Q&A with Paul Simpson, Head of Research

Paul Simpson has headed Consumer Insights at SONY Mobile, led the insights team for Household Products with SC Johnson, worked as Divisional Director for GfK, and worked as Senior Director of Insights and Innovation with Black Swan Data. Nowadays, as Head of Research with 4media group, Paul leads our Insights & Intelligence efforts with his 20+ years of experience and genuine passion for the power of insights.

In our Q&A with 4media’s in-house insights and intelligence expert, Paul shares how he feels research is evolving, his favourite research projects of 2019, how 4media group stays innovative, and more.

What is innovative about the 4media group research team?

Fundamentally, the Insights & Intelligence team is challenged with helping businesses make better decisions. To do this, we deploy a range of approaches in order to uncover genuine insights. Not just a series of numbers and observations, in every project the team need to think about three key items.

1. The Sample – Who are the right people to engage with?

2. Data Collection – What is the best way to engage with them?

3. The Interpretation – Ensuring that what’s said is placed in context.

We are always looking to improve what we do and how we do it. In the past year we have added some new and exciting tools into the Data Collection toolbox; specifically, some more Biometric and Social approaches. We have also spent a lot of time with key clients on developing super high-quality video-based outputs; utilising the amazing in-house capabilities here.

What’s the best research project you’ve worked on this year and why?

There have been so many. One that stands out is for a certain automotive manufacturer that needed to understand why one of its models was under performing. This was a project where we used high-quality documentary-style film-making to bring the results to life.

What has been the most exciting period in your research career and why?

I’ve worked in both research agencies and client organisations. The most exciting time in my career is now. I’ve amassed skills and experiences from both sides of the fence, and hopefully this enables me to be a better, more rounded insights professional.

What are the big issues in your research area?

Research, like other industries, is under pressure to deliver more for less, and quickly. We need to keep these pressures in mind whilst delivering a quality product. The senior team here work very hard with clients to deliver effective programmes of insights that address their needs in timely and affordable ways. The key here is working with clients to help them get the most out of projects.

Where do you think research is going in 2020?

There is a lot of excitement in the industry now. New techniques are emerging and becoming more established, at the same time some ‘old favourites’ are falling out of favour. The key for the future of the industry is to blend in the right approaches at the right times. Now everyone wants to be ‘digital’, the challenge is no one really knows what this truly means.

The team here, like the rest of the industry, is embracing the rapid development of new tools and exploring how they fit with the rest of the toolbox.

To find out more about the research services 4media group can provide, contact us here

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