It is widely recognised that data-driven businesses can race ahead of their competitors. But what separates the best from the rest is not the amount of research and data, but rather the impact these have on people, the decisions they make and the actions they take. Mindset can be both the greatest barrier and driver to business growth

So the challenge is not just about sourcing the right market facts, mining data or acquiring insights; nor is it just about skills training to improve capabilities. Rather, it is INCORPORATING all of these capabilities. As it is the extent to which people LEARN from real market data and information and be able to turn this into profitable advantage that helps them outsmart competitors and win in their markets. Remember: marketing is a zero-sum game, and you can’t win unless you are smart enough to take away from someone else (hence why ‘market share’ is a KPI). Nothing more is needed. Nothing less will do.


"Before you can change what people do, you need to, first of all, change how they think."

Getting people to change their game can be difficult when they don’t recognize the real market challenges they need to address. Especially when decisions and actions are taken based on self-perpetuating beliefs and mistaken assumptions that no longer hold true in markets of rapid change and global competition.

We learned from experience that the secret to getting people to do the right things to win in their markets, largely depends on helping people to face up to the right market challenges by empowering them with the right market perspectives. As when people gain the right perspectives, the right actions become instinctive.

Based on our experience and learning from working with clients across the world (UK, USA, across Europe, China and Russia), we saw how the right type of market and marketing effectiveness intelligence presented in the right ways can inspire teams to think more strategically in how they can win in their markets. Using this knowledge and experience, we created a range of programmes that improve the capability of commercial teams to think more strategically about competing in their markets. Programmes that are specially designed to address the most common challenges that business leaders face when looking to raise the game in their business and in their markets.


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Key Management

Michael Ballard

"Penetrating. And you challenge and do a lot of provocative stimulation …you have a good, questioning mind that gets under the skin of issues … how to step aside from the constructs and the paradigms and the data and the self-perpetuated beliefs.”

Mark Waller, SVP Sales & Marketing DIAGEO North America

Managing Partner

Michael Ballard

Michael is an experienced leader in strategic marketing, market research & planning. A first-class honours graduate, it was during a 10-year period working at Mars that he first discovered how hard it can be for even the most customer-centred companies to deliver on the things that really matter in their markets. And was an instrumental force in the transformation of pet products to the quality and wide selection available to pet owners today.

He has also spent 5 years as Planning Director, then Marketing, Director for Diageo, at the forefront of the battle to re-establish gin and scotch whisky as drinks-of-choice for the American consumer. And as Global Product and Service Director at Aegis Group plc, he was a leading force in the development of Carat as the world’s largest independent media agency, also the expansion of the group into communications planning and market research.

He has lived and worked based in the UK and USA, and in roles involving leading people across Europe, Russia, Latin America and Asia.

Michael  mentors those working in market research. And has written many articles on the effective use of research intelligence, as well as being co-author of a book, “Rigorous Inspiration”. Its focus is to provide the practical principles and know-how for leading profitable, consumer driven change.

Jean Wong

“You have to try to get people to buy into a project in a way that they are excited about. You have to get people to be enthusiastic about change. And you know, not everyone can do that ... that’s exactly the role that you played and I don’t think we could have built the business without you."

David Verklin, CEO, Carat North America

Managing Partner

Jean Wong

Jean draws on a career in building understanding in the psychology of consumers, developing brands and inspiring profitable change inside three of the largest international marketing services groups, Dentsu Aegis Media Group, IPSOS/Censydiam and WPP. Where she pioneered a number of innovative brand development tools and research methodologies which were instrumental in the development of these companies internationally.

She loves cutting through complexity and helping people to see and think differently about their markets. She is particularly skilled in leading people through a journey of discovery, personal realization and insight. Her special skills lie in drawing meaning from the numbers, crystallizing this into decision-making frameworks for communication and translating these into commercial implications for action.

With over 25 years experience, working with blue-chip clients in more than 20 countries, she has a proven track record in inspiring extraordinary improvements in market performance and market share gains across many different sectors and on an international stage, with on-the-ground consumer experience across Europe, US, Russia, India and China.