What We Do

Who Am I

Melinda Duker

Dive Master Insights & Strategy.

+61 0405 028 933


Mel has amazing energy that manifests in high volume and high quality output of strategic and tactical initiatives. Mel’s experience base is quite broad across Category management, Trade marketing and Consumer marketing which positions her perfectly to make a positive difference in any organisation. I could always rely on Mel to deliver any task or project with passion and high personal accountability.

Shane Bonello, Sales Director
Pacific Region, The Wrigley Company Pty Ltd

Melinda is passionate about understanding consumer emotions, needs and actions and how these translate into strategies that will drive a client’s top line sales and bottom line business. She is intellectually curious, immersed in the latest thinking on research techniques and provides an insightful & actionable service to her clients. Enthusiastic, and fun to work with, her broad experience give her an ability to speak plainly on business issues. She excels at collaborating with clients to find the best solution.

Katharine Milner ,Director-Qualitative Insights
The Leading Edge

Mel exhibits strong traits as a researcher.  From a project management point of view, Mel is highly organised and motivated, and anticipates next steps displaying strong initiative. From a research perspective, Mel’s greatest skills lie in her inherent understanding of client issues. This understanding ensures that she designs and executes projects that lead to meaningful insights for clients. Mel is a pleasure to work with and comes highly recommended.

Courtney Sullivan, Associate Director
The Nielsen Company

Tales From the Deep

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Last week I spent a thought provoking afternoon at the Vivid Ideas Shake, Rattle & Roll event.  I walked away …

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Thinking Like An Entrepreneur

Last week I spent a thought provoking afternoon at the Vivid Ideas Shake, Rattle & Roll event.  I walked away at the end of the event thinking about the disconnect between a research industry geared towards serving corporates and the world of agile start ups and the entrepreneurs that run them.


Why the disconnect?

When I asked the question of the 6 panelists…. And I’m talking key people within Uber, Spotify, Society One…. Not one talked about any sort of formal research as they have ventured on their journey of creating a successful busienss. I asked the question directly during the Q&A. As close as any of the panelists came to research came was Matt from Society One pretending to be a barista at a mortgage brokerage so he could listen in to people going through the process (credit to Matt on this one…. clever way to gain insight into consumer pain points). Kate from Spotify talked about how any new features they were planning to roll out at Spotify are trialled by the staff before being launched to the public. Not a mention of recruitment specs, group rooms or even a survey.

My Take Outs Of Thinking Like An Entrepreneur:

Individual Experience Drives The Idea: 

Entrepreneurs are working off their own pain points and personal experience to understand a need. They are then thinking creatively to develop solutions to meet that need. Viagogo was created after getting ripped off by a scalper selling tickets that were promised to be right up the front and instead were nose bleed seats. If it is an issue for them than it must be an issue for others. Figure out what you need to do to fix the pain point and get on with it! 

For our corporate friends…. How close are you to the consumer… Seriously????? Looking for innovation? Spend more time in their shoes! Immersions anyone?



Consolidation Of Thoughts:

Most entrepeneurs are clear on the consumer issue they are looking to solve and how to solve it… but that is where the marketing strategy seems to stall. I do apologise here as I didn’t get a chance to talk in depth with all the panelists following the event but one example from one of the conversations was that the company knew they needed to make more people aware of their offer, had organised a media deal and then went “ahhhhh….. now what did we say?” Things like a brand pyramid or the like are just not in their vocabulary or skill set.

While entrepreneurs seem to have a clear idea of the consumer problem they want to solve and are confident in the solution to solve it where they can come unstuck is structure. If researchers and consultants do we need to treat the entrepreneur as the respondent, understand what they are thinking and help organise and consolidate their thinking to give them clarity of direction. Is this where our industry can add value into their business? 



The Data They Have:

What these entrepreneurs do value is their consumers. And what these consumers provide is real time honest feedback. Social media is often the main, sometimes only, media channel for these start ups. Social media as a research tool comes to the fore in this situation where entrepreneurs are using this as their market research and using the feedback for their decision making. It’s lean….no recruitment costs, no group rooms…. And interestingly no analysis and reporting costs.

How can we simplify our process to meet their lean needs or help them get depth from social media responses?


To listen to these leaders of  successful start ups talk about how they used their own understanding of the market and rely on their instinct on how to solve a consumer need was a wake up call to the traditional research industry. As technology makes it increasingly easier for everyday people go start their own business it highlights our need as researchers to understand what makes these entrepreneurs, as our potential consumers, tick.

What are their pain points with us as researchers and most importantly how do we add value to their business?

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Melinda Duker
+61 0405 028 933