Tag Archives: Technology Driven Market Research

Announcing The Market Research Technology Event 2012!

Last year, the industry was wowed by the first ever Technology Driven Market Research Event. There’s a reason.

In the spirit of our industry flagship, The Market Research Event, we proudly present the new and expanded: The Market Research Technology Event, a holistic synthesis of intelligence, insights and implications. This is an event with practical lessons, productive debate and inspirational messages for moving forward and driving innovation in your organization. This year, TMRTE will take place April 30-May 2, 2012 in Las Vegas.

What’s New for 2012?

  • - Full-Day Neuro-Immersion Workshop run by Dr. A.K. Pradeep
    • One session with Dr. A.K. Pradeep wasn’t enough, so for 2012 we’ve scheduled a full day! It’s an in-depth look at how neuromarketing is being applied to the world of brand, product and packaging design, shopper experience, market research and advertising.
  • - All-Day Intensive on Mobile Research & Technologies
    • As the world grows more mobile and as commerce grows ever more social, the importance of technology to capture data in real time grows exponentially. Learn how the industry leaders from Socratic Technologies, Forrester, Animation Dynamics, Nokia and more, are using Mobile Research in their business.
  • - Expanded Agenda featuring 3 Breakout Tracks Intelligence: Learn about the ground-breaking tools that are being used to collect data, and leverage industry knowledge to expand your company’s technological palate
    • Intelligence: Learn about the ground-breaking tools that are being used to collect data, and leverage industry knowledge to expand your company’s technological palate
    • Insights: Move into the world of application and analyzing processes. See how companies are turning collected data into valuable research insights
    • Implications: Evaluate your intelligence gathered and apply your insights to real-time action plans. Hear successful case-studies from the top client-side companies
  • - All New Keynotes Covering the Latest in Market Research Technology including leaders from The Coca-Cola Company, Institute for the Future and more! For the full list, visit our blog here:
    • ‘ Stan Sthanunathan, VP, Marketing Strategy & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company
    • ‘ Michael Tchong, Analyst, MichaelTchong.com
    • ‘ Paul A. Navratil, Ph.D., Manager – Visualization Software, Texas Advanced Computing Center
    • ‘ Jane McGonigal, Director, Game Research & Development, Institute for the Future, Author, Reality is Broken
    • ‘ Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University, Author, Predicatably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions
    • ‘ And more! 

From market research to business intelligence, the tools available are growing exponentially, the knowledge available is astounding, the game is changing, and therefore, so are we. The complete agenda will be released early January 2012.

As a valued reader of The Market Research Event’s blog, we’d like to offer you an exclusive discount of 15% off the standard rate for The Market Research Technology Event when you register and mention code MRTECH12BLOG! If you have any questions about the event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira at jpereira@iirusa.com or visit the webpage.

Calling all ‘Change makers’ ‘..

Last year the industry was wowed by the first ever Technology Driven Market Research Event.

In the spirit of our industry flagship, The Market Research Event (TMRE), we proudly present the new and expanded: The Market Research TECHNOLOGY Event, a holistic synthesis of intelligence, insights and implications. This is an event with practical lessons, productive debate and inspirational messages for moving forward and driving innovation in your organization.

Once upon a time businesses dreamt of a 360 degree customer perspective, now, it is a reality.
From fragmentation to integration, data convergence is disrupting established industries and business models. Primary research methodologies are no longer sufficient. A 360 degree perspective is needed to fully grasp all of the data and tools that are being used, creatively and effectively, to better understand consumer behavior.

Technology is a tool but it does not replace the art and science of market research as a discipline
We are arguably in the midst of the most major sea change the industry has ever seen. Historically market research has been the main driver of data collection ‘ but now, with the explosion of data available and the convergence of so much data – researchers are expected to perform data integration, aggregation and prediction alongside their data collection. That’s not enough. They are expected to turn data into stories that people want to hear ‘ that ultimately drives innovation in their company. This undoubtedly requires a whole new set of skillsets, talents, and leadership.

Big data can be an obstacle and it can also be a goldmine
Understanding different behavior patterns throughout different touch points and across customer cycles allows us to know our customers better than ever before. This translates into smarter decisions and more productive outcomes. Market research is part of a bigger world ‘ the world of consumer and marketplace intelligence.

From market research to business intelligence, the tools available are growing exponentially, the knowledge available is astounding, the game is changing, and therefore, so are we’

New for 2012:

  • Dr. A.K. Pradeep is back! Running a full day workshop on Research Innovation and Neuroimmersion. 
  • Gaming is the new social. Find out how Jane McGonigal, Author, Reality is Broken, is using games to collect significant amounts of consumer data.
  • Technology is no longer a tool; it’s an intrinsic consumer behavior. Join Behavioral Economist, Dan Ariely as he taps into the forces behind the different decision-making processes.
  • Trend tracking is the motivation you need as a business to unlock hidden potential of emerging markets. Explore your social currency with Michael Tchong, Analyst, Michaeltchong.com.

Join us in this new technological wonderland!  Visit the webpage to sign up for updates on the program.

TDI3: Technology Driven Intelligence, Insights & Implications – Call for Presenters Now Open

CALL FOR PRESENTERS:
TDI3 – Technology Driven Intelligence, Insights & Implications
May, 2012 | Las Vegas, NV
Call 646.895.7335 or email Conference Director Slevyn@iirusa.com 
Submission Deadline : FRIDAY, September 30, 2011

________________________________________
INDUSTRY ALERT: OFFICIAL CALL FOR PRESENTERS

The Institute for International Research (IIR) presents:
Technology Driven Intelligence, Insights & Implications
TDI3
Date: May, 2012

Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than Friday, September 30, 2011 to Stacy Levyn, Conference Producer at slevyn@iirusa.com or 646.895.7335.

About the Event:
From fragmentation to integration, data convergence is changing the landscape of business today. Primary research methodologies are no longer sufficient. A 360 degree perspective is required to fully grasp all of the data and tools that are being used, creatively and effectively, to better understand consumer behavior. It’s more than Technology Driven Market Research; it’s a holistic synthesis of intelligence, insights & implications.

Event Focus & Key Themes
2 Symposia’s:

  • ‘ Mobile Research & Technologies
  • ‘ Research Innovation

High-level Keynotes:

  • ‘ Storytelling
  • ‘ Cultivating Insights from Numbers
  • ‘ Data Visualization
  • ‘ Social Media
  • ‘ Leadership & Strategy

3 Concurrent Tracks:

  • ‘ Intelligence
  • ‘ Insights
  • ‘ Implications

The Audience
Managers, director level and above in Market Research, Innovation, Technology, Marketing, Analytics, Consumer Insights, Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Social Media, Data Mining, Text Analytics and CRM.

Speakers receive FREE admission to the conference as well as any pre-conference activity such as workshops or symposium.

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities
If you are interested in sponsorship or exhibit opportunities please contact Jon Saxe, Business Development Manager at jsaxe@iirusa.com or 646.895.7467.

Interested in Becoming a Media Partner or Featured Event Blogger?
Contact Kacey Anderson, Marketing Manager, at kanderson@iirusa.com.

Call for Presenters:
For consideration, please email slevyn@iirusa.com with the following information by Friday, September 30, 2011.

  • ‘ Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
  • ‘ Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
  • ‘ Talk title
  • ‘ The main theme you plan to address
  • ‘ Summary of the presentation (3-5 sentences)
  • ‘ Please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
  • ‘ What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key ‘take-aways’)
  • ‘ Previous conference experience
  • ‘ Short bio

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Study Shows Research Industry Braced For And By Rapid Change

April 20th, 2011 New York, NY: GreenBook today announced the release of the Spring 2011 edition of the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report (GRIT).

Sponsors of the Report include Market Research Global Alliance, Next Gen Market Research, Infosurv, iCharts, Interviewing Service of America, Surveys & Forecasts, LLC, StrategyOne, OnePoint Mobile Surveys, Anderson Analytics, the FTO, Brand3Sixty, and LMC Group.

Now in its 9th year, GRIT will feature two editions in 2011. The Spring 2011 edition focuses on research technology and innovation. The next edition, due to field in June, will explore ongoing trend trackers, social media adoption in the industry, future predictions, and the role of influencers in market research.

The Report shows a market research industry undergoing systemic and tactical change at a pace expected to accelerate. Whether that change is welcomed as opportunity or resisted as a threat depends to a large extent on age. Younger researchers with less experience in ‘the old ways’ are confident they can adapt, while older researchers (with some highly notable exceptions) see their professional world and some of their professional standards cast aside as irrelevant or even damaging.

Some of the highlight findings contained in the report include:

  • ‘ The major structural and systemic changes being faced by those in the marketing research industry.
  • ‘ Despite a backdrop of professional pessimism, anticipated levels of future research spending are actually favorable.
  • ‘ The Top 50 Market Research Firms Perceived to be Innovative.
  • ‘ Gaps between Suppliers and Buyers, tenure in the industry, age of respondents and geographic location exist when it comes to emerging technology adoption.
  • ‘ Social media, mobile, MROCs and text analytics are the newer techniques most likely to be used in the foreseeable future.
  • ‘ Utilizing the latest and most advanced technology is certainly important to both clients and suppliers, but the business relationship itself ‘ personal service, responsiveness, and attentiveness ‘ rises to the very top of the list of decision-making criteria.

Leonard Murphy, Creator and Executive Editor of the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report commented on the release: ‘After 8 years, GRIT is the leading and most comprehensive survey of our industry, and we believe that taking our own pulse has never been more important. We promised the industry colorful and comprehensive insights into how research buyers and providers are adapting to the current economy, to emerging technologies, and to the winds of change many feel are buffeting our profession and industry. I think the market research industry will find that we fulfilled our promise. Regardless of your role in the industry ‘ client-side, supplier-side, academic ‘ we think you’ll find the results of this groundbreaking study vitally important and intensely interesting!’

Lukas Pospichal, Managing Director of GreenBook explained the goals of the initiative: ‘For this iteration we continue to track all the trends in the industry that we have traditionally focused on, but we have made a strategic decision to turn our sights to the future. Our goal with this edition is to offer insights into innovation in the market research industry, into the pace of new technology adoption, into what companies are leading the industry forward, and into what the industry may be like in the future. We think we met and exceed these goals with the help of our sponsoring partners and most importantly, participants in the study. ‘

In years past, thousands of global industry professionals have downloaded this report, and findings have been cited at industry events, in numerous industry journals and in academic publications. This year the results will be part of the opening session at the IIR Technology Driven Market Research event in May and will be reported on in several webinars and leading blogs.

The report can be accessed at http://www.greenbookblog.org/GRIT/.

About GreenBook:

GreenBook brings resources to market researchers on both sides of the table and offers effective marketing opportunities in a variety of targeted media. The GreenBook media platform now includes the flagship GreenBook Directory (online and in print), specialized GreenBook Health directory, GreenBook Blog, Research Vibes ‘ a customizable market research portal, New Qualitative Research guide and directory (online and in print), and a new publishing program to provide stimulating, practical, and timely content on topics and issues relevant to the industry. While becoming a rich source of marketing research content, GreenBook continues to be the destination for detailed and accurate information on research providers of all types.

Who can you meet at the Technology Driven Market Research Event?

The industry’s breakout event for 2011, the Technology Driven Market Research Event, is only 2 weeks away – have you signed up yet?

Secure your spot and collaborate with today’s leaders in technology and research. Plus, we’ve got some exciting news that you can’t miss:

Who else will be joining us?

20 20 Technology * Advanis Incorporated * Alterian * Altria * American Girl * American Honda Motor * Amway Corporation * Anderson Analytics LLC * AYTM Ask Your Target Market * Bain & Co. * Ball Corporation * Bayer Healthcare * Bloomberg * Bovitz Research Group * BP Fuels Value Chain Marketing * Brand360 * Brown Forman Beverages * C&R Research * Campos Market Research * Capital One Canada * CareerBuilder * Civic Science Inc. * Crimson Hexagon * CT Marketing Research * Cutting Edge Research * DavidDalka.com * Delmonte * DemandROMI * Disney Destinations * Dole Fresh Vegetables * ESPN Inc. * Flamingo Research * Forrester Research * General Motors * GMI * Gongos Research * Hallmark Cards * iCharts * Illume Infosurv * Integer Group * Intel Corporation * Interviewing Services of America * Intuit * iPinion * IPSOS * JD Power & Associates * John Deere * Kao Brands * KL Communications * Knowledge Networks * Kohls * Kraft Foods * Land O Lakes * Leo Burnett * Luth Research * MARC Research * Market Strategies International * Marketing Analysts Inc. * MarketVision Research * MedPanel * MetLife * Microsoft Corporation * Millward Brown * Morpace * MSW Research * Nestle Purina Petcare * Nestle USA * NetBase Solutions * NeuroFocus * Newell Rubbermaid * Next Stage Evolution * NORC at the University of Chicago * Olson Research Group * One Point Mobile Surveys * P&G Healthcare * Pittsburgh Post-Gazette * Procter & Gamble * Pureprofile * Qualcomm * Qualvu * Resource Systems Group * RFL Communication * RSG Inc. * RTI International * Sam’s Club * Samsung Electronics * Schlesinger Associates * SJR Group * Smith-Dahmer Associates * Socractic * Southwest Airlines * Sterling Rice Group * StrategyOne * Survey Analytics * Symphonetic Insight * Symrise Inc. * Takeda Pharmaceuticals America * Techneos Systems * The American Institute of Architecture * The Cleveland Clinic * The NPD Group * ThinkVine * TNS Infratest Forschung GmbH * Tribune Media Services * TXTEAGLE * uSamp * Visa International * Vision Critical * Vistaprint * Warner Home Video * Wells Dairy * Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board * WL Gore & Associates * Wm Wrigley Jr Company * Zynga

As a reader of The Market Research Event blog, we’re offering you an exclusive discount of 20% off the standard rate when you (or a colleague) register for TMRE & Technology Driven Market Research! Mention code TMDRBLOG. Register here.

Lead Up To The IIR TDMR: Interview With Warren Sukernek of Alterian

Warren Sukernek

With a month to go until until the Technology Driven Market Research event in Chicago, I’ll be posting a lot more of the interviews I have been conducting with various presenters at the conference. I have 6 wrapped up already, and hope to finish a couple more prior to the event. To start off this next wave of posts, we have an interview with Warren Sukernek, Senior Director of Social Media Services at Alterian.
 

With a month to go until the Technology Driven Market Research event in Chicago, I’ll be posting a lot more of the interviews I have been conducting with various presenters at the conference. I have 6 wrapped up already, and hope to finish a couple more prior to the event. To start off this next wave of posts, we have an interview with Warren Sukernek, Senior Director of Social Media Services at Alterian.

This interview was conducted as a series of email exchanges over the course of a few weeks; so it is a complete and accurate record of all exchanges.

I was introduced to Alterian in 2009 and have followed them closely ever since. I’ve written about them several times here on the blog as an example of the ‘new competition’ for traditional market research, and so far they remain one of the best examples of a technology driven company from outside of the MR space that is making an awful lot of smart decisions in crafting a highly competitive offering in our industry. I continue to be impressed by the exceptional quality of their team, the vision of their senior leadership, and their continual focus on innovation. They are aggressively positioning themselves to be a major player in the future market research ecosystem, and frankly I think many firms will have a hard time winning against them; their value proposition is simply far more in alignment with what clients are asking for from us.

I have never met Warren, but I am looking forward to sitting down with him at the TDMR and changing that. I certainly enjoyed our interview, and I think you will as well. I also think after reading this you’ll agree with me on the point that Alterian is a company that really does change the game in market research; hopefully this will help inspire more firms to adapt to the new rules!

LM: Alterian seems to be making a big splash with your rollout of new products and is generating a lot of interest within the market research space. Why do you think that is? 


WK: The research industry somehow knows social is a critical source, but hasn’t worked out how to sustainably integrate it into what they do, how they think and what they deliver; ironically, researchers are happiest when they have one data set, but often struggle when they have two e.g. groups and a quant survey. Our response has been to set up a business that is organized around all the datasets wherever they come from and use them as needed to generate the right insights. Tools like web journey and SM2, and particularly Alterian Alchemy  give clients access to real time data about their customers and the ability to slice and dice the data into actionable segments.  Thus they can then embed insight practices into both tactical and strategic initiatives using technology.

LM: What do you think are the major drivers of change in the market research space right now and how is Alterian planning to take advantage of those trends? 


WK: Most of the industry doesn’t understand social yet, so they tend to define it and access it through what is easy to see and analyze e.g. Twitter. Our view is that to understand online culture you have to acknowledge its complexity and look to understand what people are saying/ doing/ thinking whatever the platform or source. That’s why we invest in human based investigation and analysis rather than just counting what’s easy to count. We’re therefore guided by the knowledge that people live lives online and in the physical world and that to truly address a client’s needs we have to understand both of these realities to create a complete view of markets to drive the right behaviors and perceptions/ support innovation etc. As one of the first social media platforms to acquire insight skills within its portfolio, Alterian is leading the way in building insight thinking and traditional research metrics into our tools.  We are providing a reporting and insight service that not only looks at public data (social media), but also integrates it with internal and custom data.

LM: I love the model of data synthesis and delivery via online tools that Alterian has embraced although, as you said, it’s a fairly radical concept for the market research community to embrace. How have you overcome resistance to this idea within MR organizations, or have you sidestepped it by focusing on the CMO or Brand Management organizations? 

WK: As you know, Alterian has had many long term relationships with big brands and partners.  Thus, our primary focus has been discussion of our solutions with our core constituencies, marketing organizations.  However, there have been several forward thinking MR organizations that gotten very excited about our offerings.

LM: You’re referring to your acquisition of Intrepid when you discuss having those internal insight skills, correct? I thought that was a bold (and smart) move by your company and as a result I often use Alterian as an example of the type of firm that traditional MR suppliers should model themselves after or risk being replaced by. I think we’re seeing a similar trend playing-out with the recent spate of M&A activity of Marketing/PR Agencies absorbing MR-based firms and/or building out more insight-driven offerings. Thinking of your own evolution and in light of similar developments in related sectors, what do you think the market research space will look like in the next 5 years or so? 

WK: Thank you very much.  As you probably know, I joined Alterian as part of the acquisition, although my focus was on social media rather than market research.  However, given the proliferation of data that currently exists due to social media, there is a significant demand for actionable insights and the ability to analyze this dataset, particularly in the context of integrating with other data.  We have seen that social media can be very disruptive, not just to brands, but to the agencies that support those brands. Therefore, I think that the successful MR firms will embrace social media as part of their expertise and insight-driven offerings.  The agencies that apply strong insights to all datasets, regardless of origin will be the ones that thrive, in my opinion.

LM: Are you seeing more traditional MR companies just licensing the SM2 platform, or are more going for the broader Alchemy package? Also, for those that don’t know, can you outline the various products and services that Alterian offers? 

WK: I think that a lot of MR companies are dipping their toes into the water and trying to get a better understanding of social media monitoring and its fit with their traditional solutions.  Thus, we are seeing more interest in licensing the SM2 platform.  As agencies migrate from crawl to run, I am sure that we will see many focus on the broader Alterian Alchemy framework so that they can integrate multiple data sets into their analysis seamlessly.

LM: OK, last question: it seems that more and more we’re seeing clients leveraging social media to both create deeper relationships with consumers while also gaining strategic insights, an approach that has traditionally been anathema to market researchers.  What are your thoughts on the ‘blurring of the lines’ between marketing engagement and market research that social media has helped create? How are clients using Alterian’s offerings in that respect? 

WK: I’m kind of a purist in this area.  I feel that engagement should best be left to the client as they know their product and customers best.  Thus, by responding directly to customers, they can develop those deep bonds with their target audience.  Correspondingly the strategy and insight agencies have the expertise to do the heavy lifting and make sense out of the unstructured data in a cogent, strategic manner.

This blog is co-posted with The Green Book.

Who is already signed up for Technology Driven Market Research?

Why do you need to attend Technology Driven Market Research taking place this May 2-3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois?

You can:

  • -Hear presentations focusing on the groundbreaking tools and technologies being used NOW and on the horizon, covering neuromarketing, virtual shopper behavior, social analytics, mobile research and more.
  • -Gain the insights and knowledge from industry leaders who’ve already seen success implementing these technologies, including: General Motors, Nestle, Procter & Gamble and more. 
  • -Network with these companies already registered to attend:
20 20 Technology * Advanis Incorporated * Alterian * American Honda Motor * Amway Corporation * Anderson Analytics LLC * Bain & Co. * Bovitz Research Group * Brand360 * CareerBuilder * Civic Science Inc. * Crimson Hexagon * CT Marketing Research * Cutting Edge Research * DavidDalka.com * Delmonte * DemandROMI * Disney Destinations * Dole Fresh Vegetables * ESPN Inc. * Flamingo Research * General Motors * Gongos Research * iCharts * Illume * Infosurv * Intel Corporation * Interviewing Services of America * Intuit * JD Power & Associates * John Deere * Kao Brands * KL Communications * Knowledge Networks * Kraft Foods * Land O Lakes * Leo Burnett * Luth Research * MARC Research * Market Strategies International * MarketVision Research * MedPanel * Millward Brown * Morpace * MSW Research * Nestle USA * NetBase Solutions * NeuroFocus * Newell Rubbermaid * Next Stage Evolution * NORC at the University of Chicago * One Point Mobile Surveys * Procter & Gamble * Pureprofile * Qualcomm * Qualvu * RSG Inc. * Sam’s Club * Samsung Electronics * Schlesinger Associates * SJR Group * Smith-Dahmer Associates * Socractic * Southwest Airlines * Sterling Rice Group * StrategyOne * Survey Analytics * Symphonetic Insight * Symrise Inc. * Takeda Pharmaceuticals America * Techneos Systems * The American Institute of Architecture * The Cleveland Clinic * The NPD Group * ThinkVine * TNS Infratest  Forschung GmbH * TXTEAGLE * Vision Critical * Vistaprint * Wells Dairy * WL Gore & Associates * Wm Wrigley Jr Company * Zynga

As a reader of The Market Research Event blog, we’re offering you an exclusive discount of 20% off the standard rate when you (or a colleague) register for TMRE & Technology Driven Market Research! Mention code TMDRBLOGRegister here.

Are you Leveraging Neuromarketing? Technology Driven MR Will Show You How

A recent article in Fast Company has highlighted the growing use of market research technologies across industries, most notably in film production through the use of neurocinema. Neurocinema uses “neurofeedback to help moviemakers vet and refine film elements such as scripts, characters, plots, scenes and affects”. This technique of capturing insights in real time is allowing film makers to capitalize on consumer preferences.

Interested in implementing neuromarketing tools and more of the latest technologies in market research?

Find out more this May at Technology Driven Market Research. Brought to you by the producers of The Market Research Event, TDMR tackles not only the technological advances in market research, but also focuses on the truly innovative, next generation techniques, that are shaping the future of business in general.

Featured Session on neuromarketing:

Dr. A.K. Pradeep, keynote speaker at this year’s Technology Driven Market Research Event, was quoted in the article as saying, forecasting “real-time instant consumer brain response-based personalization” as the eventual evolution of this technology”. You can hear more from Dr. Pradeep about the future of the industry this May, as he presents: Avatar 3D Comes to the Store Aisle.

Download the brochure for details and the complete agenda.

Lead up to the IIR TDMR Interview with Greg Heist of Gongos Research

This post is co-posted with The Green Book.

For our latest interview with presenters at the upcoming IIR Technology Driven Market Research Event the IIR and GreenBook bring you an interview with Greg Heist, Vice President of Research Innovation for Gongos Research.

I had the opportunity to spend 2 days with Greg and the team at Gongos Research last month, and I have to say that he and the entire Gongos team are some of the smartest (and nicest!) folks I have ever met. Gongos is a great example of a company firmly rooted in the absolute best of traditional market research while also reaching towards the unlimited potential of the new research paradigm. I was impressed by the innovative thinking and creativity of Greg, the way the entire organization is embracing the ideas he is championing, and their commitment to transform their business. I expect the success Gongos has had to date is just the tip of the iceberg; this is a company that will help lead our industry in the years to come.
This interview was conducted over several days via email. I think you’ll find it interesting, enlightening, and maybe even inspiring. Without further ado (or gushing!) here is my interview with Greg:

LM: Gongos Research has been coming on strong with your roll-out of new products that are generating a lot of interest within the market research space. Why do you think that is?

GH: As an organization, there are three things that get us excited to come into the office everyday: the opportunity to work with our fellow employees, our desire to help our clients understand their customers in new ways by doing great research and our drive to leverage technology and innovation to create a new norm for marketing research.

I’d like to think that the products we’ve been developing’and in particular the ioCommunities mobile app we launched last September’are generating excitement for the same reasons we’re so excited about them: because they tap into an exciting new frontier for our field. Devices like smartphones have untethered consumers from their computers, and products like ioCommunities mobile are in sync with this cultural shift and truly create a real-time conversation with consumers wherever they are.

LM: What do you think are the major drivers of change in the market research space right now and how is Gongos Research planning to take advantage of those trends?

GH: Without question, the two major drivers of change in the research world are the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablet devices and the explosive growth of growth of social media as the primary way we engage with one another online. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that each of these is a revolution that has permanently changed our culture.
From my perspective, the fact that these two megatrends are happening simultaneously is sending shock waves throughout the historically ‘staid and steady’ marketing research industry. It’s an exciting time to be in research because it is challenging all of us to either modify how we approach traditional methods or else rapidly create entirely new approaches. It’s personally fun to see all of this innovation going on and I’m constantly impressed by all of the great work various firms in our industry are doing.
From a Gongos perspective, we have made the smartphone revolution a core part of our innovation strategy. To that end, as I mentioned, we’ve launched the ioCommunities mobile app for iOS and our smartphone-based online survey platform (which works across all smartphone platforms). We’re diligently at work on the development of ioCommunities mobile for Android and plan to roll that out in the coming months.
In the social media sphere, we’ve been providing MROCs for our clients for over 5 years, and continuing to make our communities more ‘social’ is another core thrust for us in 2011. We have various initiatives going on in that regard right now and, as I meet with employees working on them, I’m amazed by the excitement and the number of powerful ideas that are being generated. I really look forward to seeing how they all take shape!

LM: I couldn’t agree with you more, and it’s great to hear of a leading established firm like Gongos embracing these new trends and actively working to leverage them, rather than fight them! Based on your current plans regarding integrating mobile, MROCs, and other social media elements into your research offerings, what do you see as the next major development that you’ll be looking at? Gaming, text analytics, social media market mix analysis, or’?

GH: To be quite honest, we are either currently looking at or working on capabilities in all of these areas right now. There are a lot of interesting ideas kicking around amongst our team and we are working hard at prioritizing them based on our longer term innovation strategy. Personally, I’m really intrigued by the possibilities of applying gaming within an MR context. It’s probably the area that has spawned some of the most innovative ideas and everyone is really energized about them!

LM: Applying the ‘gamification’ model to MR is one of the areas I’m most excited about as well. It would seem to be a great fit for Gongos based on your MROC product and internal data collection platform. Are you thinking of applying the gaming engagement model to your ioCommunities or are you actually exploring developing gaming interfaces as a data collection tool?

GH: At the moment, we have teams actively investigating both of these areas of gaming. Developing a game interface that delivers valid and meaningful research insights across product categories and brands while simultaneously being fun and engaging for players is a considerable challenge. If we ultimately decide to go down that path, it will be because we think we have a legitimate chance of achieving both of those objectives. To get something like that really ‘right’ is going to take some time, but we are definitely interested in exploring it further.

LM: Gongos seems unusual in that you are more of a traditional Full Service supplier, yet seem to have an advanced in-house innovation and development team. Most of your competitors use 3rd party solutions. What drove you to go down the custom development path and where do you see the company headed in the future as a result?

GH: We started down the path of creating proprietary research platforms primarily because of some of the unique requirements our core clients had relative to data collection and analysis. When we looked out there for off-the-shelf solutions to meet these needs, we didn’t find any so we committed to develop them ourselves. Over time, that has continued to be true and we have been able to tightly integrate our community, survey and mobile platforms to provide some really robust capabilities for our clients.
We really like what we have created so far, but also see lots of areas where we can (take) these platforms individually and collectively. My team is focused on trying to both expand the capabilities of our existing technologies as well as developing new capabilities that will integrate with them. I certainly see us continuing to invest in this area since they really provide us with flexibility and unique capabilities that we wouldn’t have if we were solely reliant on 3rd party solutions. Needless to say, our developers aren’t lacking things to work on’

LM: Gongos is one of the few MR firms that I know of that has a senior level role, plus the infrastructure to support them, dedicated to innovation. Why did the company choose to invest in innovation as a core strategy and why do you think the industry as a whole struggles with the concept of investing in innovation?

GH: The reason we continue to invest aggressively in innovation is actually pretty simple: we’ve seen it help us deliver new kinds of insights for our clients and be a catalyst for our company’s growth. But, our experience also speaks to why it’s a struggle: it’s hard to create’and pay for’that infrastructure. Getting clients to embrace innovation requires extra work because we often need to educate them about what we have created and demonstrate why it results in good research. Finally, innovation requires constantly rethinking our assumptions about what marketing research is. It’s tempting to ‘go with the flow’ and be content with doing things the way they have been done.
Internally, we are also focusing both on methodological innovation as well as technological innovation. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to make both happen, and so I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help rally the organization around both areas and ensuring that’at the end of the day’we are delivering purposeful innovation to our clients rather than simply innovating just for the sake of innovating.

LM: Based on your inclusion on the Honomichl list, it appears that you achieved the miraculous feat of growing during the Great Recession; how the heck did you pull that off?

GH: Well, first of all, we certainly feel fortunate to have gone through such an incredibly tumultuous time without experiencing a significant downturn in our business or laying off any of our employees. I think our company’s focus on long-term strategy coupled with the great work our employees have done with our client partners successfully helped us navigate through that time. During this period of time we also began some new client partnerships that quickly grew beyond our initial expectations, so that clearly had a positive impact on our growth, as well. We were also really transparent with our staff about how we were responding to the crisis and I think that helped our employees understand what we were doing and why we were doing it

LM: Thinking ahead 2-3 years, what do you think the Market Research industry will look like? What type of companies will be successful, what capabilities will be needed, and what new types of companies will be a part of what we think of as MR?

GH: I’m literally blown away by how rapidly things are changing in the research industry. There have been more disruptive innovations in the past 5 years than in the previous 15, without question. And, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So, looking ahead 2-3 years, I see social media and mobile research quickly becoming a mainstream part of how companies gain insights from consumers. With that will come a continuing re-definition of what marketing research is and how it is used. I also see more and more technology companies entering the mix and offering specific research solutions and becoming even more formidable competitors for traditional research firms.
Going forward, I think we are all going to be increasingly challenged to embrace change and create change in how we help our clients succeed and grow. If our industry wants to remain relevant and viable long-term, I think our very future depends on it.
At the same time, I don’t want to end on a doom-and-gloom message! This is’I think’an extremely exciting time. There is so much good work being done and an incredibly innovative spirit is flourishing throughout the industry. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds and excited and proud of the fact that Gongos is a part of it.

LM: I agree; it’s an exciting time and I’m actually really optimistic about where the industry is going, thanks in no small part to companies like Gongos! OK, last 2 questions: can you give me a ‘sneak peek’ into your presentation at the TDMR? What are you covering and what do you hope for the audience to get from it?

GH: My colleague Joyce Salisbury (Senior Manager, Global Market Research ‘New Methods, General Motors) and I are discussing the topic, ‘The App is Where It’s At: The Power of Untethering Online Communities’. In our session, we are going to be sharing our perspectives on how the powerful intersection of the smartphone revolution and online communities opens up an entirely new spectrum of ways to engage with and learn from consumers. We also will be talking about what we feel this means for the research industry from a generational perspective for Gen Y and beyond. We’ve learned a lot in the six months since the launch of ioCommunities mobile, and we’re looking forward to sharing our thoughts about where this rapidly emerging technology may lead us in the future.

LM: And finally, what’s next for Gongos Research in 2011? What new tricks that we haven’t covered do you have up your sleeves?

GH: Lenny, if I told you that it wouldn’t be much of a trick then, would it’ Seriously, though, since this interview has been about TDMR and what Gongos has been working on in the technology innovation space, we haven’t really talked about what we are doing on the methodology end of things to support the technology we’ve been developing. As researchers, we are really committed to helping our clients understand how they can best take advantage of these new technologies to produce great research. In light of that, we’ve got a ‘research on research’ initiative right now using our mobile survey platform to conduct some very statistically rigorous comparisons of data collected online and via smartphones. Michael Alioto, Ph.D,our VP of Marketing Sciences, is leading this initiative and we feel as though it has the potential to strongly challenge some of the accepted ‘givens’ about how mobile surveys and may help shape a new paradigm for them. We’re really passionate about what we are doing here and are looking forward to sharing the results of this later this year.
Great chatting with you, Lenny! And looking forward to seeing you at TDMR!!

About Greg Heist: Vice President, Research Innovation & Technology at Gongos Research
As the Vice President of Research Innovation for Gongos Research, Greg is responsible for guiding the innovation strategy at the company. From white-board concepts to product development, Greg and his team ensure that technology and innovation support a primary role ‘ to make the research process more engaging for consumers and more meaningful and powerful for corporations.

A practitioner and moderator with over 16 years of research under his belt, Greg is a visionary at heart. He believes we are in the midst of an evolution in the way we conduct research, and he plans to help pave the way. As an industry speaker at events produced by the IIR & AMA and author published in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, Greg has examined how advanced platforms such as virtual shopping and online research communities are increasing respondent engagement, while providing customizable, forward-thinking solutions for clients.

Greg received his BS in Industrial Administration from Kettering University, and his MS in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology.

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