Today was the third and final day of The Market Research Event (TMRE) conference held in Boca Raton, Florida at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. It was the first appearance at the conference for Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS), which is celebrating ten years in business. Overall the event was a great experience and I was able to pull a lot of information that will not only help our clients but also help RMS as a market research firm. I encourage you to read both my TMRE Day 1 recap and my TMRE Day 2 recap, which were posted under separate titles in the past two days.

The Market Research Event 2013

Here are some of my key takeaways from Day 3 of the conference:

  • TMRE Takeaway 6 – New Market Research Trends Emerging.  I thought the keynote speaker at 9:00 a.m. this morning (Phillip Chambers, SVP Global Insights at PepsiCo) was the most insightful and relevant keynote speaker so far at TMRE. He touched on a variety of trends and topics in market research and his presentation was titled Demise or Rebirth: A Moment of Truth for the Market Research Industry. He mentioned the survey research industry is a $40B industry worldwide with $10B being spent in the United States. He also stated a growing trend of “humans running away from market research.” He stated that “anyone and everyone is doing surveys” so consumers are overwhelmed with these constant requests to participate. As a result, response rates are collapsing at a historic rate. He also touched upon a new market research trend being used by Google called “bit research.” Bit research is a short two-question survey sent out to a large number of people which generates 300,000-plus completes in less than an hour. How is that for a “Quick Pulse Survey?”
  • TMRE Takeaway 7 – Less is More in Market Research Reporting. This is a similar topic that we’ve covered here on our market research blog (click here to read it). The presenter here (Sara Bergson) supported the idea of one page summaries and dashboards. She stated that businesses today move so fast, they do not have time to read through pages upon pages of charts and data. This point was also supported by a number of other presenters. She provided a good example of comparing the packaging of Apple products to the packaging of Microsoft. Apple is short, succinct and to the point. Microsoft tries to cram massive amounts of information and small font on the box. This is definitely something to consider with future market research reports at RMS and it really depends on our audience and particular client. Some want more, some want less. But the presenter argued for a one-page summary that tells a good story, followed by an appendices of the background and methodology, graphs and charts and data dumps.
  • TMRE Takeaway 8 – Engaging Focus Group Participants Beyond the Session. This actually came from a session I attended that focused on consumer panels and building interaction and engagement. This was run by the team at Frito-Lay. The team spoke about the artificial setting of traditional focus groups and encouraged research teams and moderators to give the participants homework assignments to bring with them to the group. You can treat the assignment as an entry ticket. This way you can filter out those who may want to skate by and do no work so extra recruitment may be required. Also, this obviously calls for higher reimbursement. By providing participants with homework assignments, it allows the participant to truly think about the product or service in their natural setting. In some cases, depending on the product or service, they may actually be completing it in the environment where they use the product or service (e.g., market research about would be completed at home while on the laptop, tablet, iPhone, etc.) At the same time, this ensures you have a great group of willing and ready participants to have a discussion, which benefits the moderator, analyst and the clients viewing the groups. She also stated the natural attrition of a panel is about 10 percent to 30 percent. The attrition rate represents the amount of turnover in participants you can expect each year.

It was a pleasure to attend my first TMRE conference on behalf of RMS. If you are interested in learning more about Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS), contact our Business Development Director, Sandy Baker at or by calling (315) 635-9802.