Future Talent Meets The Industry

ESOMAR Congress 2011

Dessislava Jeleva Name: Dessislava Simeonova Jeleva
Nationality: Bulgarian
University: University of Tilburg, Netherlands
Title of course/programme: MSc in Marketing Research
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How do you see the market research industry evolving and how can you contribute to it?

I expect a greater emphasis on market research done through social media. This is the communication channel of the future (and not only for the young generation) and it provides a lot of opportunities for gaining insight into the life and wants of the consumer. However the approach towards social media in most areas of business is still rather ad-hoc. I expect a more strategic approach towards the use of social media in marketing and marketing research to develop in the next few years. Furthermore, I believe that the industry needs a fresh academic understanding of social media. The tools of Web 2.0 seem not to be getting the attention it deserves by research institutions.

I hope to be able to contribute to the understanding of social media in the marketing research industry by establishing which old marketing and research principles are applicable to the Web 2.0 environment and which need to be reengineered or abandoned all together. I see most of the industry still approaching digital communication and social media as extensions of other strategies and blindly applying not tested old media assumptions and tools. I would like to have a career that will ultimately provide a significant and meaningful contribution to the development of the marketing principles of the new communication era. I would like to apply my liberal arts undergratuate education to the manufacturing of a broader perspective on the value of social media in marketing researhc.

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

Even though I find excellent quantitative and analytical skills a must for every researcher, I think that a successful member of the industry should go above and beyond them. In the new communication era, when we have Internet everywhere, 24/7, and on every device, networking skills are extremely important. Leveraging the networking opportunities offered by the digital age can significantly expand our business and career development horizons.

Storytelling is also very important in the new age. In the Information age, providing facts, numbers, and graph is not enough. To transform research result into actionable insights, a researcher should be able to creatively use knowledge from other spheres of culture. Storytelling requires a broader perspective on live but it has the potential to bridge the gap between clients and suppliers of research by providing real understanding.

How do you see your career unfolding and what are your aspirations?

I see myself, in the short term, completing a dissertation for my Master of Marketing Research on the value of social media in marketing research and continuing my research on the subject. Later on, I would like to work for a technological company like Facebook to facilitate the establishment of a synergy between academia, marketing research and high tech. I think the rate of development and adoption of social media is creating an ever increasing gap between the introduction of new marketing tools and their understanding. I would put some of my future efforts into overcoming that gap by encouraging marketing and marketing research programs to let social media into their academic curriculums.

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