MRA enlisted several researchers attending the Corporate Researchers Conference in Dallas this week to report back summaries & insights from the conference sessions.  This report from Matt Case (FedEx) is on “21st Century Research Support for a 21st Century Client” by John Ciesluk, Research Manager, and Ginger Lower, Senior Research Analyst, at Valpak – Cox Target Media, Inc.

  • It is more important than ever to do more with the same
  • Find ways to overcome challenges (Valpak created an “Inbox” where all requests come though)
  • The 5 Whys may seems rudimentary but they are more important than ever to understand the business objective
  • It’s all about the story.  You can have 20 of the best PowerPoint slides that have ever been put together, but your presentation has to have a flow and a STORY
  • Change up the kind of presentation you do or your supplier does.  Consider more logos / infographics, use more colors and shading, convert text to SmartArt
  • Consider building a research “brand”.  Create a logo for your department.  (stay consistent with your brand specifications).
John Ciesluk, Valpak - Cox Target Media, Inc. - Speaking at the Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC)

John’s 3 things he wanted the audience to take back:

  1. Making the transition from researcher to consultant
  2. Understanding the value of your department and focus on your  internal “brand”
  3. Innovation is key – don’t wait for the bull to come to you

Ginger’s 3 things she wanted the audience to take back:

  1. Brand your research department  – be more than just another department at your company – stand out and make sure people realize what it is that you do
  2. Have more considerations to the basics in presenting,  Think about your audience and what you are trying to convey.
  3. Innovation – don’t get in a rut where you just do all the projects come in – develop programs that are meaningful to your company

For more background, read our pre-CRC interviews with John Ciesluk and Ginger Lower on being corporate researchers. [insert links to blog interviews with Ciesluk and Lower]