This month’s &More young researcher of the month is Lewis Reeves. At 25 and with just five years of research experience, he’s managing director of data collection company VIGA.
Name? Lewis Reeves
Job title and company? Founder and MD of VIGA
Where do you live? Sussex (or if not there try British Airways!)
Higher education? None – I went straight into work
How long have you worked in market research? Five years
Was becoming a market researcher accident or design? A happy accident
Please elaborate… Some work experience on my gap year at a market research agency turned in to a job offer, which was accepted, and I’m yet to look back!
What is the strangest piece of research you’ve been involved in or have come across? Testing the concept of robots offering ‘highly intimate’ services! Actually, a very positive potential social initiative
What is the weirdest place you’ve done research in? Definitely trying to understand margarine-buying habits in extremely rural Indonesia
What’s your favourite methodology? Technology-driven digital quant. I get extremely excited about the ability we now have to interact with high volumes of consumers via their every day devices, anywhere and at any time. There’s still a huge amount of scope within the industry to find new ways to gather extremely relevant and insightful data from people
What are your work ambitions for the next five years? Over the next few years I’m relishing the challenge of taking the VIGA business global and repeating the process of building out in new markets. For me, one of the most exciting challenges, and something I see very high on my five-year plan, is being able to find more incredible talent to join the team, adding totally new mindsets and perspectives to the way we conduct business
Favourite brand? British Airways Executive Club (I know they aren’t what they used to be, but I’m addicted to Avios)
What bit of your job will be extinct/automated in ten years’ time? There are still huge parts of the market research process that can become significantly more automated over the coming years. I do, however, think we must be careful not to devalue certain elements of the researcher’s role, where human relationships, technical skills and intuition are second to none
If you weren’t working in market research what would you be doing? Something exciting within motorsport
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever received (work or personal)? The streets are paved with gold… It’s much more important to be out and about than sat in an office
What’s the most useful mentoring/career advice you’ve been given? I was once given the book Obliquity by John Kay to read. It’s a game-changer
What piece of tech couldn’t you live without? My phone, but specifically my health and fitness apps. I’m addicted to the gamification and data accessibility in apps such as Strava
How much travel do you do for your job? A good amount: as much as 50% of my time some months. Mainly to the US currently
What would be the research project you’d most like to work on? The brief would be ‘How do we make our industry more attractive to the world’s young talent?’ It’s so critical for the future of our industry that we find a way to make research an extremely attractive career path and a real competitor with management consultancy, tech start ups etc.
Power dressing or dress-down Friday? Power dressing. I’ve been trying to bring the tie back to the market research industry for many years now!
What’s the most ridiculous thing a client has ever asked of you? “How many non internet users will we receive on an online omnibus?”
What is the most stressful thing about your job? Trying to get working internet on aeroplanes