I recently sat down with The
Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014
keynote speaker Greg Heist, Vice President,
Strategy & Innovation, Gongos Inc., who discussed how the role of ‘the
researcher’ has changed as well as how the increasingly connected customer has
affected market research, among much more.
We are fortunate to have him share his critical insight with
our FOCI community. This year, FOCI 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.
We are barraged by information – and within this sea of data
we must remember to think of the problem we are trying to solve and how we can
we use this convergence of information to better understand people.
Translating the new “understanding” into future opportunities
means that the role of a researcher is changing. FOCI accelerates disruptive
innovators in the research space and pushes people to take risks, to think
outside of traditional research methods and insights gathering and explore new
and alternative tools and technologies. FOCI will bridge the gap between what
people say they are going to do and what they actually do.
Here is what Heist had to say:
IIR: How has the
role of ‘the researcher’ changed?
question. In many ways, the bar continues to be raised with regard to
what executives expect of researchers. In particular, research professionals
are being challenged to provide greater context to insights by triangulating
them with past learnings. Simultaneously, they’re being asked to find new
ways to bring insights to life in a clear and compelling way. All of
these are broadening the role of ‘the researcher’ from being an objective
reporter of results to a strategic catalyst of deeper meaning.
IIR: Where do you
see the emerging space of marketing science and role of data scientists in the
next five years?
difficult to overstate the importance of data science and how it will fuse with
what we think of today as ‘marketing sciences.’ The incredible abundance of
data flowing into corporations that is not primary market research data is
mind-numbing. As a result, organizations instinctively know there are
significant consumer insights to be unlocked within these enormous and
disparate data sets. Traditional marketing sciences techniques are, in
most cases, inadequate to meet this new challenge. As a result, we will
continue to see greater reliance on data scientists (and the innovative use of
applied mathematics) to unpack these insights and extract new value. At
Gongos, we are so convinced of the significance of this trend that we launched
a decision sciences business unit, O2 Integrated, at the start of 2013.
We’ve already seen the ways O2 talent is engrained with clients to help solve
some of their most complex business challenges using highly advanced
IIR: How has the
increasingly connected consumer affected market research?
Heist: We’ve only
seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the ‘connected consumer’ will
affect market research. Right now, we’re seeing tremendous investment in
mobile technologies on the agency side, with much slower adoption of mobile
methods by clients, particularly in the quant realm. At the same time,
there is an uptick in mobile qual methods since they provide a level of immediacy
and authenticity that traditional online methods can’t match. In the
future, I believe we are going to see greater adoption and integration of
location-based, behavioral and biometric data streams into consumer research,
with new kinds of insights emerging as a result.
IIR: Tell us a
little bit about your upcoming presentation taking place at The Future of
Consumer Intelligence 2014 entitled, ‘Reinvent & Realign: The Insights
Organization Reimagined.’ What can we expect from it?
insights professionals, we live in very exciting times. We’re emerging
from a relatively stable, collective understanding of what ‘market research’ is
and how it’s perceived within corporations. The currents of change (some
of which I referred to above) felt across our discipline are significant.
So significant, that the traditional MR business model and skillsets are
not going to be sufficient to meet the challenge before us. Our
presentation will provide glimpses into how to reimagine the role, structure
and competencies of the Insights Organization. Using video-based examples
from clients, we hope to provide the audience with a foreseeable vision of the
future. My co-presenter Tom Krause, who spent 16 years collectively at
Advance Auto Parts, Best Buy and Pillsbury, is also incredibly passionate about
this topic and we look forward to sharing this vision with FOCI attendees.
Want to hear more from Greg in person? Join him
at Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 in Los Angeles, CA in May.
He will be presenting a keynote entitled, ‘Reinvent & Realign: The
Insights Organization Reimagined.’ To
learn more about the event and register, click here: http://bit.ly/QUSg1I
** As a reader of our
blog, you get an exclusive 15% discount on your FOCI 2014 pass. Use
code FOCI14BLOG when you register **