Day Two at IIeX NA 2014: Influence of Social and #MRX Future

As we collectively keep our eyes on the future of research, we must be reminded that the best ideas often come from small modifications of what we’re already doing


Day Two at IIeX NA 2014 is in the books. The agenda had a special focus on practical, real-world examples. As we collectively keep our eyes on the future of research, we must be reminded that the best ideas often come from small modifications of what we’re already doing and not a completely new approach. Here are a few things that stood out from Day Two:

The Influence of Social Sharing

Julien Beresford (Beresford Research) & Andy Stevens (ShareThis) gave an excellent presentation on the impact a “share” has on sales. Their study showed that recommendations account for 57% of the purchase decision. Recommendations have more impact than brand or price. To take it a step deeper they looked at the impact of online shares (which include social shares) and found that positive online shares provide a sales lift of 9.5%, while negative online shares hurt sales by 11%.

The study they presented was an important first step in the journey of us better understanding the value of social sharing. The obvious next step is to drill down further into the different types of social shares (Facebook share vs. Tweet, etc.)

The Future of Market Research

This topic has had many different opinions over the last few years but I think Simon Chadwick (Cambiar) gave everyone a fresh look into where the industry is headed. Chadwick made two main points about the future:

    1. Data collection is already established. It’s about data acquisition.
    2. As the number of data collection streams continue to grow, our future will reside in synthesizing data and telling stories.

Several people spoke today about the need for a “closed loop” data platform that can combine traditional data streams with the ever-changing data streams from the likes of social media.

The Ethical and Relational Role of Data Privacy

Data privacy is one of those topics that make people uncomfortable. With conspiracy theories and lawsuits in abundance, there’s a feeling of violation and betrayal in the air. Jeffrey Resnick (Stakeholder Advisory Services, LLC) moderated a panel on data privacy in the modern era and how trust is our most valuable asset.

Reading between the lines of what was said in the panel, a couple things stood out:

  • In order to get the data transparency required to tell complete and accurate stories with data, we need to have the trust of consumers. There’s no getting around it.
  • We have an ethical responsibility in what we do with data. This reminds me of a study several years ago that assessed the moods of New Yorkers based on their Twitter posts. The study suggested that Hunter High School was the “saddest tweeting high school in New York”. The report was devastating to the students, faculty, and alumni. A report later came out proving the study wrong. The original study picked the wrong location.

We may think that more data is better (and it may be true) but we must stop and think about what we’re doing with the data and how it’s affecting the lives of those around us.

If you missed yesterday, check out the recap of Day One.

You can follow the conversation at the conference via #iiex on Twitter.

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