ISBA launches new market research guide for clients

A new best practice guide advising clients how to manage and obtain the best value out of market research agency/consultancy relationships has been launched by advertiser body ISBA.

Produced in collaboration with The Market Research Society (MRS), the guide has been designed to foster better understanding of research and working practices among clients and to help improve relationships between marcomms procurement, internal research/insight managers and research agencies and consultancies.

The guide – authored by Brian Jacobs of BJ&A – was launched today at an event in central London attended by 70 members of ISBA and MRS.

Brian spoke about the main findings of the ISBA research that led to the guide being commissioned, and panel of industry experts, including Vanella Jackson from Hall and Partners, Andre McGarrigle from The Guardian, and Jill MacPherson from Hayes, discussed the key issues raised.

Agencies were challenged to take the lead on reaching out to the procurement community within both existing and new client/agency relationships. And one of the key discussions from the launch centred on the benefits of building the procurement relationship as this is one function that has the ability to look at the wider picture. It has the ability to extend the reach and remit of incumbents who previously may have had only one touchpoint with the client.

Traci Dunne, ISBA's Consultancy Manager, said: "Over recent years, ISBA's Consultancy team have started to note a distinct increase in requests from our members for any information relating to the procurement of market research services and the management of research agencies.

"We have seen a rapid growth of marcomms procurement involvement in market research services management as well as a series of fundamental shifts in how the market research industry works; shifts driven as much by technological advancements as anything else.

"But we also noticed an obvious knowledge gap - many of the marcomms procurement professionals now charged with managing MR agency rosters, had little knowledge of, or experience in, the market research world.

"So we commissioned research which highlighted some real issues and challenges our members were facing, leading us to compile the best practice guide we have launched this week.

"One of the main conclusions of our research was that the industry has shifted from a two-partner model, where market research professionals client-side dealt directly with market research suppliers (agencies or consultants), to a new, tripartite model where MR agencies work closely with both commercial/procurement and insight teams at the advertiser.

"We hope that the guide will help all sides in this new model to understand one another better and to work more effectively together in the future."