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Market Research Society and the importance of census information video transcript

Rebecca Cole, Managing Director of Cobalt Sky:

It’s really vital, that research that we’re doing can reflect the wider UK population.

We recently did an industry survey where we asked research practitioners, where do you go to get the targets that you’re setting on your research projects?

And there wasn’t a single market research company that answered that question that didn’t reference the census or the ONS.

The census is our go to, it’s our gold standard for telling us what’s the UK population look like, and how do we mirror that in the research that we’re doing.

Jane Frost, CEO of Market Research Society:

Every single decision that is made in the country, and every single decision we make in terms of targeting is based on knowing we have accurate, reliable data.

Rebecca Cole, Managing Director of Cobalt Sky:

First and foremost, the 2021 Census data will give us more up to date information.

So, we are currently using the 2011 census data to set our targets.

We are expecting that there have been some shifts in the past ten years.

Specifically, the inclusion of some questions that hadn’t been asked previously means that moving forward we can actually make changes to the way that we ensure representation that weren’t available to us previously.

Jane Frost, CEO of Market Research Society:

It really is important that we understand the differences in society and that we reflect those differences in society in the questions we ask.

And my belief is that the changes have done just that.

Rebecca Cole, Managing Director of Cobalt Sky:

In the market research industry, the term that we use, which is nationally representative, historically what that has meant is that we are ensuring our research is representative in terms of age, gender, region, and something that we called social grade.

As an industry, we’re looking to try and extend that definition.

So that moving forwards, we can say our research isn’t just representative in terms of those characteristics, but that it’s also representative in terms of ethnicity, physical disabilities and mental health conditions, gender identity, as opposed to binary gender, and also sexual orientation.

Without the 2021 Census, we wouldn’t have been able to include those additional characteristics.

Jane Frost, CEO of Market Research Society:

If you’re thinking particularly of a difficult to reach ethnic minority audience without good data, their voices are not heard.

And if their voices are not heard, people make decisions for them, not with them.

Rebecca Cole, Managing Director of Cobalt Sky:

From our perspective, the fact that A: the census data, nobody can be personally identified from those statistics that are released and B: the facts that people participating have absolute faith that it’s safe, it’s secure and it’s protected by law means that we can use that information with real confidence.

Jane Frost, CEO of Market Research Society:

For market research, the census is the foundation of all we do.

We couldn’t do any of the great stuff which makes us a world leader without knowing that we can rely on the data that comes out of the census.