In our ongoing quest to learn more about the thoughts and concerns of a new generation of market researchers, it gives us great pleasure to introduce Caio Casseb of Talk Inc, Brazil. Each month Caio will be providing an insight into the world of the market researcher in Brazil.
I started to grow fond of working on consumer research still at college. I was lucky enough to have good professors, who opened my eyes to the interesting possibilities that this area could offer.
My first professional experience was with Unilever. I spent a good few years working and learning at the Consumer Insights department for the company’s laundry brands. After that, I became a planner at Almap/BBDO, where I did research work on the development of communication strategies for Volkswagen.
Currently, I lead the planning and insights department at Talk Inc, an online qualitative research agency, pioneer in the Brazilian market, servicing clients such as Pepsi, Doritos, Gatorade, Nike, Adidas, Santander, Unilever, C&A, among others.
I am part of the new generation of Brazilian researchers. A generation working in times of strong economic development in Brazil, with an increasingly more developed market and new population segments actively participating in the consuming market.
And not only is Brazil scenario looking different, but the domestic research market is changing too, with new players and the development of innovative products and methodologies.
All of that makes a very interesting scenario for those engaged in market research and I’ll be sharing some of the things I am experiencing here in Brazil with you.
Young researchers wanted
Dull. Square. Methodical. These are typical replies when you ask students and recent graduates about doing research in Brazil.
As a researcher, I feel the consequences are very concrete: it’s increasingly hard to find talented people willing to work in the area.
On the other hand, I understand why this generation feels the way it does about research. I understand, and don’t disagree.
Everything begins in college
Research classes in Brazil are usually some of the dullest in the curriculum, with instructors more concerned with teaching a thousand different methodologies (usually the most traditional) than developing analytical skills or a spirit of inquiry and curiosity in students, key qualities for anyone interested in working in the area.
Students spend more time calculating sample sizes and learning to table survey responses than forming hypotheses, observing behaviours or generating insights.
The classes are only one part of the problem. Another is the research market itself, far from exciting or stimulating for millenials.
Most qualitative research companies and professionals, however knowledgeable and skilled they may be, still cling to old paradigms. They are paralyzed by old methods and afraid to innovate. Think the “good and old” focus group is the solution to every briefing that comes their way.
Unfortunately, too few companies have followed the development of their sources (the consumer) and adopted a more creative approach and changed their style.
So it’s not hard to see why the twenty-somethings aren’t thrilled about the field in Brazil, right?
Here in Brazil, we need to pay close attention to the dearth of professionals interested in a career in consumer research. We need to change this negative image and make the discipline more appealing. We also need to find new ways of training researchers, with new content that goes beyond what our colleges are teaching.
Any ideas to share?