Since 1936, the Advertising Research Foundation has been the standard-bearer for unbiased quality in research on advertising, media, and marketing. Over the past 10 years, the ARF’s Foundations of Quality (FOQ) initiative has published 10 peer-reviewed papers dedicated to best practices in research and data quality. I should know: I was a co-author of two of those papers.

Now those FOQ insights are being brought to life in through The ARF’s Leadership Lab series of workshops and lectures on key research topics. Each are designed to inform and educate those in the marketing and advertising research industry about key aspects of the research process.

Nearly 120 students attended today’s event, including a few well-know industry experts. Turns out that even they must keep their skills sharp!

So, on Wednesday, February 14th (yes, Valentine’s Day) I was pleased (for a 2nd time) to be one of five research experts presenting a half-day crash course on how to design, execute, and analyze consumer survey research so that professionals new (and not so new) to the research field can understand what “good design” looks like. This includes sampling and weighting, scales and applicability for mobile, and appropriate statistical tests. We also covered the use of emojis in survey research as possible scale replacements. The overarching goal was to help our fellow researchers understand the nuances of data quality, and help them positive impact their organizations through superior insights and marketing success.

I am so very pleased to have been part of today’s program, which included yours truly (Bob Walker, CEO & Founder, Surveys & Forecasts LLC); John Bremer, Head of Research Science, The NPD Group; Randall Thomas, SVP, Research Methods, GfK; and Nancy Brigham, SVP, Global Head of Sampling and Research-on-Research, IPSOS Interactive Services. The event was beautifully coordinated by Chris Bacon, EVP, Global Research Quality & Innovation, from The ARF, and the wonderful ARF staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Kudos to all!

Not only are these individuals brilliant, published researchers, but they have become friends and are people who all respect one another and share their knowledge freely. The morning wasn’t without some amusing moments: I had too many slides, John couldn’t resist showing his dogs, Randy broke into a few rock’n roll riffs, and Chris utilized emojis and handed out Whitman Samplers and M&Ms to mollify the crowd. Nancy simply seemed bemused by it all…

We all look forward working together with the ARF in the future on research education, including the possibility of more hands-on case studies, webinars, and workshops. The industry is thirsty for real, practical knowledge, and the ARF is the best place for that to occur. It remains an anchor and a center of gravity for all things related to research.

Congratulations to all on a great day today – a job well done, and much more to come in 2018 and beyond!!

Surveys & Forecasts, LLC