Tag Archives: InsighTech

TrenzWalk – Getting Out Of the Office to Explore Global Trends

Market Researchers constantly look for trends in data, but today to close out the InsighTech 2015 experience we went in search of a different kind of trend.

Mikel Cirkus looks for trends on TrenzWalks, hitting the streets on foot to focus on global themes in street art, and San Francisco has some of the most vibrant street art around. He led our group today and introduced us to the work of artists like CrayoneBode, and Nate1. We even got to hear from Lisa Brewer, who encourages and provides a safe space for these artists to create by donating her time and money to support their work as well as encouraging local landlords to allow murals to be painted on their walls.

A few of the murals on the TrenzWalk during InsighTech 2015
Obviously street art trend spotting is a good barometer for what themes are becoming “cool” in underground culture, but the reality is these themes will eventually bubble up to many people (also known as consumers) in all walks of life. I must admit, knowing what is cool in street art might not seem immediately relevant to brand insights work, but training ourselves to recognize visual and cultural themes across the globe certainly is. (And it is also TONS of fun)

The Rise of Rapid Prototyping

Do you remember building with popsicle sticks? Pipe cleaners? Construction paper? Could you ever imagine bringing a bag full of those materials to the workplace during a brainstorming meeting? Well maybe you should!

A growing community of innovators is practicing what is called rapid prototyping — a way to maximize learning and new ideas in the shortest amount of time, removing barriers like full-scale production and the need for cumbersome business requirements documentation.

At InsighTech on Monday, I was enthralled by Robin Beers‘ presentation on her experience with this new innovation style, where she told the room that “perfection is the enemy of rapid prototyping.” A new product, which could take months or longer to brainstorm, spec, and prototype could come about much quicker when the team focuses on fast ideas and non-working prototypes literally made from arts & crafts materials.

The theory behind this is that the more iterations of an idea we have, the quicker the best features or solutions rise to the top and the others die off. Robin referred to Tom Chi as one of the pioneers of this method — you can see him explain it in his talk at TEDxKyoto in the video below

Tom Chi discusses rapid prototyping at TEDxKyoto

Aside from wanting to participate in a rapid prototyping sessions because it just looks like so much fun, I thought it would be great to see some of these ideas applied to research with consumers. A lot of research is already embracing consumer co-creation as a part of a qualitative tool set, but if we can effectively combine that with a rapid-fire iteration model, the rewards could be big.

Live from #Insightech15: why surveys are necessary but not sufficient

Stacey Symonds of Orbitz presented a future looking case for surveys not being the end all of research. An interesting insight showcased different types of research and how they matched objectives, bringing to light the need to fulfill business problems, not plug methodologies.

Several examples came up for the types of Orbitz products and how they emerged from research, from digital to rewards to travel journey to email research.

Orbitz also unveiled 5 insights from this type of research, relevant to the travel industry as well as progressive research too:
1. Consumers want to and are able to reduce the gap between thinking and doing
2. Queues help consumers manage tasks, content, buying and time.
2. Consumers are seeking to maximize their attention
4. The journey is now a constant state of moving through modes
5. Consumer behavior demands more than omnichannel offers. Thinking on channels must evovle.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on

Makers and Futurists at #InsighTech2015

We are only halfway through the first day of InsighTech 2015 and I am happy to say the conversations are all over the map in the best way possible, from more traditional market research concerns around when/where to reach consumers to out-of-the-box discussions around flying drones and the power of social media.

While varied topics make conferences interesting and keep attendees engaged, it is important to point out themes that are emerging among all the presentations and interactions so far. These are the themes of new frontiers, hands-on innovation, and being unafraid to step into the unknown.

During this morning’s talk by Chris Anderson (former editor of Wired, current CEO and co-founder of 3D Robotics) he urged us to be fearless, and experiment before you really know what the outcome might be — this attitude took him from at-home experiments with robotic Lego sets to leading the way in the consumer market for flying drones.

Later in the day I heard a presentation from Suzanne Henricksen, who is working with partners to integrate new methods of social listening into traditional brand tracking — taking the beast that is social data and wrangling it to play nicely with (not instead of) long established surveys at Clorox.

Manish Gupta from Twitter also stated the importance of finding the right partners when dealing with insights on a platform that is the “largest searchable collection of human thought that has ever existed.”

What I am hearing from all sides today is that we, as a community of insights-driven, tech-savvy, and increasingly curious researchers, need to drive forward with all manners of new tech and data without waiting for a mandate or a clear path. We can come together as the makers of new methodologies to take advantage of the wealth of consumer data that is swirling all around us.

Stay tuned for more from InsighTech 2015 — there are too many good ideas in the room to cram in one blog post!

Evolving Organizational Structures for Intelligence: Where Does Market Research Fit?

By: Bill MacElroy

As we begin to emerge from years of recession, the Market
Research industry
appears to be recovering some degree of growth in
revenue.  However, the growth in the
market for survey research remains very low relative to other business service
When we consider the causes of low growth, several scenarios
may be at play. First, the industry may have met a natural cap: we may have
reached a zero-sum level of production that meets all the needs for information
that client companies have.  If this is
the case, then the only way to grow is to take business from someone else;
leaving the total market size relatively unchanged.  In this scenario, competition is defined as
“direct competition;” we’re fighting against competitors who are
doing the exact same thing that we are and seek points of differentiation based
on doing what we’ve been doing, only better or cheaper.
A second possibility is that new, disruptive
or methods are becoming substitutes for traditional research
and that the demand for information in client companies is being met through
alternative channels.  This is
“indirect competition,” wherein we are fighting for budget against
substitutes that are producing similar benefits, but in very different ways.
Having seen the growth in Big Data operations and the
budgets allocated to that infrastructure, I’m of the opinion that the second
scenario may be becoming more relevant.
For a number of years, enterprise-level businesses have been
building new organizational units for the collection and processing of
transactional data and other forms of ‘big data.’  Market research is seen as an established
information gathering function, but the two methods operate very differently in
terms of speed, cost of infrastructure, complexity and perceived reliability.
Many firms have been considering how these parallel
analytical processes can be integrated into their overall ‘market sensing’
activities.  There is some evidence that
the big data group may be poised to swallow a great deal of budget that used to
be earmarked for market research.
In order to ascertain the degree to which big data is
becoming an indirect/financial competitor to established research budgets,
Socratic fielded a study including 200 enterprise-level strategic
decision-makers who employ information systems to support the corporation’s
choices.  We will be presenting the
findings of this study at IIR’s
. This presentation
will feature the results from this research-on-research study, which will
reveal how senior business decision-makers foresee their organizations’ future
structure and where Market Research fits into the overall scheme of business
Key Takeaways:
How does the emergence of business analytics and
big data fit into future intelligence plans?
How/Does market research integrate with these
What will the reporting structure look like for
research and data analytics?  Do they
both report to the same function?
What will the leadership hierarchy of
intelligence look like?  What functions
produce the most value?
What will be the budgeting mix between big data
and market research activities?
To what extent is senior management supportive
of each function?  Are there credibility
barriers that must be addressed?
What will determine ‘success’ for each of these
functions in the future?
About the Author: Bill brings more than 35 years of marketing
management and research experience to Socratic Technologies.  His career
has included both agency and client-side managerial positions with Corning
Glass Works, Memorex, Unisys Corp., Cheskin, MACRO, and Autodesk. Bill holds a
doctorate in Management & Technology from Golden Gate University, San
Francisco; an M.B.A. with a concentration in Marketing and a Master’s
Certificate in Applied Statistics from Pennsylvania State University; and a
B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York.  He also spent an
undergraduate term at the Universit??t W??rzburg in Germany.Dr. MacElroy has taught
New Product Development and Marketing Research for UC Berkeley Extension, San
Francisco.  He has been a guest lecturer at MIT, UC Berkeley, The
Pennsylvania State University, University of San Francisco and the Notre
Dame-AMA School of Marketing Research.

Earn a FREE Pass to InsighTech 2015 in San Francisco – Become a Guest Blogger

Earn a complimentary all-access pass to The InsighTech Conference 2015 by serving
as a Guest Blogger at the event. As a Guest Blogger, you’ll have access to the
event’s comprehensive agenda attracting the best in insights from around the
world, right in San Francisco, California in May.
Innovations in Research Methodology &
May 4-6, 2015
San Francisco, CA
You’ll get a free pass to InsighTech
plus exclusive access to a networking community and on-demand webinars, to help
you grow and learn throughout the year.
Guest Blogger responsibilities will include submitting one
post per week to The Market
Research Blog
between now and the conference and attending specifically
assigned sessions at the event and blogging live or same day.
By participating as a Guest Blogger leading up to and at the
event, you’ll receive an all-access pass for the entire event, taking place May
4-6, 2015 at the Intercontinental in San Francisco, CA. In addition, Guest
Bloggers are responsible for their own travel and lodging. Learn more about the
event by visiting our website:  http://bit.ly/1d4bTQm
Apply today by sending your name, title, company, short
biography and links to your blog or writing samples, along with a few sentences
about why we should choose you to be our 2015 Guest Blogger to Amanda
Ciccatelli at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. We will review your submission and
contact the chosen Guest Bloggers directly with more details.
We hope to have you join us in San Francisco!
All readers of our
blog receive an exclusive $100 off the current registration rate with code TECH15BL. Register
here: http://bit.ly/1d4bTQm
The InsighTech Team


The Future of Technology & the Future of Consumer Disrupts MRX at InsighTech

Technology is having a profound effect on the state of your industry.  When it comes to staying ahead of the curve, timing is everything. Technology is revolutionizing the way we understand and engage with customers more rapidly than ever before. Understanding the impact of technology on how to gather data and curate insights has become a critical part of our job.
From the producers of The Market Research Event, InsighTech will address not only new innovative ways to deploy mainstream methodologies AND present emerging technologies likely to disrupt our industry even further. You’ll hear how companies like Orbitz Worldwide, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Clorox, Unilever and more are pairing new technologies with existing methodologies to deliver quality insights.  Our dual approach ensures you will be able to apply what you learn immediately and prepare for the future.  Having a holistic view of the consumer is the key to brand loyalty. 
Innovations in Research Methodology & Technology
May 4-6, 2015
San Francisco, CA
Leading market researchers are gathering at InsighTech , May 4-6 in San Francisco, to address the major trends and critical developments in technology and how they are revolutionizing the way businesses understand and engage with their customers.  Download the brochure: http://bit.ly/188ibM3
Learn best practices for gathering insights into digital consumer behavior from our distinguished speakers:
??         Digital Transformation for Data Driven Professionals
Joris Merks-Benjaminsen, Head of Digital Transformation, Google
??         The Future of Market Research
Robert Moran, Partner & Global Head, Brunswick              
??         Insight title and Eye Tracking & Virtual Reality Stores
Andrew Smith, Director, Marketing Research, The Hershey Company
??         Finding Your Future Customers
Tamara Carleton, Ph.D., CEO & Founder, Innovation Leadership Board LLC
William Cockayne, Ph.D., Strategic Foresight & Innovation, Stanford University
And many more!
Download the all new conference agenda: http://bit.ly/188ibM3

A curated mix of case studies, high-touch tech demos, and off-site excursions will provide you with a completely updated toolbox of more efficient and effective strategies to understand your consumers and your markets. 

Join other executives looking to stay ahead of the curve. 
Mention code TECH15BL & Save $100 off the current rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/188ibM3
RSVP to the event: http://bit.ly/18fYORR
We hope to see you in San Francisco!
The InsighTech Team


Wearable Technology Could Become the Future of Day to Day Life

The most recent wave of wearable technology is showing vast
improvements in its development since the first products. Many of the first
attempts such as Fitbit had high prices for products that sometimes were
lacking in accuracy and were not discrete in terms of blending with the user’s
day to day appearance.
Recently, there has been a push for improvements that make
wearable technology more desirable and useful. An attractive feature of
wearable tech is whether it can be ‘invisible’; a lot of the recent innovations
are becoming smaller yet gaining efficiency due to increased power. Wearables
now are more intertwined with fashion as users in the past were likely to not
wear devices due to them standing out. Jewelry is seen as a way of keeping the
technology on the user every day; for example, future innovations could have
the technology in a thin film under something as small as a ring.
A product that is due to be on the market soon is the
eagerly anticipated Apple Watch. The new Apple product is designed to make the
best of smartphone technology available on your wrist. The watch will enable
the user to see notifications, messages, GPS systems and all the useful tools
from a smartphone without having to get out your mobile device. The watch comes
in many different designs so that the consumer can have something stylish as
well as practical. The device most importantly has the potential to manage your
money. You’ll soon be able to manage your bills, make transfers, check
statements and pay with it.
Many wearable technologies are focused around health and
fitness; however one company is involving the technology that senses bodily
functions to be involved with payment systems. The Nymi band recognizes the
unique rhythm of the user’s heart to act as a way authenticating your identity.
It can be linked to devices to use instead of having to type in pin codes,
passwords and soon for payments.
Seamless integration of wearable technology to other devices
has been identified as being very important in the future of the products. The
most common are fitness devices that link with smart devices such as phones,
tablets and laptops to track health information that now can include things
such as BMI, blood alcohol level and even a posture coach. Other technology
goes past just human use to now having collars that can monitor your dog’s
vitals to help check for illness and can be shared directly with the vet.
The future of wearable technology is becoming ever more
efficient and informative. Products are more fashion conscious and
interconnected with other devices to make them more desirable for everyday use
for customers. The question in my mind is how long until wearables connect with
home devices? Will we soon get home and your heart monitor unlocks the front
door, your wearable fitness device will tell the fridge to pour you a cool
glass of water as your hydration levels are low and the air conditioning comes
on because your body temperature is found to be slightly high. The rate at
which the technology is developing means it may not be too far off.

About the Author:
Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the
industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent
graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN
as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival,
World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.