What is your background?
I am the Director of EMEA at SIS International Research, a global market research firm founded in 1984, and I am based in our London offices. I am responsible for various client-facing and operations in market research, market intelligence and strategy solutions across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
I was previously the Director of the International Division of Lorien Consulting and represented Lorien Consulting at the institutional level of the international market relationships and partnerships.
I am a specialist in particular for media, healthcare, food & beverage, retail, fashion, fast moving consumer goods, and toiletries industries, and I also have experience in social and opinion research studies. In particular, I have extensive experience in social and opinion research with regards to media and attitudes towards Italy’s presidential elections.
I received my Master’s Degree in Applied Social Sciences-Social Research Orientation from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy. I also received her Bachelor’s Degree in Languages and Information and Communication Techniques from the same university. I am from Italy! I am a native speaker of Italian and is conversant in English, German and French.
Tell us how you became interested in the industry.
Travel, geopolitical assets and cultural learning are the main interests that drove my passion for the market research industry.
How is healthcare changing in EMEA?
Regional headquartered companies, less focused on small representative office in each country; this is a rising trend of the Healthcare industry. This reflects a changing approach to the research in terms of local opportunities.
How are B2B markets/projects adjusting to new realities?
B2B is the challenge of the future!
While the consumer portion of the business is increasingly on hold waiting to get out of the economic crisis, the B2B market is the one that took the challenge of the crisis to grow, to study the market and develop new products, approach and opportunities.
And market research is the medium through which they can get to the “truth” in complex business environments.
Are you optimistic about the EU this year?
Of course I am! First of all as I’m native European. Second I just took on the challenge of EMEA chief for an American company so I have to show modern America how strong can still be to the old. Third, the EU is such a diverse group of countries, languages, cultures which will continue to have a dominant position in a changing geopolitical landscape.
What are the top trends in the research industry in Europe in 2013? Skill sets? Capabilities?
I believe 2013 will be a transformational year in our industry. For this reason, I think these qualities will be most important going forward:
- Flexility: Being able to respond to changing clients’ needs and budgets
- Effective methodologies: Being able to adapt methodologies to provide in-depth insight. Hybrid methodologies are increasingly helping to shape the methodological mix.
- “Glocal,” Businesses are increasingly thinking global and applying strategy locally.
What key considerations are companies facing in Europe in 2013?
Europe and the Euro zone are distinctive concepts with different aims and perspective. We are eyeing in the region key questions regarding macro level on immigration issues, social developments, Millennials, the rise of emerging markets, unemployment, women in the work force and ease of doing business.
How has the market research industry evolved over the past few years and where do you see it going?
Market Research used to be focused on surveys and the questionnaire. Certainly the methods have changed. But even our clients’ perspectives have changed. One thing I’ve noticed is that larger clients are increasingly more focused on the subconscious as a means to understand purchasing behavior. Thus, I think we will be seeing new “space age” methods such as biometrics, neuro and eye tracking. “Big data” and data mining may also rise in prominence. Online is important if that’s where key stakeholders are. Speed, quality of insight and changes in macro economic are forcing researchers to develop new tools. Dashboards and real-time data delivery may rise in prominence.
I think qualitative is important to companies, particularly in providing observational intelligence to understand how their customers interact with their products and brands.
How have client demands changed?
If clients have become more demanding, it is because the rules of the game have changed. SIS just released a new video on youtube with the first sentence “The World Has Changed.” Many research companies think of research as being done for research’s sake. However, clients use research meet broader strategic challenges and opportunities. At SIS, that’s how we think. Business today is so much more complex and rapid than it was previously. So we rise to the occasion.
How important is talented staff today in the market research field?
I think developing talent is important for firms and for the industry at-large. I think there is an opportunity for the industry to foster career development of young talented market researchers.
Most of the market researchers I know “fell into” the industry. That is, they came across it by luck, chance or in the marketing department at a larger company. In developed economies and even some emerging economies, market research salaries tend to be comparatively on the low side, and technical industries tend to pay more, so it is not only important to attract talented staff, but also to retain them.
SIS International Research is a full-service global custom research company. As such, we have a wide variety of services we provide clients. Broadly speaking, we provide fieldwork, data collection, analysis and reporting across the entire business landscape. Key points of differentiation are our global reach (SIS has done research in over 120 countries), Emerging Markets and strategic research services including B2B, Industrial and competitive research. SIS has also serviced over 50 industries with methods ranging from the traditional to the sophisticated, new analytics rising today.
SIS also has a marketing consulting group SIS Global Growth