Tag Archives: The Market Research Event 2012

Your Life, By The Numbers

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGalon Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven.

As we get closer to TMRE I’ve been thinking more and more about data.

  • -The data that we are gathering and analyzing during our research projects
  • -The data that flows through the estimated 75 million servers worldwide each day
  • -And what’s most interesting to me lately – the data that we are all capturing every day about our daily lives. What we eat, how fast we run, what medicines we take, how many times we post to Twitter, and so on.

Life tracking, as it’s called, was profiled in 2010 by Gary Wolf of WIRED in an article for the New York Times entitled The Data-Driven life. In his article, Wolf highlighted that what was once the playground of the “ultrageek” was becoming increasingly mainstream as social and mobile grew:

‘People got used to sharing,’ says David Lammers-Meis, who leads the design work on the fitness-tracking products at Garmin. ‘The more they want to share, the more they want to have something to share.’ Personal data are ideally suited to a social life of sharing. You might not always have something to say, but you always have a number to report.

This is how the odd habits of the ultrageek who tracks everything have come to seem almost normal.

So yeah, there are “ultrageeks” like Tim Ferriss and Nicholas Felton who track their lives on a very deep, granular level. But us ‘regular folks’ are starting to pursue life tracking, whether we’re aware of it or not.

  • -Perhaps you’re trying to lose weight so you’re logging your meals with WeightWatchers orSparkPeople
  • -Perhaps you’re trying to PR your next half marathon, so you’re using your&GarminForerunner to calculate your time, distance and pace, and wirelessly send your data to your computer.
  • -You might even be using RescueTime to track how productive (or not) you’re being at work so you can modify your habits appropriately.
  • -If you’re heavily into social media, you may even be using apps like Memento to take your social updates and put them into daily diary format.

If you’re doing any of the above, you’re well on your way to life tracking.  There are an a bundance of apps for your i-devices that allow you to track pretty much everything about your life.

So, why do I find this so fascinating? Two reasons:

  1. 1) The more mainstream life tracking becomes, potentially the more willing research participants might be to share life tracking information.
  2. 2) Big data. The more folks get into life tracking, the more data may become available about the research participants and/or trends we may want to study.

I look forward to discussing market research, big ideas, big data, and even life tracking at TMRE - I’ll see you there!
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More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the’Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you’d like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program, download the agenda.

Clear view on MR things needed…

One of the good things when blogging for a longer period of time is the fact that you – virtually – get to know a lot of people in your area of profession.

One of the bad things is, that if you keep on blogging about specific topics for let’s say more than three years, you will see the day, that somebody you love to follow and read stops blogging. Although there are a lot of reasons for someone to stop blogging, sometimes you wish to read more from some “fading blogs”.

However, sometimes it is valuabel to re-scan even those once loved “fading blogs”, search for the good postings, re-read it and see if and what has changed over tim.

Yesterday I re-found one of my all time favourite posts ever – from May 2010.

Obviously MR hasn’t died and is still alive, but some of Mr. Heretic, the blog owner, manifesto-style hypotheses are of course still dominating today’s MR-scene.

For example this one: “You killed market research when you defended the status quo.” To be honest, this is what we do every day, don’t we? And for some reasons this is okay. But what about innovations?

I very much agree to Katie’s view on active innovation. And MR has already talked a lot about innovation in 2012..

… but nearly exclusively to its clients :-)  
However, what about innovating the own industry?

Another example: “You killed market research when you mistook information for understanding”
To be honest, I got a little bit fed up with the term “insight” over the last years. If every piece of information, offered to me as an insight really was an insight, I would be a wise man today.

Mistaking information for understanding also leads to the fact that we mis-educate our professional young talent. They often use the word insight, not knowing the difference between information and understanding.

So even MR is still alive our MR-world is still complex.
One of the consequences: We need a clear view on things and talk with each other about  the requirements.

To get a clear view on the status quo regarding innovation and insighting (beyond lots of others) make sure that you join us at the The Market Research Event 2012, hosted by IIRUSA November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL. For more about this year’s program download the agenda.

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Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany helping clients from US and Asia to research Europe. He has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!