Consumer Macro Forces Will Change the World ‘ Is Your Market Research Ready?

Once upon a time, brands competed on emotional and
functional attributes ‘ making money by selling products based on these things
alone. This was market research industry for a long time, when researchers had
it easy.
Then, one day category after category became filled with
similar products. People taught themselves how to focus in on the best set of
solutions and differentiation ultimately went away. Because of this, large
established brands lost loyalty. Over the last decade, small new entrants have
come into categories, introducing brands that come with a proposition about a
better way to live our lives.
At The Future of Consumer
Intelligence 2013
, we sat down with Coca Cola’s Tom LaForge to discuss the
implications and changes to the market research industry, as well as the
importance of macros forces and trends in market research today.
According to LaForge, who has been with Coca Cola for 15
years, a macro force is a vector that tells you where you are going. ‘It either
has to affect most people on the planet or everyone on the planet. And, there
are more of these macro forces today than there have ever been before,’ he
As LaForge looks at how the world is changing by studying
the macro forces, he sees that it will have implications for everybody because
the entire world is changing ‘ including governments, companies, and even within
companies there will be implications for how we manage brands and research.
‘I don’t know what the future is going to look like, but I
can tell you that your research and your branding and your marketing and how
you manage your company’s image are all going to be affected,’ LaForge said.
So, why do you think most corporations have a research
department? Well of course, to help the company make better decisions.
‘So, how are we going to do that? We are going to get some
data,’ explained LaForge. ‘And, that data tends to be: ‘prove it to me.’ When
people start asking for proof like that, we tend to resort to can we validate
it and is it projectable? These things are very difficult to quantify.’
In the last 25-30 years most things have been computerized, so
LaForge is finding that people who are really good at those analytical skills
are now abundant.  But, how exactly does someone
distinguish themselves in that area? Simple. 
‘What the computer can’t do, you better be able to do,’ he said.
Ultimately, the world is going to change and it’s going to
affect every single part of every organization .It just takes time to figure
out what those changes are and ask yourself, ‘What will people’s response be?
And how can we make sure our response is aligned with theirs’?

Check out the full
interview below:

This year, The Future of
Consumer Intelligence 2014
explores the emerging role of decision science
and the convergence of knowledge points – insights, foresights, social science,
marketing science and intelligence with technology as a central driving force
and profound connector.
Right now, it’s about connecting ideas to data to culture to
the future of your business and this, is the real data revolution. This year
represents the year of the multi-dimensional marketplace, and just as the
market researcher’s role evolves, so does our third annual event. FOCI is a gathering
of the “consumer culture” collective exploring common ground across
roles and industries for translating behavioral information into business
opportunity.  We hope to see you there!
Join us at FOCI 2014
in May. To register, click here:

the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a
Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the
technology industry. She can be reached at Follow
her at @AmandaCicc.