By Kevin Gray and Dave McCaughan

Reality…in a world where everyone has a point of view, where marketers and their agencies are too often distracted by the tactical and immediate, it seemed to us that we both were spending an awful lot of time explaining the basics of marketing research. To clients, to colleagues, to people in general. So we decided it might be a good idea to combine our interests and backgrounds with the knowledge of some of the experts we have met along the way to try and explain, quite literally, the reality of market research.

We started MR Realities, a series of podcasts in which we discuss a wide range of topics important to marketing researchers with special guests. And our guests are special, from cutting-edge academics to veteran practitioners who have been thought leaders in our industry for many years.  We ask them questions you would want to ask, the way you would ask them.  It’s very open and free flowing.

MR Realities is not sales pitches in disguise – the purpose is purely educational. The basic idea was inspired by lunchtime (‘brownbag’) seminars which, in our experience, transfer a lot of practical knowledge very quickly, efficiently and conveniently. The podcasts are audio only so you can listen when you don’t want to stare at a computer screen or when that would be impractical, such as when you’re commuting to work.  We cover a very broad range of topics that have included:

  • Essential marketing research skills
  • Big data
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Marketing to seniors
  • Conjoint analysis
  • How to improve your critical thinking
  • Social media
  • Cross-cultural marketing
  • Qualitative research

And the great thing is we ourselves get to learn as we go as well. Nothing could be better. We talk a lot about ‘sharing’, ‘co-creation’ and ‘storytelling’ these days, and all these elements are a crucial part of the MR Realities experience.

Below we’ve listed links to the podcasts we’ve done thus far.  No registration is required.

Data, Analytics and Decisions: Rhetoric versus Reality (Professor Koen Pauwels, Ozyegin University and  University of Groningen)

Data Science Uses, Excuses and Abuses (Eric King, The Modeling Agency)

Will you still need me?  Marketing to Seniors (Professor Florian Kohlbacher, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)

The Coming Deluge of Analytics Malpractice (Randy Bartlett, Blue Sigma Analytics)

Semiotics: The Problem Child of Qualitative Research (Sue Bell, Susan Bell Research)

Tips for Marketing Researchers, Young and ‘Old’ (Professor John Roberts, University of New South Wales)

When Bringing Technology To MR Is No Longer About Being MR Driven (Greg Armshaw, Greg Armshaw & Associates)

Thinking Mistakes Marketers Make (Terry Grapentine, Grapentine Company)

When Everyone is a Single Child?? (Kevin Lee, China Youthology)

Is There Too Much Gloom and Doom About MR? (David McCallum, Gordon & McCallum)

AI: Reality, Science Fiction and the Future (Mei Marker,

Conjoint Analysis: Making it Work for You Part 1 (Terry Flynn, TF Choices LTD)

Conjoint Analysis: Making it Work for You Part 2 (Terry Flynn, TF Choices LTD)

Social Media: Promises, Challenges and the Future (Professor Raoul Kübler, Ozyegin University)

We hope you’ll enjoy them and find them stimulating and educational!

Kevin Gray is president of Cannon Gray, a marketing science and analytics consultancy. Dave McCaughan is both the Storyteller at Bibliosexual, his consultancy on bringing people, media and marketing together and Chief Strategy Officer at, an about to be launched marketing consultancy.