Research Buyers Guide

The authoritative guide to research suppliers. Go

Research Jobfinder

The No.1 jobs resource for research and insight professionals. Go

The definitive source of research news and opinion. Go

Fair Data

The Fair Data mark helps consumers recognise who they can trust. Go

International Journal of Market Research (IJMR)

The world authority on research methodologies and techniques for professionals and academics. Go

Geodemographics Knowledge Base (GKB)

For people interested in the application of geodemographics and geo-spatial analysis. Go



The Future of Business-to-Business Research
in association with BIG Conference

The Future of Business-to-Business Research
in association with BIG Conference

29 June 2017

In a nutshell

  • Thursday, 29 June 2017
How can B2B market research ensure its ready for the challenges of the future and versatile enough to adapt to the new business and market environments? What new skills do insight professionals need to acquire and consolidate, what new sectors do we need to reach out to and how can we adjust our mindset towards embracing rather than fearing technology and change?

This year’s The Future of B2B Research in association with BIG will explore all of these crucial issues and encourage delegates to question industry leaders, discuss critical issues with industry colleagues and network with potential partners.

Find out what’s on the programme this year…

• Hear from O2 (Telefonica UK), npower Business and Zurich Insurance as they outline their changing research requirements and share what clients really need from their research partners

• Join Jane Frost, Chief Executive, MRS and Virginia Monk, Chair, BIG to discuss how the market research community must work together to tackle the big issues facing B2B researchers including SME outreach and the inclusion of data analytics under the market research umbrella

• Hear Facebook reveal how its technology platform has facilitated the largest global SME study ever in association with OECD and the World Bank and examine the key SME insights being uncovered

• Explore different visions of the future on how Automation, AI and Machine Learning is going to affect your clients’ requirements, researchers’ roles and your businesses’ proposition

• Gain new skills in Data visualisation to maximise the impact of research and ensure the value of research is spread to the fingertips of organisations

• Examine CEOs attitudes towards Brexit, post referendum market uncertainty and future challenges and join panellists to discuss what Brexit means for the B2B research industry

• Explore how HSBC and Legal & General have enjoyed success employing consumer research techniques in a B2B environment as a new approach to uncovering critical business insights


Sponsored by:

Media Partner

Where is the event taking place?

May Fair Hotel London

Stratton Street

With thanks to:

Media Partner

Survey Partner



Registration & coffee


Opening comments from the Chair
Richard Young, Consultant & Journalist


PANEL: Brexit: One Year On

  • Examining CEO’s views on the global economic outlook post referendum and the challenges they face in building a business ready for the future
  • Measuring business sentiment and SME attitudes towards international trade since the referendum
  • Outlining the key research needs of British businesses during the Brexit transition
  • What new markets are businesses interested in exploring and researching?
  • To what extent have market focus and research budgets been affected by the Brexit vote?
  • How will Brexit impact on research skills and expertise available in the UK marketplace

Dr Nick Coates, VP, Creative Consultancy Director, CSpace

Alison B Blair, Director, PwC - Research to Insight (r2i)
Andy Krasny — Manager SMB Analytics, EMEA, Facebook
Conor Wilcock, Research Director, B2B International


Leveraging Technology Platforms For Global Data Collection Of SME Insights
The Future of Business Survey is the largest global SME survey produced in partnership between Facebook, OECD, and The World Bank. More than 90,000 SMEs on Facebook, across 22 countries have completed the survey. It demonstrates the potential of future public-private partnerships for generating business / industry data and the reach of technology platforms for data collection.

The latest results provide an overview of the current and future economic environment and delivers global insights into business sentiment. Gain an in-depth understanding of facebook’s approach to SME research and hear the most recent outputs from this extensive study.
Andy Krasny — Manager SMB Analytics, EMEA, Facebook


PANEL: Overhauling B2B Market Research To Meet New Client Requirements

  • Understand how clients’ environments have changed and what clients are looking for from insight partners?
  • specialist vs broad capabilities
  • to lead or to be led
  • innovate or traditional
  • insight or advisory
  • Challenging traditional agency-buyer relationships and value propositions: is it time for a brand new ecosystem?
  • Discussing how research agencies can create the right business structure and acquire the right skills to appeal to and support the new needs of clients

Chair: Richard Young, Consultant & Journalist

Client Panellists
Jessica Salmon, Head of Research, O2 (Telefonica UK)
Helen James, Head of Marketing, npower Business
Felicity Joyce, Insight Executive, Zurich Insurance

Agency Panellists
Emily Dickinson, Director, Marketing and Development, Millward Brown Corporate
Nigel Hufton, Research Director, Marketing Sciences




Data Visualisation: Driving Research Impact Through Organisations
The role of the researcher is changing from being an insight gatherer towards being a storyteller and strategic advisor. The art of great data visualisation is to deliver a compelling narrative and to tell the story that the data implies - the better the delivery the bigger the impact. This session will explore how to creatively use the key tools of the trade - presentation, storytelling and infographics to create impact.

  • How best to make big data talk for different audiences
  • Examining how to use data visualisation for structured and unstructured data sources
  • Presenting data in a usable format to create buy-in to the stories

Paul McGhie, Partner, Leading Thought


PANEL: Automation Is Here To Stay: What Happens Next?

  • Automation, AI, Machine Learning: opportunities or threats?
  • What will the research landscape look like in an automated world?
  • How will automation change the way clients work with MR agencies?
  • Understanding the role of the researcher in an environment where the machines do the leg work
  • How can agencies evolve to prosper and realise new opportunities?

Chaired by: Ben Hogg, EMEA Managing Director, Lucid

Steve Phillips, CEO, ZappiStore
Ray Poynter, Founder, The Future Place
Phyllis MacFarlane, Global Training Director, GFK


Innovation In Engaging SME Respondents
‘Business Minds’ is a magazine based approach for gaining on-going feedback from the hard to engage SME group. This themed magazine based approach which encourages respondent flexibility and voluntary participation has been well received with high satisfaction scores for participation and a 65% repeat participation rate across three issues without monetary incentivisation. Hear more about this innovative approach which recently won the 2016 MRS B2B award.
Amy Cashman, Managing Director, Financial Services & Technology, Kantar TNS
Alex Wheatley, Research Innovator,  Lightspeed GMI


Lunch / Voluntary  Discussion Tables

Lunchtime Roundtable Discussions
Delegates are invited to join one of our round tables for a 20 min informal discussion examining some of the pertinent questions surrounding the use of different research methodologies for B2B research.

  • Behavioural Economics

Led by: Phyllis MacFarlane, Global Training Director, GFK

  • Mobile Ethnography

Led by: Conor Wilcock, Research Director at B2B International

  • Big Data

Led by: Samantha Bond, Research Manager, SKIM

  • Automation

Led by: Steve Phillips, CEO, ZappiStore

  • Online Panels

Led by: Nigel Hufton, Research Director, Marketing Sciences

  • Social Media


14.00 – 14.40

How A Consumer Approach Within B2B Transformed Business Banking For HSBC
Building digital capabilities is a key priority for HSBC; as is developing them based on a deep insight of our customer’s needs, wants behaviours and environments. To achieve this it is essential to understand how customers engage with digital technology both in and outside of work and the attitudes that drive their interactions. The research sought to identify a set of digital typologies grounded in knowledge of; What channels and platforms are being utilised?; How often and where do interactions happen?; What role do banking platforms play in helping achieve goals and where does the software fit into the business process?; What are some of the key frustrations?; How could things be improved? 

Using a methodology of self-ethnography based on a proprietary consumer-facing app. B2B respondents were asked to create a digital diary and complete a number of ‘tasks’ using text, photos and videos to share their day-to-day activities. This ethnographic  research was supported by in-depth interviews to unearth the emotional and cultural drivers behind their behaviour. 

Hear how by engaging with a B2B audience using consumer techniques, HSBC was able to get past professional, measured responses and get under the skin of customers true feelings and expectations enabling HSBC to improve their digital banking experience.
Pamela Ferguson – Customer Insight Manager, HSBC
Richard Gush – Partner, Hall & Partners OpenMind

Demonstrating The Impact Of Research On Driving B2B Sales
Business protection products are sold, not bought. Death or critical illness are not top of directors’ minds and not an easy topic to talk about!  Legal & General needed research to support a programme of PR, support and training materials for their advisers, to inspire them and ultimately increase sales.

Based on the results of two waves of research consisting of 800 online interviews among a range of businesses and in-depth interviews among advisers, L&G launched its State of the Nation Report on Business Protection, designed to educate the market on the gaps, highlight any differences by key segments and point out the potential risks. In addition, a range of support materials were developed for advisers to use with their clients.

Hear how using research to target a key priority has dramatically increased B2B sales of business protection products and led to clearer communication with the market.
Kathy Ellison, Director, Charterhouse Research
Jo Caley, Customer Research Consultant, Legal and General

14.40 -15.10

Demonstrating That Mobile Optimisation Works

  • Understanding what clients want from research and analysing how mobile optimisation fairs in delivering results
  • Examining common mistakes and key limitations to B2B surveys completed on mobile devices
  • Demonstrating that mobile optimisation makes a significant difference to survey results

Chris Dubreuil, Managing Director EMEA, Research Now
survey scripter - tbc
client (B2B) - tbc


Up Close And Personal: How SMEs Cope With Market Research For The First Time…
Last year at the MRS B2B conference, it was highlighted that one of the key barriers to SMEs conducting research is they don’t know how to interpret and action research findings. We wanted to understand the problems and issues that inexperienced SMEs face when conducting research for the first time. If they actually conduct a project are their perceptions overturned? Or does it just confirm all the bad stuff they’d heard?
This session will help reveal:

  • How many of the barriers to MR are perception vs reality
  • What problems SMEs experience using MR
  • Where they need most help in getting most value from MR

Alex Johnston, Jigsaw Research
Phil Morrison, The Distilleries




Hear the MRS outline its future focus for supporting the UKs business research needs and join colleagues to discuss how the market research industry can help achieve these aims.

  • SME Outreach
  • Inclusion of data analytics

Jane Frost, Chief Executive, MRS
Virginia Monk, Managing Director, Network Research & Chair, BIG


What Works Where In B2B Digital Marketing?
For years, marketers and corporate communicators have been predominantly responsible for the messages business puts out to influence their key audiences. Now, the people in the company are more likely to be carrying messages to the outside world, and to be more believed than the CEO.

Digital has changed the way organisations communicate and do business. Digital has moved beyond marketing and into the hands of every department in the organisation. Now the question is how marketers and other departments can learn to respond to this new landscape.  What Works Where in B2B Digital Marketing?
Fran Brosan, Chairman and Co-Founder of Omobono

Exploring The World Of The B2B Marketer

  • The health of the B2B Marketing industry
  • An overview of the key trends and hot topics on the minds of B2B Marketers
  • Deep-dives into some of the biggest trends and their impact on the world of B2B Research (Marketing Automation, Customer Experience and Managing Change)

 Andrew Dalglish, Founding Director, Circle Research
Graeme Cade, Client Director, Circle Research


Closing comments from the Chair followed by networking drinks reception
Delegates are invited to network with industry colleagues and continue to discuss the main topics of the day over a glass of wine.

This is the other tab

Please click on the photographs to view each speaker's biography.


Delegate fee until 28 April 2017

MRS Member £335 (£402 inc VAT)

Non-Member £465 (£558 inc VAT)

Please note: Early Bird fees must be paid in full by 28.04.17

Delegate fee from 29 April 2017

MRS Member £435 (£522 inc VAT)

Non-Member £565 (£678 inc VAT)

CPS Discount rate - £300 (£360 inc VAT) or 1 CPS ticket

Party Only Tickets

MRS Member £55 (£66 inc VAT)

Non-Member £65 (£78 inc VAT)


  • If you are not a Company Partner and want to book for yourself and request an invoice, or pay for yourself online, click
  • If you wish to book for someone else please use this form
  • To use your Company Partner ticket use this form
  • To book and claim a Company Partner discount click

*By proceeding with a booking you are agreeing with our terms and conditions.




Sponsored by:

Media Partner
Show Panel Articles