Ep. 314 – Dom Boyd, Kantar’s UK Managing Director, on how to add Strategy to Market Research

My guest today is Dom Boyd, Kantar Managing Director, UK. 

Kantar was founded in 1992 and characterizes itself as a “data, insights and consulting company.” It has more than 30,000 employees working in 100 countries in various research disciplines, including social media monitoring, advertising effectiveness, consumer and shopper behavior, and public opinion. It is part of WPP, and its global headquarters are in London, UK.

Prior to joining Kantar, Dom started his career in 1992 as a Content & Programme Director at WMUA 91.1 FM. Since then he has started several successful companies and served as a strategic executive at top agencies including Publicis Poke, APG, and Adam & Eve.

Find Dom Online:

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dom-boyd-27068b15 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/domboyd

Website: https://www.kantar.com 

Find Jamin Online:

Email: jamin@happymr.instawp.xyz 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jaminbrazil

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaminbrazil 

Find Us Online: 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/happymrxp 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/happymarketresearch 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/happymrxp 

Website: www.happymr.com 


“Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com 

Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ 

This Episode is Sponsored by:

This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research.

This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com.


Jamin Brazil: Hey everybody, I’m Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Dom Boyd, Kantar Managing Director, UK. Kantar was founded in 1992 and characterizes itself as a data, insights, and consulting company. It has more than 30,000 employees working in 100 countries in various research disciplines including social  media monitoring, advertising effectiveness, consumer and shopper behavior, and public opinion. It is part of WPP and its global headquarters are in London, UK. Prior to joining Kantar, Dom started his career in 1992 as a content and program director at WMUA 91.1 FM. Since then, he has started several successful companies and has served as a strategic executive at top agencies, including PublicisPoke, APG, and Adam & Eve. Dom, thank you for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Dom Boyd: Thanks for having me.


Jamin Brazil: So I’d like to start with some context. Tell us about your parents and how they informed what you do today.


Dom Boyd: This is a surprisingly challenging question. I think you always want to be what your parents aren’t, maybe, and I’ve definitely followed, tended to sort of follow my own path, I guess, or at least I thought so; Freud might have a different point of view. But I always wanted to be a raw photographer or a psychologist or a musician, and I sort of found my way, after spending 15 months hitchhiking from Alaska down to Peru, I sort of found myself working as a strategist in an advertising agency called Saatchi & Saatchi, and that sort of seems to me a little bit like a decent compromise. You’ve kind of got the adrenalin of being a raw photographer. You’ve kind of got, you do, back then at least you were doing focus groups and qualitative research, which sort of ticks the psychology box. And even if I wasn’t using, strapping on my guitar in presentations, you did get to surf the cultural zeitgeist a bit. So it sort of ticks quite a lot of boxes, and perhaps looking back, I think maybe the red thread is around understanding people, and creativity, for me at least, is a kind of powerful– It’s like voodoo. It’s a really powerful kind of magic. And I think I was very much instinctively drawn to I’d call it the humanist school of creativity, so people like Bill Bernbach, who did Volkswagen stuff, really famous Volkswagen stuff in the ’60s, and David Abbott in the UK who did The Economist and Yellow Pages communications. But all of those kind of campaigns are very deep intelligence and really deep empathy, and that’s what makes them so powerful. And that’s something I’ve always tried to apply in developing brand strategy, which I guess is my core skill set originally. Brand building is sort of the art of connecting business with people through valuable moments, so creating ideas and services are memorable and emotionally rewarding. And that’s sort of simple to say, but really hard to do, and which is why so few things are sort of famous, I guess. And that’s, I think that’s probably, I don’t know how my parents necessarily informed that, but that’s definitely that path that I’ve tended to follow, is trying to understand people and finding ways that are fascinating and doing that, and as well as obviously sort of paying the bills. And yeah, that’s my entry point into this wonderful world, really.


Jamin Brazil: Did either your mother or father play an instrument?


Dom Boyd: Yeah. My dad, he didn’t play an instrument, but his voice was his instrument and he used to sort of drag me down to church and we used to sing, and I used to really love singing, actually, in choirs. My mum’s a pretty decent pianist, actually. So yeah, you could sort of say implicitly music runs in the family, but it didn’t feel like that, but looking back on it, I think that was the case. I’ve certainly got a lot of love for music.


Jamin Brazil: And you play guitar?


Dom Boyd: I do play guitar. I do DJ’ing when not at Kantar. And I do my own music as well. I’ve played in bands, I’ve managed bands, started a record label back in the day. And I still make music, so that’s something that I love to do. I find it sort of, it’s a bit like painting a picture, really trying to imagine the world of sounds and using sometimes songs, sometimes soundscapes, creating a world around that is something I love doing and love thinking about. For me it’s as much of sort of an intellectual exercise as an emotional one, so yeah, I get a lot of joy from that.


Jamin Brazil: And you can build stories inside of music, which is really interesting. How much do you think creativity plays in your success?


Dom Boyd: Well, it’s something I perhaps took for granted for many years. Because, perhaps because I’ve always done music since I was, I don’t even know, six, seven years old, and perhaps because I started my career in advertising, I sort of imagined it was pretty easy. And as I’ve sort of become more experienced, what I’ve discovered actually is it a little bit of a dark art and a bit of a secret superpower, really, and people actually find it really valuable. For me, it seems like it’s relatively easy to think differently because actually there are some very simple almost like formulas that you can use to help you think differently just by flipping things, simple things like flipping things on their head, doing the reverse, asking the opposite of what a question is and things like that. And perhaps over time I’ve just become tuned in to doing those things or to thinking about how those can add a new perspective, and what I’ve discovered is people do seem to find that valuable. I certainly enjoy doing it. But is it a secret to my success? I guess, but I’ve been in the fortunate position of having worked in the creative industries for a lot of my career, so I would, I’m not sure if I’d call it a secret of success, but it’s something I’ve certainly been privileged to be able to apply for quite a period of my career.


Jamin Brazil: So Kantar has been successfully layering in strategy, CX, and executive coaching.


Dom Boyd: Yeah.


Jamin Brazil: Tell us about the evolution of Kantar, because it certainly didn’t start there, and how you guys are uniquely meeting the market.


Dom Boyd: It’s sort of pretty unique, really. I’ve been working I guess at the brand-building frontline, if you like, for some time and there’ve been a lot of changes in that time since I’ve been in the industry. I came into the industry in the 1990s. And since then, obviously, I worked on a brand called Yellow Pages. I don’t know if anyone remembers that brand. But essentially it was this huge book of any sort of small business, like a plumber or anything you ever wanted within Yellow Pages. And essentially it was like Google, but a book version of Google. In the time I’ve been in the industry, I’ve seen the transformation through the break of digital, the role of social platforms, the role of social performance, the role of D2C brands, of new business models, of sustainable innovation, all these new things. And a world that’s gone from a world of Yellow Pages to a world of sort of voice technology and enabled Alexa. So it’s pretty incredible, really, to be in the business in that time. And as I was saying, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem is like a nail. And it became really clear to me that fundamentally there were very new challenges for businesses and for marketeers, and new business models for driving value and creating brands were happening. It kind of went much deeper than advertising and we were music more focused on customer experience, on digital innovation, on responsible business leadership, on using AI and technology, to put a customer’s heartbeat really as the backbone of business. And sort of for me it feels like we’re entering a new era for business and for brands, sort of a shift from what I’d call donut brand-building, where you create value through a very glossy surface layer that’s very enjoyable and advertising-driven but ultimately pretty hollow, to really a world where we’re I’d call it sort of apple brands, building apple brands, where you’re driving core values, strong core values, nourishing the core, and focusing more on behaviors that link to those values and really using empathy to create enriching experiences. And for me, partly that’s a shift from service and sort of from selling to creating services, and it requires a much more connected mindset. And so for me, the evolution of Kantar is very much interwoven into that. The world of Kantar, originally with Millward Brown in the 1990s and early naughties, the shift towards Kantar as an integrated set of skills mirrors that shift in society and that shift in marketing and businesses from standalone specialisms to something that’s much more connected, much more end to end, much more digitally driven, much more holistic, much more incorporating putting technology at the heart. And that for me is why Kantar is a really special place. You’re able to apply that sort of strategic intelligence muscle which can help shift the dial for business and use that connected, those connected skill sets in spades and have a ruthless application to driving brand value. And of course what Kantar has got, which is really its magic superpower, is this thing called Brand Z, which is all about driving, identifying the value drivers of businesses and showing how that’s translating into financial value outcomes. So for me, I was very excited to join Kantar for all of those reasons, really, because for me it’s like holding a mirror up to the future of business and building value. Another factor was really culture. You talked about, you mentioned coaching, and Kantar very much embodies coaching and applies coaching not just on the leadership team, but trying to cascade that through the organization. It’s got a very empathetic culture, very collaborative culture, very [INAUDIBLE] culture, and raises a lot of equalities which provide I believe the foundation for building a better future and for being a good and fun and enjoyable and enriching place to work, really. And for me, perhaps Kantar has undertaken over the last decade is fundamentally a shift from a market research company to a business transformation company. We’ve got a mission to equip organizations to make better decisions through superior intelligence, really. You could say it’s a bit like Bloomberg for business. And that for me is a really exciting place to be at and to help be part of a leadership team with.


Jamin Brazil: I wanna dive in right now because we’re entering into like a post-COVID–you might wanna kill the notifications–a post-COVID time. And in this post-COVID world, is the office gonna look different?


Dom Boyd: I hope so. Well, first of all, I would perhaps challenge, are we ever going to enter a post-COVID world? I don’t know. Let’s hope that we are. But there is a, I think there perhaps is a scenario where this thing continues to play out indefinitely. I know that’s quite hard for people to get their heads around, but we don’t have a vaccine. It’s not entirely impossible, it’s not the first time we’ve had a pandemic, but it is the first time we’ve had one on a global scale that’s impacted the way it has. So it’s not impossible. This is the new normal. So that’s one thing to consider. I think the other thing that we’re all discovering is it is perfectly possible to collaborate with computers and with technology, it’s just a bit less, it’s just different. I think what you do lose is, this is a big problem, you lose the ability to read people’s body language, so it’s much more draining mentally for people. And you lose the– You can still collaborate, and in Kantar we’ve done some brilliant experiments with ways of, new ways of collaborating and using it as a catalyst for actually really working in different ways, in better ways. So we’re not working around the problem, we’re using the problem as a springboard for improvement. And there are all sorts of things you can do there. But I do think you lose, I guess I don’t know if you’d call it a water cooler moment, but ad hoc, side, adjacent conversations. And for me it’s a little bit, what you lose is the magic of connection through those unexpected emotion–yeah, I suppose emotional conversations that can happen unexpectedly. Serendipitous conversations, perhaps. And those are the things that really drive the deepest relationships. So I think that that is something which I think the world is sort of working out how to replicate online rather than offline. But I think the new ways of working are, I suppose we’re all adapting to it, aren’t we. There’s definitely an optimistic way of looking at it and sort of saying it’s just as productive, and I think what we are seeing is a lot of people are actually quite enjoying working from home. And not everyone, but there’s definitely a big cohort of people that are really enjoying this new normal and wondering why, what is the role of the office now? What does the office do better than we can currently do the way that we’re currently connected? And that’s a brilliant question to explore I think going forward, really.


Jamin Brazil: Yeah. I think my hypothesis on this point is that companies, before it was binary, you were either a work remote culture or you were an in-office culture, and if you had remote employees in that environment, then they were basically, they didn’t know how to interact because they didn’t have that opportunity, like you said. But now that we’ve all been forced to work remote, I think companies are gonna look at it like how much time do I need to spend in the office or my employees need to spend in the office, and who are the employees that I need to have in the office when I’m there in order to create those opportunities for magic and collaboration? But if it has to be binary, maybe it looks like it’s more something in between. So that’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. But anyway, so a little bit off topic, sorry about that.


Dom Boyd: It’s kind of wonderful. It’s very liberating. I’m thinking now, do I wanna commute back in every day at the same time? I think we’re seeing a lot of changes. I’ve seen a couple of studies done on this, and we’ve certainly done our own, so you can thank Kantar as well. It’s fair to say that it’s surprising the amount of people that say that they prefer the new way of working and that they actively don’t want to return to the old ways of working, by which I mean commuting to a physical office. And I think the percentages around that are pretty astonishing from what I’ve seen. Whether that translates into a new future, who knows, but I think it could be very liberating, very liberating for anyone that needs to look after kids, very liberating for people that like to work creatively, very liberating for thinking about how we use time more productively within businesses and the way that you get different quality thinking and different quality tasks which you can accomplish when you’re not in the office to when you perhaps are in the office. So I think that’s useful and it gets us to thinking about, what is the value of work? What are the different kinds of values? You can segment your value, your work value into different kinds of qualities. And maybe that’s something we haven’t started to acknowledge or done enough of historically, and this could be a catalyst for thinking more about that. And if that helps us get more balanced lifestyles and more satisfied lives and spend more time with our kids and those that matter, our loved ones and friends and family, that’s surely a positive thing for society. So if I look at it optimistically, I hope it’s a catalyst for positive change.


Jamin Brazil: Yeah, it’s funny, I have a friend, he’s an executive at a publicly traded company here in the US. They’ve had very aggressive operational goals for improving efficiency and they have missed those goals repeatedly year over year. They’ve actually achieved their 2020 goal already in just two months once they entered a work remote environment.


Dom Boyd: Wow.


Jamin Brazil: Yeah. And so it’s pretty– And that was an accident, for all intents and purposes. Now they’re thinking, gosh, what if we actually really dial this in? That could even have bigger returns. So it’s gonna– Yeah, it’s a neat time. I didn’t mean to take us so far off track. I do want to talk about international research. So when you think about doing work in other countries, what are some common mistakes that you see people make?


Dom Boyd: So look, I’m gonna put my cards on the table here and go, look, I’ve been in the research side of this business, or at least in terms of Kantar, for a relatively short time as an applier of research. However, I’ve been on the agency side for a long time and I’ve seen, I’ve commissioned international research myself within the creative agency sphere and as a strategist and I’ve obviously seen, had the enviable position of seeing a lot of international research being done by my clients and having to try and use that. And the things that I think– So I’m not gonna pretend that I’m an expert in international research because that would be stretching credibility a little bit. However, there are definitely things that I’ve experienced myself and seen others experience, so I can sort of– They’ve just raised questions for me. I think one of them is what I call the expertise trap in trying to just cover every single market and every market variable, and you end up with this insane matrix of different research happening in different markets, and it just eats up cost. I’m a big fan of just good enough, I suppose. And research shouldn’t be an academic exercise, trying to cover off every single sample cell, at least not in my book. It’s only a tool to give clients an advantage they wouldn’t otherwise have, through better understanding. No more, no less. So I would do less, but better. I think- so that’s one thing. I think, perhaps, another thing is just not being tuned in enough- so with international research, despite going to all of this effort to doing lots of different territories and sample cells and whatnot, sometimes the research can end up being the worst of all worlds, and just end up being an average. And like all averages, an average is a Frankenstein measure, really. And you can end up with just vanilla insight, or just a lack of insight. You’re just trying to find the common denominator, and in doing so, just end up with a wash of nothing very insightful at all. And typically, you see that happening in global ad campaigns all the time, that connect with precisely no one. Because they’re made of precisely nothing. There’s no insight, really. They’re just lowest common denominator. And I think the same is true of research, really, in trying to- I think the richness is around the edges. And so I would counsel towards running towards the stuff that pulls things apart, rather than necessarily just trying to find the- always for the commonest of grounds. Because you end up with something that isn’t very differentiated, ultimately. Because every- your competitors are doing the same thing. And so you just end up with stuff that doesn’t really give you an advantage, ultimately. It’s more interesting to look towards the edges, look for wherever differences are, and try and embrace the differences. And do unexpected things, is the other thing. Sometimes it’s very easy to go for a standardized approach, for all sorts of very good economic reasons, sometimes. But actually, culture is a fascinating, wonderful, weird, strange, diverse thing. And I would experiment more, and just have more fun with doing things that allow color and texture of culture to really permeate international [INAUDIBLE] research findings and debriefs. And it should be as fun and as exhilarating as when you go and visit those cultures. And often, it just ends up in a horrid PowerPoint deck of 200 slides which, for me, sort of death by 1,000 cuts, really.


Jamin Brazil: I like your framework, there, a lot. I think market research specifically has fallen into the average trap. And the two examples that I go to is- nobody has 2.3 kids, and if Bill Gates walks into a bar, on average, everybody is a millionaire. So we have to reframe it and humanize that data. And a way to do that, of course, is immersion. And obviously, the more entertaining that is, the better. Have you seen- do you have any- off the top of your head, do you have any creative ways that you may have approached international work in the past?


Dom Boyd: Yeah. I remember working with one agency, who shall remain nameless. Much more ethnographic style. Anything that involves- for me, anything that is almost like a documentary can be pretty useful, pretty powerful. So not just vox pops of people filming themselves, but actually genuinely- like a film crew does, observe what happens around a person or a family or a cohort- can be really interesting. I’ve used stuff where we’ve ended up presenting the findings through playing cards. And each card was essentially- I don’t know if you have this outside of the UK. There’s a kids’ card game in the UK, called Top Trumps. And it’s essentially- for example, you get [INAUDIBLE] fast cars. And they’re all really cool car, and every car, you get top speed and miles per hour and fuel consumption and torque, and a whole load of cool- weight, maybe- a whole load of cool- And we ended up presenting this through the medium of Top Trumps, in terms of a debrief. That was a lot of fun, and really powerful, actually, inside the organization. I think that’s possibly one of the most powerful bits of research, really. Because actually seeing how it was used inside the organization as a result, and take hold, was better than any PowerPoint deck I’ve ever seen, really. It became a fun thing to play around with, and for people to spread the message of, “This is what this audience segmentation is all about, and some of their cool characteristics.” So that was fun and effective.


Jamin Brazil: What are some tips or recommendations when thinking about international work?


Dom Boyd: So I think it’s a little bit what I would say around any bit of thinking about- if I was thinking about tips or recommendations, I think I would be thinking about how to add value to consumer insights, generally. And they’re as applicable to international research, as to anyone else. Because I’ve been on the- fortunate, I think, to be on the receiving end of all kinds of insight data and debriefs. And I’ve got to be honest and tell you that, often, insight is often the last thing that insight data and debriefs bring. Often, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of just information overload, which, by definition, is sort of the opposite of insight. And if the role of a business is really just- the function of any business is really just to create positive change. That’s it. There’s not really much more magic around it than that. So I think there are a couple of things that can help create that positive change. And I think that that’s applicable to international research, too. So one would be around, I guess, having the spirit and focus and entrepreneurial energy of a startup, really. So just dynamic testing and learning, which has an action focus, is, for me, a good thing. Because it means you do have an action focus, and it’s not just rigor mortis reports. I would have- I’ve got a positive bias, I think, towards the commercialization of insight, and focusing on business outcomes and tangible growth. So anything that links- any research which links into market share, which links into revenue, which [INAUDIBLE] profit always gets the thumbs-up in my book. And it very rare that I see that much research doing that. And I think one of the other things might be around creating cultural impact inside organizations. So thinking about stakeholders that will ultimately use this research. Not just in terms of the inside, functional- customer intelligence function, or research function. But who ultimately are the stakeholders that are going to be using this? And what is it that they find valuable? And how can you most influence them? So it’s just the old adage of a picture tells 1,000 words. So really, be fearless in bringing real people into the boardroom. It’s almost the flip-side of thinking about the profit and market share point, really. And often, international research doesn’t do that as well as it could do, thinking about- why is this research valuable? What’s it really- what’s its real role? What’s the problem it can solve behind the problem? And so those are things I would be actively encouraging people doing international research to be thinking about. And people that aren’t doing international research, to be thinking about, as well. Because that’s where I feel- areas where research often falls very flat, should we say [INAUDIBLE].


Jamin Brazil: Do you see cinematography playing an increased role?


Dom Boyd: Well, potentially. It can be incredibly powerful, especially if it’s produced well. [INAUDIBLE]. I’ve got a dog next to me. Ambrose, quiet.


Jamin Brazil: Think he’s going to attack you.


Dom Boyd: Growling. He’s got a point of view on this, as well. I think- look, I don’t know if it was just down to cinematography. I’m a big fan of that, because I’ve seen how powerful it can be. I’ve seen the influence it can have, emotionally, on people. I think ultimately, if I think about- if I stand back from the profession of research, our job is to help businesses take positive actions, to move forward. But to do that, you’ve got to influence people. And to do that, one of the tools you can use, that’s very powerful in influencing people, is storytelling. And humans are meaning-making machines. Our brains are hardwired to find meaning and stories in everything. And sometimes, you can tell stories through a PowerPoint deck. Hey, I’m as guilty, and as good or as bad as the next person, at doing one of those. But I think there is- I would encourage the research profession to think about how you can most powerfully tell the story of the insight that you’ve found, or insight that you’ve got, and think about the outcome of how that story plays out, where you’re going to play that. And how can you scale that story? And sometimes that’s through vox pops. The power of technology, now, to allow people to capture their emotions through emojis and through video, and through cinematography and other things like that. You can tell stories in all kinds of ways, but I would put a lot of effort into that. It’s always surprisingly powerful. No amount of statistics is as powerful as one person’s story. And politicians get that really well, actually, I have to say. And as do charities. Often, they tell- they often tell a story through the medium of one child in need, or one human in need, rather than through dry statistics that land very flat. And that’s because they know that it’s more powerful as an influencing tool. That’s what they’ve discovered over years of doing communications work. So maybe we can learn something from them.


Jamin Brazil: How has the global pandemic impacted doing research at an international level?


Dom Boyd: Well, I think, firstly, there’s less research happening. On a total level, I think it’s forced us to be more entrepreneurial, though, hasn’t it? And it has forced us, fundamentally. [INAUDIBLE] less opportunity, sometimes no opportunity for doing face-to-face, using face-to-face methodologies in the physical sense. But what we’re able to do is obviously explore the frontiers of what technology allows us to do, and to lean harder into that. And to really accelerate our learning curve around how you can get really good, high-quality insight really quickly and cheaply. And that’s got to be a good thing. As long as you’re still connecting with humans, and using it as a catalyst for deeper understanding, rather than just doing- shaving your margin and shaving the costs off. So for me, there are all kinds of positives that the pandemic’s brought. It’s also allowed us to explore different kinds of question, in particular, around customer experience, in particular, around strategy. I think it’s brilliant. It allows- a lot of the questions that clients are asking us are very upstream questions [INAUDIBLE] demand [INAUDIBLE] new business models, reinvented experiences, reinvented strategy. All of that stuff, for me, is like catnip. I’ve got to say it’s really- so I would say that is a potential positive springboard for the industry, generally, to be having much more upstream conversations, and to demonstrate the value it can really add to those conversations, for those people that are equipped to do so.


Jamin Brazil: So speaking of being equipped, do you have- whether it’s tools, technologies, or maybe even methodologies, what should be in the toolbox of the researcher, to maintain an edge in consumer insights?


Dom Boyd: Well, there’s loads of different ways to answer this. So I think there are some key skills, if you like. And then there are some tools around that. So I think, in terms of skills, I would counsel everyone just to listen harder. I think this is a cultural reset moment. And organizations and institutions have systematically lost the ability to really empathize. And 2020 is showing there’s really important lessons for us to learn about that. And it is time to truly understand your audience as people, not just as consumers. So average- well, I talked before about my dislike of averages, because they’re a great place to hide insight. So possibly- it’s time to place less emphasis on AI and more emphasis on EI and emotional [CROSSTALK]. I would also say maybe this is a time for action, not words. And we’ve never seen so much change happening to organizations. And organizations have never needed to change more to understand consumers more. So those are really good opportunities for us, as an industry, to be responsible, as well as responsive, and to galvanize change, and to set the agenda for organizations. So [INAUDIBLE] what I’d call skillset, but there are specific methodologies, in terms of the pandemic. Well, I maybe wouldn’t- I might be heretical. I’m not sure that I would necessarily start [INAUDIBLE] methodologies. I’d probably try to- my bias is to start in understanding the problem and the business problem around your metrics, and which ones you’re trying to influence. And then treat it a little bit like a murder scene. Coming up with all kinds of hypotheses to test, and trying to find quick ways of pulling together the evidence, to find the links between the bits of data. So that would be where I would personally start, on a very much a strategist’s way of approaching it. But there are things that can help, in terms of tools and methodologies. Personally, I would- the sorts of things I think can help. Look for far signals that drive commercial KPIs. Search is one of those. It’s very responsive and it’s very behaviorally-driven. So that’s great. We’re having a lot of- we’re doing a lot of interesting things with search data- cancer. Another thing might be to blend big and small data, and technology is a great catalyst for that. So in Kantar, we used a thing called stand landscape AI. And that helps us see changing emotional motivations, and where the white spaces are to play and win, looking at big data sets of humans’ emotional needs, and complementing that with online qual. And then I’d also just look to experiment. We’ve got loads of cool ways of experimenting. One of them is called Idea Stock. But I think it’s looking at understanding the purchase potential through mirroring a crowd [INAUDIBLE] shows the potential of social purchasing dynamics. So there are loads of different ways of using- the methodologies and techniques that are creative and interesting. But ultimately, I would look for signals, blend big and small, and experiment, really. And then everyone’s going to have their own way of doing those things. But identify the problem that you’re trying to solve first, I think would be my big thing.


Jamin Brazil: Last question. What is your personal motto?


Dom Boyd: The impossible question. Look, I started at Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency, and their motto is, “Nothing is impossible.” And right now, the world is bleeding, and business is bleeding, and brands are bleeding. These are challenging times. But the history of humanity is showing that we are capable of rising to challenges, and that we’re at our best and our most ingenious when we’re forced to adapt. And boy, are we having to adapt right now. So maybe, in the ashes of the pandemic, there is an opportunity for us to all build a better future. And we’ve all got a role to play in that. So I think my motto probably is, “Nothing is impossible,” and to be the change you want to see in the world, and to believe that big things can come from small actions.


Jamin Brazil: My guest today has been Dom Boyd, Kantar managing director, UK. Thank you, Dom, for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today.


Dom Boyd: Thanks very much. Great to have had the opportunity to chat.


Jamin Brazil: Everyone else, if you found value in this episode- I know I found a ton of value in this episode. I hope you take the time, screen capture, put it on social media. If you tag me, I have something special I will send you. Have a wonderful rest of your day.