Tag Archives: Disruptive Innovation

Award Finalists Strut the Stuff of Innovation

NGMR 2015 Award
Finalists Revealed
For a roster of who’s pushing the envelope in insights
today, the just-released list of 2015 award finalists posted on the Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) blog is a wise place to start!
Now in its sixth year, the NGMR Award recognizes companies
and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents
and/or made significant contributions’technological, methodological or
otherwise’toward driving research industry progress in one of three categories: Thought Leadership, Innovative Research
Deployment, and Individual Achievement.
Candidates for the award were nominated by
peers in the industry and vetted by a panel of respected industry veterans
(listed below).
The list of finalists constitutes something of an
industry-level barometer for innovation. Take a look…
Thought Leadership
CMI Research
Hall & Partners
MFour Mobile Research
Gracenote, Inc. ‘ Tribune Media
Insites Consulting
QRS Research Solutions
Orbitz Worldwide
DVJ Insights
Innovative Research Deployment
Research Through Gaming
BET Networks
HYVE Innovation Research
Consumer Activation Studio
iMerge Analytics
Individual Achievement
Betty Adamou
Oliver Hayward
Christopher Monahan
Carol Cunningham
Kristi Zuhlke
Lucas Hulsebos
Jen Drolet
Anne Lacey
Kelley Styring
Stacey Symonds
Richard K Sussman
Tom DeRuyck
NGMR Award Judges:
Luck, President Kristin Luck Consulting
Knoops Global Head of Insights IFF
Mike Gadd President of
Gadd Research Inc
Stuart Director ‘ Kudos Organisational Dynamics Ltd
Jan Fager FMR
 Swedish Marketing Federation
Morris Vice President at Ipsos
Tom H. C.
Anderson CEO OdinText Inc.
Winners will be announced at The Market Research Event taking place November 2-4 in Orlando.
For information or to register, please visit TheMarketResearchEvent.com.
(Ps. SAVE $100 when you register with code TMRE15BL!) 
Congratulations to the finalists!
About Next Gen
Market Research (NGMR)

Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) is an independent, non-profit professional
networking group for market research practitioners who are interested in
exploring innovative, emerging market research techniques and technologies.
Originally founded as a discussion forum on the LinkedIn network in September
2007, NGMR’s membership now exceeds 23,000 market researchers worldwide
(clients and suppliers) and is the most active online community in the field.
For further information, please visit the NGMR group on Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/31804
the NGMR blog at www.tomhcanderson.com or find out about this year’s awards at http://nextgenmr.com .

Live from #TMRE14: How Adobe Streamlines Research for Disruptive Innovation

Dr. Sam Lindsey
Adobe’s Dr. Sam Lindsey, Research Manager, Market Insights, gave us an
in-depth tour of how research at Adobe is being adapted and made scalable to
suit the demands of the innovation process. 
Specifically, Lindsey works on
disruptive’as opposed to incremental’innovation.
Lindsey noted that innovation leaders tend to view research like a
luxury cruise ship’slow, cumbersome, extravagant’a vessel decidedly ill-suited
for the sort of highly uncertain terrain germane to the disruptive innovation
He’s been working to change that perception with a speedboat
variation that dramatically cuts costs and reduces the average research window from 3-5
months down to 1-2 weeks. It entails:
-          Narrow,
hypothesis-based studies
-          New
samples (crowdsourced panels)
-          New
tools (ex. UserTesting.com)

Adobe is
training non-research employees to conduct their own research.

Among the more controversial elements of the presentation, Lindsey
discussed how Adobe is equipping its non-research employees to conduct their own research, themselves.

This includes a host of educational resources’best practices,
sample scripts, how-to’s, guides and tips’imparting the essentials from
drafting a recruit email to interviewing.
Lindsey and Adobe’s other research jocks advise on method, sample,
design and confidence in findings as needed.
‘The demand for this sort of research is too high for [our researchers]
to meet,’ said Lindsey, who anticipated some audience members might question
the wisdom of building an internal DIY army. 
‘They’re going to do research,
either way, so why not help them do it reasonably well’?

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Recap: The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014

Imagine a line drawn in the sand that is filled with hot
burning coals. To the left of the burning line stands
a group of people. And to the right of the burning line stands another group of people. The
group of people on the left are all directly facing the burning line drawn in the
sand and are staring at the opposing group. The group on the right are also all facing
the burning line drawn in the sand, staring directly at the group on the left.
The burning line drawn in the sand represents trust. The
group of people on the left believe they are entitled to the right group’s
trust because they are trying to help them. The group on the right believes
trust is earned and will not easily give it to the group on the left. The tug of
war between the two groups over trust causes friction and creates the burning
line drawn in the sand that neither can cross without the right tools.
The above scenario is analogous to what was presented at the
recent 2014 Future of Consumer Intelligence conference (#FOCI14). The group to the left was Big Business, the group to the right was the Public and we as
attendees were willing and able to sit right on the burning line drawn in the sand and
discuss how to bridge the gap between groups.


As marketers and researchers we love to collect lots of data
with the intention of using personal information to improve products, services,
and lives. But at what point is it considered invasion of privacy? Do consumers
really know how their data is being used, regardless of whatever they agreed
to? At FOCI14 it was made evident that as marketers and researchers, we teeter
on the brink of ‘Empowerment vs. Endagerment’. The path to maintaining the
balance and bridging the gap on the subject of data between Big Business and
the Public was made evident: provide clear, concise rules and guidelines for
how consumer data is used that moves past legality and into the territory of
Clearly our industry is at a point of disruptive innovation as
new technologies and methodologies allow researchers to get a clearer picture
of consumer insights. But who are behind all of these insights? That’s right,
people. In our industry we label people as consumers, customers, shoppers,
respondents, target markets and more. But remember that behind all of our
studies are people. And sometimes we can act as a barricade between companies,
their brands, and their consumers in an attempt to remain unbiased and objective. So how do we
bridge the gap?
For starters, John Havens, Founder of The H(app)athon Project, suggests we
can begin by switching out the label ‘consumer’ with ‘customer’. Whereas Elizabeth
Merrick, Senior Customer Insights Manager of HSN suggests we consider research
as another touch point of the brand, ‘We should allow customers to contribute
to a brand, not just consume it.’
So it appears the segue between marketing science and people
is essentially personal treatment and recognizing that customers are more than
a data point within a spreadsheet.

From John Havens, The H(app)athon Project
The more I thought about it, FOCI14′s tagline of The Convergence of Technology, Marketing
Science & Humanization of Data seemed unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) dichotomous where both Big Business and the Public were descending upon the line drawn in the sand. So
it goes with technology & humanization.
There is no doubt that technology improves lives at
blistering speeds. Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering for Google pointed
out that, ‘Information Technology expands exponentially across time, not
linearly.’ But as we become more technologically advanced, do we lose a piece
of our humanity and our identity?
As we discussed more and more about the subjects of technological advances, psychological
habits, triggers, and touch points at FOCI14, it seemed the key to closing the
gap between technology & humanization of data relied upon engagement. If new
technologies enable to us to engage with customers in a more meaningful way and
people are able to build stronger psychological connections with each other,
then the gap is bridged. If on the other
hand, the research community were to stand disengaged with customers and people, then technology & humanization in
the field will stand diametrically opposed on a bridge that is about to
So the real question in all of this is, ‘Has your
organization bridged the line drawn in the sand’?

Tom Krause, VP of Client Services, Gongos Research
“It’s all about people”
Chris Ruby is an award-winning Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive with Fortune 500 consulting experience. His niche is the ability to turn complex data into compelling stories that induce a call for action among key decision-makers. His work has been featured by MRA, MRIA, IIR, Norstat Times, Chadwick Martin Bailey & the Optimization Group. Keep up with Chris Ruby by following him on Twitter @ChrisRubyMRX or by reading the Chris Ruby Market Research Blog.

Live from #TMRE13: Improv Improves Innovation

For the 2nd workshop today, I was glad I stayed in the Professional Development track.  As an information hound and being in this business for many years, it’s always fun when I feel like I learned a new way to approach innovation.  And that was what this was all about.

Michelle James, Chief Emergence Officer of The Center for Creative Emergence, took us through several exercises designed to break us away from the common fears we all have:  worry about not looking good, fear of saying something stupid, etc.

The Improv Principles and Improv Mindsets

she discussed (and we experienced) are all about acting “as if” what others are giving you is a gift…and then “adding to it.”  And from that, there is freedom.  Feeling free, and that you will be accepted allows teams to STOP worrying about fears and in that moment, begin to create.  I love that:)

She also mentioned how natural it is to come to the edge of your comfort zone with resistance but that forcing through it (i.e. ‘playing’ by these principles), a new environment is created with those around you…and those who feel like they helped create, also feel as if they own the outcome!

April Bell is Principal and Founder of April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.

Protecting the Science of Understanding While Translating Insight into Actionable Business Decisions

Connecting the Best in Insights from Around the World, The
Market Research Event
delivers more proven value than any other conference
of its kind. That’s why it’s the #1 trusted event brand in the world and the
annual meeting place for career researchers – uniting over one thousand
consumer insights executives with more than 65% from client-side companies.
Featuring more than 140 sessions and 175 speakers, this is the most
comprehensive research learning and networking experience of the year.
Why TMRE? Why Now?
You believe in consumer insights as a catalyst for change
and growth
You respect the science of market research
You recognize that the world is changing and end-users
have increasingly rising expectations
You understand that the pace of business decision making
will continue to accelerate
You are excited about the new opportunities disruptive
bring to the industry
You believe in the importance of scale, projectability and
representative sample
You believe in your own role in helping to shape the
future of consumer insights
You strive to embed insights in every corner of your
You seek new ways to package insights for impact to ensure
You are eager to round out your skill set with strategies
for storytelling, data visualization, sales techniques and more
You crave access to visionary information from hundreds of
clients from the best companies in the world
You want to interact with top vendors on your terms
Then TMRE is for you.
TMRE has always been a place of best practice and discovery.
Now, as our industry transforms and faces the most dramatic changes it has ever
seen, TMRE will transform you into a hybrid researcher and strategic advisor. Download
the TMRE 2012 Executive Summary and see what
TMRE is all about.
We’re curating an experience that will increase your value,
your department’s impact and your business’ bottom line. Join us

Outside your Comfort Zone

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven. 

I was watching a profile on Sal Khan (of Khan Academy) the other day and one of the interviewees said something that always resonates with me – the most impactful disruptors and innovators that change your industry often come from outside your industry.

Now, we can take this on a macro level and ask who and what “from outside” will be the big disruptor in the market research industry?

But we can also take this on a more micro level and note that disruptors for CPG research may come from B2B research, disruptors for quant research may come from qual research, and so on.

And the disruptor could be you!

As we’ve talked about on this blog leading up to TMRE this fall, one of the big benefits of attending events is that you get to mix and mingle with folks outside of your particular industry and that’s a good thing! What better way to get some fresh thinking and learn new ideas?

Once folks get onsite at a conference, many tend to confer with their specific industry peers and share “war stories” – that’s great but get out of your comfort zone! Don’t just confer with someone who does, pretty much, exactly what you do – chat with folks who do something vastly different…you’ll likely learn something!

That goes for sessions too. Of course you want to attend sessions that have a direct bearing on your job, but pick at least one session that may be a little “out there” for what you do – you could pick up a nugget of insight that does have relevance to your job.

If you’re looking for an interesting take on innovation and breakthrough ideas happening when you bring concepts from one field into another, check out The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation.

And for a pretty comprehensive list of excellent reads about innovation, check out this list (airplane reading for your TMRE trip?).

More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the’Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you’d like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program, download the agenda.

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!

Disruptive Innovation: A Research Industry Award That Rewards Everyone?

NGMR Disruptive Finalists Announced
By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

As a mix of social science and commercial enterprise, consumer research tends to innovate cautiously in order to maintain methodological rigor and preserve normative data.

But with the advent of the Internet and a torrent of turns since, the industry has learned quickly ‘ and in cases painfully ‘ that we can no longer afford to dictate the pace of change.

To adapt and thrive, researchers have to an extent been compelled to forgo temperance and embrace disruption. No easy task, but one that IMHO is critical to survival in an age when change is an accelerating constant.

So in addition to the venerable EXPLOR awards ‘ which through a case study competition recognize the most innovative applications in research ‘ The Market Research Event this year is hosting a new award celebrating research industry change agents that make us uncomfortable for our own good.

Leading online networking group Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) will be presenting their 1st annual NGMR Disruptive Innovator awards at TMRE Nov 9th.

The nominations have been collected and vetted by NGMR’s Advisory Board, and divided into three categories: Individual, Agency and Client.

NGMR’s founder and chairman, Tom H. C. Anderson, told me the response has been overwhelming, and that based on the volume of nominations received per category, finalists have been narrowed down to 15, 10 and 5, respectively.

I’ve got the sealed envelope, and today I’m pleased to share the finalists by category (alphabetically):

Peter Corbett, iStrategy
Tom De Ruyck, InSites Consulting
Jeffrey Henning, Vovici
Diane Hessan, Communispace
AJ Johnson, Ipsos, and Sean Conry, Techneos
Joy Liuzzo, InsightExpress
Kevin Lonnie, KL Communications
Kristin Luck, Decipher
Bernie Malinoff, element54
Linda Mauro, Illume Market Research
Dr. Ros Picard, Affectiva
Jon Puleston, GMI
Steve Schwartz, Microsoft
Kelly Styring, Insightfarm

Nielsen Media Research


Why is disruptive innovation so important to research that it warrants an award?

I asked Sony Ericsson Global Insights Manager Gordon Morris, who serves on NGMR’s advisory board.

Here’s what he had to say:

‘The market research industry is, by nature, introverted, intellectual and risk averse. It is not given to exploring new techniques, but instead revises and refines existing techniques in an attempt to innovate. These are subtle, evolutionary increments, not the groundbreaking paradigm shifts other industries pursue,’ said Morris.

Morris added, ‘In an industry often lacking genuine innovation, it’s important that we recognize and celebrate those among us who achieve such shifts. In so doing we inspire the dreamers among us to find the next one.’

Like anything else, I suppose example leads and practice makes perfect’