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Own goals in Pakistan on afpak

"The international community uses force in Pakistan and Afghanistan as if there is no other option, when, in fact, there are other largely untried levers. A public opinion survey conducted by the New America Foundation and Terror Free Tomorrow in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) shows that militancy has little organic support in the region al Qaeda has made its base, and that the United States' image there is not beyond repair."

I tend to be a bit cautious about surveys. In my experience, the questions asked, the identity of the questioner, the self image of those being questioned and a bundle of other unquantifiables can give you pretty much any result you want. The BBC Panorama documentary I worked on last year highlighting racism was made in response to comments by the head of a UK rights body that in the UK people are "increasingly comfortable with racial diversity". I'm not sure anyone asked the people who repeatedly attacked my co-reporter and I. Maybe they were asked but their idea of what constitutes "a racial background they are comfortable having live next door" didn't extend to two Muslim recent immigrants. Or maybe, the pollsters asked the people who lived a little up the road, where the houses were nicer, the pubs didn't have a weekly Friday night bloody punch up and the kids mostly went to school. Or maybe they asked people in central Bristol and ended up speaking to some of the brightest students in the country.

However, a good survey or poll is worth its weight in gold (and I mean when its printed out and bound up). The New America Foundation's recent public opinion survey for FATA is one such survey. No survey is going to give a foolproof picture of what everyone is thinking in any given area. But in a place like FATA you need to ask some pertinent questions that give an insight into the views that affect a volatile situation. The report does that brilliantly.

Another insightful and useful report was by i to i Research in the UK who launched their Afghan Futures study in the summer. i to i took on the seriously challenging task of looking at what would make Afghans think things were improving; a challenging enough quantifiable to measure within the usual confines of independent surveying without adding all the constraints of asking people questions like that in places where their answers might get them killed. A study worth looking at while I work up to giving it the full review its findings merit.


Information Operations Conference


On the 29-30th June 2010, Claire Spencer (i to i research) and Matthew Warshaw (D3 System) spoke at the International Information Operations Conference at Hotel Bloomsbury, London.

IO Europe is the leading international conference for the Influence, Strategic Communications and Psychological Operations community.

Claire and Matthew's presentation was called 'Afghan Futures: A new research study in how Afghans see their futures' and addressed questions such as;

The presentation then looked at how to leverage this information to encourage Afghans to fill the gaps between local level governance and national governance to become the active community citizens needed to take charge of their own futures.

See Claire's podcast here.


The Prostate Cancer Charity case study


Wednesday 26 May 2010
Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4AN

i to i presents case study - Uncovering the truth about the hidden cancer

      1.    The Challenges of communicating messages around prostate cancer

      2.    Addressing the challenges

      3.    What the future holds 


iCITE launch hits the news

Tuesday 27 April 2010

The launch of iCITE, a new tool to track brands and issues online, has already prompted significant interest from a variety of organisations and has been covered in the market research press.

Click here to see an article on mrweb.com


i to i appoints marketing effectiveness specialist

Monday 2 March 2009
In the UK, i to i research has appointed Tracy Hubbard as Research Director, tasked with leading the development of the agency’s innovative marketing effectiveness research tools and strengthening its new business development drive.  Among her client responsibilities will be WIRSPA and IPA dataMINE.
Hubbard joins with a strong background in brand and communications research having previously been Director of GfK NOP’s Marketing Effectiveness Centre of Excellence, where she had led the development of research approaches for marketing effectiveness testing and monitoring since 2003. Prior to this, she spent 13 years with NFO WorldGroup/BJM (now part of TNS), initially specialising in advertising & brand tracking, but latterly as a Director of their International Division.


Marketing Metrics & Evaluation

Tuesday 2 December
MWB Business Exchange, 60 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6NP

With 2009 marketing budgets under pressure, cutting costs is not optional. But how do you show a return on your marketing investment and demonstrate the business impact of your campaigns?

During this afternoon seminar, we will review how to measure integrated multi-channel campaigns, gain more insight into the evaluation of sponsorship and learn from a major case study linking customer service improvements to bottom-line business performance.
Claire Spencer, CEO, i to i research, speaker synopsis
Against the backdrop of a proliferation of channels, are multi-channel campaigns more effective? Can they be measured, how are they best measured and what are the challenges for such measurement?  Claire Spencer will provide the evidence base for the use of multi–channel and multi-discipline campaigns, and elucidate on the roles that different channels play in a communication mix.  She will give practical examples of how such campaigns can be measured and guide on some of the pitfalls in this area. In particular, she will demonstrate the effect of negative media coverage and how to determine the effect of brand communication on sales.


"The Future of Advertising Research"

WARC's annual conference, providing leading edge expertise. 

i to i research CEO, Claire Spencer, gave a thought-provoking speech about how little is known about the effectiveness of multi-channel communication.  She launched the IPA's new DataMine report she is co-authoring, which will address this gap.


“Searching for the holistic grail”

On the back of all the work we have recently been doing into multi-media or holistic evaluation, we have been asked by Admap to contribute an article for their May 2008 edition, entitled “Searching for the holistic grail”.

For a copy of the article, please click here.

For a copy of the magazine or to subscribe to Admap, visit:


“PR Metrics”

As a result of Claire Spencer’s standing and expertise in evaluating PR activity, she was asked to contribute a chapter to a book entitled “PR Metrics” which has just been published by Routledge.

For a copy of the piece, please contact Lucy Williams at lucy.williams@itoiresearch.com or call on 020 3178 2160.


New business win

i to i research is delighted to announce that we have just been appointed to carry out an important brand communications project for the Caribbean Rum Association.