Tag Archives: TMRE 2011 Live

Live from TMRE: Reactions from #TMRE 2011

Did you miss anything at TMRE? Here are some of the best recaps of various reviews around the web from this year’s event. Don’t see one of your favorites? Email it to jpereira@iirusa.com and it can be added to the list!

The Market Research Event: Live Blog Coverage 
PAI Blog: Text Analytics: Summarizing the #TMRE Hashtag traffic
Survey Gizmo: The Market Research Event 2011: Day One Recap
Survey Gizmo: The Market Research Event 2011: Five Takeaways
The Pert Group: Beyond the Traditional at The Market Research Event
Insights Gal: Wrapping Up On TMRE: InsightsGal’s TMRE Top 10
TRC Market Research: Thoughts on TMRE 2011
Affinnova: The Market Research Event 2011 – Recaps & Session Reports
Luminosity: The Market Research Event ‘ A Twitter Review
Gut Check It: Highlights from TMRE 2011
Chadwick Martin Bailey: TMRE Highlight: The Art of Choosing
@LoveStat:  Session Recaps
Tamara Barber: Innovation: Everything Is Incremental
Research Live: The three Cs of TMRE
Food & Beverage: PepsiCo and Sentient Decision Science win award at TMRE
Quirks: Make new trends but keep the old: Researchers reflect on TMRE programming
Sentient Insight: Winners of the 2011 EXPLOR Award
Next Gen Market Research: 2011 NGMR Innovation Awards

TMRE Day 3: Youth, Reimagining

The third and final day of The Market Research Event might have been my favorite of all. Folks dragged in for morning sessions, but the prior two days had brains pliable and social creativity was juiced.

A couple of thoughts that really stood out for me for the day:

  • -”We benchmark ourselves too much to our competitors.” Jeremy Gutsche of Trendhunter kept us engaged and, hopefully, eager to go back and challenge the drivers behind the work we’re all doing. It’s a dangerous endeavor to simply confirm biases with research. Involving the fringe and trends as a part of every project should be standard rather than a rarity.
  • -Christine Stasiw-Lazarchuk of Ford shared that, following Ford’s recasting of itself, the marketing had to reduce its headcount by 70% while budget was reduced 40%. Instead of “doing more with less,” Her response? “Treat your suppliers as partners…have them feel the success. You won’t be sorry.” Ford elected to build unique relationships with their suppliers; letting them into the room and to be a part of the conversation rather than tossing insights over the fence and wishing for the best. Those are the kinds of partnerships in which clients and vendors both win and create incremental value for brands – let’s all get there.
  • -The word cloud for day three shows us a couple of other key concepts: (a) Mobile (b) Gen Y. These concepts share young consumers and leading insights in common. You could say that youth and new-to-world methodologies were the real rock stars of The Market Research Event. Clients consistently share with us that youth are not only a significant target for today, but also harbingers of the future – a living future trend, so to speak. I challenge all of you to consider how a youth lens can reveal more about our efforts – whether we’re in advanced planning in auto and consumer tech or media where young peoples’ adoption rates can signal success or failure.

Considering all three days collectively I’m equal parts exhausted & thrilled as I know many of you are! And how do we know it was great? Our friends on Twitter had nothing else to say…

@johnmwilliamson: Great time at #TMRE in Orlando

@akpradeep: Terrific time at #TMRE in Orlando. Thanks to @IIRUSA for bringing together such a stellar group of marketing minds.

@ramiuscorp: Back from #TMRE. Had a gr8 time & met a lot of ppl.

@InsightsGal: Just back from #tmre and my just-getting-caffeinated mind is full of great learnings, new contacts, and fresh insights!

@statmaven: #TMRE…was a great conference. Great speakers, high octane contacts, Highly recommended, #mrx, #ngmr

@bakken17: #TMRE was awesome! Thanks for a great time full of learning.

It’s safe to say that TMRE was valuable again this year. The weight, now, is on all of us to DO something with these great insights. Perhaps in 2012 will be YOUR year to present on your success applying your 2011 TMRE learnings?

All the best to a great year ahead for each and every one of you.

TMRE 2011: The Trend Report: Clusters of Innovation

This guest post was written by Jeffrey Henning.  He is the Chief Marketing Officer of Affinnova, an innovation software and services firm exhibiting at The Market Research Event.

Jeremy Gutsche, founder of Trendhunter.com and author of Exploiting Chaos, gave the second keynote Wednesday morning at The Market Research Event. His presentation answered some fundamental questions:

  • ‘ How do we make market research more successful?
  • ‘ How do we get our companies to win based on the work we do?

‘Market research makes chaos such an interesting thing,’ Jeremy said. ‘In times of chaos, what people buy becomes a challenge. Chaos creates opportunity, but market research makes success happen.’ During times of chaos, some companies topple while ‘new giants are born’. Peter Drucker said, ‘It’s not the questions that change, it is the answers that do.’

Jeremy sees two trends in research: the supremacy of culture and the tragic return of gut instinct.

Market research used to be driven by product, but product research is now ubiquitous. ‘Now research is about experience.’ What does Harley Davidson sell? If you ask their head of marketing, he’ll say, ‘What we sell is the ability for a 43 year old accountant to ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him!’

Jeremy showed a 1950s ad for Old Spice that focused on product, price and maker and contrasted it with their most recent ad campaign.

‘Popular is not cool, so you are ultimately trying to find what other people can’t see. Cool is unique, cutting edge, the next big thing. Because of that, it generates word of mouth and viral attention. What happens when we hunt for cool’? While new ideas surround us, it is not tough to find a new idea. When researchers think about customers, competitors and strategy instead of innovation, they skip steps and rely on gut instinct for innovation. ‘People are less innovative and more focused on innovation ‘ we lack the inspiration.’

This can be rectified by following a methodological approach to innovation:

  1. 1. Trend hunting
  2. 2. Adaptive innovation
  3. 3. Infectious marketing
  4. 4. Culture

As a negative case study, Jeremy highlighted Smith Corona. Smith Corona had done the market research and knew the trends but they didn’t reinvent themselves out of the typewriter industry. Smith Corona had 100 years of innovation, hitting $500 million in revenues in 1989 while continuing to grow. ‘Who needs computers’? they might have asked themselves, especially given the example of their competitor, Remington Rand Typewriters. Remington Rand had expanded into computers in 1975 but went bankrupt by 1981. In 1985, Smith Corona had a personal word processor (like a laptop with a built-in printer). ‘Many people believe that the typewriter and word-processor business is a buggy-whip industry, which is far from true,’ their CEO, G. Lee Thompson, said in 1992. ‘There is still a strong market for our products in the United States and the world.’ Smith Corona was focused on being the best typewriter company in the world rather than on serving a broader mission. They had a chance to acquire Acer but declined. Acer is one of the largest PC makers today. ‘If you don’t fail, you will become the best typewriter company in the world!’ Unfortunately, Smith Corona declared bankruptcy in 1995. ‘Situational framing dictates the outcome,’ Jeremy said. And he asked, again, ‘What are you trying to do’?

‘Successful organizations innovate to ‘optimize’ position on their ‘hill’, but to find bigger ‘hills’, most fail.’ Because you can become a little bit more successful, you do. Trying to become much more successful risks failure. When Smith Corona tried computers for the first time, it wasn’t successful in comparison to their established business.

How do you succeed in the long term? You have to become obsessed with what customers are about. Iron Eyes Cody (an Italian actor who starred in the America Is Beautiful litter campaign) made an emotional connection with viewers but had no impact on how frequently people litter. Does emotion alone matter? If we are thinking about how to get people to stop littering, what should we do? The continuum of impact is:

  1. 1. Function is a baseline. Old-school marketing was about function, telling people how something worked
  2. 2. Benefit comes next, motivating people; for instance, pointing out that littering has a fine.
  3. 3. Connect is third, making an emotional connection.
  4. 4. Culture is the ultimate in impact. You have to create a Cultural connection to empower people to act and change. That is why people tattoo corporate logos on themselves ‘ like Harley Davidson. If you Google ‘I love ING’ you will find many customer stories, because their customers see ING as being part of the same team. ‘You will set your team on a mission if you can make an authentic cultural connection.’

Back to reducing littering. Who litters? A Texas agency did the research. Young males (18-30 years old) who drive pickup trucks litter the most; they have a ‘King of My World’ culture. So the Texas agency GSD&M came up with the campaign ‘Don’t Mess with Texas”. One of their first commercials featured two Dallas Cowboys football players saying to a litterer, ‘Don’t mess with me. Don’t mess with Texas.’ The campaign spoke to people and their culture. It resonated, and Texans actually now go to YouTube and upload their own commercials for the campaign.

‘When you think you have done something memorable or remarkable, like that Iron Eye Cody commercial, you haven’t succeeded if it hasn’t created impact,’ Jeremy said. ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ had impact. The goal was to reduce litter by 5%. From 1986 to 1990, litter was reduced by 72%!

What lessons can we learn as market researchers? In all companies, observe customers, interact with them, watch them choose, observe usage ‘ not ethnography per se, but spend time with customers so that you can internalize their attitudes and create a connection out of your research. Culture is key. ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’ is a sign outside Ford’s Strategy War Room. Ask yourself, ‘What are you trying to do’?

Live from TMRE: Day 3 Summary

Great sessions and discussions today at TMRE!

My first session today was with Oskar Korkman of Nokia who discussed his approach to assuring that the consumer is at the heart of product development and marketing.

Here are some main takeaways:
1. Focus on shared consumer context’ not on the defined segments of consumers
2. It’s about empowerment’ not about targeted and pre-defined value
3. What happens between people is more interesting than people themselves
4. It is about everyday life and social change’ not about technologies and adoption of technologies

Social connectivity is for a purpose ‘ people are looking for quality over quantity. Korkman describes the types of relationships that exist and they range from public to private:
‘ Self (private)
‘ Lifelong (intimate)
‘ Friendship
‘ Purposeful (common interests, not really interested in the person – yet)
‘ Incidental (public; when strangers meet each other)

And when segmenting, he suggests a more robust approach is to split behaviors into groups instead of people. The commonalities will exist despite of geography and will be much more robust!

Julia Oswald of Domino’s Pizza held a captivating session explaining the role of insights on the company’s recent turnaround of quality, transparency, brand equity measures, and (most importantly) sales. Specifically, Oswald explained her teams’ use of foundational research (using mixed quantitative and qualitative methods).

The foundational research includes:
‘ Market Mix modeling
‘ Occasion-based segmentation
‘ Consumer trends framework
‘ Industry growth
‘ Brand DNA and Equity

And the insights derived?
‘ A brand DNA
‘ A consumer trends framework that compares the brand experience attributes to macro consumer trends.

In combination with a reformulation of the chain’s pizza, research-driven advertising that showcased their once problem areas proved to be effective with increases in brand equity measures, and highly resonate ads with consumers. A true success story with market research at the core!

My final session for the day was with John Wright of Safeway. He brought us through his teams’ findings of the low-income grocery shopper. (Cue the bullet-points!)

IRI defined lower income shoppers as:
‘ Under 35 and over 65
‘ Families
‘ Hispanic and African Americans

Financial worries
‘ Twice as much financial anxiety as their high-income counterparts
‘ 77% say they generally live paycheck to paycheck
‘ 6 in 10 worry about having enough money to put food on the table

Impact of the recession
‘ Effects them today, but also their expectations for the future

Health & Wellness
‘ 2/3 satisfied with current health (slightly less than population)
‘ Less likely to engage in preventative care
‘ Over-indexes on stress, anxiety, depression, lack of energy, and memory (perhaps b/c of age)

Food trade-offs
‘ Low price tends to trump trade off decisions for the segment, frequently at the expense of nutritional content. Price, taste, nutrition.
‘ Heavy on center store, light on perimeter
‘ Mac Cheese, chips, soda, bottled water, hot dogs. Low cost, and other heavily promoted items
‘ Do not believe their diets are healthy
‘ Strong interest in fortified/functional foods

Grocery Shopping
‘ Spend less per trip, make more trips
‘ Bump in first week of the month (when government checks are dispersed)
‘ Big on circulars (they have an internal gauge of an acceptable price)
‘ Plan their meals using weekly circulars
‘ Create list to stay on budget
‘ Will shop multiple stores, use coupons, buy in bulk and the store brand on their lists
‘ Preparing meals ‘ cook from scratch because it’s cheaper
‘ They make plans for their leftovers
‘ Income is sporadic and uncertain
‘ Buy seasonal, local, and bulk to save money

While the information shared is specific to grocery, I found a deeper meaning in the session: We have to understand our shoppers’ struggles to understand their capabilities. When we can submerge ourselves in our shoppers lives, we can also better understand our data and provide much more meaningful, and actionable research recommendations.

Thank you all for reading! I look forwarding to see you at TMRE next year back here in Florida!

Garrett McGuire (@GJMcGuire) is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, “The Journal of a mAD Man,” that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

Live from TMRE: Day 3 – what a day wth Intel, Disney, YouTube and Microsoft BING (and CIA)…

Could there
be another TMRE day tomorrow? Should there be one? Hmm, I think we all have to
go back to work and do interesting research stuff and thinking.

But I will bring
a lot of interesting thoughts back with me to Germany. I saw a lot of
interesting sessions and talked to a lot of interesting people (some which I
only knew from Twitter). But before I’ll have to leave I would like to share my
thoughts on this third day of TMRE.
I started
the day with the two keynotes, ‘Why Bad Behaviour Is Good Politics by Bruce
He started with some interesting sentences:
are deadlier in Iran or China than Chile, Honduras or Italy’
‘All of the
world’s top universities are in democracies’
exported baby formula and food in the 90s while over 500.000 of its children
died needlessly from malnutrition and disease’
another quiz:
You want
job security? Huge income? The need to do want you want? Everyone should praise
you? Looking for perfect job privacy balance? Become a dictator! :-)
drilled it down to five rules, applicable for all organizations (families,
charities, companies etc.)
1. To be a
successful dictator rely only on as few people as possible, only use a small
coalition of supporters
2. Get a small
‘coalition’ of people and drawn them from a large pool of people, the larger
the better. It is important that they know that they can be are easily
3. Tax max! Get
out of customers as much as possible.
4. Pay your
coalition just enough so they don’t think to switch to the other side. But don’t
pay more than that.  If you pay them too
much, they are able to gain wealth and spend the money and at the end fights
5. Don’t
waste money on improving the lives of the people you rule. They aren’t
important because you don’t benefit from them at all
Very charismatic
speech, but I didn’t really get the connection to market research, promise to
think harder :-)
The second
one was Jeremy Gutsche, founder of Trendhunter.com, again a very engaging
presentation. You could see that he is a ‘man for the stage’.
He was all
about two different trends in recent times:
1. The
supremacy of culture
2. The tragic
return of gut instinct (which we don’t like that much ;-) )
He pointed
out that market research used to be driven by product. But that isn’t hitting
the nail anymore. It’s about experience. Most of the companies sell products,
but consumers buy experiences (see Harley Davidson).

So, to his
point of view, we are hunting for the cool stuff, because cool stuff is unique,
cutting edge, viral, the next big thing’ So you’ll have to create a culture!

Great case
study about littering. See the answer from the research and the execution from
ad agency and goolge for ‘Don’t mess with Texas’. Here is the link.  
important notes for me: Create a connection to the research! Or connect the
research to an experience!

 Then I went
to some cool sessions. YouTube, Disney, BING, Intel’
Good stuff: 
Sundar Doraj-Raj from Google showed how to measure the impact of advertising. They
have instream ads, overlays, banner / rich media and promoted videos (yes, they
belong to google)
And YouTube
is incredibly growing. 3 billion views a day, 48 hours of videos uploaded every
day’ Why is this important? It is, because they earn money with this. 2 billion
monetized views every week.

So they did
some experimental designs and found out that instream ads (those that are
running prior to the video you choose) are most disturbing the users. Not
surprising at all, because they stop you from doing what you want. This is
getting slightly better when the instream ad is skippable, but this kind of
advertising remains one of the most critical issues in terms of usage and
visiting YouTube.  But be sure they will react
on this.
I also
heard some inspiring words about culture in a creative organization from Yoni
Karpfen, Consumer Research Club Penguin (Disney
). It was very impressive to see
how children aged 6 to 12 deal with daily politics in a playful way (like 9/11,
breast cancer day or Japan tragedy).
But this
kind of product need perpetual creative development and the question is how to
do this and what to develop next? Yoni led us through their research process
which delivers a highly creative experience. They listen to the players, live
and breathe the experience. And they have a huge community support team which
is connected to the users anytime.
They are trying
to make research free or cheap instead of expensive, fast instead of slow, friendly
instead of controversial, trustworthy instead of questionable, tailored to the
audience instead of complicated and cool & fun instead of boring. And of
course they have to in order to fuel the creative network and their core

Inspiration meets information, creative has to be compatible to operational.
Empathy is the key, and that itself refers to culture. 
Microsoft /
is measuring social network conversation and WoM to understand how Gen Y
is talking about their brand to get more emotional connection insights of
Generation Y. They better do, because 10.1% of Gen Y visits MSN.com on a
monthly basis. So MSN and Bing’s target for 2011 has been Gen Y for all their
media spend & targeting. It is a little bit confusing, because Lise Nicole
Brende told us that the Bing research team mainly consists of Gen X
researchers. So how can Gen X researchers deep dive into the habits and rituals
of Gen Y (but this is another story’).
They moved
their attention towards so called Connected Socialiszers (Facebook centric) which
produce 47% of all BING searches. In former time they focused on Information
Seekers (responsible for 20% of BING searches).

We heard a
lot about Gen Y then, taken from the Cassandra Report, and how BING tries to
adopt these findings. They constantly try to get in touch with this optimistic,
control demanding, group oriented and sometimes overwhelmed and stressed Gen Y.
One of the key assets BING has is Gen Y trend seeker panel, providing feedback to
them, a very interesting and valuable source.
Last but
not least I attended the session by Intel about Experience Driven Innovation.
It was again very interesting and presented on a high level.  Tony Salvador was pointing out that Intel is looking
for long term evolution trends to use for corporate development. He said that
experience that is based on data is future. It delivers new ways of business,
new way of making money, new ways of interacting. And he left us with 5 take
- Exchange
drives markets
- Many
markets are comprised of people
- People have
values and they seek value
- Organized
complexity is right there
- Cultural
values in Flux drive Expertise
I have to
say good-bye for now. See you later! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter
@olympiamilano :-)
Btw, for
more check out the gorgeous twitter hashtag #TMRE

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

TMRE Day 2: The Best Profession in the World

Day 2 of The Market Research Event begged us all to step up our games a bit and it’s fair to say that everyone, from speakers to attendees, gave over a larger piece of their brains to the general discourse.

That our brains were better tapped in is prescient – the day was all about two key themes: (1) insights as breakthroughs and; (2) the depths of the mind and how we as researchers can better connect with the deepest of human emotions and connections.

Drs. Sheena Iyengar and Mimi Ito were both phenomenal keynotes yesterday. Iyengar pressed us to look at the depth achievable in simplicity – how simplicity is really the key to connecting with consumers; particularly in aisle.

Ito extended that thinking to a discrete cohort – teens; one that keeps me and my TRU colleagues busy 24/7. The comparative insights of Japanese vs. US youth were outstanding; bringing color and a respected voice to an argument we’ve been making for a couple of years: teens are the flashpoint for innovation and new tech/media adoption.

As we rolled into sessions, it’s helpful to consider some of the more prominent terms in the word cloud above: thinking, insights, research, choice, people and society.

Leaders like Blizzard and the American Cancer Society showed us how to work together better by better harnessing our internal data assets to drive meaningful, communicable insights and building stronger, more flexible terms into client-vendor relationships.

J&J, Intel and others took us into the mind; asking us to balance concepts like the lizard-dog brain with our traditional research views and outlooks. Those two presentations, along with guidance from Kraft, were a fantastic lead into AK Pralad’s presentation on NeuroFocus and the way EEG readings can help us truly tap into the mind’s mysteries.

To sum up the value of yesterday’s discussions would be impossible, but I was struck by a quote from one of the most popular sessions yesterday that had folks clamoring for an encore:

“Market research is the BEST profession in the world” – Stan Sthanunathan of Coke

Hear, hear!

Live from TMRE 2011: Learnings from Coca Cola, Henkel, Mars Pet Care and 3M

Yes of course, putting famous brands in the headline always is a good
idea… But today I learned how to choose… ;-)
The second day of this year’s The Market Research Event is nearly over and
I have to say it was very inspiring as well as educational to a certain extent.
Everything started with the keynote sessions and a session I had really
looked forward to: “The Art of Choosing” by the impressive Sheena

“Be choosy about choosing” was the summary of it all. But before
coming to this final recommendation she was takling about one of the most
relevant problem in everyday life consumption of any goods. How do people
choose and how could choosing be simplified. If you are more familiar
with  “the narrowing down problem” by Fidelity research or the
“3 by 3 rule” by McKinsey, you know what Sheena was talking
In her own words she was talking about the “jam problem”. She
showed some of her experiments and one was about jam. Draeger’s Grocery Store
for instance has a huge variety of options to choose between all kinds of
products, besides others 348 different kinds of jams. The question is, is it
useful to have that large variety of options? To test this in the experiment
she tested two stands, one with 6 jams and one with 24 jams. At the booth wit
24 jams 60% stopped, at the both with 6 jams 40% stopped. But only 3% bought
something at the 24 jam stand and 30% bought something at the 6 jam
stand.  So it was more than 6 times more likely to buy jam if 6 jams were
offered than 24 jams. The number of choices is attracting but the choice itself
is much more difficult. 
In another experiment people were asked to choose chocolate, one group out
of 6 pieces and another out of 30. At the end they could rather have money or
chocolate for incentive. Chocolate choosen from the 30 piece deck was perceived
as less delicious and people tend to take the money more often than the
This leads to three different negative consequences for brands and
1. Commitment – The
number of choices weakens the commitment toward the choice anyway, even if it
is important to consumers
2 Decision quality – The more
choices they have, the lower the perceived quality of the decision
3 Satisfaction – The more
choices they have, the less satisfied they are with their choice they made
But why is this?
We have cognitive limitations, the modern world is designed for experts who
knows how to skip suboptimal options.
Options are more and more indistinguishable. Differences are to small but
variety is often seen as a competitve advantage, no matter how small the
differences are. 
And there is more pressure to choose anyway. Because we aspire to be unique
(but not extraordinary). And our choices express our personality. We think:
“If I choose this what does this say about who I am and what I want and
how does the choice reflect on what I want and who I am…”
So it is all about offering a better choosing experience!
And there are three techniques to deliver this:
1. cut – retailer ALDI ist probably the best example to express what sheena
means with “cut”
2. categorize – look at Best Sellers and they categorization of wine to get
an idea what’s behind this
3. condition – start easy with complex choices and slightly increase
complexity within the process of choice
The next one was a good experience. I was sitting at the bloggers’ desk and
was glad to have a seat. 
The room was crowded, first time at TMRE in the session I attended. Diane
Hessan and Stan Sthanunatahn were there to talk about Market Researchers in the
21st century. Amazing, they only showed one chart, and this was the title ;-)
So it was more an interview than a track session, but very interesting to
hear a big company’s perspective on the future needs of our industry. Want to
read some quotes? Here you are:
“Market research is the best profession in the world, because it is at
the heart of every important decision”
“But the best
profession is also boring, because parts of the jobs are boring. Processes are
designed to be boring”
“Challenge is inspiring
people. Be a change agent.”
“Surveys may not always
be the truth, and why would you tell the truth to a complete stranger?”
“What makes Coke so
successful? Not just the tv commercials, but the “strong community
“brand health can’t be
developed in a month, why measure it on a monthly base?”
“Synthesize your findings
into an informed dream of the future”
“Take the familiar and
make it unfamiliar. Convey facts in a different way to inspire”
Nothing to add at this point
Then I attended a session from the Marketing & Brand Insight
track and one from the Activating Insights track. 
Ann Bearth was talking about 3M and the efforts they made by reactivating
the brand. Quite interesting to see what barriers to overcome internally and
how to roll out a real huge internal and external survey. One of the most
interesting findings to my point of view was the fact that younger employees of
3M are more engaged in the brand, for customers the opposite is true.
And that brand activation can be ensured by sharing the stories of the
companies and their brands, internally and externally.
Henkel also found a great internal experience to bring insights to life.
They decided to have an internal live event in order to let the consumer speak
and to show the employees their work in order to use their power and ideas to
develop new ways of increasing usage of the prodcts the compay sells. All in
all it was an intense experience for them.
But Heiko Sch??fer also pointed out waht you have to keep in mind when doing
this kind of internal event. Some very valuable pieces of advise:
- Identify important business topics
- Set and track the event against clear objectives and KPIs
- Plan ahead and don’t underestimate the time and effort required
- New skills are required
- Make it big
- Engage your audience
- Make it fun
But don’t stop at the end of a one-shot. Make it a process and show your
Be out in front and lead. 
This indeed was an encouraged speech about the current and future role of
market research in companies and for agencies.
Personally I have to say TMRE doesn’t mean “too much really enough

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

Live from TMRE 2011: It’s All About the Brain

What a day at TMRE! Like yesterday, there seemed to be at least one blatant theme: the brain.

It started this morning with Dr. Sheena Iyengar, author of The Art of Choosing, describing the complexity of consumer decision-making. For example, in some cases, we may only prefer seven choices to choose from (like shopping for jam), but in other situations (such as getting your nails painted), you might prefer to have 40-50 color options. In any case, it is our role to understand how consumers are making decisions and how we can increase the probability of them either a) choosing to purchase anything at all or b) increase our product. This level of understanding is critical for understand how consumers are choosing us.

Jennifer Nelson of Johnson & Johnson (in the Activating Insights track) also discussed the role of the brain in decision-making in her discussion of “Integrating Marketing Transformation with Marketing Research Innovation.” She discussed, like Ipsos yesterday, the difference in instinctual and deliberative mindsets. Her focus, however, was slightly different. She focused on how we can communicate the differences in consumer mindset to other business units (who may believe that consumers are rational decision-makers). A problem, she explains, is that humans are not wired to notice slow, subtle, change; and this applies to a business where we are trying to educate business units the complexities of decision-making and consumerism. Her suggestions?

  1. Bring the thinking to a broader context (bring people in that will challenge different thinking)
  2. Apply to business issues (get the buy in to apply emotion mining to one of your current business issues).

Dr. Leeza Slessareva of Visa (in the New Tools & Breakthrough Methodology track) discussed one my favorite topics (as it relates to advertising), priming in her presentation of “Quantitative Methods for Understanding Subconsciousness.” Priming, she explains, is the influence on our thoughts, feelings and behavior with the environment. For example, during the week, a grocery store might play slower music (the primer) that subconsciously influences shoppers to take their time through the store, and be more relaxed. The music during the weekend, however, might be much faster to subconsciously influence people to shop must faster to help move the lines faster and avoid crowding. Priming is a can be used in advertising (for example, media placement), to transfer the feelings and perceptions of a show or magazine to “rub off” onto the product or brand experience. The subconscious is activating with priming and measured across groups to understand the effect of priming.

Of course, the presentation by Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO of NeuroFocus, Inc., was also laser focused to helping us understand our brains (and those of our shoppers) and for getting at true shopper experiences (on a side note: I am absolutely expecting this video to go viral – “Listen to your Brain” – Just sayin’). At a 10,000 foot level, these are the shopper experience dimensions that we need to be focused on for understanding our shoppers’ experiences:

Shopper Experience Dimensions:

  • Self-worth
  • Simplicity
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Interaction
  • Information
  • Community

The Main Takeaway

The brain is an inevitable force that’s responsible for all decision making; yet it is still a mystery – a big black box. Neuroscience is reaching many areas of our field, and there is a great need for accessing human emotions, feelings, and thoughts that guide traditional research metrics that have been based in the absolute outcome of all thinking: behavior. To keep up with, or ahead of, your competitors, understanding what’s behind behavior is incredibly important, and that was evident in many of today’s sessions at The Market Research Event.

Garrett McGuire (@GJMcGuire) is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, “The Journal of a mAD Man,” that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

TMRE 2011: Coca-Cola VP talks about Truth, Insights and Community

It is obvious that Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President, Marketing Strategy & Insights at The Coca Cola Company, loves his job.

He opened with “The marketing research profession is the best profession in the world….for one simple reason. Insight is the most critical thing.” 

Well, he certainly knows his audience because most of us here at The Market Research Event agree with him…at least I do:)

Diane Hessan, President & Ceo of Communispace facilitated the discussion, and she told me prior to the session start that it would be worth blogging about…and it was!

This is what I enjoyed most about his presentation:

1. Visionary thinking“The responsibility of companies is to help create the future…..but you have to learn how to stop looking in the rearview mirror?” 
 2. Perspective on hiring. “Hire people that are not the same as you had before.” He said that many of his “strange hires” have turned out to be “great hires.” He also cautioned companies not to “outsource your thinking.” 
3. Clear communication of the brand. “What makes coca cola what it is today? It’s the community we have established..that we touch people on a daily basis.” “It’s a drink that promotes happiness.” Check out what Coca-Cola is now doing with a program they call 5 BY 20.

April Bell

TMRE Day 1: Learning from our Explorer peers

Day one of The Market Research Event is in the books and, while the start was a little less caffeinated than we’d collectively hoped, my sense is that we all really built up a head of steam as the day evolved.

Seven track sessions today capped by former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy’s interview kept my keys clacking on Twitter and my brain whirring while I endeavored to keep up with the insights, best practices, thoughts and guidance of some of our brightest research and marketing peers. To help organize all that I was exposed to today, I word-clouded my tweets and some themes start to emerge.

One, duh, we’re at TMRE. But, what about the other stuff?!

Well, Yum! Brands, Pepsico, AT&T and CBS Interactive really made an impression on me. And, it’s no surprise: they brought some of the most exciting insights to bear today extracted from the front edge of market research.

Further exploration of the cloud substantiates this: mobile, India, local, aspiring… The insights around aspirational lower income consumers in India delivered by Pepsico were some of the most powerful I had a chance to learn from. Need states are driven by so many elements and, for those of us in market research, our charge is to balance need states with the challenges of executing sound research in developing markets – languages, local nuances, and access.

On the front edge of “developed” markets’ developing research landscape, AT&T and CBS Interactive shared how they’ve leveraged mobile research to drive innovation and product development with a powerful mix of qual and quant.

We all have to love sessions like these where our explorers are coming back from their expeditions to share with us the paths forward. I’m excited to hear from more trailblazers tomorrow!