Tag Archives: trends

Innovation: When It Pays To Take Things Slow

On Day 2 of TMRE, in the Innovation Track, a case study presentation
by Sargento Foods inadvertently illuminated one of the big issues in
innovation: the gulf between how we talk about it, and how it actually happens.
The track chairs, Michael Laux and Thania Farrar of Burke,
kicked the session off with the former, a chart showing the ever accelerating
pace of technological innovation. It was the kind of chart that shows the
electric lightbulb and the steam engine as less dramatic advances than the iPad
‘ but it made its point. This is how people in our industry talk innovation ‘
as an ever-accelerating hamster wheel of change on which brands must spin or
fall off.
But is that really how innovation works? Michelle Monkoski
and Barbara Kilcoyne of cheese giant Sargento implied a rather different view ‘
where patience and timing, not frantic acceleration, are the keys to innovating
against consumer trends.
Their case study focused on Sargento’s Cheese Medleys
product, a proposed 2004 launch which mixed cheese, nuts and fruit in packs.
Cheese Medleys boasted an array of benefits ‘ a high-protein snack with healthy
ingredients, perfect for on-the-go consumers. It was a ‘balance snack’, where
buyers didn’t have to choose between great taste and nutrition.  But if you’re struggling to picture it,
though, don’t worry: in testing, Cheese Medleys was a failure. The benefits
simply didn’t connect with consumers.
Sargento cares about consumer trends, though. It has an
annual trend day ‘ called Trendscape ‘ whose results feed into R&D, Sales,
Category Management, Marketing and Business Development. Through its consumer
trend work ‘ based on research and on thinking outside the category box ‘ it could
see trends coming down the pipe like a new interest in the health benefits of
protein, like ‘snackification’ and greater demand for one-the-go food, and like
a rethinking of what ‘healthy’ food is.
This last trend was particularly crucial ‘ it represented a
shift in the consumer mindset from reactive health to proactive health. With
reactive health, you try to cut out the bad stuff. With proactive health, you
try and embrace the good stuff. Ideas of balance, of real and wholesome
ingredients, and of freshness came back into play.

An idea whose time had come.

These were exactly the kind of trends that Cheese Medleys
had been designed to appeal to. And now they were heading into the mainstream.
So, eight years on from the poor performance of Cheese Medleys, Sargento
designed and launched Balanced Breaks. The same basic concept, but now the
trends it addressed were more familiar and recognisable to consumers.
Sargento left little to chance. Everything from the flavours
to the semiotics of the package ‘ designed to remind consumers of a yin-yang
sign and suggest balance ‘ was carefully considered before launch. And Balanced
Breaks proved to be an idea whose time had come ‘ it’s been a success,
outperforming expectations for Sargento.
The philosophy Sargento applied for this successful
innovation is a simple but powerful one. You need three things. You need a
strong brand. You need on-point trend identification. And you need the right
timing and meaningful activation
for consumers.
In other words, successful innovation for a mass market
brand isn’t always about the headlong rush towards novelty. It’s also a waiting
game. You sometimes need to patiently wait until the trends your idea speaks to
are sufficiently mainstream and recognisable among consumers for your launch to
succeed. As the presenters said, ‘Don’t be afraid to take a new look at an old
That’s not the glamorous route to innovation at the bleeding
edge. But it works.

Don’t miss KNect365′s Fall 2016 Event Lineup!

Can you feel it? Fall is in the air, and so is conference
We’re excited to announce our fall 2016 event schedule of 10
Insights, Marketing and Innovation events produced for you to do your job
Our goal through these events is to inspire, inform, and
connect you with leaders from across industries to see, think, and act
Check out the full
event lineup:

TMRE: The Market Research Event
Boca Raton, FL
October 17-20
Use code TMRE16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bjGsUg
The Corporate Intrapreneur Summit
New York, NY
September 8-9
Use code INTRA16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bDaaBs
Foresight & Trends
Miami Beach, FL
September 27-29
Use code FT16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2brD48C
Future of Food Summit
Miami Beach, FL
September 27
Use code FT16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bSbIIn
FEI:Front End of Innovation Europe
Berlin, Germany
October 5-7
Use code FEIEU16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bmcbAW
LEAN Startup in the Enterprise
Hoboken, NJ
October 24-25
Use code LEAN16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bQEqJH
Back End of Innovation
New Orleans, LA
November 15-17
Use code BEI16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bjHn79
OmniShopper International
London, England
November 15-17
Use code OMNIINTL16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bjI943
ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts
Orlando, FL
November 15-17
Use code PW16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bEmcid
FUSE London
London, England
November 30-December 2
Use code PW16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/2bmdNuB
We hope you will join us at one of our events this fall!
The KNect365 Insights, Marketing and Innovation Team

Top 10 Trends Impacting the Future of Insights & Innovation

In the world of insights and innovation, trends are
impacting the way we understand our customers, cultivate relationships with
customers, improve products, create new products, and build business in a very
big way.
This year at KNect365′s Insights, Marketing and Innovation
Division, we have an amazing lineup of conferences that will help you inspire
new thinking and drive your business forward.
Here are the key trends we think you need to stay on top of:
Conscious Leadership
John Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market,
Best-Selling Author, Conscious Capitalism:
Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business
Find this session at
TMRE October 18-20: http://bit.ly/25cgoRY
Directing the Story (with a Little Help from Aladdin,
Fantasia, Pocahontas & Piglet)
Francis Glebas, Author: The Animators Eye and Directing the
Story, Director, Storyboard and Visual Development Artist, Disney, Dreamworks
Find this session at
TMRE October 18-20: http://bit.ly/25cgoRY
Deciphering Generations X, Y and V: How to Understand Next
Generations and their Trends for guaranteed reach.
Jane Buckingham, Founder and CEO, Trendera, bestselling
Find this session at Marketing Analytics & Data Science
June 8-10: http://bit.ly/1ssK1gf
Google’s Evolving Toolset for Omnichannel Measurement
Matt Seitz, Google
Find this session at OmniShopper July 11-13: http://bit.ly/1Xmsdiu
Technologies to Watch Out for and Their Impact
Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association
Find this session at Foresight & Trends September 27-29:
Big Data
Big Data and Deep Analytics: The Industries of the Future
Alec Ross, New York Times Best-Selling Author, The
Industries of the Future, Former Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation
at the State Department
Find this session at TMRE October 18-20: http://bit.ly/25cgoRY
Evolving Celebrations ‘ Getting to the Heart of the Consumer
Carol Miller and Andrea Navratil, America Greetings
Find this session at Marketing Analytics & Data Science
June 8-10: http://bit.ly/1ssK1gf
How Logitech Gained Valuable Agile Shopper Insights
Betsy Aristud, Logitech
Find this session at OmniShopper July 11-13: http://bit.ly/1Xmsdiu
Conscious Leadership
John Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market,
Best-Selling Author, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of
Find this session at
TMRE October 18-20: http://bit.ly/25cgoRY
Entrepreneurship & the Future of Food
Manoj Fenelon,
Find this session at Foresight & Trends September 27-29:
We hope you join us
at one of our conferences so you can activate these trends and drive your business
forward in the future!
Learn more about
Marketing Analytics & Data Science:
http://bit.ly/1ssK1gf Use code MADS16BL for $100 off the current

Learn more about Foresight & Trends:
http://bit.ly/1XmrMVw Use code FT16BL for $100 off the current
Learn more about
Use code OMNI16BL for $100 off the current rate.
Learn more about The
Market Research Event (TMRE):
http://bit.ly/25cgoRY Use code TMRE16BL for $100 off the current

The Insights, Marketing, and Innovation Team at KNect365

Thrive in the Expectation Economy: The Most Exciting and Urgent Trends of 2016 and Beyond

TMRE Keynote Presentation
Thrive in the
Expectation Economy: The Most Exciting and Urgent Trends of 2016 and Beyond
 Maxwell Luthy, Director of Trends and Insight, TRENDWATCHING

Why track consumer
To have a future vision and create products or services two
to five years from now.
The first component of every trend is change: social change,
technological change, environmental change, and economic change.  Yet, basic human needs do not change,
including relationships, community, and survival.
The second component of every trends is innovation. The
first example was Uber’and how quickly consumers change their habits to adapt
to the app and service.
The third component is emerging expectations. Expectations
transfer. One-touch service for amazon, created one touch for Uber, and even go
to tender. This is an economy of expectations. It impacts all of your
The good news is tracking Trends helps you surpass the
Expectation Economy.
1st key
See technology through a lens of basic human needs and wants, not
from the tech buzz.
2nd key
: Explore the sharing economy. Cars. Umbrella.
3rd key thought:
Who do people feel where they are? People are impatient. What are all the
consumer touch points? You can study the Domino’s Everywhere campaign. So, how
do you get to contextual omnichannel?
Consider the use of emoji to understand customer behavior. Think of new
channels’for example, Spotify’s partnership with Uber. Challenge yourself to
think about new context and channels.
4th key
: A compelling brand is still about feelings. Have you explored
two-way transparency between brands and people? Uber rates passengers. In 2016
expect to see more brands rating customers.
Can you use two-way rating and transparency for all
involved. Brand transparency is more important than ever. You must prove you
have a healthy corporate culture’and show the world an inside out view of your
company. People want to like companies and how they treat their employees.
Ask yourself which aspect of you company culture would you
put up on a billboard?
5th key
: Consumers aren’t behaving as they should. Roles are reversed. More
women over 18 are gamers compared to boys. People break all the demographic
behavioral patterns we used to hold as sacred. Why? We have the global brain.
We’ve been urbanized. Lastly, we have cheap digital experimentation. These three
forces shatter all of our expectations of how people should behave according to
gender, age, and class roles.
We are seeing heritage heresy: Playboy is excluding nude
photos. Harley Davidson is planning 35,000 trees. As cultures shift, brands
must adapt their ethos.
The outcome: treat different people differently. Use
taste-led targeting, like Spotify. Fine tune to individual preference.

Michael Graber is the
managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic
growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit
www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

Continue Learning This Fall with IIR’s Portfolio of Research & Insights Conferences

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of summer,
and tomorrow fall begins!

As the kids head back to the classroom, now’s the time to think about
continuing your learning as well. The producers of TMRE: The Market Research
Event have a full line-up of research and insights events dedicated to your
professional and personal development.

Take a look at what the Fall has to offer:

Foresight & Trends

@future_trends, #FT15
Activate Trends. Find, Sell & Create the Future
September 29 ‘ October 1, 2015
Los Angeles, CA
Download the brochure: http://bit.ly/1JK8inr
Register today & save an additional $100 with code FT15LI: http://bit.ly/1JK8inr

The Market Research Event

November 2-4, 2015
Orlando, FL
Download the brochure: http://bit.ly/1hvUv9a
Register today & save an additional $100 with code TMRE15LI: http://bit.ly/1hvUv9a

The 5th Annual International Shopper Insights in Action: OmniShopper 2015

@OmniShopper, #OmniParis
Revolutionize Your Shopper Strategy to Win in the Emerging Retail Landscape
11-13 November 2015
Paris, France
Download the brochure: http://bit.ly/1Vuwcr7
Register today & save an additional $100 with code OMNIPARIS15LI: http://bit.ly/1Vuwcr7

OmniShopper 2015 Digital Event Package
Activating Insights & Marketing Strategies at Retail
Access to presentations & 2015 executive summary
Buy video package: http://bit.ly/1JwlQ2m

Plus, Save the Date!
The Media Insights & Engagement Conference

The Year of Multi: Cultural, Generational, Platform
February 1-3, 2016
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Subscribe to receive program updates: http://bit.ly/1XcRMlC

We hope to see you at one of our research and insights events this fall!

All the best,

The IIR Research & Insights Team

Uncover What Your Shoppers Are Looking for in a Retail Experience at OmniShopper Intl

Last year, at The International Shopper Insights in Action
Event, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets keynote Kevin Barrett explored his take on the
future of the retail environment with, “What will People Want?”

At OmniShopper International 2015 we continue to explore the rapid shift in
shopper preferences, new technologies disrupting the route to market and POS,
new rules to identify insights and so much more. As the shopper and retail
evolution continues, so must the conversation.

OmniShopper International 2015
November 11 – 13, 2015
Paris, France
Download the brochure for more information:
Prepare yourself and your company for the Future of
Retail with all new expertly curated content, in-depth case studies, visionary
keynote speakers and new interactive experiences including: 
Keynote Spotlight:
Technology & People Are Key in Delivering True End-to-End Omnichannel
Simon Russell, Director of Retail Operations, John Lewis Partnership, shares
his vision on driving the business forward through the launch of new
technologies, new store formats and recruiting experts with innovation in mind.
Interactive Retail Store Tour:
Explore current store trends, discover the latest advancements in retail store
design and interact with insightful experts to uncover valuable insights – all
through the streets of Paris. Tour is limited to 20 people – act fast to secure
your spot!
Brand and Retail case studies shared by:
Carrefour, Coca-Cola, CSK Consumer Healthcare, Tesco, Warburtons Limited,
British American Tobacco, Philips and more!
Download the
conference programme for full session details and complete agenda: http://bit.ly/1LkPm0y

Join us 11-13 November to revolutionize your shopper strategy to win in the
emerging retail landscape. 

Save ??300 by Friday. Plus, save $100 off the current rate when you use code
Register here: http://bit.ly/1LkPm0y

All the best,
The OmniShopper International 2015 Team



Full Foresight & Trends 2015 Session and Speaker Details Now Available

The full program is now available by simply downloading the Foresight & Trends 2015 brochure. This
year’s program is jam-packed with industry leaders who will better prepare you
to meet the challenges the future holds. At FT this year you will find out how
to spot new trends, bring foresight to strategy and engage with your consumer.
Download the brochure
for the full FT program: http://bit.ly/1KdIgoE
Foresight &
Trends 2015
29-October 1, 2015
SLS Hotel, Los
Angeles, CA
The 2015 brochure will dive into details about exactly what
these visionaries will present about what’s next in technology, design, the
future consumer, finance, humanity, and strategy.
Inside the brochure you will find information on:
The full agenda,
Featured sessions
Case studies & workshops
Panel discussions
Who you’ll meet
The venue
Sponsor and exhibiting opportunities
And more!
Use code FT15BL for
$100 off the current rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1KdIgoE
Don’t miss out on this year’s event. We hope to see you in
LA this fall!
The #FT15 Team

Trend Trek: Exploring Trends and Collecting Insights in Chicago

By: Stephan Paschalides
As part of OmniShopper, Stephan Paschalides from Now Plus
One, led a group of conference attendees on a 3.5-hour Retail Trend Trek
through Chicago. The fundamental goal of this inspirational immersion was to
explore current marketplace trends and collect valuable insights that are
relevant to participants, no matter their brand or agency affiliation.
We visited several retail locations of new and established
brands, including Bonobos, Shinola, TOMS, Warby Parker, The Tie Bar, DAVIDsTEA
and BucketFeet. At each stop, a brand associate shared thoughts about the brand
and specific retail location, and then we had the opportunity to ask questions
and explore the store space and products. We were very impressed at the high
level of engagement by the group, and at the sheer amount of insights we uncovered
in such a short time!

We’d love to share some of the highlights of our Trend Trek
in terms of insights:
The brands we visited actively encourage
employee participation by inviting them to share feedback, incorporating their
ideas into the brand or store, and allowing them to make changes to the retail
space. Because of this two-way relationship, employees act as enthusiastic and
powerful brand representatives, rather than mere retail workers.
Each of the individual retail establishments we
visited takes pride in participating in the larger community. They hold events
for the neighborhood, share products with other stores, and give back to local
Chicago communities. This allows even the bigger and global brands to feel
authentic within the local community.
The brands we encountered are transcending the
retail experience by creating a movement for change. Shopping at many of these
store locations is more than just a transaction; instead it feels like a way to
participate in the brand’s movement whose goals included issues like
eradicating poverty, connecting people to artists, and revitalizing craft in
Despite the current industry obsession with
having digital presence, there remains a strong consumer desire to offer
tactile, sensory and emotional experiences in physical retail environments.
The Trend Trek participants reported than they felt
invigorated by getting out of the building and exploring Chicago. We
consistently find that there is a lot of power in exploring parallel
categories, as it helps participants think more conceptually, and allows them
to translate fresh insights to their own category.
Stephan Paschalides is
the Principal of Now Plus One, a
cultural insights agency specializing in market immersions. He will be leading
a Trend Trek at Foresight & Trends 2015 in Los Angeles.

Surveying Tomorrow: 4 Futuristic Research Tools & Their Challenges

Originally posted on
the Field Agent blog.
Survey Research in the
era of ‘The Internet of Things.’ As emerging technology continues to give birth
to new, Internet-enabled research tools, the future of survey research looks
very promising. Yet as promising as tomorrow looks, it also promises
uncertainty and challenge. To demonstrate this duality, the promise and
challenge of future research opportunities, we recently surveyed 500 consumers
to gauge their attitudes toward 4 hypothetical, futuristic survey
Few words hold so much promise and, yet, so much uncertainty
as tomorrow. 
This is particularly true in the field of survey
On the one hand, we can expect emerging technology to
continue to produce a steady stream of new and promising research tools. Most
of these tools will, of course, be enabled or enhanced by the Internet in some
way. On the other hand, the advent of such tools will likely raise new
questions about everything from consumer privacy to survey fatigue.
For a few minutes, we’d like to invite you on a quick trip
into the research world of tomorrow, where we’ll attempt to demonstrate this
duality’that is, the promise and the challenge’of survey research in the
More specifically,
we’d like to introduce you to 4 exciting and promising futuristic product
concepts as well as the research possibilities and challenges that could arise
out of them. Toward the end of the article we’ll also offer 3 quick takeaways
from the study. 
With this end in mind, Field Agent recently conducted a
mobile survey of 500 consumers across the country. Who better to ask, we
thought, about the potential of tomorrow’s consumer products, consumer
research, and consumer apprehensions than consumers themselves?
The sample was divided evenly between males and females. We
further limited the survey to what might be called “future
generations,” in this case, to consumers ages 18-44. Respondents in 48
states completed the survey.
Marketers have long realized that receptivity toward new
ideas and products varies drastically among consumers, with some being more
open to innovation than others. Consequently, at the end of our survey, we
asked a single question that allowed us to categorize respondents into five
groups, the structure of which we adapted from Everett Rogers’ work
on the “diffusion of innovation”: innovators (among the
first to adopt a product), early adopters (before most people), majority (at
the same time as most people), late majority(after most people), and laggards (among
the very last). This allowed us to interpret the data more responsibly and more
4 Futuristic Products
& Research Opportunities
Virtual In-Store Personal Shopper
You’re on aisle 8 at your favorite grocery store, lingering
as you try to decide between three brands of corn flakes. The smartphone in
your pocket buzzes. A message from the store has been delivered to your phone:
‘Do you need help deciding on the right breakfast cereal,’ it asks. You respond
‘yes,’ prompting an interactive conversation with what amounts to a virtual
personal shopper.
No doubt retailers and brands would sense potential in such
an innovation. But, of course, it can only fly as high as consumers allow it.
Will they find this virtual personal shopper appealing?
We asked 500 consumers this very question. Only 27% said
they’d find such virtual assistance either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ appealing.
Compare this with the 38% who said they would find the personal shopper ‘not at
all appealing’ or only ‘not very appealing.’ The X factor in this case might be
the middle 35%, who said they would consider it ‘somewhat’ appealing. 
They could, after all, tip the balance.
Responses followed a fairly predictable script throughout
the survey. Innovators and early adopters demonstrated greater openness to the
virtual personal shopper as well as the other products to come. In fact, 45% of
innovators and 33% of early adopters said they’d consider the personal shopper
either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ appealing. Only 11% of the late majority and 16%
of laggards responded likewise.
May I Help You?
Now imagine the virtual personal shopper has been so
successful that the grocery store and the brands it carries decide to use it as
an opportunity to collect in-the-moment consumer insights.
You leave the breakfast cereal aisle and enter the pet
section. You recall that your dog, Fido, is out of dog food, so you throw a
mammoth 50 lb. bag into the shopping cart. Again, your smartphone buzzes. This
time the message asks, ‘Why did you choose Brand X dog food,’ and a list of
choice options appear on the screen.
We first gauged whether consumers would be willing to
respond to the survey. Only 21% of respondents fell in at the upper end of the
option range, answering that they would be either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely
to respond to the survey. Practically double this amount, 43%, answered either
“not at all likely” or “not very likely.” 
Unsurprisingly, innovators (34% extremely or very likely)
and early adopters (25%) were more willing to respond to the survey than the
majority (17%), the late majority (9%), and laggards (11%).
And what about their general comfort level the survey?
Combined, 39% said they’d be either “very” or “somewhat”
uncomfortable receiving this type of survey while they shopped, one point
higher than the 38% who indicated they’d be more or less comfortable with the
Consequently, it seems, upon initial impression anyway, that
many shoppers would be somewhat or severely apprehensive about responding to a
survey of this nature while navigating and shopping a store. Learn more about
the Point of Influence??. 
The Really ‘Smart’ Washing Machine
You just purchased the latest and greatest washing machine
on the line. Among other features, this smart washer has a compartment for
holding your laundry detergent. When the detergent level gets low, this
Internet-connected washer has the ability to automatically reorder your
favorite detergent brand. There is no need to go to the store to pick it up;
the washer can have a new bottle delivered directly to your door.
By and large, consumers in our survey were excited about
this product concept. 69% responded ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ when asked whether
they found the concept appealing, and only 3% answered ‘not at all appealing.’
Innovators (72% extremely or very appealing) and early adopters (56%) once
again led the pack with their enthusiasm, while the late majority (24%) and
laggards (32%), well, lagged behind.
An Inquisitive Washer
Then, one day, you try a different brand of laundry
detergent, which you place in your washer’s detergent compartment. The washer
instantly detects the new brand and sends a short survey to your phone asking
you why you decided to switch brands.
Would you respond to such a survey? Among our sample, 31%
indicated they would be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely to respond, yet only 15%
said they would be completely closed to the idea (‘not at all likely’).
Innovators (54%) showed the highest willingness to respond, and laggards showed
the lowest (21%).
But what about their comfort level with such an inquisitive
washer? Only 19% said they would be ‘very comfortable’ with the idea while
an additional 26% said they’d be ‘somewhat comfortable.” Together, 28%
were “very” or “somewhat” uncomfortable.    
Consequently, consumers appear to be a little more open to
the idea of a smart washer that poses survey questions than a virtual personal
shopper working on behalf of a store. Context matters. 
Wearable Health Monitor & Alert System
An alarm sounds: beep, beep, beep. The signal is coming from
the Internet-connected device on your wrist. The point of the device is to
monitor key health measures such as pulse and blood pressure. After detecting a
series of unusually high blood pressure readings, the device has sent you a
message informing you of the fact and advising you to visit a doctor.
Appealing? Our sample thought so. Altogether, 69% said
they’d find this health monitor and alert system either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’
appealing, while only 7% responded ‘not very appealing’ or ‘not at all
appealing.’ A strong majority of innovators (81%), early adopters (74%), and
even the majority (71%) registered responses at the high end of the option
range (extremely or very appealing).

See also another study on the Staying
Power of Smartwatches.
Taking Your Medicine

Suppose this same health device had the ability to monitor
your medicine intake. It noticed you had taken only one dose of a prescription
you’re supposed to take twice daily. The device then sent you a survey asking
if you’d be interested in a new medication that works as well as your present
prescription but that only needs to be taken once a day.
We asked our sample of 500 whether they’d be willing to
respond to the question.
Significantly, 44% said they’d be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’
willing to answer the short survey, and only 23% said they’d be ‘not at all
likely’ or ‘not very likely’ to respond.

Compare this 44% rating to the 21% (virtual personal
shopper) and 31% (smart washer) ratings from the previous two discussions.
Consumers appear more willing to respond to surveys when the focus is something
as important as their health or, perhaps, when the survey questions pertain to
something as expensive as prescription drugs.
Respondents also demonstrated higher comfort levels with a
survey of this type. 55% said they would be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ comfortable
receiving the question from a wearable health monitor/alert device, while only
37% felt this way about the personal shopper survey and 45% about the smart
washer survey. Regardless of the reasons for their greater receptivity toward
the health survey, once again, it seems context matters.
Remote Atmospheric Control System

You’re four days into your summer vacation when you start
fretting about your home: Did I leave the thermostat too low? Has anybody
tried to break in? Fortunately, your home is equipped with an
Internet-connect atmospheric control system that allows you to change your
home’s temperature and/or lighting level using nothing more than an app on your
smartphone. You turn down your air conditioning’saving you money. You turn on
your lights’leading potential intruders to think someone is home.  
Our sample considered this concept highly attractive. In
fact, wholly 87% said they’d find it ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ appealing. Only a
modest 2% responded with either ‘not at all appealing’ or ‘not very appealing.’
Predictably, innovators found it comparatively most alluring (71% responded
extremely appealing), while laggards found it comparatively least alluring (42%
extremely appealing).
Anybody Home?
This atmospheric control system detects that you’ve been
away for some time. It sends you a survey asking if you’re on vacation and, if
so, to tell it about your vacation
planning and spending.
Though consumers were enthusiastic about the product itself,
they were less so about its surveying capabilities. Respondents admitted they’d
be apprehensive about answering such a survey. Almost half (47%) said they
would be ‘not at all likely’ or ‘not very likely’ to respond. Compare this with
the 31% who would be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely.
Seemingly always open to new ideas, innovators showed
relatively high willingness to respond to the question posed by the atmospheric
control system. A whopping 61% indicated they would be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’
likely to respond, while even the early adopters (normally a close second to
innovators) registered only 35% on the same measure.  
Nor was the sample particularly comfortable with the
prospect of a system that would monitor their coming and going and pose
questions about their vacation planning and spending. At 24%, the highest
single response category was ‘very uncomfortable.’ In all, 44% said they’d be
either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ uncomfortable, in contrast with the 37% who said
they’d be more or less comfortable receiving such a survey.  
Conclusion: 3 Quick
As we gaze into tomorrow to consider the
possibilities for survey research, context really does matter.
As seen, consumers will likely be more willing to respond to
surveys when they think they’ll derive a meaningful benefit from their
participation. A survey that rewards the consumer with, for instance, truly
useful information or significant cost-savings will receive a warmer welcome
from consumers than one perceived as a disruptive marketing tactic.

As new survey tools emerge, companies and
research firms should consider first developing the tool among, and perhaps
even exclusively targeting, those consumers most open to new ways of doing
As witnessed time and again in this study, innovators and
early adopters are generally more responsive toward innovative surveying
methods. Consequently, companies and research firms may find distinct
advantages in focusing their efforts on these two comparatively receptive
consumer classes before trying to reach markets at large.
A promising future for survey research also
promises challenges.
As this article demonstrated, the future should present
researchers with many opportunities to piggyback off emerging,
Internet-connected products, affording new avenues for collecting consumer
insights. But caution is advisable. As seen, consumers will often relish the
products themselves, yet look on their potential in-built surveying
capabilities with apprehension or disapproval.
Ultimately, survey researchers should embrace the future
boldly. New technologies will produce new and perhaps better surveying methods.
Yet we cannot forget the consumer in ‘consumer research.’
The survey tools of
tomorrow must account for the attitudes and behaviors of consumers’if they are
to realize their promise. 
Mobile research and audits from Field Agent combine mobile
technology and crowdsourcing to
reduce the costs, wait times, and other limitations of traditional methods’all
without sacrificing quality
. Whether you need accurate in-store
information or rich consumer insights, call on mobile research and
audits by Field Agent. 
About the Author:  Renee Brandon is the Vice President of
Research at Field Agent, where she provides leadership and direction to a team
of research analysts. She works closely with clients to clarify their business
problems and to determine the research solutions best suited to their needs.  With more than 20 years of experience as a
market research executive and strategist, Brandon provides expert advice to
Fortune 500 clients across many sectors, including retail, consumer package
goods, technology, healthcare and not-for-profit industries. She specializes in
consumer insights, shopper insights, research methodologies and survey data
analysis. Brandon has a Masters of Arts in History from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelors of Arts in History from Austin College.
Like what you’ve
read? Hear Renee Brandon and other industry leaders speak at the OmniShopper
2015 Conference in Chicago July 20-22 and revolutionize your shopper strategy
to get ahead in the emerging retail landscape.

Permission to Walk Away from Survey Trends

By: David Shanker, CEO,
The Americas, Lightspeed

In our complex world, the accelerated pace of innovation and
technology has created a struggle in the marketing research industry. Consumers
are our greatest assets, but they are overloaded: countless digital marketing
campaigns, social media platforms and infinite numbers of apps are fighting for
their attention. Our attempts to quantify their behavior and attitudes are
heavily influenced by technology. But with the frequency of change so rapid,
how do we judge if we are capturing the ‘norm’? Are we capturing their full
There is a need for change in our industry. Similar to the
advertising industry, marketing research is heavily fragmented. We can no
longer passively capture data, we need to ask, listen and learn while being
more nimble than ever. As we look more and more at consumer behaviors, we need
to think more about the data than about the tools capturing the data. Norms are
evolving ‘ driving us away from traditional survey trends.
Today, possibilities with how we connect with a consumer are
faster than ever. When people take surveys it means they need to have the same experience
no matter what device they are on. The adoption of mobile devices, particularly
smartphones, is having a big impact on our ability to provide representative
samples’in fact, the impact of mobile devices on our ability to reach people
cannot be overstated.
Nielsen reported that as of Q4 2014, over 70% of
people in the United States own a Smartphone;
This compares to only 22% in 2010;
Current smartphone ownership is even higher for
the highly coveted Millennials and multicultural; it’s 80% for those
Adapting to change
Change is hard. We realize it is easier said than done’it
takes a lot of work; but status quo is not an option to survey in today’s
industry. You will miss the young adults and multicultural; you’ll also miss
members of the general population who use their smartphones to take surveys, a
percentage that will continue to grow. So what should we do?
Surveys have to be shorter’15 to 20 minutes
They have to be designed to be engaging and take
advantage of the latest programming techniques’getting caught in grid paralysis
is no longer an option
Surveys have to render appropriately for
whatever device is being used
The ‘whys’ and the ‘so what’s’ need to balance traditional big
data. Consumer insights are not only necessary, but essential. The need to
connect with the consumer in the right way at the right time will be as
important as the technology used to do it.
About the Author: David
leads the Lightspeed business across the Americas region, unifying and focusing
systems and expertise to meet clients’ dynamic needs and consistently exceed
their expectations. A veteran of 20-plus years in sales, marketing, operations
and research, he has served in senior management roles in established, start-up
and turn-around business situations. His strategic and operational leadership
has resulted in significant business improvements for companies such as Ipsos,
OTX Research and Information Resources Inc. Prior to joining Lightspeed, David
was CEO of PINCHme, a digital marketing/market research start-up that delivers
insights to leading CPG companies through a unique approach to consumer