Today was the second day of The Market Research Event (TMRE) conference held in Boca Raton, Florida. The conference lasts over three days from Monday, Nov. 12, through Wednesday, Nov. 14. Each day’s events are broken down to three key sections: (1) a keynote speaker or two, which all attendees of the conference attend in the Main Ball Room in the morning, (2) a series of mini-sessions that last approximately 30 to 45 minutes in separate event centers and conference rooms through the late morning and early afternoon, and (3) a closing keynote speaker, which all attendees reconvene to view. The mini-sessions are focused in nine different tracks:
- Insights Leadership & Transformation
- Data Analytics & BIG Data
- Insight Driven Innovation
- Strategy & Futuring
- ROI & Measurement
- The New MR Toolkit: Breakthrough & Practical Applications
- Consultative Skill Development
- Brand Insights
- Industry Roundtables
You can obviously begin to see the sheer amount of information being presented at TMRE and ideally you’d need to clone yourself nine times to attend all of the sessions. So one of the most difficult parts of being an attendee is choosing which mini-sessions are worth it and which are not based on a session title, speaker name and the company they represent. A difficult task to say the least.
- TMRE Takeaway 3 – Dig Deep with Analysis. The morning kicked off with Daniel Kahnerman, Professor at Princeton University and Nobel Prize Winner in Economics. He spoke a lot about the marvels and flaws of intuitive thinking (which reminded me a little about theories from the book Consumerology, I had read a while back). He spoke a lot about the psychology of consumer behavior and how it ties into System 1 thinking (immediate thoughts with no effort, or reactions) and System 2 thinking (thoughts that require more effort). This is a point I stand behind in market research. Most market research focuses consumers to recall thoughts using System 2 thinking wherein reality the large majority of decisions are made using System 1 thinking. Therefore, market research sometimes overstates feelings or decision-making factors. It’s up to the market researcher to minimize this in their studies. One salient point he made in his presentation was the need for analysts to uncover associations with consumers. Analysts need to do a better job understanding associations, emotions and feelings that are generated by users of products and services. By skimming over analysis, market research firms are doing an injustice to the core value of market research, which is analysis.
- TMRE Takeaway 4 – Treat Your Clients Like Kids and Tell Them Compelling Stories. This was my favorite session of the day. The presenter was Brett Townsend, Director of Insights at PepsiCo. He explained that the business world is moving to shorter, more concise, more to-the-point market research. Executives are looking for a quick story that the data tells, not 100 pages worth of cross-tabs and charts. He stated that conflict makes for a good story. Set up your market research reports/presentations to set a stage, explain the problem and how the research you collected provided answers. This seems to synch up nicely with the RMS Analytics motto of: Ask. Listen. Solve.
- TMRE Takeaway 5 – Embrace an Innovative Culture. This session was headed by Wendy Higgins, Director of Consumer Insights at Campbell’s Soup. A few key points that she made, which led to the success of Campbell’s and resurgence in the market, was the ability to step outside of the traditional scope of market research. She spoke about stepping out from behind the one-way mirror and into your customer’s kitchen. Find out what they like and dislike about your product as they use it in their real environment. She mentioned that Campbell’s was losing market share with younger consumers because they associated their soup and only used it when: (1) they were sick or (2) they were tired/lazy and didn’t want to make anything else. So they embraced and encouraged their research employees to step outside the box and look for new ways to research consumers. This empowerment created trust, which bred focus and motivation among the research team.
I have many more key takeaways from Day 2 of TMRE but these are the three that most immediately come to mind. Tomorrow is the third and final day of the conference and I’m looking forward to a few of the mini-sessions I have circled before I head back to balmy Syracuse. If you would like more information about Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) contact our Business Development Director, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 315-635-9802.