Our team was honored to be represented both as a speaker and as a panelist at last week’s MRMW conference. We also had the opportunity to attend almost all of the sessions, the glory of single-track conferences!
Since our focus is amplifying the impact of insights teams, we’ve summarized three key takeaways:
Faster, cheaper… corrupt?
Online, mobile, and new analytical tools help us conduct research with consumers cheaper and faster than ever before. In the sessions we heard how Foursquare helps reveal how people move through the real world, Black Swan uses artificial intelligence to make sense of social data, and QualSights helps to capture qualitative consumer moments in real time.
Yet one researcher at the conference shone a light on a key risk – whom are we studying?
Tia Maurer, Group Scientist at Procter & Gamble estimates that 15% of all online survey respondents are actually bots in money-making operations. She recommends that we build in quality control questions (e.g. ask for age categories as well as open ended age to see if they match) as well as utilize tools such as honeypots.
This kind of data corruption might not be as obvious in social media and data analytics today, but we need to be cognizant of the potential and on top of solutions should it arise.
Synthesized Intelligence is here to stay
Synthesizing and triangulating the learnings from multiple sources – behavioral, social media, qualitative and quantitative – is the best way to build marketplace truths that lead to business growth. As Kirti Singh, Procter & Gamble’s Chief Analytics & Insights Officer explained, P&G has evolved how they learn about the consumer. Today’s focus is on observing, listening, and empathizing through multiple techniques such as analytics, experimentation, and marketing research technology.
A panel composed of representatives from Activision Blizzard Entertainment, the Garage Group, and Olivetree Insights shared multiple ways in which passive data (social media, online product reviews, sales data) could be combined with primary research.
Triangulating the learnings from multiple sources lead to stronger conclusions which have more credibility with business partners. This in turn leads business partners to make market-informed decisions more confidently.
Integrating Insights into the Business Remains a Challenge
Rama Mallika, Senior Director, Head of Market Research, Analytics & Insights at PayPal commented on the difficulties of building deeper connections between marketing researchers and business partners. The rhythms of business decision-making can be difficult to keep up with, and data literacy can be weak among our business partners. How do we bridge this gap? He suggests a three-prong approach: build cross-functional competence among insights team members, be more tangible on what marketing research can accomplish, and inspire our business partners to use the insights for improved business outcomes.
Justin Coates, Consumer Insight Leader at Eastman Chemical Company expressed a similar theme of needing to connect more strongly with their business partners. One of his inspired techniques was to engage business partners to champion research insights across the organization.
In the Olivetree Insights presentation, our team recommended conducting Knowledge Harvest workshops as one way of both synthesizing multiple data sources into key insights as well as integrating those insights into the business.
Overall, the MRMW conference was enlightening and enjoyable.