Our industry’s image needs a boost

As publised in CLOU magazine 66 in February 2014. A recent Fringe Factory report poses an interesting question to more than 1,800 graduated GenYers in 9 countries: ‘Is Market Research really a career?. What was the outcome? Market research is definitely not in the Top 10 of industries youngsters would like to work in; about twice as many youngsters would actually like to work for the government than in market research.
Gen Y is primarily driven by work-life balance, salary and career options, all of which are aspects market research does not have a very good reputation for. The image of market research among youngsters is that it is boring and based on a biased image of ‘number crunching’.
Is this the beginning of the end for our industry? Are we at all capable of attracting the best young talents? How do we convince Gen Y to go for a career in market research?
Fortunately the Fringe report is not all about the negative sides. The innovation of methods and the cross-over between disciplines make it more interesting to become a market researcher. If there is anything typical about a Gen Y researcher, it is his search for innovation, his need to open up ‘black boxes’ and to involve other disciplines when doing research.
But we do face a big challenge. MR subjects such as online communities, mobile surveys and social media analytics have to gain in familiarity among youngsters. Our industry’s image needs a boost. The question at the end of the report covers it all: “What can you do to help revamp the perception of het Market Research industry and attract young talent?” An interesting theme on the matter at the MIE is Open Mind – Think Different, which is announced as a cross-over between disciplines from marketing, PR, communication and market research, with a focus on new research methods. And those are exactly the ingredients we need to spice up our image!
At the MIE 2014 I will look for GenYers who are perfect examples of our industry. If you, as GenYer, will be a passionate presenter at the MIE and are enthusiastic about new research methods, let me know via Twitter (@pardochi), mentioning passion and also #MIE14 of course.

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