No, you haven’t accidently clicked on a Buzzfeed link. It’s a shameless jump on the ‘create a long list of things which occasionally might be a slightly humorous shared experience, but in the main are probably not’ bandwagon.

You know you work in market research when…

Market research
  1. You tell somebody what your job is and you have to explain that you don’t stand on a street corner with a clipboard all day.
  2. You have recently done some fieldwork which would have been easier if you actually had a clipboard.
  3. People with no market research experience write a questionnaire and expect you to use it. (I wonder if these people record their own Ads on iPhones and hand these to their Ad agency to use as well?)
  4. You enthusiastically laugh at obvious respondent jokes when you are moderating groups like it’s the first time you’ve heard it. Even when it’s the eighth time you’ve heard it that week.
  5. There is no bigger anxiety in the world than an empty respondent waiting room 15 minutes before a client viewed group is due to start.
  6. Just to torture you, respondents always turn up to client viewed groups two minutes before they’re due to start.
  7. You hungrily return to the client viewing room after the second group and always only find stray pieces of lettuce on demolished trays of food. And six empty wine bottles. And half as many clients. And therefore feast on shortbread and Celebrations.
  8. You exclusively refer to focus groups as ‘groups’.
  9. You complete the majority of surveys which are e-mailed to you to see how it looks, how they are asking the questions, who the client is and who the agency is.
  10. You criticise 100% of these surveys knowing that you would definitely have designed each one better.
  11. You think/say ‘we should get in touch with <client who the survey was on behalf of> and tell them how we’d have done it better’. But don’t.
  12. In everyday general conversation you ask people questions that start with “On a scale of…”
  13. You use the terms ‘relatively’ and ‘significantly’ in every day conversation more than the average person.
  14. People employed in other areas of marketing look down on you as some kind of creatively-challenged boffin, unlike their uber-creative hip(ster) selves. (Note to self… grow a beard)
  15. You regularly used to see beards at the MRS Conference. But now don’t.
  16. You have told somebody that their target audience hate their idea and have been looked at like it’s your opinion.
  17.  You regularly encounter previously unseen staff from a non-research background at client debriefs who make it their sole mission to try and discredit the methodology and sample structure rather than listen to the findings (which are based on a sound methodology and sample structure).
  18. You get excited about using evidence to prove people wrong.
  19. You are often asked to provide benchmarks for things which are impossible to consistently and comparatively benchmark.
  20. You have been given a file from a client with 100 contacts in it to achieve your required 100 interviews.
  21. Your client rings you for an update just as you are typing the word ‘regards’ on an incredibly detailed update email you’ve been crafting for half an hour.
  22. You have nearly killed yourself to get a report out in line with a ridiculous timescale, only to immediately receive an Out of Office reply indicating that the recipient is enjoying a fortnight on a beach somewhere.
  23. You don’t get overly concerned about the latest industry buzz-word because you know everybody will be jumping all over another one in 18 months.
  24. Overall you think you’ve accidentally fallen into <ahem>, made, a pretty enjoyable, rewarding and interesting career choice.


 Are there any others you would add to the list? Tweet @MustardGareth and let him know what you’d add to the list using #SignsYouWorkInMR