In mid-November, CUBE organized a two-day “Market Research Training Course.” For whom is this training intended? And what do the participants learn? Who better to ask than the two lecturers: Herwig Willemse, Senior Consultant Qualitative Research and freelance Market Research Consultant Pascal Mignolet.

With the two-day training, CUBE is continuing an old tradition, says Pascal. “Febelmar used to organize regular courses to quickly bring new people in the profession up to speed. Due to corona, these courses have not been organized for several years in a row and the feeling was that it would be good to revive this initiative. The intention has actually remained unchanged: to give people who have already taken their first steps in market research a broader overview of what the profession actually has to offer. And at the same time also make sure that the necessary basic concepts are well known. Knowing the difference between a, for instance, good and bad sample is obviously something that you really should master in this industry (laughs).”

“We have now given the first of two teaching days and the audience we attracted is quite heterogenous,” Herwig adds. “There are about a dozen participants. Most are newcomers, although there are also people with a little more mileage on the clock. I mainly talk about qualitative research in my class and my main intention is to give people an introduction in this domain. What is it exactly? Is this something that might interest them? How does it complement quantitative research? Stuff like that. For example, a couple of people had only dealt with quantitative research at their job, but wanted a little more insight into the qualitative story as well. And that is exactly what they got.”

Absolute basics

As the instructors point out, the course starts with the absolute basics. Herwig: “Why do we do qualitative research? What are the objectives? What methods exist? When do we use which method? The whole digital component is also covered in this, of course. We discuss how to write a well-thought-out quality proposal and how to build up an effective interview or discussion guide, what is the logic of the flow behind it? We also take a closer look at some projective techniques, and we get to work with basic analysis frameworks which originated from the work done by Censydiam in the ‘early quality days’ and that were further developed and refined by companies like Ipsos, Haystack and others. I also had the trainees handle a real case from a customer, anonymized of course, where they had to create their own proposal explaining how they would handle it.”

Pascal also starts from the beginning. “I give a general overview of the whole ecosystem of market research, with the classic division between qualitative and quantitative, but we also pay attention to behavioral economics, where we analyze consumer behavior more from a distance. A classic example of this is Facebook’s A/B testing, for example. In the next part, we will go into the basics of statistics for a few hours. I already warned the students about that (laughs). But we’re also going to try to keep this part lighthearted. For example, I have some wonderful examples of actual cases from my own career where statistical data was completely misinterpreted. I wouldn’t be surprised if that ends up being the most fun part of the whole course.”

For both teachers, the first part of the training has already left a good feeling. So that tastes like more for the future? “I think so,” says Pascal. “Febelmar did this kind of training very regularly, so I don’t see why we wouldn’t continue that tradition. As a matter of fact, it is quite necessary. I hear that a lot of agencies are currently hiring in abundance, so there is a large and constant influx of new people. That is the perfect audience for this. So as far as we’re concerned: looking forward to another edition in 2023.”


To conclude, a very practical question: is some sort of diploma provided for the trainees who complete the training? Or a certificate or something similar? The two teachers scratch behind their ears. “Erm… We haven’t thought about that yet, so I’m afraid not,” Herwig says. “But I definitely think it’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll quickly dig up some templates of diplomas on Google, so we have something to hand out (laughs).”