Last week I posted three initial take-aways from the 2010 Market Research Event. Now, I have three more that could easily be summed up by the notion that people like shiny objects, and quantitative research isn’t shiny. But I’ll expound…
1. The innovation conversation is focused on qualitative and distribution: Judging by session attendance and the nominations for the EXPLOR and NGMR Disruptive Innovator awards, the vast majority of innovation is coming in the form of qualitative research methodologies and information distribution. This is being driven by the continuing emergence of technology first companies into the market research space, as opposed to new entries using traditional ideas and techniques. This new life in the industry is a good thing for sure, but getting from cool technology to useful insights is easier said than done and those who don’t understand the end goal of what researchers are trying to accomplish will likely fail.
2. Quantitative topics aren’t sexy: There was not much talk of advancements in quantitative research, and most quantitative topics focused on the simplification of surveys and necessary analytical trade-offs associated with them. Particularly jarring for any quant. researchers in attendance was a keynote session that centered around the fact that stated importance is no longer a good metric and that MaxDiff was a better choice. This was jarring simply because many firms have long since adopted this methodology and, at least here at CMB, moved on to things like Anchored MaxDiff and Adaptive Discrete Choice to increase the reliability of results.
3. Selling insights internally and empowering employees is key to success: There was a lot of interesting talk of broader use of technology to share insights within and beyond the corporate office. Smart companies are using insights to enable a wide array of decisions at the corporate level and empower employees at all levels. Our client from Avis Budget Group, Becky Alseth, showed how they are using the Voice of the Customer program to empower local managers to make improvements and Bill Hoffman from Best Buy showed how they gather insights from employees on the front lines and drive better one to one service at retail.
All in all, The Market Research Event was a hit and it is clear that an evolution is happening in our industry. And as clients and providers get younger and more nimble (and less reliant on traditional methods) we are sure to see more changes by this time next year and into the future.
Posted by Josh Mendelsohn. Josh is our VP of Marketing and loves live music, tv, great food, market research, New Orleans, marketing, his family, Boston and sports. You can follow him on Twitter @mendelj2.