Tag Archives: Insightech15

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
@sssourabh.

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!

Live from #Insightech15: harnessing the power of social, attitudinaland behavioral data

Twitter had Manish Gupta of insights and analytics speak on the largest data creator of our times. Speaking of volume and reach , the focus was on what to do to capitalize on the reach of tweets and use it as an info source. 

The existence of Ellen’s famous tweet that broke he internet feed literally showcases the power of teach and heat can be done about it. 

Two of my most interesting takeaways were around TV and twitter interfaces, for many tweet as a consumer basic behavior. Twitter didn’t invent this but  questioned if the action can actually increase ad watching and effectiveness, demonstrated by the visual.

The future of big data like that created on twitter is definitely a signal that insights need to be distilled in addition to just collected. Only then does it become actionable. 
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 @sssourabh.