Tag Archives: data

Diverse Demographics: Breaking Stereotypes

Millennials are the most diverse generation
in history ‘ only 59% are Caucasian and 27% have an immigrant background (Deloitte, 2015). Therefore, it’s no surprise that this
demographic expects brands to embrace and reflect the diversity of their lives
‘ a trend previously highlighted by Stylus Life in our report No
normal: Post-diversity marketing
. If brands are to do this successfully, they
must move beyond crude stereotyping to represent a broad spectrum of race,
gender and sexuality.
For instance, Muslim millennials offer
growing opportunities for brands
‘ the Muslim consumer lifestyle market is
predicted to reach $2.6tn by 2020. The modern yet faith-driven outlook of this
group, along with a growing disposable income, will see them buy into brands
that reflect or understand their values. Make-up brand CoverGirl is already
tapping into this lucrative demographic with its latest brand ambassador ‘beauty
blogger and hijab wearer Nura Afia
. One of a growing number of Muslim
beauty bloggers, her new role demonstrates the importance and appeal of diverse

Beauty brands are working particularly hard
to cater to often forgotten demographics. A new initiative from L’Oreal
offers free step-by-step audio tutorials
to give visually impaired women
more independence. The usability has been carefully considered to fit the needs
of this consumer group ‘ the cosmetic and skincare tutorials are concise to fit
into everyday habits, while the app’s customisable user interface features a
monochrome palette and large text.
Also targeting a currently under-catered
market, UnBeweavable
is an on-demand hair service specifically for women of colour.
On-demand beauty services, which provide a stylist straight to your home or
workplace, have been rising in popularity for some time now ‘ yet UnBeweavable
Hair is the first tailored to the specific needs of this demographic.

Created by Zina Alfa, it was inspired by her own difficulties in finding
hairdressers who understood her needs. Made by a woman of colour for other
women of colour, this case study shows that if brands want to provide products and
services that appeal to all, they must improve the diversity of their

Rebecca Minkoff recently highlighted the
need for diverse workforces, citing the lack
of female employees in technology companies
(and STEM fields in general) as
a key reason why wearables are not currently capturing female consumers. The
fashion designer also mentions examples of having to explain female
expectations and behaviours ‘ such as taking jewellery off at night ‘ that were
missed by an all-male team.
There’s a popular saying promoting better
gender and race representation that suggests ‘you cannot be what you cannot
see’ ‘ but this could easily be extended to ‘you cannot create for audiences
you don’t represent and understand’. Which is why companies with diverse workforces
are more likely to financially outperform those that are not (McKinsey,
2015). So if you want to ensure your products appeal to an increasingly diverse
consumer landscape, you’d better start with your job adverts.

Brought to you by Stylus Life, creativity and innovation news
from around the web.

Facts Don’t Have to Die

This post was
originally published on the Sentient
Decision Science Blog

‘Stories last and facts die,’ Kelsey
 stated on day four of TMRE.
The Schwan Company’s manager of consumer insights and
analytics held a fun workshop called ‘Your
Voice’the Power to Slay the Two Dragons of Storytelling.’
 By leading
participants in two creative writing exercises, she encouraged market
researchers to ditch the corporate speak that plagues our presentations and
find our own human voice.
If it sounds like Saulsbury didn’t know her audience, be
assured she did. She addressed the certain skepticism held by any data
analysts or behavioral scientists in the room by conceding that the type of
presentation should depend on the client.
‘A client once told me before a presentation that if I
showed him one number, he’d walk out,’ an audience member offered.
Saulsbury nodded, asking audience members to cut down on the
slide decks and get to the point faster.
‘When putting together reports we’re often afflicted by the
No Data Left Behind Syndrome,’ she said with a laugh. ‘Less is not lazy.’
Big Data Dominance

Are executives so exhausted by tables and charts that
they’re letting data die? According to Alec Ross,
there’s no way. As data becomes more abundant, industries become more efficient.
And data is incredibly abundant.
‘Ninety percent of the world’s data in the totality of human
history has been produced in the last two years,’ said the former senior
advisor for technology and innovation at the State Department.
‘The sum of all the data from paintings on cave walls to
2003, we now produce that amount of data every two days’ over 16 billion
networked devices.’
So how do we leverage that?
In ‘We
Are Not in Kansas Anymore’Consumer Insights in the Age of Big Data’
Senior Director of Consumer Insights and Analytics, Heiko Schafer,
admitted it can be overwhelming.
‘Big CPGs are under tremendous pressure,’ he said.
Schafer quoted Ross’s note about how 70,000 data points are
available about all of us. The pressure comes in reconciling these new
data streams and business models.
Companies like Walmart use the newly available data sets to
integrate things like geolocationing, sensors, and digital media into their
skill set. The result can be incredibly informed, targeted marketing.
Data as a Storyteller
We urge our analysts at Sentient to also highlight
conflicts between data and its context. Those conflicts might reveal important
insights the client wasn’t even looking for.
Saulsbury suggested that researchers begin presentations
with the most compelling findings. ”Don’t bury the lede,” she quoted.
Schafer illustrated with a study about the sales
of colored pencils.
Data in graph form showed peaks in colored pencil sales
where you might expect them’Christmas, Easter, and at the start of the school
year’as well as a general increase in year-over-year sales.
Researchers could have accepted the numbers as they stood,
but they knew something was off. Birth rates in the United States had dropped
off in the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and so there are actually fewer
school-age children enrolled in the areas they were looking at.
‘What is going on [with the data]? What’s driving this? Why
is it happening’? Schafer posed.
As it turns out, the reason colored pencil sales are going
up is because the sales of adult coloring books are going up. Why was that
happening? Researchers then looked at social media conversations and Google
Trends and saw that a lot of adults are stressed out. They’re looking
for creative escapes.
Where the data says sales of colored pencils are up, the
true story is that sales of colored pencils are up because burned out adults
are looking for catharsis in coloring books.
Imagine how much money could have been wasted on marketing
to the wrong demographic.
Truth Is Important;
So Is How You Share It

If data equals truth, truth should trump all in market
research, right? Not if no one is listening to it.
That’s why storytelling is part of Sentient’s DNA.
Yes, we are a company that’s expert in advanced
implicit research technology, the consumer subconscious, and quantifying the
impact of emotion on choice. Our technologies are coupled with deep knowledge
of behavioral economics, emotional branding, and quantitative models of the
drivers of human behavior.
But the value of our insights comes from the stories we tell
about data.
People support and share ideas they have an emotional
connection to. By crafting our insights in a way
that inspires emotion, we give data a better chance to resonate with
our audience. We don’t just reel off numbers, we help clients understand
why they should care about those numbers.

Facts and data don’t have to die. We can use stories to
help keep them alive.

Enter to Win 2 Free Passes OmniShopper International in London

Are you a retailer? Do you like free things? Well, submit
your information to win 2 passes to OmniShopper International taking place
15-17 November at the London Marriott West India Quay in London: http://bit.ly/2faOoLA

You will join a roster of leading retailers, FMCG manufacturers and industry
experts from all throughout the European market including:

‘ John Lewis
‘ Samsung
‘ Tesco
‘ Harrods
‘ Mothercare
‘ Dreams UK
‘ Shell Retail
‘ Coca Cola
‘ Kimberly-Clark
‘ Barilla France
‘ Beiersdorf
‘ Ferrero
‘ Fjordland
‘ Johnson & Johnson
‘ Mondelez
‘ Nestle
‘ Ontex
‘ PepsiCo
‘ Perfetti van Melle
‘ Strauss Group
‘ Swedish Match
‘ Unilever
‘ Heineken
‘ Philips
‘ And many more!

Visit the website for more information about the full program: http://bit.ly/2aWHmCx

Enter to win here: http://bit.ly/2faOoLA for a chance for you and a
colleague to join 250 like-minded retailers and FMCG manufacturers and
suppliers. Good luck!

We hope to see you in London!

The OmniShopper Team

6 Tips Marketing Researchers Can Learn From Social Media

This post was
originally published on Lightspeed
GMI’s blog

Social media has caused a massive shift in the way people
communicate, interact and share experiences and personal interests. Consumers
are always on, always connected. Consumers build unique online relationships;
they are connected to brands, athletes, teams, family, friends and co-workers
on multiple channels. Sharing everything from political views to favorite
products, social media users are leaking valuable information and insights for
researchers to take advantage of.

Marketing researchers have adapted Mobile
First best practices
; but are we also looking to benefit from the same
openness and flexibility that social media platforms have to offer? There are
six ways to successfully engage and capture relevant and actionable
feedback from your panelists based on social media best practices:
Focus on
people, not metrics: Our
industry refers to panelists, not people. Are
we focusing on why individuals are dropping out of surveys? Are we worried
about their enjoyment of a survey or just survey completes? Create consumer
conversations, not metrics.  
to Digital Stats, 92% of consumers say they trust earned media like personal
recommendations above other forms of advertising.
 Authentic brands do
better on social media, but trust is earned over time. If you want to capture
genuine consumer insights, treat your online survey as you would a social media
account. Be honest and upfront about your intent.
don’t push:
 Want to get better research? Consider the way you are
asking questions. Similiar to social media posts, consumers favor shorter,
visually appealing surveys with a strong narrative structure.Engage
your respondents first, ask questions later.
Let the
consumer decide:
video, text or photo? Social media platforms are
constantly evolving, but they always remain focused on consumer adoption. According
to Spinklr, marketers need to find new ways to capture the attention of the
consumer who has seen just about everything
. Every day, more and more
individuals are starting surveys on their mobile devices over PCs. They are
deciding when and what device to take the survey; why not let them decide on
the format? We design for cross-device research, so why not design
Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you want to reach
your target audience with relevant content ‘ photos, posts and videos. Like
social media, marketing research is a crowded space; panelists are flooded with
survey invites daily. Be relevant: ask
the right questions, in the right sequence to the right audience.
first, technology second:
 Social media planning 101 = interactions
first, channel second. Allow your panelists, not technology, to drive the
future of the industry. Are marketing researchers allowing technology to
dictate the future or panelists? Are you focused on building mobile research
apps or consumer feedback apps?
Gaining success in social media isn’t easy; it’s a process,
a way of thinking. Social media can be used to create and collect customer
intelligence through listening techniques. And this can also ring true in the
online survey world. Think about it: Brands have the capacity to cultivate
conversations with consumers…but often don’t. Researchers who are successful
in gaining insights from surveys are the ones who allow the consumer to take
the wheel and drive how marketers can collect information from them. Platforms
such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram allow users to be
creative and communicate in whatever method is enjoyable to them.  Why not
allow online panelists that same freedom? By allowing panelists to communicate
with you through mediums that are most enjoyable to them, through video for
example, you could garner more authentic and elaborate feedback. Rather than
force tedious or possibly challenging lengthy open text responses, try allowing
an option for using text or video responses. Instead of requiring respondents
to rate a product on a variety of features through a MaxDiff exercise, try
engaging them in conversation through communities or discussion boards.

The perfect solution for the survey world isn’t available in
140 characters or less, unfortunately. But the successes of social media are
ours to grow from.

Alligators in the Board Room

By: Christina Luppi, Manager, Sentient
Decision Science

This post was originally published on the Sentient Decision Science Blog.
‘Command the Board Room’ is the theme at TMRE 2016. A lofty
goal, perhaps. But maybe not so lofty if you’re equipped with the right
, TMRE 2016′s chairperson, immediately endeared himself to the audience
by dubbing himself the ‘biggest failure’ in the ballroom. He cited multiple
tanked businesses, several career restarts, and a credit score of 300
to support the claim. Why so eager to have his failures be known? To help
people better understand how they can succeed.
‘Insights teams need to play a critical role in the board
room,’ Yu stressed. When decision makers want to know why big
ideas fail, they find the answer is often human.
Even when the desirability is validated, when the
concepts are good and the budgets are excellent, ideas can
bomb because of people.
People run into walls of fear when approached with a
new idea, said Yu. Next, they run into walls of apathy because so
many things are competing for their interest. Lastly, they run into walls of
disbelief and are desperate for proof.
‘Ideas don’t sell themselves,’ Yu explained. ‘You can’t just
have the right content. It requires us becoming champions in the board room.
Those walls are human dynamics and exist even with the right content.’
The walls Yu mentioned aren’t about what is right and wrong,
they’re emotional barriers all marketers have to deal with at some
point. Insights help us break through.
TMRE keynote speaker Zoe Chance left
corporate marketing to get her PhD because she wanted to study the complexities
of decision making. Really, frustration in the field made her determined
to help people make research-based decisions that make sense, rather than see
them go with their gut.
What she found is that marketers actually need to suck
it up and learn to work better with the board members who make gut
decisions’that’s just who we are as a species. Humans are ruled by
‘alligator psychology,’ she noted.
Something we know as System
1 thinking
‘I refer to [System 1 and System 2] as the
‘alligator brain’ and the ‘court,” Chance explained. ‘System 1 is unconscious,
fast’ an automatic decision maker. We only imagine the court is making more
decisions than it is.’
Rather than trying to force feed data down the throats
of people who won’t swallow, Chance suggested researchers better understand
the emotional motivations of our System 1 brains
She outlined five key forces of influence:
Labeling: Giving a name to behavior you want to
encourage or discourage.
Ease: Ease of use is a more powerful
motivator than even pleasure. This is a principle practiced to perfection by
companies like Amazon and Uber.
Attention: Moments of truth, open loops,
and the Zeigarnik effect.
Scarcity: Operates through loss aversion.
‘Hot potato’: When faced with resistance,
instead of pushing, hand back a problem to solve.
Notice the acronym? ‘If you’re going to walk an alligator,
it helps to have a LEASH,’ Chance said with a smile.
Of course, alligators can be lazy. They sometimes need
persuading to bite.
, best-selling author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics talked
about the power of incentives in marketing.
‘Never underestimate the power of free. It doesn’t matter
how much of something somebody’s got, how much they’re worth; the alligator
part of our brain’ will just zap at it.’
To illustrate, Dubner told a story of how the world-renowned
Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles dealt with a particular problem, a big
problem. Doctors were not washing their hands.
Yes, really.
The issue wasn’t a matter of education’doctors know the
science and danger of bacteria’it was a matter of communication. How do
you tell medical professionals they must do something they already know they
must do?
The hospital tried incentivizing a hand washing program with
Starbucks gift cards. And the wealthy MDs snapped them up as though they
couldn’t afford their own coffee.
‘They turned a life and death problem into a game they
wanted to play,’ said Dubner. But the card didn’t raise the overall rate of hand washing.
‘Data can get you at the ‘what’ pretty easily, and the
‘what’ didn’t work. The ‘why’ is complicated.’
Why gets into psychology, sometimes even into
religion. It also delves into the subconscious. What doctors would admit
they don’t wash their hands in a hospital?
‘Self-reported data is close to worthless,’ said
Dubner. ‘This is why we need to know not what people are telling you they
will do; we need to get data about what they actually will do.’
Eventually, the board at Cedars-Sinai created graphic
images of the bacteria found on their own hands and placed the image
on every computer screen saver at Cedars-Sinai. By showing doctors the
danger and triggering an emotional response, the research team got the
hand-washing rate up to 100-percent almost overnight.
‘If that’s the way the human brain works, let’s find a way
to take advantage of that and exploit it for some good,’ Dubner concluded.

In that light, understanding alligator brain actually
sounds pretty rational.

It’s Happening! Data is Exploding! How Are You Leveraging It?

By: Praveen
Srikantaiah, Blueocean Market Intelligence Sr. Market Research Manager
In 2016, there will be 5.5 million new things connected to
each other. By 2020, there will be 20.8 billion connected things, says Gartner.
There is a sudden increase in the amount of data being
generated everyday by people, machines, and things. All of this data, when
collected, stored and analyzed can reveal valuable insights for companies. For
example, a Boeing 737′s engine generates 10 terabytes of information during a
30-minute flight.[1]
Presently, this vast amount of information goes unattended. What if companies
could harness this information in real-time? Imagine the kind of insights they
would have access to. It could help the ground control center take corrective
actions in time, saving both lives and assets worth millions.
In a smart home, devices are connected to each other and can
communicate. This generates a lot of data that should be managed well for the entire
system to function effectively. This same data can also be used by retailers to
provide services like groceries, refills, and so on to create a seamless flow
of information between systems and security. In farming, John Deere is using internet
of things (IoT) installed in farm machineries to provide farmers with
information related to crops and best practices in farming.[2] In short, they
are now also selling data besides tractors. According to a report by McKinsey,
the IoT business will deliver $6.2 trillion of revenue by 2025.[3]
The challenge lies in harnessing ‘ storing, managing,
analyzing, and synthesizing ‘ this enormous amount of unstructured data that
will only grow every day. According to an IDC report, by 2019, service
providers will have to increase datacenter capacities by 750 percent, thanks to
Do organizations have the bandwidth to handle unstructured data at that scale?
What about storage? How do we manage the unstructured data that is coming in at
such a huge volume, speed, and variety? Can an organization’s current analytics
engine process this quantum of information? These are the questions every
organization looking to leverage the power of IoT should think about now.
To understand customers better and gain a competitive
advantage, it is important for companies to take charge of their data.  The major challenges that companies primarily face
are structured around data storage, management and analytics.

Data Storage ‘ SaaS or On-Premise?
A tough question that many face is where to store their
data.  Is it at the company’s data
centers on premise, or on the cloud or a mix of both?  Unfortunately, there is no one answer to that
question.  The answer depends on the company
business model, goals around harnessing data for decision-making and industry

For example, for companies in the healthcare industry, regulation and
compliance it may be an issue, but for others in transportation, accessing data
real-time and taking action will be crucial.
Regardless of the choice companies make, they must focus on
some core areas of concern such as scalability, security, auditability and
access of data. 
Data Management ‘ Data as a Service?
When ‘data management’ comes to mind, people often think
about ‘database management.’ ‘Database management’ deals with managing the data
that gets stored in an organization’s systems. 
‘Data management’ on the other hand, deals with provisioning data to
internal parties such as stakeholders and decision makers. 

It is very important for companies to think of ‘data management’ through the
lens of the end data ‘consumer.’ 
Sorting, arranging and categorizing data, and making it consumable to
users is an important step that organizations often overlook.  If there is a lot of data that is not
organized in a specific pattern, sequence or a recognizable format, it is as
good as useless.  In fact, one can argue
that it is a drain on the budget and a waste of money to even collect that
Companies must wisely choose who performs this function in
the organization and what tools and technologies are to be employed.  SaaS tools such as LiNK automate most ‘data management’ steps and
allows organizations to harness the power of an integrated view of multiple
data sets emanating from a variety of sources.
Data Analytics
Once data is stored, organized and made available comes the
last but very exciting step in the data lifecycle management. 
Historically, organizations have relied on one or two sources
of data as ‘sources of Truth.’  In
reality, organizations can benefit from having a 360 view
of their business by intelligently analyzing an ensemble of data from a variety
of sources.
Challenges around data analytics should not only focus on
the data sets or tools and techniques organizations should employ.  The future will be one where the analytics
departments will be forced to be agile and nimble in order to be more predictive,
and drive faster and better decision-making.
Blueocean Market
Intelligence is a global analytics and insights provider that helps
corporations realize a 360-degree view of their customers through data
integration and a multi-disciplinary approach that enables sound, data-driven
business decision. To learn more, visit www.blueoceanmi.com.

How Are You Treating Your Organizational Data?

By: Anil Damodaran, Blueocean
Market Intelligence Assistant Vice President

Data fragmentation has been a topic of conversation at
varying levels of intensity for many decades. However, the challenge has grown tremendously
due to an increase in the number of data sources and devices in use, at the
workplace and home. Today, data is generated and stored not only on office PCs
and laptops, but on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, online storage
devices, and more.
Most of this data is generated in bits and pieces during
various activities like exchange of emails, feedbacks, chats, IoT feed
captures, and pilot surveys. It lies around in devices or unused drives, and
often treated as office stationery, until one day someone suddenly realizes the
cost implications of this recklessness. According to research from Salesforce,
about 53 percent of organizational data is left unanalyzed that could otherwise
have signified an opportunity for decision makers.[1]
The problem, at a grass-roots level, is leaving data unattended with disparate
sources and not implementing proper data governance.
So what can we do?
Data fragmentation can be addressed if you start considering
data generated within your organization as a corporate asset. By doing so, it
will become more instinctive to institute practices and processes of measuring
data. Once you can measure their data, it becomes easier to tag the data based
on business relevance and quality attributes.
For example, in almost all companies large and small, it is
common to take stock of infrastructure ‘ tangible and intangible ‘ and tag
them, such as company IP, laptops, mouse, and so on to the employee using it.
Similarly, are you then tagging your data generated within your organization to
its source, purpose, time, format and so on? It has been found that only 13
percent organizations have properly integrated data and predictive insights
extensively into their entire business operations.[2]
Companies that drive their businesses using data-driven strategies are five
percent more productive and realize six percent higher profits.[3]
Here are some of the traits of an organization that treat
data as an asset vs. those that do not.[4]
Organization that treats data as an asset
Organization that does not treat data as an
Is more innovative
innovative and tends to become commoditized in the long run
Is more customer-centric
products to customers, instead of
developing products based on customer needs
Harbors a culture of openness and collaboration
and hierarchy based system tend to keep
data in silos
decisions are data-driven
Run on
personal experience and intuitions
processes and performance are measured based on feedback and analytical
Practices age-old business processes; no system for
measuring business performance
Risk mitigation
is proactive
mitigation is reactive
What kind of an organization are you and what is your
biggest challenge with the evolution? Share with us your experience and views.
Blueocean Market Intelligence is
a global analytics and insights provider that helps corporations realize a
360-degree view of their customers through data integration and a
multi-disciplinary approach that enables sound, data-driven business decision.
To learn more, visit www.blueoceanmi.com.

Are You Prepared for the Future of Insights?

If you aren’t, don’t worry. TMRE is here to help.
Insights is under pressure. Pressure to reduce costs.
Pressure to cut timelines. Pressure to not only produce numbers, but a story
that can be sold to the business. TMRE 2016 helps command the boardroom by
delivering actionable strategies to leverage insights as a vehicle for
influence. The best in the industry will converge to talk technology,
disruptive trends, professional skill development, hot new sectors, and the
future customer.
If you want to be prepared for these big changes and the future
of the insights industry, don’t miss these sessions:
Macroeconomic Forecasting, Consensus, And
Individual Forecaster: A Real-Time Approach
Azhar Iqbal, Director of Econometrician,
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
Brand Building In A Digitally Connected World
Anthony Michelini, Global Director,
Strategy and Insights, Citibank
Catch A Rising Star: Leveraging Consumer Trends
For New Product Success
Michelle Monkoski, Consumer Insights
Director, Sargento Foods
Barbara Kilcoyne, Consumer Insights Manager,
Sargento Foods
Embedding Social Tools in Core Business
Processes to Effectively Welcome Millennials Into Your Workforce
Nahal Yousefian, Director of Culture and
Engagement, Tesco
Enhancing The Workplace Experience For Women
Through Re-Imagining The Washroom
Stephanie Magnan, Associate Program
Marketer, Global Marketing & Innovation, Kimberly-Clark Professional
Bruce Williamson, Director, Global
Marketing & Innovation, Kimberly-Clark Professional
The Next Generation Research Function: Six
Skills To Make Your Team Future Proof
Kassandra Barnes, Director of Customer
Intelligence, CareerBuilder
Enough Of The Millenials, Lets Talk About
Generation Z And Future Of Auto
Smita Premkumar, Ph.D, Director, Cox
Sonia Kher, Associate Manager, Cox
The Emerging Cannabis Consumer Marketplace
Emily Paxhia, Founding Partner &
Director of Relations, Poseidon Asset Management
The Future Of Digital Engagement: How Millennial
& Gen Z Behaviors Are
Wynne Tyree, Founder and President, Smarty
The Changing Role Of Market Research In This New
Customer Experience (Cx) Era
Doug Cottings, Staff VP, Market Strategy
& Insights, WellPoint
The Future Of Beauty ‘ In The Context Of The
Millennial Beauty Journey
Debra Coomer, Sr. Director Marketing
Analytics and Customer Insights, Ulta Beauty
Future-Proofing Primary Research Projects With
Honda R&D
Eri Maeda, Research Group Leader, Advancing
Product Planning, Honda R&D America
Big Data And Deep Analytics: The Industries Of
The Future
Alec Ross, New York Times Best-Selling
Author, The Industries of the Future, Former Senior Advisor, Technology and
Innovation at the State Department
View the full agenda: http://bit.ly/2cC5P5f
Don’t get left in the
past. Get your ticket to the future of insights at TMRE. Use exclusive LinkedIn
discount code TMRE16LI for $100 off the current rate:
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morning coffee while you read a thoughtful article on a new trend, watch an
interview with an influential insights leader, or an in-depth talk by a top

The TMRE Team

Whole Brain Thinking: The New Insights Mindset

By: Steve August
In the September 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review, there is a remarkable article titled
‘Building and Insights Engine.’ Its three co-authors, Frank van den Driest of
Kantar Vermeer, Stan Sthanunathan, and Keith Weed of Unilever, describe how the
results of a research study with over 350 businesses and nearly 10,000
practitioners show that the highest performing companies put the customer at
the center of their activities through an a dynamic insights and analytics
But what was even more fascinating, was how the the authors
laid out a blueprint for the optimal characteristics of what they term an
‘insights engine.’  

Ten Characteristics of an Effective Insights

According to the authors, the blueprint for an effective
insights engine consists of ten characteristics: seven operational
characteristics and three people characteristics. The seven operational characteristics

Data synthesis (ability to connect disparate data)
Integrated planning
Forward looking orientation
Affinity for action
The critical people characteristics as:
Whole-brain mindset
Business focus
It is easy to look to focus on the seven operational
characteristics, but actually it is first of the three people characteristics
that is especially important – as it underpins all of the other operational
aspects. As the authors state, ‘Whole-brain
thinking is at the core of the insights engine.’  
This is an extraordinarily important point. Historically,
insights teams are organized with left-brain quant and analytics people working
separately from the creative right-brain qualitative team members. However, the
research showed that a differentiating attribute of the high performing
organizations was their ability to integrated the two types of thinking: 71%
for the high performing organizations versus 42% for the underperforming ones.
In a sense, one of the key underpinnings of a successful organization is how
well its people can draw on both right and left brain thinking. Or to put it
another way, the degree in which an organization can have a whole-brain mindset
can very well determine how successful a company will be.
These findings send an important message to the insights
industry. So often quant and qual efforts work in parallel or in sequence, but
not truly together. We often treat our analytical thinking and our creative and
storytelling thinking as two separate efforts, when more than ever they need to
be truly integrated. We need to be able to make connections between what we
find in the voluminous amounts of data at our disposal and the first hand
observations of the ground truth of people’s behaviors – and then collaborate
with our stakeholders translate what we learn into compelling stories that
drive action.
Van den Driest, Sthanunathan, Weed summed it up brilliantly
at the close of their article:
Having troves of data
is of little value in and of itself. What increasingly separates the winners
from the losers is the ability to transform data into insights about consumers’
motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.’
The authors showed that a truly effective insights function
is as much about how people think as is it about operational capacity. It is
time for the insights industry to embrace whole-brain thinking.  
About the Author: Steve
August is the CMO of FocusVision, the global leader in market research
technology. A pioneer in online qualitative research, Steve created Revelation,
the industry leading platform for mobile diaries, insight communities and
bulletin boards. Apart from speaking and hosting an array of conferences, he is
fascinated with design, technology and smart methodology’and how they can be
fused to get to the heart of everyday moments that reveal people’s emotions and

Top 3 Trends in Mobile Surveys

By: Aaron Jue,
Each year, we analyze the millions of surveys hosted on our
online survey platform, Decipher, to get insights into respondent survey-taking
behaviors and investigate the latest mobile survey trends including these three
key trends market researchers need to know.
Trend #1: Online survey starts from smartphone devices continue to grow
Mobile devices represent close to 30% of all survey starts
(Figure 1). The mobile growth trend in online surveys follows the overall
global trend of device usage. Industry analysts forecast smartphone
subscriptions from 2015 will double to 6.4 billion worldwide by 2021.[1]
As smartphones increasingly replace the PC for primary
internet usage, we expect that the population of smartphone survey takers will
follow the same trend.
#2: Mobile friendly surveys = improved participation rates
Mobile survey participation rates have steadily improved
while participation rates for desktop users have remained stable.
This reflects Decipher client projects which, over the
years, have increasingly deployed mobile friendly surveys.  We’re constantly discussing best survey design
practices for mobile devices and these have been tested and put to good
use.  By default all surveys hosted on
the Decipher platform employ a responsive survey design with options for many
dynamic and mobile friendly question types (e.g. card sort,  buttons).
Researchers are adjusting to the needs of the growing usage
for mobile devices, and survey designs have gotten better and smarter.
Trend #3: Mobile penetration depends on sample source
The level of mobile participation for a given survey depends
on the sample characteristics. It is known, for instance that in the US,
minority groups, youths, and upper income individuals show higher incidence of
smartphone use.[2]
Whether a survey employs panel sample or client supplied
sample (e.g. list of customers) has a tremendous impact as well.When a
client-supplied list is used, more than a quarter of respondents access the
survey using a smartphone; that number falls to 10% for panel respondents
(Figure 2).
Panel supplied sample has always had far fewer smartphone
survey takers.  We suspect that’s because
this population expects to receive surveys, and will use a PC out of habit or
for the better survey-user experience (i.e. larger screen size, mouse /
keyboard input). But the number of mobile panel members is growing and has more
than doubled since 2013.  Besides the
increasing reliance on smartphone devices to access the internet,  the growing industry acceptance and
deployment of smartphone friendly survey designs are undoubtedly driving this
Things Market
Researchers MUST Consider in 2016
As the mobile population continue to grow, it’s becoming
increasingly clear that researchers must adhere to mobile friendly principles
for online surveys. We can no longer simply resize surveys designed for the PC
and serve them on a smartphone without any regard for the smaller screen. It
leaves respondents frustrated with tiny text, input buttons, or horizontal
scales partially cut off from view. A survey that is friendly and optimized
across all platforms drives better data and higher respondent participation.
About Aaron Jue, FocusVision Market Research Director
With more than 10
years of full-service online survey knowledge and research, Aaron keeps
FocusVision at the forefront of new market research trends and best survey
design practices to maximize response rates and data quality. His role is to
capture key internal business performance metrics and FV customer insights.