April 19th, 2023
They say you can't understand someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes, so this face to face day hosted by Louise Catton and Clare Carroll at UCB was an innovative way to share the day to day realities of market research roles at the Pharma desk.
The discussions shed a light on client side researchers' responsibilities and contributions to the brand plan as part of the wider brand team, their varied internal stakeholder network and how they build and manage an annual Market Research plan.
Particularly insightful for agency attendees was the reality of available time and how this is spent. Internal stakeholders don’t always ASK for insights - business insights teams often need to proactively ’sell’ them internally - putting a focus on connecting and collaborating with non MR colleagues. A typical week could see a client side researcher in as many as twenty meetings - only nine of which were connecting with internal or agency MR colleagues - and with around half not being directly related to a MR project.
All valuable interactions however - this can really squeeze 'doing' time!
After some lunch and networking time, the attendees also had the opportunity for a guided tour of the lab facilities. The Slough based site is a key strategic research centre and home to UCB’s immunology research teams and a variety of development functions. Noted as a welcome opportunity to see the drug development journey brought to life, this rounded off an insightful day with something a little different.
A common sentiment from the attendees - also echoed by the hosts - was the fantastic interaction during the day. Louise and Clare set an open forum for discussion with a Q&A style to the day, which received really positive feedback and helped grease the wheels for some much appreciated face to face networking over lunch. In an ideal world there would have been more time for networking opportunities - which only goes to highlight how important these opportunities are during the BHBIA event year.
Our annual conference will be our next major opportunity to connect and network - take a look at the networking opportunities available in the online agenda, or go to the event page for more information and booking.
The day received some really constructive feedback - with delegates commenting on the open setting to ask questions and the insight it gave them to help support from an agency perspective:
“I take away a better understanding of what happens before and after a piece of research has been delivered. What was particularly eye opening was what they are looking for when they are commissioning the work. Sometimes you have an idea working with clients, but hearing it from them directly gave me a lot of new insights and we can do better e.g. in making proposals more engaging.”
“Understanding that clients are also people just like us, and how they are managing their stakeholders just as we are managing relationships with them, has been important. And seeing things from their perspective made it really interesting.”
“It was a great opportunity for me to put on the shoes of the client and discover their daily tasks, to understand their needs, and how we can support them with our job and make their life easier.”
The BHBIA is very grateful to Clare and Louise, and UCB, for organising and hosting such an engaging day - especially for taking an idea and giving it an innovative spin by sharing their day to day realities. Here's what they had to say about the day:
"I think it went really well and everyone was really engaged. People were asking questions, showing interest. I hope we have made a difference to everybody that came along. And that we've benefitted market research partnerships in the healthcare industry.”
“It was great to see so many people together and being mixed between different agencies; chatting, networking. It was a good opportunity for them, and just a rewarding day. And we didn't know quite how it would go, so having a lot of interaction from people really made it worthwhile for us. It was a good thing to do, and I feel positive about doing it again."
Could you share your Day in the Life?
If you or your organisation are interested to share your day to day perspectives we'd love to hear from you - this could be face to face, virtually, an article, or any innovative formats you think could work. If this sounds like something you have the next great idea for keep an eye out for our annual Call for Content, your initial opportunity to suggest training and development ideas you'd like to run for the membership. This year's call is scheduled for early May - watch this space!