FUTURE TALENT MEETS THE INDUSTRY

ESOMAR QUALITATIVE 2008

Name: Mahitab Kamal El Din Ismail Khalil
Nationality: Egyptian
University: Misr International University, Egypt
Title of course/programme: Master program in mass communication
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How do you see the market research industry evolving and how can you contribute to it?

Well, I was just thinking of this point two days ago, when I was reading an article about global media. It mentioned that the industrial revolution created a surplus of products, which led to Globalisation, which in turn called for proper marketing, surely marketing should be accompanied with research, otherwise it would just be a waste of time and money.

Thus, with today’s fierce competition, there is a strong need and demand for marketing research; it became a mandatory component in marketing any product, service or even an idea. Now the consumers are aware, and are at the top of the hierarchy. If a certain brand doesn’t totally fulfill their needs, they won’t buy it; they will simply buy another brand which serves their needs more efficiently.

Now, I see the market research industry evolving and developing more and more.

One indication is in my country, where domestic companies have started to use market research. Not all of them make use of the research recommendations, and take some of the negative responses personally, at least they are trying.

I witnessed this situation myself in a focus group with university females’ students from A-B socio-economic class, and the client was a local fast food chain of restaurants. He thought that he was similar to Mc. Donald’s and Burger King. The researchers told him that his target is the C class, but he took it personally, and after the focus group, and the jokes that the girls made about his cheap, poor quality restaurant, he came from behind the mirror and started defending his product and its quality. Although he took it personally, at least he consulted a marketing research firm.

I believe that my role as a researcher will amplify. As, the more people depend on something, the better it should be in terms of quality.

Since marketers and decision makers depend on the research outcome, this outcome should be conducted as honestly and efficiently as possible.

Thus, I believe first and foremost in ETHICS. I assisted in a media ethics class; I use the term ethics a lot. I also went through the ESOMAR code of ethics. I was also happy to know that ESOMAR is the first to have a research code of ethics, 60 years ago.

For me ethics is that the end does not justify the means. All researchers want to get answers… but how these answers are attained…that’s a concern for me.

I will not allow any deception or hiding of facts from the respondents.


What are in your opinion the necessary skills for market researchers in the present environment?

The present environment is very challenging. Especially with the unexpected overseas crises and events such as the economic tsunami. We are always subject to such challenges and have to be prepared.

For market researchers the necessary skills would be:

    Communication skills:
  • Being a good listener.
  • Great in networking and teamwork.
  • To be flexible and open minded.
  • To have self- discipline.
  • To report facts as they are, without adding personal opinion or spices.
    Personal effectiveness:
  • To be patient and having a clear vision.
  • To think critically.
  • To be creative, while recognizing boundaries.
  • To recognize problems and be able to see through them.
  • To be honest.
    Knowledge Seeking:
  • To be keen to know what’s new in all fields
  • To adopt technology and latest innovations.
  • To be humble.
How do you see your career unfolding and what are your aspirations?

Well, to define my career, I have to say that I’m very proud to be involved in a number of fields that are interrelated. Firstly, my career is in education, I’m now a teaching assistant, and looking to continue teaching after the MA and the PhD. Secondly, the subject that I’m studying and will teach is in mass communication, focusing on marketing communication, specialized in market research.

I also feel that dealing and coordinating with people from all categories. Students, their parents sometimes, professors, staff, clients, respondents and peers. Dealing with people enriches knowledge and experience.

I enjoy working hard to reach my ambitions; the sky is my aspirations limits.

  • I want to serve my community. My people in Egypt need care and need me. I will be positioned in the core of multiple networks in the previously mentioned fields.
  • I want to promote tolerance and mutual understanding. I’m looking forward to conducting my thesis on the Egyptian community and how to make it listen to the different groups, or to the “other” with inverted commas. People are always hostile to new ideas, and to people who adopt different opinions than theirs, so I want to research this phenomenon and try hard to look for solutions to maintain tolerance, even if it will take time, it will be cumulated and will have an effect one day.
  • I also want teach ethics as a core course in all fields. I will always stress research ethics. I can help in creating generations of researchers.
  • In fact, in Egypt the census bureau and secondary data available are very low in terms of credibility. I wish to improve these facilities and studies to create a new base of credible data, available for everyone to use.

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