The New Math of Market Research: Growth = I x I x I

Day 1 of the Insight Innovation eXchange Conference set out to show us a new reality and define a new research paradigm. It did … and then some.

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By Richard Evensen

It’s always difficult to summarize a conference day, let alone one with 40+ presentations across wide-reaching topics and attendees across the full market research ecosystem!

Day 1 of the Insight Innovation eXchange Conference set out to show us a new reality and define a new research paradigm. It did … and then some. Key must-haves for market researchers who want to grow and thrive in this new reality include:

  • Innovation – Yes, that’s the name of the conference but what you realize here is that there are lots of ways to innovate, including:
    • Business model – Growth hacking, partnering with start-ups and/or uncommon hook-ups, owning a niche or becoming a services Swiss army knife. The research business of today has some different options and, equally, more challenges.
    • Technology – Capture intrinsic responses, integrate with big data, embrace mobile and social. The market research toolbox used to be pretty much standard. Now, there are lots of choices … and they are increasing quickly.
    • People – A new breed of (big) data analysts, data visualization experts and storytellers. The industry is realizing that we should no longer hire like but, instead, hire the skills which are needed to leverage available technology and optimize our business model.
  • Integration – The conference is very much about integration and exchange of ideas and some key must-changes for market researchers include investing inmuch greater integration with:
    • End Customers – Getting close to your customers, engaging them across multiple devices and platforms, understanding Gen Z. If you’re not embracing your end customers, “you’re not working for a good company”!
    • Ecosystem – “Insights is a team sport”. This quote says it all. Forget static trends and realize that we live in a world which is dynamic and connected and you need to tap many sources to understand context and values and guide great business decisions.
  • Insights – This oneis mentioned a lot but, like ‘intelligence’, doesn’t seem to have acommonly-held definition. Some key views which bubbled to the top are that insightsshould be:
    • Holistic – Trends need to include context, survey responses need to identify emotional engagement, quant needs qual, PC/CATI needs mobile and traditional data needs new sources. Take as many sources as you can, while ensuring timeliness and action-ability.
    • Visual – Static PowerPoint, outdated data charts, no videos. We need to evolve and embrace dynamic presentations which pull our clients in. Tech here is still lacking though in my opinion. New business for anyone?

The ‘math of success’ is not just one of these areas … but all of them, at the same time. And it’s making change while already overloaded.

Echoing two of the presenters, we need to “get brave” since “we’ve got five years” (max, in my opinion) to get it right.

Hopefully Day 2 sheds some light on the ‘how’!

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