Team Spotlight: Guto Hunkin

Guto Hunkin recently joined Impact as an Associate Director in the Utilities team. In his short time at Impact, he has already been busy working across different sectors, clients and research approaches. We wanted to get to know Guto more:

Why did you choose to work in market research?

My degree was in social policy and sociology, so I had a natural interest in social research to discover more about society and what are the important dynamics which influences it. As part of my degree, I had come across a number of published studies from the first company that I worked for as a trainee research executive – so when I saw that they were recruiting for a trainee research executive, I jumped on the opportunity! I loved the fact that the company worked for some of the best-known organisations in Wales, influencing their decisions and strategies – and that’s something I’ve enjoyed throughout my career.

Which clients/ sectors do you work with?

I’ve been at Impact for just over three months and I’ve already been involved in a range of interesting research projects and proposals, including for water companies, organisations which promote energy efficiency and innovation, a newly launched bank, and a regional public sector organisation which helps organisations decarbonise.

What do you think is the biggest challenge the market research industry faces?

I think if you ask that question about most sectors then you’ll probably get the same response: AI. It’s a huge development for the industry, which will raise challenges (e.g. will organisations turn to AI for insights where they previously used market research – but can it really replicate the quality of insights you get from a survey which interacts with actual customers or stakeholders?) but also opportunities (e.g. AI may be used to streamline several processes as long as there are sufficient checks on what’s being produced). Luckily, ever since I’ve been a researcher, I’ve seen how the market research industry has always successfully adapted, adopted and evolved to changing technologies and innovation – when I started, research was primarily conducted on paper, analysed with holecounts, and presented using acetate slides on overhead projectors (but enough of that, as I’m showing my age now)!

What are your interests outside of work?

I love spending as much time as possible with the family, going for walks, excursions and activities on the weekend, or travelling to new countries for holidays. I feel very fortunate to have been able to travel to so many countries, and we’re always looking for the next new country to visit and explore. I also enjoy running and keeping fit, whether that’s training for half marathons or just running after the kids or kicking a ball in the back garden! Other interests include reading (mixture of novels, world history or climate related books), watching films and television.

What is your favourite pizza topping?

Not sure if I have a favourite topping as I enjoy trying different pizzas, and sometimes you can’t beat a simple margherita pizza (I grew up eating cheese on toast, so no wonder I enjoy margheritas). Pizzas with a runny egg on top though are always good (same for crepes).

What is your spirit animal and why?

A mountain goat. Why? I love mountains and I once slept in a stone hut on top of a mountain (Cader Idris) – when I woke up the hut was inside a cloud, and next to me was a sleeping sheep and a mouse!

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