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IntoTheMinds consulting blog
Advice in Data & IT

Good resolution #1: be more selective

In April 2015 I started a new Big Data assignment in Brussels. I was (and still am) spending most of my time in the eastern part of Brussels. I then realized I was working not far away from a former colleague of mine whom I used to work with when I was still at Volkswagen. It was more than 10 years I hadn’t seen him and I told to myself it would be great to meet up after all of those years. Around Christmas, when I wanted to reconnect with him, I learned he had passed away a month before.

This prompted me to think about how to better enjoy life and not miss the best part of it.

Be more selective when choosing market research assignments

Ten years ago I wasn’t selective at all when accepting assignments. I was fearing to have not enough work to make living (which as fortunately NEVER happened since I started the company). I ended up in a situation where the IntoTheMinds agency was up and running 6 days a week and where I, as the manager of this SME, was working 7 days a week.

Everyone has an Ikigai

Although I love my job and define myself as a workaholic, I tend to think my life is worth more than just working and making money. When drafting this article I stumbled upon the japanese concept of “Ikigai” and realized it pretty much corresponded to my current state of mind.

I’m fortunate enough to make a living by doing everyday what I like most : researching customers’ behaviors through a variety of qualitative and quantitative technique. Yet, I still want to dedicate time to projects I care for, to my causes and passions. And this may not necessarily overlap with clients’ assignments.

Our selection criteria for 2016

I started around 2008 to refuse some contracts. At that time the demand went up but our capacities to carry out more research remained stabled. To be aligned with my causes, I decided at that time to refuse working for insurance companies and banks. This ban on two sectors which have consistently been parasites for consumers still holds. I leave it to competitors to handle assignments for companies with unethical behaviors.

In 2016 I want to strengthen the selection criteria even more and focus on though assignments; those which competitors are too afraid to make an offer for. I’ll therefore refuse demands for quantitative assignments (satisfaction surveys for instance) where we have little added value. The ideal market research assignment would be one where a qualitative phase is first needed to understand a complex decision dynamics, and then extends in a quantitative phase where Big Data takes all its meaning.


Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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