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At the Intersection of Art & Science: A TMRE 2014 Book List

Stories are a catalyst for action.

Market research, data sciences, consumer insights and marketing overall, has never seen such dramatic and rapid transformation’ and the stakes have never been higher. The output and value of our entire industry is in flux.

We’ve curated this list of 8 powerful books in advance of our upcoming MR event to help you open your mind to new ideas and truly become a catalyst for disruption, growth and impact beyond measure.

The TMRE 2014 Book List: 

1. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd  

Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

2. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon  

Different shows how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns’but exceptions rule. Youngme Moon provides a highly original perspective on what it means to offer something that is meaningfully different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive.

3. The Power of Habit By Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

4. The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall 

Stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Stories can also change the world for the better. Most successful stories are moral, they teach us how to live, whether explicitly or implicitly, and bind us together around common values. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.

5. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek 

Our biology hasn’t changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Today’s workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities. 

6. Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information By Itamar Simonson, Emanuel Rosen 

What influences customers in this new age? The authors identify the old-school marketing concepts that need to change and explain how a company should design its communication strategy, market research program, and segmentation strategy in the new environment. 

7. Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change By Jeremy Gutsche

Jeremy Gutsche’s book about 150 ways to spark innovation during times of change, includes these key lessons :

1) STRATEGY – Turn chaos into opportunity
2) CULTURE – Create a culture of innovation
3) TRENDS – Filter through all the noise
4) INNOVATION – Increase your odds

5) MARKETING – Infectiously market your ideas

Exploiting CHAOS: Book on How to Spark Innovation from Jeremy Gutsche / Trend Hunter

8. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action By Simon Sinek 

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Start With Why is for those who want to  inspire others and for those who want to find someone to inspire them.

Editor’s note:

The noted thought leaders above will share more of their experiences and ideas to explore at the Market Research Event. We hope you can join us.

TMREtv Video: The State of Brand Insights and Engagement in Market Research

Market Research is undergoing a transformation, engagement and insights are key to successful data capture that can truly become a catalyst for impact within your company. This video medley shows a medley of key
points from thought leaders throughout the event from 2013. This video is brought to you by TheMarket Research Event (TMRE)


  • Time Wasters & Gamification:
One billion people spend at least one hour playing a video
game every day.

  • Transforming Problem Solving:
‘Design thinking is one of the most critical components for
  • Devices and Tech Innovation:

In 1975, we spent 16 hours a week in front of a screen, last year
it was 44 hours.

About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

Insights without impact are worthless

As market researchers, we realize it’s no longer enough to study the choices that people make; far more important is to understand how and why they make them.

The effects of psychological, social, cognitive and emotional factors on the decisions of consumers are limitless, let alone the impact of social media and technologies.

TMRE 2014 presents you with the most breakthrough applications of insights first, see for yourself, download the brochure.

Disrupt Habit

Charles Duhigg, Author, The Power of Habit 
In this session, Charles Duhigg will explore the science of habit formation, illustrating why we do what we do and how we can change it.

Duhigg explains why the most powerful habits have emotional cores, and how tweaking even one habit can have staggering effects. Duhigg draws from a number of current case studies. 

Harnessing Influence 

Itamar Simonson, Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University and Author, Absolute Value 
How people buy things has changed profoundly yet the fundamental thinking about consumer decision making and marketing has not. Most marketers still believe that they can shape consumers’ perception and drive their behavior.

In this provocative session, Stanford professor Itamar Simonson shows why current mantras about branding and loyalty are losing their relevance. When consumers base their decisions on reviews from other users, easily accessed expert opinions, price comparison apps, and other emerging technologies, everything changes. Counter to what we frequently hear, consumers will (on average) make better choices and act more rationally.

See all the TMRE 2014 Keynotes here.
Plus, an entire Track Dedicated to Consumer Psychology & Behavioral Economics

‘ The Behavioral Economics of Creativity| FCB Chicago
‘ How to Extend Your Brand With Implicit Consumer Insights | Sentient Decision Science & Pepsi
‘ Behavioral Economics in Action: A Corporate Wellness Case Study | Lockton Dunning Benefits
‘ Insights Lead to Income: Understanding Motivators Among Hispanics to Drive Increased Sales | Univision Communications

Download the brochure to see full session descriptions.

Insights without impact are worthless. Focus on the business value of insights at TMRE 2014 and hear from more than 150 leaders from inside and outside the industry; learn something new including ways you can apply similar thinking to drive your success and become a true catalyst for impact in Market Research.

New University Program Promotes a ‘Data Science Culture’

Today, data comes in many forms. All forms create a
collective flood flood of sensor data, genomic data, Web click streams and
credit card transactions, just to name a few.
While the concept of data science has been around for
decades, the notion of a data scientist has become an in-demand career leading
to a rise of a new generation of data scientists. Proliferation of sensors,
mobile and social trends provide explosive growth of new types of data. Data
scientists are creating the tools that can be used to interpret and help
translate the streams of information into innovative new products.
The data sources are often called ‘silos,’ suggesting the
challenge of combining different data sets to generate insights. But if the
data is in a silo, so are the people. In universities, that problem is a key
obstacle to progress in data science, according to academic research
scientists. That problem, among others, is the focus of a new five-year
project, involving three universities and supported by $37.8 million in funding
from the Moore Foundation and the Sloan Foundation.
New York University, the University of Washington and the
University of California, Berkeley are working together in the
program announced last month
 in Washington at an event organized by
the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to highlight
initiatives being taken by government, industry and academia to advance
data-driven scientific discovery and technological progress. The program comes
at a time when universities are opening up data science centers. These academic
start-ups marry professors and graduate students from computer science,
statistics and applied mathematics with those from other departments including
biology, medicine, economics and even journalism.
So what is the need for the program? Most of the university
data-science programs are focused on adapting data-analysis techniques to
specific disciplines. ‘What this partnership is trying to do is change the
culture of universities to create a data science culture,’ Joshua Greenberg,
director of the Sloan Foundation’s Digital Information Technology program told
the New
York Times
Yann LeCun, a computer scientist, is the director of New
York University’s new Center for Data Science, but he sees the collaboration as
a program with a different agenda. ‘This is not so much to do science, but to
organize yourself to create a new discipline, an environment, a data science
environment,’ Professor LeCun said.
At each university, 12 to 15 professors will be the core
participants representing the life, environmental, physical and social
sciences. Each campus will also have a ‘data science studio,’ staffed by data
scientists and software professionals, where people from different disciplines
will share ideas. The partnership, according to Chris Mentzel, head of Moore
Foundation’s Data-Driven Discovery initiative, is intended to be a
demonstration project that other universities will emulate.
Part of the common ground is to create software tools for
data handling and analysis that can be widely shared. Pursuing that goal, the
professors say, will require creating new, long-term career paths for the data
scientists that develop such tools. That would mark a significant improvement
from the current situation, where ‘everything you do is start from scratch,’
said Saul Perlmutter, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley,
and a Nobel prizewinner.
The big data rush is evident, although it’s still an
unchartered territory. More organizations recognize data science as an integral
part of the business and that data is a core competency that can be used to
improve decision making, competitive intelligence, in streamlining of internal
operations and cross functions, and to increase productivity. 
Hear more about data
science from experts in person at The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 in
Los Angeles, California May 19-21. To learn more click here: http://bit.ly/1iQy4KQ

About the
Author:  Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a
Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the
technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow
her at  @AmandaCicc.

Long Form Quality, Short Form Research

Quality of Long Form Journalism in Short-Form Research

I am a fan of long-form journalism. The New York Times is *my* newspaper.  Although I do read the NY Times on my Nook when I’m traveling, I prefer to savor the best journalism I’ve found in its conventional form.  Over the course of each week, I work my way steadily through the Sunday issue of the Times, snatching time here and there to read choice articles from start to finish.  The experience is an intellectual treat akin to an everlasting memory I have of a salad-plate sized lollipop I got during my first trip to Disneyland when I was seven years old.  I never completely finished that candy spiral of grape-flavored sweetness.  Doubtless, one parent or the other made it disappear after a respectful interval.  And so, too, the stacks of New York Times must eventually make their way to the recycling bin.  But not until I have built a pile of tear-outs and must-reads that threaten to undermine my careful filing system.

Increasingly, I find articles about big data, digital privacy, and social media in The New York Times.  I am struck by one factor above all.  The NY Times journalists know how to tell a story.  Yes, they *report* a story in the conventional way, answering all the readers’ anticipated questions of what, when, who, how, and why.  But the fact is, the stories reflect the opinions of the journalists in a way that may not have once been considered *good journalism* in the traditional sense.  The new Public Editor of The New York Times, Margaret Sullivan, has acknowledged this dilemma of contemporary journalism:  How can a journalist tell a good story and not reveal their own opinion?  And should they even try?

The burgeoning co-participation of consumers and companies in social media networking belies an intolerance for marketing as it once was.  Consumers are expecting and demanding more transparency from the companies that produce the brands they enjoy.  Most consumers will choose not to spend time reading a long-form story, but they do expect the shorter brand stories they read or view to be as authentic and balanced as the journalistic perfection of a long-form story in The New York Times.

There are more well-informed and skeptical consumers in the marketplace than ever, and – stating the obvious – it is increasingly difficult to convincingly market to them.  A number of presenters at The Future of Consumer Intelligence conference promise to suggest strategies for telling brand stories in a way that consumers will find acceptable and that will build trust in the brand and the people who are the company.  These sessions promise to be exciting and informative.   I trust the strategies market researchers learn at the conference will hit our collective sweet spot and sustain our practice for a lasting interval of time.

See you there.
~ Gigi DeVault
Guide to Market Research

Nate Silver on What We Really Know vs. What We Think We Know at Future of Consumer Intelligence

World Renowned Statistician and Future of Consumer Intelligence keynote Nate Silver, has shared that “people sometimes have difficulty picking out the reality, or signal from the noise. The result, there is a widening gap between what we really know and what we think we know.”

With so much transformation in the financial services industry today, it’s more important than ever to truly know your consumers, not just think you know them.

The Market Research Technology for Financial Services Symposium, a highlight of The Future of Consumer Intelligence event, presents the knowledge and tools for collecting real-time insights to truly understand your customer. From big data, to social media, to the mobile wallet, The Future of Consumer Intelligence covers everything you need to know.

Keynote Spotlight-

The Future Consumer: An Adapting Force to Take into Account for Your Corporate Strategy
Jaspar Roos, Chief Inspiration Officer, ABN AMRO

Consumers are getting impatient and are starting to take control over production and consumption processes. How can you cope with these emergent developments? Can you create a dynamic corporate strategy that fits these patterns? The future belongs to those who are agile.

Jaspar will do a beginning to end exploration of how to leverage trends and methodological innovation to get to the heart of the future consumer. This keynote will challenge the audience to think about consumers in a different way.

Download the conference brochure for the full agenda.

Together, let’s embrace new opportunities and new ways of thinking about our industry.

Idea Gathering: T-Mobile Stops Selling Contracts

“The Uncarrier” no longer offers contracts

Not just hearing but translating innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the Total Customer Experience Leaders. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate alignment of customer strategy inspiration with business relevant actions and have been one of our most highly rated features in the past.

Here on the blog, we’ll be presenting weekly idea gathering wrap ups of some of our favorite customer experience strategy, design and alignment news and views.
T-Mobile recently announced that it would stop selling traditional two year contracts with its phones, a move setting them apart from the other big names in the cell phone industry. In a public event T-Mobile CEO John Legere blasted these carriers including the company that just months ago almost acquired T-Mobile, AT&T. Legre stated that “Customers don’t need another AT&T, customers need someone to stop acting like AT&T’.
It’s no secret that people don’t like the long term contracts big carriers make you sign. Many people do it just to have access to the latest phone, as Legere said ‘Customers love smartphones, everyone hates contracts’.  These two year contracts originally came around for carriers to subsidize the cost of the phone upfront but customers are beginning to wonder if they’re really worth it.
Cellphone contracts are something which many consumers have begun to grow wary of and according to the New York Times the percentage of no-contract phones is expected to increase from 18% in 2008 to 30% by 2015. What’s the driving force behind this change? The biggest issue is definitely cost. 
Consumer Reports compared the costs of owning a 16gb iPhone 5 on a two year contract with big carriers or pre-paid with no contract and month to month charges. The winner of the competition was Smart Talk, a company which specializes in pre-paid, no contract cellphones. The initial cost of the phone was a whopping $650 but with two years of unlimited data at $45 a month the total cost was $1,730. 
Sound like a lot? 
It’s actually a savings of $1,110 compared to AT&T, who also caps data at 4 GB per month instead of providing unlimited data like Smart Talk. For a Verizon plan which would cap data at 2 GB per month the cost is still a little less then a thousand dollars more over two years.
Also just the idea of being locked into the same phone and company for two years is something difficult to get excited about.  Logan Abbot, president of MyRatePlan.com explained that in a no-contract system the carrier knows you can easily be gone the next month making you more valuable as a customer which (should) make customer service better.
It will be interesting to see how T-Mobile fares and if more customers begin to take Mr. Legere’s words to heart and end their contracts for the freedom and flexibility of pre-paid phones.

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs atFordham Nights and can be reached at JMarino@iirusa.com.

Nate Silver Shares His Insights into Reliable Forecasting & Data-Based Predictions

Last month, Nate Silver, Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com and Author, The Signal and The Noise,  made history as he used innovative analyses of political polling to predict the winner of the presidential election.

And now we welcome him to the speaker faculty of The Future of Consumer Intelligence.

As Nate has proven, it’s not about looking to see what happened, it’s about predicting what will happen in the future. It’s about delivering foresight, not just insight. It’s about connecting ideas to data to culture to the future of your business and this, is the real data revolution.

Nate Silver

Nate will share insights into data-based predictions that underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling and hurricane watches to the stock market and even the war on terror.

That means it’s important to ask – what kind of predictions can we trust? What methods do the most reliable forecasters use? What sorts of things can be predicted – and what can’t? 

Nate will take us on a tour of modern prediction science, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty and good results.

Win a Meet & Greet with Nate Silver

Register today and secure your spot to hear from Nate at The Future of Consumer Intelligence. Plus, the first 25 people to register will be invited to attend an exclusive meet and greet with Nate Silver!

Exclusive Early Bird Savings for The Future of Consumer Intelligence EventRegister by December 21st & Save $700 off the standard & onsite rate

The Future of Consumer Intelligence unites the industry’s most forward-thinking leaders to share insights, tools and skills needed to translate behavioral information into business opportunity. Hear best practices from: FedEx, General Motors, Harrah’s Entertainment, Intel, Logitech, Mastercard, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and more.

The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2013 is still in development – stay tuned in the next few weeks as we reveal the full agenda.

Registration Information: 
Phone: 888.670.8200

Manhattan’s new Target caters to all customers

In a recent article at the New York Times, they look at how the first Target in Manhattan caters to it’s diverse clientele in the beauty department. While Target specializes in providing designer makeup at stores at low prices, this is the first time the store has ventured on to Manhattan island in New York City. Catherine Saint Louis shares her experience at the new store, giving those in Manhattan a new place to shop to meet their needs. Boots No. 7 is from the UK, but Targets are the only place to buy them in the United States. In listening to their customers, they are stocking CoverGirl Queen (as in Latifah) and Iman Cosmetics.

How important is it to do market research in an area before you open a store? Listening to your customers is key to success. What are some other examples of national chains catering their selections of products to their new stores in new areas?

Google and Facebook to join music distribution

According to the New York Times, Google and Facebook are teaming up with some of the music labels in order to make music easier to learn about music types, as well as find and sample music from different musicians. Google’s initiative to team up with Capitol Records is expected to be announced next Wednesday. The different sites will not actually host the media, but will create partnerships with other sites such as iLike to stream the media.

What do you think? This is the first time we’ve seen the music industry join forces with someone on the internet to publicize their artists on the internet. I believe that by creating communities where artists are readily available for the public to hear will only increase the number of CDs purchased by buyers.