As a planner/ strategist at Leo Burnett, Wieden + Kennedy, DDB, BMB and RKCR/Y&R, I have over the years inherited and or established relationships with many other research agencies; from Millward Brown, Ipsos, Sadek Weinberg, Quadrangle, Hall and Partners to Davies McKerr and 2CV (all of whom have an excellent breadth of talent and expertise) to name the best of a long list.
And it’s against this context and experience that I partly judge my professional dealings with Mark and the quality of his work. Because amongst all those agencies and across all these years I have never encountered another researcher who I trust to deliver a piece of consumer/ category or creative analysis as insightful, thorough, intelligent and culturally relevant as much as I do Mark.
While Mark possesses a remarkable ability to discern and interpret both the spoken and unspoken responses of research groups and respondents and couches those insights in a relevant way, he also does the simple but essential fundamentals of qualitative research better than any other research agency/ personnel.
From quickly getting to grips with the brief and research objectives, recruiting the right people – demographically and attitudinally on-brief, articulate and vocal – writing discussion guides that work to unearth new consumer and or category insights, considering and implementing the best qualitative methodologies, exploring socio-cultural contexts prior to and post fieldwork, to presenting to clients, creative’s and various stakeholders with an easy aplomb and professional integrity.
Mark possesses a fundamental empathy for what we do and how we do it; he’s always been my partner along the strategic and creative development process rather than just a supplier. During our many creative development projects he’s demonstrated a brilliant cultural and creative literacy that both facilitates a sensitive but thorough exploration of an ideas merit and optimise its potential to engage with and get noticed by consumers.
I have a number of frustrations with most researchers I encounter, most of which are born from arriving at a quality benchmark set by Mark and his team at Murmur… he displays an almost masochistic tendency to over-deliver, a belief in a level of professionalism and thoroughness that I’ve never encountered with anyone else. But he doesn’t just do more than anyone else, he does it better than anyone else.