite TV programmes?



A: Frasier



Q: Your favourite band?



A: Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel; Chas and Dave featuring Ossie

Ardiles.



Q: Which footie team do you support?



A: The "mighty Spurs" (and Wycombe Wanderers).



Q: What are the best and worst things about your job?



A: The people and the diversity are the best and the extensive travel is

the worst.



Q: Which campaign are you most proud of?



A: Corporately the work BMRB has done with BT, and personally the work

with BA.



Q: What can market research do that other marketing disciplines

can't?



A: I tend not to see market research as an isolated discipline but as an

effective tool alongside other key databases/information. As such, it

provides insight and quantification, frequently providing the "yes"

factor. Market research provides the primary interface between the

company and their consumers, providing understanding of how consumers

view their products.



Q: Who do you most admire in the industry?



A: John Samuels - I learned so much from him. Didier Truchot - because

he will be my new boss.



Q: What's the main challenge facing the industry?



A: Reversing (if possible) the response rate decline and apathy among

interviewees to market research.



Q: Where would you like your career to be in five years' time?



A: At IPSOS and looking at continued success for both BMRB and

IPSOS.



GREG SMITH, VICE-PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, HARRIS

INTERACTIVE



Q: How old are you?



A: 45 (just)



Q: How much do you earn?



A: Average.



Q: Marital status?



A: Married, three children.



Q: How long do you work each week?



A: Depends. Some weeks 45 to 50 hours; others, 60-plus.



Q: Own a car?



A: Ford Puma



Q: What type of property do you live in?



A: Detached, modern, five bedrooms, Bucks village.



Q: Do you have any pets?



A: Two cats (aged 19 and two), one rabbit.



Q: What newspapers do you read?



A: The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times occasionally.



Q: What are your favourite TV programmes?



A: I enjoy Sex in the City for the dialogue and Manhattan content, of

course. I also like Have I Got News For You and alternative comedy

shows.



Q: Your favourite band?



A: I don't really have one. At the moment I'm listening to Dido and

Morcheeba quite a lot - teenage children are a big influence! I also

like Mahler, Elgar and any jazz.



Q: Which footie team do you support?



A: Norwich City - my home town.



Q: What are the best and worst things about your job?



A: Best thing - diversity, different clients, marketing problems,

people, places. Worst - long periods of travelling and being away from

home, different time zones.



Q: Which campaign are you most proud of?



A: I've seen so many great pieces of market research that have made a

deep impact on business, it's hard to name one.



Q: What can market research do that other marketing disciplines

can't?



A: Our own campaign conducting opinion polls using the internet before

the US elections last November is one that we are really proud of. It

was daring, unparalleled in scale and speed and, moreover, the single

most accurate of all the polls that were undertaken - correctly

predicting 98 per cent of all races (presidential, senatorial and

gubernatorial). So that's got to be the one, so far!



Q: Who do you most admire in the industry?



A: Tony Cowling, chairman of Taylor Nelson Sofres, for his audaciousness

and single-minded pursuit of a strategy to build his company to be one

of the leading groups in the world.



Q: What's the main challenge facing the industry?



A: Embracing the changes that new technology brings to market research

and remaining a distinct and valued discipline in its own right.



Q: Where would you like your career to be in five years' time?



A: At the moment, I am enjoying setting out Harris Interactive's

international strategy. So it would be nice to think that in five years'

time, I'd be able to see some of that come to fruition.



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