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The Next Generation: Introducing our new CEO and management leaders

FACE has always evolved, developed and changed – reflecting the needs of our clients, the fast pace of digital media and technology, and our drive to always deliver more value.  Over the past three years we have taken big strides: expanding into new continents, retaining major clients internationally, and investing in new people – growing our team to 60 full-time employees.

We are extremely proud to say our client base has grown to include Bacardi, Mazda, HERE and BASF in the UK; L’Oreal, Pernod Ricard and P&G in the US; and Hershey’s, GSK and Philips in Asia, alongside our long-term clients such as Unilever and Tesco. This means that, as a company, the way we operate also needs to grow and develop.

Following the success of the past 3 years, Andrew Needham, our CEO and Founding Partner, has decided to step back from the day-to-day running of the business to become Chairman and advisor, effective 1st April 2015. This is ahead of a planned exit from both FACE and Pulsar later in the year as he moves on to explore new opportunities.

Andrew Needham Chairman

 

This means Job Muscroft, currently our COO & Founding Partner, will make the natural step-up to CEO and continue to oversee our international growth.

 

Job Muscroft CEO photo

Andrew says:

“I am very excited about this generational shift taking place at FACE & Pulsar. We have had a fast and incredibly successful start to our global expansion, proving yet again that socially intelligent research is highly valued and in great demand. I am now delighted to be handing over to a new generation of brilliant managers to continue FACE and Pulsar’s growth and leadership of strategic insight as a service internationally”.

Our next generation managment team

Management team

As Andrew has said, our management evolution does not end there:

Matt Arnold, formerly Head of UK Qual, is now the Head of Research for Face UK & Asia.

Pulsar’s Sales Manager James Cuthbertson has done a great job smashing sales targets and growing his team, which has been reflected in his rise to Global Sales Director for FACE & Pulsar.

As a result of Cathy Parker-Sauer’s incredible work as Production Manager, she  will now oversee internationally logistics as our Global Operations Director of Face.

The current Managing Director of FACE Asia, Andrew Ho, will be uprooting his life and moving to New York to lead the US office, taking over from  current FACE US MD, Philip  McNaughton. Philip will return to his role as Senior Consultant as he plans to spend more time with his new family.

Overall, many new job titles but underlying it all, a strong thread of continuity. We’re proud to be able to fill all these roles from talent we have developed within the FACE business, and we know that as a management team they will lead us on to further  success.

Congratulations to Job and everyone on the management team for their promotions. We’re excited to be working with you for the next step of FACE’s evolution.

“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” 
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

FACE is Hiring! Qual Senior Research Manager in the Consultancy team

We are happy to announce that FACE is hiring! We are looking to add an experienced Senior Research Manager to our team in London.

To find out more about FACE, watch our ‘Manifesto’ video, come meet the team, or of course read our blog (some great pieces recently on ‘social intelligence‘, the ‘business of products‘, and copycat brands in China). That should give you a flavour of what we’re about!

Then send your application (or any questions you may have) to our Head of Research, Matthew.Arnold@Facegroup.com.

Outline of Role:

The role of qualitative Senior Research Manager is key within the team, and to the FACE business as a whole.  Senior RMs are expected to contribute significantly to building relationships both internally and externally.  They should inspire clients with their attitude and professional application, and the quality of their thinking and work.  They are expected to provide advice, guidance and inspiration to junior members of the team, whilst supporting and giving peace of mind to RDs and the management team.

You are a forward-thinking qualitative consultant with at least 4-5 years’ experience, keen to play a key role in the winning, leading, and execution of research and innovation projects. This entails working on the full project lifecycle, from designing and setting up projects and conducting fieldwork, through to analysis, report writing, and presenting. You must have extensive experience of working successfully in teams and be able to manage projects, and help build successful client relationships where necessary – both in the UK and internationally.

Job Description:

  • Manage research projects on a day to day basis, using a variety of qualitative methods including face-to-face, online communities, and mobile ethno – and a desire to work with social media (experience not a pre-requisite here).
  • Be involved in project costings, including opening and maintaining communication channels with production, and building the costing sheet
  • Create task plans for and oversee delivery on online community research
  • Help facilitate creative workshops and co-creation
  • Run traditional qualitative approaches e.g. focus groups, in depth interviews, immersions
  • Proactively look to incorporate social media insight into qualitative approaches. When appropriate, work closely with social media specialists to produce social media reports
  • Co-write and present strategic proposals and pitches
  • Co-write and present strategic debriefs, client presentations and content for workshops
  • Contribute to the agency blog and thought leadership
  • Work tirelessly to deliver the quality standards set by the RDs and Head of Research

Skills and experience sought:

A desire to push the insight innovation agenda forward
Our agency leads the way in rethinking how innovation, strategy and insight is generated and utilised in the age of the networked consumer, so a desire to be involved with helping to push the insight innovation agenda forward will be expected.

Teamwork and a solution-driven attitude
In the UK we are a team of 20 all working across multiple projects at any given time. We have a democratic way of working that ensures everyone’s opinion – regardless of level or experience – is listened to and valued. Teamwork and a desire to assist others in the pursuit of value and quality very much lies at the heart of our culture. A positive mindset, an ability to work with and value others, and a solution-driven attitude, are prerequisites for this role.

Commercial savvy and client relationships
You must be able to think and act commercially, and assist in the building of strong client relationships, working with clients at a marketing and management level (beyond client research teams).
We operate a flexible account structure at FACE and the Senior RM will play a key support role on at least two accounts. You will work closely with the relevant RDs and / or Head of Research to devise an on-going account strategy. #

Smart project management
As a Senior RM, you will be able to think quickly and handle multiple projects and work streams simultaneously – being efficient in terms of personal time management, and the management of others.

Package:

Salary TBC – competitive
Bonus Entry into FACE account bonus initiative
Private health care Yes
Pension Automatic enrolment into FACE company pension scheme

If you’re interested in applying for this role and you’d love to join FACE, please send your application (or any questions) to Matthew.Arnold@Facegroup.com.  We look forward to hearing from you!

If this is not you but you know someone it might fit, please share on email, mailing lists, Twitter (we’re @FaceResearch) and LinkedIn. 

 

A Whole New World: our 2 new qual researchers on their experience of joining FACE

Aladin 1

Here at FACE we like to think we do things differently to other agencies – what agency doesn’t, right? But it’s been a few years since many of us worked anywhere else! To get a fresh point of view, we asked the two newest members of our qualitative research team to tell us about why they joined.

Beca has previously worked at a boutique quant agency in Ireland and a digital qual agency in London. Rich has worked as a parliamentary researcher for an MP and a commercial analyst at a premier league football club before specialising as a qualitative researcher.

Joining FACE brought with it many changes for both of us, and lots of learnings too, so we’d like to share with you what we’ve discovered in our time here so far.

Beca: So Rich, what was it about FACE that made you want to work here? Was there anything in particular that really excited you? 

Rich: I joined FACE to get experience on wider range of research methods. I remember in my last role, I was crying out for the use of a mobile app so I could record people’s behaviour in situ. Here using our mobile app, consumers can record their instinctive reactions almost immediately with minimal disruption to their lives. This has great benefit to a researcher as it negates a lot of factors that add doubt over the validity of responses. It adds precision and detail because it drastically shortens the time between experience and response.

This is key because a person’s memory naturally filters out detail and often leaves only summary. You may test drive a car and note many things you disliked. Interior too cluttered, steering unresponsive, poor satnav, weak handling/brakes etc. If asked straight after the test drive why you didn’t like it, you’d have no problem reeling off details. If asked a few weeks down the line, you will have forgotten many of the particulars. You will simply remember that your overall feelings towards the car were negative, but not necessarily all of the reasons why.

The Pulsar platform is another great tool that I wanted to be able to call upon when making strategic recommendations. By tracking the buzz about a brand – not just on social media, but anywhere mentioned on the web, we are able to grasp the feelings of the consumer like never before.

This kind of information is invaluable when it comes to making valuable recommendations. If I, as a researcher, don’t truly understand how your consumers feel about you today, then how can I possibly help you to be successful tomorrow? 

The online community has a great advantage also and is something I was very keen to learn and use. I knew the world of research was changing and that online was the way forward. The online communities are very useful especially as they are so cost effective compared to the alternative, leaving us with more budget for the stuff that matters – the research.

So the tools FACE uses were the flame to the moth for me, what about you?  Does FACE do things differently than what you’ve done before?

BecaBeca: Coming from a predominantly digital background I am fairly new to the world of face-to-face qual research. Since joining FACE I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in on some groups and I was so pleasantly surprised by how different they were from what I’d seen before. Rather than the moderator being an authoritative force within the group, the playing field was levelled and the participants were much more natural and relaxed because of it. But the thing that made FACE stand out from the crowd for me is co-creation!

Rich: I agree, ‘co-creation’ is a buzzword you hear a lot, and many people have copied the approach. To find out that FACE were among the first do adopt it in a market research capacity was a huge draw for me. I wanted to go beyond just probing for reactions and actually have a hand in sculpting creative outputs going forward. 

So the methodologies are quite new for both of us then, an exciting learning curve! Anything else different at FACE?

Beca: What was probably the most difficult thing to get my head around upon joining FACE is that I am no longer expected to be everything. Coming from an agency where researchers are responsible for everything, from the very seed of a project to the felling of the tree, this was difficult to get my head around initially. I’ve quickly realised the immense benefits of having teams dedicated to production and commercial as well as account managers and in-house technical support. Each team has different strengths, to handle different stages of a project. Having the time to dedicate to the research, which is after all why I chose this path, is a luxury I am still getting used to and one I appreciate more than I ever thought I could.

Analysis of qualitative data is central to what we do as researchers, and FACE really gets that! In previous agencies analysis was often a solo pursuit, but here at FACE analysis is a team effort, with people challenging each other’s conclusions and pushing them to the next level.

You came from automotive research, right? This must be a big change from that?

Richard Addison 3

Rich: Definitely! One of the great things about FACE is the clients we have and the type of work we do. Not wanting to be typecast in one industry led to me wanting to move somewhere with such an enviable FMCG client list; brands like: Coca-Cola, Unilver and Reckitt Benckiser!

You’ve worked in FMCGs before though, haven’t you?

Beca: I have, although quick turnaround projects were much less common in my previous agency. And although watching a project grow and evolve can be very rewarding it can be more difficult to maintain the same level of interest and creativity and keep the momentum going. The short-term nature of most projects at FACE encourages excitement and enthusiasm from start to finish, and allows for continuous creativity throughout. As an added bonus it also opens you up to working on a whole range of projects in a variety of industries, keeping the nature of your work diverse and varied.

How’re you finding it? A new job can be quite daunting…

Rich: The attitude of everyone on the team is first class. From the intern to the directors, we all sit together like a happy family of beavers, all with different roles, but ultimately unified in our goal of making robust and long lasting dams! From a personal point of view, it’s been a touch being able to feel so comfortable so quickly at a new company. There is an eclectic mix of cultures and backgrounds making for a great dynamic both in and outside of work.

With unemployment at an all-time high, working somewhere that both challenges and stimulates is increasingly rare. In joining FACE we have both found a great opportunity to continue to learn and grow as researchers. The multi-faceted approach of online, social and traditional techniques will help us to develop skills we would not have gained elsewhere.

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If you want to learn more about what it’s like to work at FACE, check out Oana’s post, ‘A Peek Through The Keyhole of the FACE Office’.

Or think you’ve got what it takes and want to join us? Let us know here.

Meet us at… ARF Re:Think and Social Media Forum

We are getting ready for two conferences this month: ARF Re: Think in New York and Social Media Forum in London.

ARF Rethink

With a showcase of 50+ groundbreaking studies (cross-platform, social media, mobile research and more), 100 high-profile presenters, 2,500 industry peers (from P&G, Unilever, Apple, and Facebook along with many others) it’s looking like it will be a really innovative and exciting event.

The Face NY team will be manning the booth and our friends from Pulsar will demo their social intelligence platform.  Drop by to find out how we can help you better understand and connect with your consumers by combining qualitative insight, real time data and smart thinking.

Register and check out the details here.

 

SMWF 2

Social Media Forum (#SMWF) Europe is a social and digital marketing conference which examines the latest developments in social marketing and how it sits within an organisation. #SMWF launches in London on 31 March – 1 April 2014.

We’re looking forward to talks from many industry thought leaders on how to drive engagement, manage brand image and understand great customer service. To name but a few: McDonalds, BBC, Walt Disney, Lithium, Philips, Unicef, Vodafone, Amnesty International, Wall Street Journal and Sky are all sharing their knowledge.

Our Chief Innovation Officer, Francesco D’Orazio (@abc3d) will join the panel discussion on ‘Interdepartmental cooperation for a unified social campaign panel’ alongside participants from Sony, Barclays, Yahoo and RSA. Discussion will touch on the following questions:

  • The practicalities of structuring and implementing a multi-channel social campaign
  • How to create unity across departments and resolve issues for the best outcome
  • Examining new trends and platforms in social and evaluating where the effort should be focussed
  • Looking at how different social platforms fit together with more traditional media

Social media expertise and top-level strategic advice is what we are all about so we’re really looking forward to this discussion.

The FACE and Pulsar teams will also be there to demo Pulsar and answer any questions.

Hope to see you there. Check out the event’s website for more details.

Highlights from the Insight Innovation Exchange (IIeX) Amsterdam

We’ve just come back from Insight Innovation Exchange Europe. And what an inspiring two days! From Mark Earls and John Willshire making the audience work with Artefact cards to identify innovations needed in market research, to inspiring presentations on neuromarketing, gamification and mobile, there’s a lot of exciting ideas to take away.

We hope to have contributed to this ourselves: Our CEO, Andrew Needham and our Research Manager Jess Owens shared their thoughts on Using social media research for agile, adaptive customer intelligence” in a joint presentation at 17:00 on the first day of the conference.

Following a classic Andrew introduction – getting the audience to stand up and be agile, by squatting up and down doing an agility exercise – they talked about:

  1. What does “agile” research really mean? It’s not just about quick thinking – it’s about empowering clients to take action.
  2. Lessons from agile software development: it’s all about the feedback loop
  3. Why agile social media research? Jess shared stories from two social media crises, showing how real-time social media listening can get research a seat at the table
  4. Partnership with clients to build an agile, actionable research programme – aka is the weekly report always the best way to share research insights? We talk about the “client as superuser”
  5. The true power of the brand tracker dataset - how the unprompted nature of social media mentions enables highly adaptive and flexible research, providing the ability to instantly answer questions brands didn’t even know they had

Here is their presentation, for those of you who couldn’t make it:

 

We’d also like to congratulate our colleagues from Pulsar for winning the first DIVA (Data Visualisation Award) for our How Video Spreads Twitter network visualisation:

We tracked the conference on Pulsar (of course!). Here’s how the 1,711 IIeX-related tweets performed over the two days of the conference:

Conversation volumes by hour:

IIeX Volume per hour

Most active Twitter users:

IIeX Influencers

 

Most shared links:

1. Pulsar’s winning entry to the DIVA awards 

2. DIVA Awards Panel announcement

3. IIeX Europe Homepage 

4. #IIeX Focus Series – Technology & Market Research (2 of 5): Social Media

5. #IIeX Focus Series – Technology & Market Research (3 of 5): Photo & Video

 

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Bad Andrew picture

Andrew Needham is a Founding Partner and CEO of FACE Research. A pioneer in the use of social data in qualitative and quantitative research to deliver a holistic view of the consumer, Andrew is leading the global expansion of FACE. Read more of Andrew’s thoughts here. Or reach out to him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

Jess Owens profile photo

Jess Owens is a social media researcher in FACE’s London office. As one of the first members of the Global Social Insight team, she has pioneered new research methods with social data, from audience mapping, channel effectiveness studies and studying social media virality and content diffusion. Get in touch with Jess via LinkedIn or Twitter – she tweets for us @FaceResearch as well as from her personal account, @hautepop