By Alexander Shashkin
The Second Russian Research Week (www.researchweek.ru) was conducted in Moscow and other Russian cities in March 13-17, 2017. The event gathered over 4000 participants, including research suppliers, clients, media, government, NGO’s, and students. 18 different events were held during the course of the week under the umbrella topic of ‘Future’. Researchers discussed the future of society for the next 10-20 years as well as the future of sociological and marketing research itself. How such instrument and technologies as big data, online panels, face recognition, virtual shopping environment, geomarketing solutions and many other will change the research that we know today?
The Week was organised by the consortium of Russian research companies: WCIOM, FOM, GfK Russia, Kantar TNS, Online Market Intelligence (OMI), ZIRCON, MarketSense, FDF Group, and the Higher School of Economics. The global research association ESOMAR and two largest local professional associations OIROM and ‘Group 7 /89’ supported the initiative.
I would like to bring your attention to several core events of the Week. First, this is the only Russian exhibition of research solutions, methods, and technologies ResearchEXPO, organised by Association ‘Group 7/89’. The EXPO was held in one huge hangar with over 40 exhibitors and over 1000-participants conference fitting in one space. Clients constituted about 40% of the crowd, including marketing directors and researchers from the large international and Russian companies such as Yandex, Sberbank, Mail.ru, X5 Retail Group, PepsiCo Snacks, Avon to name a few. One of our international speakers Frank Kelly from Lightspeed Research (USA) wrote to me after the event: ‘I was impressed by the Expo, I think that you have found a better way to run a conference’. Frank was talking about the video research and the rise of a BigQual. Another international speaker was Dr. Sakari Tamminen from Finnish brand consultancy Gemic OY talking about the importance of cultural strategy for brand success.
The second important event was the 7th Grushinskaya Conference organised by the largest Russian pollster WCIOM together with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). The event united over 900 specialists in social and political research. Experts discussed different scenarios for the future development or the research industry as well as the importance of electoral research and forecasting in contemporary world. Words like ‘Trump’ and ‘Brexit’ were the most popular! Among the interesting sessions we can mention one about the data visualization organized by FOM, one on new research technologies organized by Higher School of Economics and OMI (Online Market Intelligence) and foresight session, organized by WCIOM and Delfi. During the foresight session 90 industry experts constructed four different scenarios for the research industry depending on political, economical, technological, and demographic trends of contemporary society. The session was devoted to the strategies that researchers can utilize to be successful in a fast changing reality.
The global research association ESOMAR participated in the Russian Research Week by conducting the first ever Virtual Conference ‘The best for Russia’. The conference consisted of three webinars with presentation from the winners and nominees of ‘ESOMAR Best paper’ award of the recent years. The presentations were selected during the voting in the Russian-speaking Facebook group ‘ESOMAR News’. Initially we have translated 16 abstracts; the final selection included the following presentations that constituted the conference programme:
- ‘The Shape of Conversations: Social data and the future of market research’ by Kyle Findlay, Head of Data Science & Knowledge Creation, the Kantar TNS Global Brand Equity Centre (South Africa).
- ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: What we can learn by shining the spotlight on the respondents’ role in the research experience’ by Kristin Hickey, Founder and CEO, kubi kalloo (UK)
- ‘Turning Shopper Insights into Company-wide Memes. Danone disrupts shopper research by engaging with a tribe of shoppers’ by Tom de Ruyck, Managing Partner & Insight Activation Studios Ambassador, InSites Consulting (Belgium).
Another unique event was conducted by Online Market Intelligence (OMI). The company invited members of its proprietary online panel to the seminar “Other side of online questionnaire”. The seminar was broadcasted life in YouTube; thousands of researchers and panel participants used the opportunity to watch it. The respondents learned who and why conducts online surveys, what kind of decisions are made based on the results, how participants are selected to the surveys, and so on.
Number of events were devoted to students and young researchers. Russian State Humanitarian University and Ksilab company conducted a conference named ‘The Spectrum of Social Communities in Contemporary World’; Higher School of Economics organized the contest for students and young journalists called ‘Pentathlon: Five Touchpoints of Media and Sociological Data’; VOICE company specialized on CATI data collection conducted a Day of Open Doors for the students in Omsk city of Russia; ESOMAR, Pernod Ricard, Kantar TNS, and MarketSense shared the secrets of marketing research and the opportunities for young professionals, including those offered by ESOMAR YES society, at the student session organized at ResearchEXPO.
Russian Research Week is here to stay! In 2018 researchers from all over Russia will continue to exchange knowledge and experience with each other and their international colleagues. We hope to see the growing interest from business, government, and media to this exciting carnival of research events.
Alexander Shashkin is CEO, OMI Russia and ESOMAR Representative for Russia.