How Volleyball Mentality Serves as a Blueprint for Market Research Wins

How Volleyball Mentality Serves as a Blueprint for Market Research Wins

Setting Success: How Volleyball Mentality Serves as a Blueprint for Market Research Wins

April 2024, by Babatope Alabi

With the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics just a couple of months away, I can’t help but be excited, especially to watch the best Volleyball nations compete against each other to take home the gold. As someone who has loved the sport from the moment I discovered it and has been playing for almost nine years now, I couldn’t help but think about the similarities between the sport of volleyball and market research as a practice.

Communication skills

On the volleyball court, good communication is paramount. With a number of tactics and plays you can run, it’s important to constantly be in sync with your teammates, whether it be verbally (during a time-out) or even nonverbally, using hand signs. This allows for everyone to understand their roles and overall team plan. Similarly, within the market research project team, effective communication is key to success – delivering meaningful and actionable insights to our clients. We need to be able to communicate efficiently and effectively with all members of our project team here at MM-Eye, our clients, and the suppliers we use to deliver projects.

Attention to Detail

There are so many little details that players have to pay attention to during the course of a volleyball game that can impact the outcome of the match and lead to the win, whether that be the spiker’s hand positioning before a hit or little tells that setters have when deciding who to set. Similarly, in market research, close attention must be paid to collecting, analysing, and interpreting data for our clients. From making sure only good responses are accepted, that the data analysed is accurate and that our overall findings accurately represent respondents’ views, including all the valuable nuggets and nuances. All these small details add up to being able to deliver the most informative report we can to every client.


Many times on a volleyball court, you are faced with an opposition who seems impenetrable on defence, and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get past them. This can often cause the squad to feel demoralised and defeated. However, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you have to identify your strengths and the weaknesses of the opposition and execute a game plan that works for you. Similarly, market researchers are tasked with solving complex business problems, such as identifying target markets, understanding consumer behaviour, and optimising marketing campaigns. Volleyball and market research both require creative problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles and achieve objectives.


A good game plan is almost always the key to beating your opponents, but in a game as fast-paced, dynamic and unpredictable as volleyball, you often have to change plans on the fly. Not having this skill can severely halt your development of not only you but your whole team. MM-Eye’s transition to an employee-owned business early in 2023 and our certification as a B Corp later that year has initiated and embedded a culture of continuous change and a series of improvements within our business, enhancing our client offering, introducing services to reflect some of the challenges being faced by businesses today and making our business a more rewarding place to work.

In essence, volleyball and market research may operate in different arenas, but they share fundamental skills and attributes that contribute to their respective success. By recognising these shared skills, stakeholders in both domains can leverage synergies and insights to drive performance and innovation. If you have a business challenge that you feel could benefit from market research delivered with the same levels of effective communication, attention to detail, problem-solving, and adaptation that you see in the best-performing sports teams, let’s have a chat.  Just pick a slot that suits you in the calendar below, and one of the team here at MM-Eye will be delighted to talk.