Tag Archives: 3M Market Research

TMRE Day 3: Youth, Reimagining

The third and final day of The Market Research Event might have been my favorite of all. Folks dragged in for morning sessions, but the prior two days had brains pliable and social creativity was juiced.

A couple of thoughts that really stood out for me for the day:

  • -”We benchmark ourselves too much to our competitors.” Jeremy Gutsche of Trendhunter kept us engaged and, hopefully, eager to go back and challenge the drivers behind the work we’re all doing. It’s a dangerous endeavor to simply confirm biases with research. Involving the fringe and trends as a part of every project should be standard rather than a rarity.
  • -Christine Stasiw-Lazarchuk of Ford shared that, following Ford’s recasting of itself, the marketing had to reduce its headcount by 70% while budget was reduced 40%. Instead of “doing more with less,” Her response? “Treat your suppliers as partners…have them feel the success. You won’t be sorry.” Ford elected to build unique relationships with their suppliers; letting them into the room and to be a part of the conversation rather than tossing insights over the fence and wishing for the best. Those are the kinds of partnerships in which clients and vendors both win and create incremental value for brands – let’s all get there.
  • -The word cloud for day three shows us a couple of other key concepts: (a) Mobile (b) Gen Y. These concepts share young consumers and leading insights in common. You could say that youth and new-to-world methodologies were the real rock stars of The Market Research Event. Clients consistently share with us that youth are not only a significant target for today, but also harbingers of the future – a living future trend, so to speak. I challenge all of you to consider how a youth lens can reveal more about our efforts – whether we’re in advanced planning in auto and consumer tech or media where young peoples’ adoption rates can signal success or failure.

Considering all three days collectively I’m equal parts exhausted & thrilled as I know many of you are! And how do we know it was great? Our friends on Twitter had nothing else to say…

@johnmwilliamson: Great time at #TMRE in Orlando

@akpradeep: Terrific time at #TMRE in Orlando. Thanks to @IIRUSA for bringing together such a stellar group of marketing minds.

@ramiuscorp: Back from #TMRE. Had a gr8 time & met a lot of ppl.

@InsightsGal: Just back from #tmre and my just-getting-caffeinated mind is full of great learnings, new contacts, and fresh insights!

@statmaven: #TMRE…was a great conference. Great speakers, high octane contacts, Highly recommended, #mrx, #ngmr

@bakken17: #TMRE was awesome! Thanks for a great time full of learning.

It’s safe to say that TMRE was valuable again this year. The weight, now, is on all of us to DO something with these great insights. Perhaps in 2012 will be YOUR year to present on your success applying your 2011 TMRE learnings?

All the best to a great year ahead for each and every one of you.

3M Wrestles With Data Integration

‘Research Insighter’ Spotlights Synthesis Struggle

By Marc Dresner, IIR

Jiminy! Insights ain’t easy these days.

Just ask Sandy Kelly, manager of strategic customer insights for 3M Company, which seems to make just about everything’from Scotch?? tape to inhaled drug delivery systems.

Kelly was recognized at last year’s TMRE with a ‘Disruptive Innovation’ award for the fee-for-service DIY research program she introduced at 3M, whose growth continues at a steady clip of roughly 40% annually.

But while coopting runaway DIY at a Fortune 100 is no minor feat, it pales in comparison to the challenge of synthesizing 3M’s torrent of data into a holistic story that management can digest and act upon.

Surveys, conventional qualitative, CRM, sales data, syndicated data, social media analytics, usability testing and even clinical trial data’? Yikes!

According to Kelly, reconciling all of these information streams is forcing research to step outside its comfort zone.

‘The old value center for market research was always, always focused around the market research activity itself. In other words, just the tactical study,’ Kelly said. ‘But no more. Just the fact of the amounts of data that are out there prohibits us from being able to do that anymore.’

‘We’ve spent way too much time emphasizing the freaks and geeks nature of our job,’ said Kelly. ‘We need to move away from that a little bit and start to think of ourselves as visionary.’

‘I think market research may even be an antiquated name for what a market research department does now,’ she added.

Bottom line: ‘Someone should be responsibile for integrating all of this information and making it a clearer picture so that it’s usable.’

Is that individual a market researcher’or something more?

Listen to the interview here.

Read the transcript here.

Editor’s note: Sandy Kelly will be delivering a presentation titled ‘Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow: Listening to the Voice of the Complaining Customer’ at The Market Research Event November 7-9, 2011 in Orlando, FL.

For information or to register, please visit www.TheMarketResearchEvent.com.


Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz. Meet him at TMRE 2011 in Orlando this November!