Insight Illumination 2019 (Roundup)

During this year’s Insight Illumination forum, guest speakers from across the market research industry shared their knowledge on everything from redefining agile innovation to confronting the insight industry’s greatest fears of GDPR. Read on for a summary of the learnings.

The Presentations - Part One

The crisp morning began at SUNY Global Center, a university conference hall in Midtown filled with international art. Much like in the United Nations summit hall, the presentations were conducted in a lecture-style classroom with the speaker in the pit. Attendees (including representatives from Savanta and Remesh) mingled over coffee and a breakfast spread before heading into the first half of the content-rich conference.

1) The Search for Truth: Leveraging the Power of Google Insights (from Brittany Body, Google)

Google searches for "ideas" has increased by 55% over the past two years, which means consumers are hungry for unique thought - and considering search intent is the key to tapping into this new data. This discovery is most connected to surprising discrepancies between how we present ourselves on social media and the internet, and how we present ourselves to Google, meaning what we search. Insights should look at the two data sets together.

Body also suggested that brands should consider more than the consumer purchasing journey. The consumer search journey is just as important.

2) Brand Hacks: How to Build Brands by Fulfilling the Human Quest for Meaning (from Emmanuel Probst, Ipsos)

Brands are increasingly borrowing from the code of religion - from serving a higher purpose to embodying a sense of belonging - to provide meaning for consumers. This is increasingly evident in findings on social media use, wherein the more connected we are, the lonelier we feel. The impact of spending less time with real people and more time in a virtual world is overwhelmingly negative. As Probst quoted from an overheard conversation, “I live alone in a forest of likes.”

3) Rethinking Win-Loss To Increase Sales (from Jim Kraus and Mike Nash, KS&R)
Win-loss programs should be an integral, data-driven program for sales teams. Data should be drawn from internal sources, external sources, and from deal analytics. 
Ultimately, these programs should encourage and enhance performance, not penalize it. 

The Presentations - Part Two

The conference broke for lunch, which was presented by Cint, and the audience mingled with the first round of speakers. Before the second session, audience members discussed insights from the presentations. There was energy in the room over lunch, which was a testament to the wealth of information from the first half of the presentation. Much of the audience was buzzing over the new strategies for mining and leveraging consumer data in novel ways.

Before returning to the second half of the presentations, there was talk of the networking hour at SUNY’s rooftop later in the day, which was sponsored by Dynata

4) The Marriage of MRX and UX (from Jessica Irwin, Verizon)
Although there is a disconnect between MRX and UX, they’re actually a power couple, not mortal enemies. In fact, it turns out these two practices have a lot in common, and “upskilling” in one area can add value to your expertise in the other. Combining the strengths of market research with user experience will contribute to a stronger product, and create unusual opportunities for professional development. 

Irwin also pointed out that inter-connectedness between teams creates empathy in the office, and encourages the practice in business applications. She posed the question, “How is your team incorporating empathy into OKRs?”

5) Dancing Til We Drop: Ageing But Not As We Know It (from Kevin Cowan, BBC)
Demographics are out. Behavioral segmentation is in. This is especially the case for the BBC insights team, who studied content preferences by segmenting their audience into chronological age groups and perceived age groups. 

6) Big Little Lies: Why Agile Is NOT Agile (from Urszula Paliwoda, Colgate-Palmolive)
Finally, a definition! Urszula defined “agile" as the result of many processes coming together. Contrary to the word itself, agile requires incredible time and resources to make the process work. Urszula also dove into the pros and cons of agile approaches, the latter of which is rarely discussed.

7) The Privacy Imperative: Navigating GDPR & CCPA in a Digital World (from Peter Milla, Peter Milla Consulting)
GDPR is spooky for American marketers who see Europe’s narrowing in on data usage as a threat to their insights roles. While the law puts constraints on corporate roles, it’s somewhat unclear exactly what those constraints are. Milla cleared up the use cases, and explained the current state of GDPR across industries. He also recommended that a federal law should be put in place in the U.S.