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Episode 30: Global Research and Eliminating Bias With Anne Brown

Sharday Torgerson  (00:12):

So welcome to the podcast and thank you for taking the time out today. You know, thank goodness it’s April finally feels like there’s a little bit a buzz in the air with a lineup of industry events and conferences. Are you attending any conferences this year?

Anne Brown (00:28):

Yeah, well, yes. Actually I’m starting right at the beginning of April. Thence association is in Philly April I think it’s fourth through sixth, so I’ll be there and then I’m going to IIEX and then I head to the wire exec summit in may.

Sharday Torgerson  (00:46):

Oh, yes. I’ve been hearing about the wire exec summit. I, myself you know, being a woman in research have been following a lot of the events and again, two years it feels like it’s gone by really quickly. And unfortunately not a lot of us have been able to get together. So I bet you, that’s a pretty exciting event for you being pretty involved with, hey?

Anne Brown (01:07):

It, it is you know, I, so look forward to it. It’s two days wonderful. Two days the first is they talk about the head the second day. It’s about the heart and, you know, we welcome those women who are on a leadership track to join. So perhaps one day you will apply and join the leadership track. It’s, it’s a wonderful experience. And you know, I can’t say enough about wire and what it’s done for the women in our industry, so, wow. Yeah. Think about that.

Sharday Torgerson  (01:39):

Yeah. No, wow. That’s great. I’ll definitely it’s yeah, such an indu interesting industry in terms of how like women are really about encouraging each other. Even, you know, founder-led organizations you know, still really playing, you know, the game with each other and recognizing that I feel like collaboration, maybe, you know, part of the new competition. And so it’s amazing to see, I love to see these events kind of going on and again, spring really feels like that you know, trade show kind of mile where everyone’s attending a lot of these really exciting conferences and stuff. So that’s really great to hear, but before we dive in, I would like to introduce myself. I am char Toon, the Creative & Digital Strategist at Insightrix Research in Saskatoon, Canada, and your season three hosts for stories of market research. And I would like to welcome Anne brown to the podcast. Anne Brown is the CEO and principal at gazelle global research services and established leader in innovator in managing the logistics of research on a level scale. The people at gazelle are the business leaders and innovative innovators and research veterans, problem solvers, listeners, and advisors on the global scale, they are passionate about what they do, and they’ve built a network of people that bring the human approach to collaboration all while addressing the challenges of today’s marketers. So welcome to the podcast today, Anne.

Anne Brown (03:07):

Wow. Thank you.

Sharday Torgerson  (03:08):

<Laugh> it was mouthful, but with 25 years in business on a global scale, I am sure I’m only kind of cracking the surface of some of the work that you, you guys do there. So

Anne Brown (03:20):

Thank you for, thank you for such a lovely introduction. Yeah, so, you know, Gelle global, we try to live up to our name. We’re a global provider and I think, you know, that’s some of the things that we’ll be talking about today that I’m anxious to discuss with you. Yeah.

Sharday Torgerson  (03:36):

I think that’s my problem. I’m a little anxious today. I’m really excited. I just, again, I feel that spring in the air to some degree, winter has been a long run season for a lot of us. I think so you know, given the pandemic and, and, and other situations that I think we’re dealing with on a global scale. So I, you know, as we dive in here, I, I, I think that’s what we’re talking about. The world has certainly gone with, feels like through a transition in the last few years given so many issues that we’re dealing with facing as a society with everything from climate change to the pandemic to civil unrest, to global conflict. And I feel like the research community has certainly noticed and is looking for ways to work together on this. I, and a question for you, Anne, how do you think perhaps market research is maybe coping with this as an industry and what are you seeing as a leader in research on a global scale and how we’re dealing with this?

Anne Brown (04:33):

Well, I, I mean, I think, I think you hit one thing a few minutes ago when you said, you know, it’s been a long winter, I feel like it’s been a two year, year winter in some, in that, you know, we, we were just you know, the world was closed. I feel like the world for global research was closed for a couple years. And we’re just, we were just beginning to come out of it. You know, I’m, I’m, we were seeing an uptick in international work in person, which really was mostly nonexistent over the past couple of years. Internationally in person was really down. And you know, we, we just started working internationally in person again, and I was very excited by that. And I, I feel there’s tremendous co cooperation out there from the providers internationally because everybody really wants to get back.

Anne Brown (05:28):

Everybody wants to, you know, make things into whatever the newest normal is going to be. And, you know, I, I just think it was a, a great time. And yet now we have this problem over in the Ukraine that is going to be it it’s affecting everything. I think it’s going to affect everything. So, you know, yes. What you said earlier, collaboration is the new competition. You know what they say, like the rising tide lifts, all boats, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I’m hoping that, you know, with an opening now with countries being more open and allowing in person research we’ll get back to some sort of a new normal in terms of Glo working globally.

Sharday Torgerson  (06:14):

Hmm. Yeah. You make a really interesting point. And UK, the Ukraine, excuse me, conflict is indeed a pretty troubling situation. And we’ve all been watching the event kind of unfold. And even as researchers we’re asking ourselves, you know, what can we be doing to help maybe contribute to providing more inform information or factual information as we so do. In these trying times, people will turn to research often. And not only just for the data it’s for consulting, it’s for problem-solving, it’s for listening, it’s for advising. What impact on research do you think that we are seeing on a global due to this conflict? And do you have any maybe predictions on how this could influence our future as an industry?

Anne Brown (07:06):

I, you know, I’m ju I just, I just think there’s so much to say here, you, you know, we’re watching, that’s the other thing we can watch everything now on the news. Yeah. So we’re watching some of the biggest brands close their doors. They’re walking out of Russia. And you know, it wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about the bricks, you know, we’re not talking about them now, but we were talking about them. What is five years ago? Everybody was doing research in the bricks. Russia was, was the R. So there was a lot of work, a lot of international a global research being done in Russia. And I think that, you know, there’ll be an effect on, on our major brands because they have been forced to leave a country where they were doing, you know, probably a lovely business.

Anne Brown (07:55):

So I think there’ll be an impact there. I think there’ll be an impact in terms of the food supply and the costs for food and fuel because Ukraine was a big provider of wheat. So the cost for wheat is going to rise. So, you know, when inflation happens, when costs go up, the cost of fuels crazy. Now I was looking over the weekend, crude was $112 a barrel, you know, last couple years ago, it was 30 something dollars a barrel. So, you know, the costs are going to be affecting everybody, consumers as well as brands. So, you know, I think that’s one side of it. The other side of it is that there are researchers in Russia, there are in the Ukraine. So, you know, earlier on this year, we saw bids for work doing work in Russia. Well, that’s not happening because there’s no way that they could be paid now because you know, a lot of the swift is closed and, you know, feeling is that sanctions need to be laid upon Russia because of what, you know, what Putin is doing in the Ukraine.

Anne Brown (09:07):

So I, I think there’ll be, you know, a lot of repercussions and we can’t forget our, you know, we have researchers in the Ukraine as well, and researchers throughout Europe, there are researchers in Poland, Poland has taken on mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, a huge number of refugees. So, you know, I think there, we’re going to see an impact. So it’s, it’s, it’s hard to, to think that now after two years of being closed, you, now we have this terrible conflict that we have to face and we have to live through and continue carrying on.

Sharday Torgerson  (09:47):

It’s a real attest to the impact on globalization. I think often we’ve ignored how easy globalization has come over the past few decades and how it’s both contributed to our life positively. You know, for example, I live in a very Prairie part of the world. I think access to, to many sorts of, you know, say exotic fruits or imported goods that, you know, normally wouldn’t, and I wouldn’t without globalization, I think we’ll start to see a, a big impact in our supply chain especially in given areas that are considered a lot more rural perhaps to even places like New York, for example. But I, yeah, I think it, it’s interesting to take a look at from a race perspective, because I think we’re all looking at it from, you know, what should businesses maybe be doing more to ensure, you know, that they kind of recognize market research and the value during these trying times. So do you have any suggestions for businesses that, you know, might be still hesitant or on given you know, the uncertainty, what, what would you have to, to give advice for those types of businesses?

Anne Brown (11:06):

Well, I, you know, I think there’s always businesses always need to be aware of what, what cons, how, how consumers feel what what’s on mind and what are they willing to do? How are they willing to spend and what are their feelings? And you know, what, what is the mindset of the consumer these days? And I think it’s very, you know, I think it’s very important to continue that research.

Sharday Torgerson  (11:36):

Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I agree. And I think that’s a continuous message for us as well, is that you know, really when the world is, you know, dealing with certain things, you know, research really is the one thing that responds to it in a really healthy way. And I think it’s shown even during the pandemic, I think there was you know, for lack of a better term, a worry in the industry, like how are businesses and our clients going to respond to research, you know, when we’re all sending our, our you know, staff and employees home, and really just ensuring that we’re, we’re keeping the tours open again, for really a lack of a better term. It was such an uncertain time, you know, March 20, 20 and on you know, we seen, again, you mentioned that shift in consumerism and, and the behavior was a direct impact of the pandemic where people were online you know, as a direct result of that.

Sharday Torgerson  (12:28):

And I love that you kind of a little bit of a global lens on this. And cause I feel like maybe if we take of a zoom out for, for a second and look at the world as if it were a community of consumers and I, you know, I’ve been looking at this for a few months now, even as a marketer myself in the market research industry, but we’re always looking at how, what has the behaviors that have changed due to the direct impact of the, the pandemic and how maybe have insights agencies have changed their approach to market research as a result?

Anne Brown (13:02):

Well, I, I think that one of the things that this has shown us is the importance of the direct communication with the consumer. So I think that that is priceless as they say, you know, being able to talk to the consumer I think is, is, is just invaluable. And I think that in that light there has been more qual and I think there, there has been an uptake in qualitative research and I think that’s because partly because, you know, some there’s been some, there have been some quality issues with quantitative work. And I think that brands and end-users, client-side researchers are after this time of being closed out for, from communication with the consumer, I think that they are, you know, hungry for that communication, that in-person communication that they would have in a qual environment. So I think that qualitative research is on the rise. And I think that in-person research for those in actually speaking to people who are in populations that are not easy to reach. Quantitatively I think online, I think that in person work is going to be on the rise.

Sharday Torgerson  (14:34):

Hmm. It’s an interesting point. And I feel again, given the pandemic, there has been this constant conversation about in-person research. Is it something that we are going to continue to see a, a real need for? And I think that narrative shifted quickly, but it also shifted back to the fact that you will always inherently need in person research and online will never fully replace that need. And for some of the reasons you just gave, and I think we’ll kind of dive a little bit more into that, cuz totally agree on that front. And I think, you know, maybe if we back up a little, cause I really love this whole aspect about how qual really come in, came into play during the pandemic is a really strong form of methodology for us to kind of use and, and start to apply to some projects and look for unique ways of getting in front of people and still getting some actionable insights to our clients. A question for you, what are then some maybe advantages of qualitative research in ways that maybe you know, businesses can still get the research that they need while, you know, perhaps their look at market research is a little bit more traditional in form.

Anne Brown (15:49):

You know, join the pandemic qual, you know, was a in trouble because no one could meet in person. So the focus facilities were, you know, very hard hit by the closures. And I think that they pivoted so quickly they did such a good job pivoting online. So they still had those intimate conversations, IDIs, you know, those one on, on one talks with, you know, with all kinds of people, you know, not just consumers, but with industry leaders with thought leaders and you know, I think that was the great pivot of the pandemic qual going online. And I think that it’s still that that’s going to continue. I think that cost-wise and you know, I think, I think that room was made for that. And now it’s going to remain, but I do think that we’re going to also go back to in-person focus groups again.

Anne Brown (16:50):

You know, now that the world is opening up you know, clients in the backroom, they wanna, they wanna see their consumers. They wanna be, you know, they wanna be watching, they wanna be hearing, they wanna see they wanna, they want the visuals, they wanna see the facial expressions and all the rest the interaction in a group. So I think that that’s you know, that that is going to be back and, and I think in person is gonna be back also, you know, you know, actually having people on the ground in faraway places you know, doing the real work that we’ve been doing for many years is, is going to be back.

Sharday Torgerson  (17:26):

Yeah. I, I couldn’t agree more and I feel again with the uncertainty of how perhaps market research would certain projects, I think there may have been a worry, but in all retrospectives a great time to innovate and ideate as, as a BI as a industry. Rather, I think it was at a time where I, a lot of folks were really exploring qualitative research as a, as a part of their industries, a much more traditional aspect of the industry where I feel as if maybe in the past qualitative was always looked at as a bit more of an an experiment or an add on, or something a little bit more on the, the social side or the arts side or something. But I, I really appreciate that we have come a long way as an industry in recognizing like how cool, you know, we can idea around certain types of qualitative projects and how maybe we can do that online, but, and then all retrospect as well, how important quantitative is as well to really make sure that we see the whole picture because qualitative helps you again, really zoom out and maybe understand some of those questions, the why’s, the who’s, the how’s but then really making sure that we’re, you know, following it up with a really great quantitative study mm-hmm, <affirmative> so recognizing where they both play an important role love to see that the industry is taking notice and businesses are looking at doing things different.

Sharday Torgerson  (18:55):

So that leads me maybe even back to your experience and, you know, what types of methodologies are being explored more or less. We, we talked about maybe online being something that we we’re calling the great pivot. I love that. That’s a great quote. <Laugh> what, in your experience, how have we seen perhaps businesses adapt even on the client side in terms of working more online do you feel in your perspective that the industry Ison responding in a way where people can still you know, get what they need outta qualitative research?

Anne Brown (19:30):

I, I think that research that the whole menu of, of research is, is the same. Just some of the levels have changed. You know, we, we do have, we have more online now that we than we’ve had years ago because now we have more, you know, in with internet penetration such as it is, there is much more mobile. So a lot of places in the world research is gonna be quantitative research is gonna be on mobile. That’s just the way it’s going to be. Good point. Yeah. So I think that in that regard online will be increasing. You know, I think that we will be constantly monitoring as we do at gazelle. And as you know, all of our co all of my colleagues do in their, you know, their respective firms, we’re going to be on top of the quality issues of quant you know, monitoring those survey and, you know, trying to be one step ahead of the fraudsters you know, it, it’s, it’s top of mind to all of us.

Anne Brown (20:41):

So, you know, we’re out there doing that, but, you know, you’re still going to have you, you know, in person is still going to be real because in, there are a lot of populations that you can’t reach via, you know, via online. There are still places in the world where you need to make an appointment to talk to someone. So, you know, that’s going to continue. And you know, I, I think that, again, as I said before, direct contact with consumers is important and there is still believe it or not some research that’s done on the telephone mm-hmm <affirmative>. So, you know, I think all of the methodologies that we use are all going to be at play. Just the levels are going to keep changing and they’re going changing based on what’s culturally acceptable in the places where we’re working, you know, what, what’s the right way to get to what’s the best method to get to the people that you wanna talk to. That’s the way we wanna do it, because that that’s going to get the best responses, the most rich data for our clients. That’s, you know, so I think, I think that, I think if the levels are just going to keep changing and they’re going to keep changing based on what the best methodology is at the moment,

Sharday Torgerson  (21:59):

It’s amazing how we used to really look at multimodal surveys or research as one of two things. And now, I mean, there’s many ways to really tap, been to getting in front of a survey participant mm-hmm <affirmative>. So, yeah, that’s a really good point. I love that, but I, I think we’re also really diving into a bit of an, an area also that is often a challenge among researchers and it’s, you know, we’re even looking at how businesses operate as whole. So, you know, when we talk about the last even decades we got younger folks who are leading in terms of social causes, and honestly, they’ve done a really fantastic job at keeping brands accountable, even in terms of representation. So you have market research as an industry who, you know, have really tapped into this to make sure that we are, you know, conducting research in a manner that is ethical, but also is really inclusive of everyone.

Sharday Torgerson  (22:52):

And we keep talking about how, you know, online research is super important you know, to you know, qualitative methodologies and getting in front of a certain folks. But, you know, it’s not also something that everyone has access to internet-enabled technology is still very much, you know, a privilege in society though. The mindset is changing among governments of the world from recognizing how important that need is. But I think, you know, what we’re talking about is you know, this level of how research professionals should you know, respond to ensure that they’re conducting research in a way that you know, we’re getting in front of these in vigils who preach, you know, the importance of, you know, eliminating bias and research. So my question for you, Anne, is how can maybe these insights professionals conduct better quantitative or qualitative data, you know, and try to reach low incidents populations to ensure that they’re, you know, providing inclusivity in their research.

Anne Brown (23:51):

Yeah, I, I, I think it’s so important today that we be aware of making sure that our research is not biased. So I, I think, you know, we have to look at oversampling you know, some of the underserved populations so that we, when we’re doing our research you know, we have levels of, of responses that are readable. You know, we, when you look at, at the low population levels of certain you know, certain members of, of our population, the, the levels are too low to have a good readable base in you know, a sample size of let’s say 800 or a thousand. So, you know, we need to look to oversampling underserved populations when we’re doing our work. If you wanna get a good read,

Sharday Torgerson  (24:41):

How can maybe sample providers or, you know, read research providers as a whole, you know, ensure that they’re doing so

Anne Brown (24:51):

Well. I, I think it’s all about the sampling, you know, I think that you just have to be careful you know, just put a little thought into you know, the, the, the research that you’re doing and making sure that you have a, a sound sample base, you know, it it’s comes at the very beginning, you know, it comes at, at, at the bid time, you know, when you’re, when you’re looking for absolutely a cost, you know, you need to, you know, put those, those, that information forth to the person that you’re asking a price for, you know, to make sure that the quotas that you’re looking for are priced out properly and that when the study starts, you are you know, you’re going to meet the, the quotas that you set. So I think it’s very important.

Sharday Torgerson  (25:36):

Hmm. It’s really, it’s really key insight. I think for individuals who are in the market research field you know, I think even living in the prairies ourselves, we experience this often remark where our Prairie sample is, but condensed into three provinces. And I feel as if our sample in Saskatchewan, if you will, central Canada, even if we have a very similar mindset to other provinces, it, you know, no one individual Joel is the same, you know, I’m sure in Alberta, our neighbouring province and then Manitoba or other neighbouring province, I find it often ironic that there is that assumption that, you know, to meet the quota or the requirements that, you know, we can kind of lump the sample in, into, you know, one essential Prairie sample. But we, even as a business recognize that that is not how we, how it should operate.

Sharday Torgerson  (26:34):

So we make sure, you know, as a Saskatchewan business with our grassroots here, that when we’re doing projects that are specific to our client’s needs in Saskatchewan, that we do not wrap up our sample base with other provinces that were very specific even other provinces having their own sample base, but, you know, geographically, you know, demographically, I think there’s even more to this it’s, it’s even deeper where you know, again, we were kind of talking at the younger demographic, really understanding the need for, you know, ethical research, but at the same time, you know, younger people also have a different expectation in how to participate in research. So while we’re trying to get in front of these demographics, these hard to reach segments, I’m wondering, what should we do as market research agency is to ensure that we’re getting in front of populations that we’re gathering rich insights, but in a way that they expect. So as a market research firms, we’re oversampling, but as a user who might, you know come across our market research, what sh what are they expecting from us and what should we maybe be doing differently or the same of,

Anne Brown (27:42):

Well, I, I think we have to be aware that so much research is now being done via mobile. I think, I think that’s very important to, for us to recognize and that mobile needs to be included in, you know, mobile sample needs to be included in all of our projects. Absolutely. And I think then one to have that you need to face the fact that there are certain things that you have to be cognizant of. You have to be cognizant of the length of the interview. You have to be, it has to be mobile, mobile-ready, and you questions have to be engaging. You know, you, you just have, you have a, you got, you need to have a, a study that it’s concise and that’s engaging. That’s keeping our keeping the respondent engaged. So, you know, you can’t expect to do a 20-minute survey on a mobile device. You know, it, it just gets to be too long. It, it, you’re not going to be able to hold anyone’s attention for that much time on a mobile device. So I think, you know, these are things that have to be considered, you know, as you go forward, especially when you’re looking to reach the younger population.

Sharday Torgerson  (28:53):

I, I hate to use this as a term hates a strong word that I it’s a, it’s a funny term at best, but I really explore this emphasis on TikTok being a strategy we so far have come along to appreciating video is a form of content that I think visually we get a lot of stimulation out. A lot of visual learners learn from, and then a lot of advertisements can actually turn into content. But if you look at the trajectory of a video, you know, a 20-minute video, you know, slowly became a 14-minute video, became an eight-minute video. And now we’re down to five or less. If lucky you’re, you’re producing a five-minute video that people are watching, I’ll say 90 seconds is where we’re at. But I think the whole idea around that is really that time is way more important than ever.

Sharday Torgerson  (29:44):

And the currency exchange between a participant and, and a researcher is that time. So if we’re not looking at it from the aspect of that, that participant really, you know, we can provide them with all the incentives, the prizes of the, but really their currency in terms of time is what’s most important to them. I think that is really true with younger folks. I think that’s even more true with the pandemic, what we’re dealing with as a society. We’re all looking at our own time as, as the most important currency. So one would say that the TikTok strategy is, is really recognizing how we can get in front of you know, these folks with great attention at the same time, not taking up too much of their time, and then hopefully getting a, a mutual exchange out of it. So I think there’s some really interesting added benefits to looking at how social media is maybe, you know, working with younger generations, how it in content or how people are using social media.

Sharday Torgerson  (30:44):

And I would almost argue that that’s where the mobile comes in, is social media and mobile really are becoming you know, both huge parts of our routines in society. Whether I guess we kind of like it or appreciate it or not. Even on the research side, social media can often look at a, a monster or kind of a little bit of a villain. When in retrospect it’s been an absolutely fantastic recruitment and marketing tool for us, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative> given, given how things have changed, but I, I think to maybe even reel back a little bit to that, we we’ve been talking about hard to reach populations and, and often we’re experie, or they are experiencing barriers as a result. We looked at even online being one. So you, on one hand, folks are looking at, as online is a really easy way to get in front of participants.

Sharday Torgerson  (31:31):

But even now we’re working at tric on a project where we’re actually putting up flyers in clinics to actually get in front of a certain hard tore segment, because that is really the only way you can, and we’re providing them with a direct number with you know, information about and a real researcher so that they can actually connect with them. So there really isn’t you know, a BL end all solution for online. So these hard-to-reach segments are experiencing, I think, more than just those types of barriers. I think another one even is language, language is a huge barrier to research. And I’m sure as an expert on the global scale and, you know, providing international research, this obviously is a common challenge to ensure that data collection is, you know, you know, wrapping up all the cultural context, the nuances and the intent of the problem that’s been represented. So if you were to give advice to researchers who are working on that international level to ensure that they’re making you know, the, the most out of the research you know, given perhaps a language barrier do you have any advice for those individuals?

Anne Brown (32:42):

You you’ve touched on one of my biggest pet peeves in the industry <laugh> and that is translations, oh my goodness. I cannot stress it. That surveys need to be translated into the language that into the in-country language. I mean, it, that’s the only way to get a really rich response from, from the respondents and also think about it. It’s insulting to not translate the questionnaire into the, into the respondents language. It it’s rude, it’s insulting. And also if, think about it, if you’re bilingual, okay. Yeah, many of them are bilingual, but they’re not going to be able to converse as easily as casually with the most feeling in unless they’re in their native language. So, yeah, I, I just can’t stress it enough question studies inter you know, globally, they need to be translated into the native language. And so what if you have to translate it into five languages in some countries, you know, so what that’s what you do, if you wanna get a good response, you know, that’s the way it is. You, you can’t skip on this. It it’s so important. And I also feel that it’s important to when you’re doing open and coding to code in language for the, the richest response, you know, you need somebody who’s a native speaker who will just read through that and understand, you know, all the nuances they’ll understand, you know, the phraseology, they’ll just understand what, what the respondent is getting at. So, yes, I, I’m

Sharday Torgerson  (34:23):

Very passionate about it, honestly. It’s really true. And I find it ironic that, you know, English as a first language, it’s often misinterpreted in a way that it’s a universal language. And let’s be honest, English is far from a universal language. And I think to, to really understand that is a valuable part of being an international researcher, granted, even doing research at home in Canada, we call ourselves a melting pot even central Canada, we, we are home to many populations. And recognizing that if you really wanna do say researchers with newcomers or, or recent immigrants that you know, to, to, to really recognize what that research survey looks like to, to whom you’re, you’re doing the research with. So, I mean, and again, again, I think this kind of touches a little bit on the whole aspect of diversity on your research team, right? And I think yourself as a CEO and a principal, you know, for a international research firm I get, and you really I’m sure appreciate how to approach new talent to ensure that there is diversity on your firm. We’re seeing it everywhere. Lots of, lots of folks within the industry are recognizing how important it is for this reason. But do you have perhaps any foundational perhaps tips for organizations that may be looking to expand on their own team, especially if they’re looking to expand on their research capabilities on an international level?

Anne Brown (35:46):

Well, I think one thing that that’s popped up in the, in the past few months actually is the insights association has established the ideator program. Let us say where, and, and a lot of the very large research firms have just hopped onto this. So what they’re doing is they’re creating an intern internships with where they’re going. So they’re going to they’re recruiting people from underserved populations and they are recruiting them into research positions at a lot of the larger firms. A lot of the firms have already jumped, hopped onto this. And I think it’s going to be a great program for getting people in underserved populations, interested in our industry. You know, I, I somehow of think that even today, people don’t, people don’t really know that much about our industry.

Anne Brown (36:45):

I don’t think they’re aware that it, it is a wonderful industry where we’re, you know, we’re studying, I, I think maybe the word research scares people away, but where we’re studying so many diverse and interesting things and where we’re talking to people all over the world, mm-hmm, <affirmative> what an enormous privilege it is to be in this industry, to be able to talk to people throughout the world, to learn about how they feel, what they think. It’s a wonderful industry. And I, and I, I’m very excited about this this idea program from the insights association. I think it’s going to pave the way for young people to move into this industry from populations that are underserved. So I think it’s a great, a great new thing.

Sharday Torgerson  (37:38):

I think anyone that is really naturally curious would do well in the market research or insights industry. You so often hear when people mention especially career long market research professionals you know, how did you get into market research? And often they never know, or at the very least they never know how and wide they ended up there. And I, I kind of love that about the industry, because I think even being curious about market research itself is often why folks end up in the profession that they do. And then, because as you mentioned, we get such a privilege to, to really be, I, I mean, gate gatekeeper is maybe not the most, it’s a bit strong land, which to say, but gatekeepers of information I think is really, it’s kind of a cool, maybe a little bit sci-fi type aspect to it, nerd in me.

Sharday Torgerson  (38:28):

But I, I do love that whole aspect. And as a, as a young woman within my career as well, I really do appreciate the, the ability to, to innovate every day and come up with cool and exciting solutions. And it’s so awesome when you have a client that wants to innovate right along with you and the, the really unique things and the partnership that comes out of it. So I, you know, I don’t wanna say there have been silver lining in the past two years, and I know we’re dealing with a lot as a, as an industry, but also a, a world as a society. But I always and maybe I’m glass half full type person, but I still feel like research is a really strong industry that will, that will really carry. I think a lot of our clients needs for our word just in, you know, even just if it’s a comfort aspect consulting and advice goes a long way right now, and getting quick advice, ensuring that, you know, our, our clients are making better, better decisions just based off of the, the small things that we’re working on.

Sharday Torgerson  (39:30):

Even what we talked about today just you know, I think the pandemic has allowed a lot of us, evenly and maybe as an industry to look inwards. And here’s an example where we’re looking at better ways to ensure that we’re reaching hard to reach segments. You know, cuz we’ve all been kind of a little bit forced for lack of a better term online and here we are still ensuring and looking for ways to make sure that we’re performing research without and still getting it in front of our clients. So I, yeah, there’s, I mean, we could probably talk about this topic all day because it’s such an important you know, part of the industry and we’re always trying to ensure that, you know, the quality remains intact and I think even made a, you know, a couple points around that, that online does provide challenges us to market research with, you know, ensuring that we’re validating appropriate, you know users and participants of the research that we’re doing, our bedding and, and background checks and et cetera.

Sharday Torgerson  (40:26):

So I, again, there’s, there’s lots that we can unpack today, but I really do appreciate you for being on the podcast. And I think there there’s room for us to continue and, and maybe we’ll, we’ll have you on again and really kind of explore around the diversity and research. I think that that is such a unique topic as well. I think a lot of the industry is really finding you know, ways to support both their research service team as well as their clients. And again, that collaboration aspect, I think even side of hiring outsourcing is another example, which I know even yourself is really priv to why that is important to us as an industry. So I think if I were to leave the floor to you, is there anything that you would like to kind of share you know, land on and the conversation on anything exciting going on that you’d like to share?

Anne Brown (41:17):

Well, I, I, I would like to first to thank you for this great opportunity to talk to you for your listeners to hear my point of view what a great privilege it is. That’s the other thing I, you know, know I, what a great privilege it is to work in this industry of ours. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been through a lot of changes in the industry, a lot of pivots, and I still love what I do. So, you know, there it is for all of those young people who wanna do something that they’ll really love come to market research. That’s one thing that I’d like to leave you with. Thank you so much for Charday for giving me this opportunity. But the other thing that I wanna remember today is I wanna remember the people of the Ukraine, you know, I think it’s so important for us to support them and to support them in any way that we can.

Anne Brown (42:09):

I just hope that we come to some sort of a conclusion to this horrible the horrible events there and remember the, the people of Ukraine and, you know, also remember our women in research, you know, here we are you and I <laugh>. So you know, I think, you know, we were an underserved population as well. So I think that the fact that, you know, we get to do this every day is a wonderful privilege. Again, thank you so much for this. I really appreciate being on with you today.

Sharday Torgerson  (42:39):

Thank you, Anne. And to end, I will provide some well-deserved links in the description below. You can also donate to the Ukrainian red cross that we will provide a link as well. At Iny research, we are currently working with our Sasquatch research panel and our panel members to match donations for the Ukrainian red cross efforts. So I will also provide a link for Sasquatch members that may be listening. And yes, I, I, 100% agree if we can just always make sure that, you know you know, recognizing what’s going on in the world research is a really important part. I know, even as an industry, we’re also looking at how some other folks are doing research in Ukraine and we’re looking at how we can support those individuals. I know we’re ourselves as a podcast, we’re looking at trying to get the folks that have been doing infield research actually in Ukraine to see if, if there’s a possibility that we can get their story out there. Yeah. It’s such a interesting time. So anything that we can kind of do to keep things relevant, keep the conversation going whatever platform that is. I think we have to. So I appreciate that, Anne. And let’s have you back sometime soon. I think there’s obviously lots to talk about as women in research. So I, I welcome any, any woman back to, to come in and some of their, their thoughts. So thanks again.

Anne Brown (43:58):

Thank you, Shar, have a great day. You too.

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