John Markham and Gaye Myatt Leave Their Corporate Jobs to Become Independent Consultants. The Independent Consultants Group, with membership increased by 15% in 2005, is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the industry.
December 7, 2005 (London, UK) – John Markham and Gaye Myatt are two of the newest members of the Independent Consultants Group (ICG), having left their corporate jobs at Nokia and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively, to become independent consultants.
Markham and Myatt join over 230 other independents and small consultancies at the ICG, the largest professional body in the UK for independent consultants in the market research industry. According to the organization’s own member survey this year, membership has risen 15% during 2005 with implications that the ICG is increasing the market share of independently commissioned research in the UK.
Markham, during his twelve years with Nokia, established and led Nokia’s worldwide Marketing Research Group, ultimately becoming Director of Global Business Insights to lead “effective consultants to business teams, ensuring that customer and market knowledge is truly embedded in decision-making processes”. From working with industry bodies such as AURA, ESOMAR, MRS and the US-based Market Research Executive Board, Markham observes, “In many client organisations there remains a great opportunity to use market research more effectively, to genuinely influence business decisions. As an independent, I can offer consulting and coaching totally tailored to the client’s needs” says Markham, "while my client-side experience allows me to empathise with their issues in a different way from most research agencies, helping clients to understand and address the challenges they face and to truly maximize value from their information”.
Gaye Myatt was Director of Consumer Insight for nine years at GlaxoSmithKline and before that was Group Research Manager for Cosmetics and Fragrances at Procter & Gamble. For her, the move to be independent from a large multinational background in household name brands was driven by the empowerment that becoming independent gives her. “As an independent consultant,” says Myatt, “I work directly with stakeholders and deliver value to clients in a smarter, faster and more cost-effective way.? Gaining insights is more complicated now as consumers become more fragmented and there are a host of different techniques and information sources.? Clients may not know how to integrate all of this and pull out actionable insights, but as an independent with commercial experience, I can help them “see the wood for the trees”.
Susan Rogers, who also left "corporate land" earlier this year to start her own consultancy, Rogers International, delivered a key note address at the recent BMRA conference. The focus was on lack of client understanding by research agencies, especially the medium to large corporations. Rogers, previously Head of Market and Strategic Planning at Kellogg's as well as Managing director of INRA UK and, Global Marketing Services Director at ICI Paints, said “Many research agencies just don't talk the same language as their customers, due to their lack of personnel with either significant first hand client experience or broader marketing knowledge.” She added, “this may ultimately be the downfall of the larger organisations and it offers a tremendous opportunity for the smaller companies and independents to flourish”.
ICG Chairman Tim Williams affirms, ‘’Members of the ICG have years of client-side experience so are able to offer both in-depth expertise and a full range of skills. Over three-quarters of our members boast over 20 years’ experience, as well having a broad spectrum of expertise. Within our group we can provide access to experts across key sectors of market research and often in a combination of market research skills, product fields and market sectors. Our hugely popular network also enables sharing of best practice and insight by drawing on the expertise of others within the ICG. This combination of client-side experience and access to the wider network of experts is the added value that the ICG offers buyers of market research. In this light, it is fantastic to welcome aboard John and Gaye, who both have a wealth of experience and expertise to offer.”
According to their internal survey, about half the ICG members are also involved in international research, as members are fluent in a variety of foreign languages. Top specialist fields include qualitative, quantitative, planning, workshop facilitation, new product development, and marketing consultancy. Top areas of expertise drawn from the survey include financial, healthcare, advertising, retail, IT, food, drinks, tourism and, children.
About the Independent Consultants Group (ICG)
The Independent Consultants Group (ICG) is a professional organization of over 230 independent market researchers and small consultancies based mainly in the United Kingdom. Dubbed as the market research industry’s ‘best kept secret’, the ICG offers an ideal gateway to access a pool of skilled and experienced independent consultants. Buyers of market research benefit from the flexibility of commissioning independent researchers as well as from the high standards of quality and experience of ICG members. International clients also have the reassurance of knowing that the person that they’re liasing with will be the person who’ll actually be doing the research. For more information about the ICG, please see www.indepconsultants.org