Perspectives on The Market Research Event, 2017

Jeffrey Henning at the MRII booth at TMRE

The Market Research Event (TMRE) may be the ultimate choice-based exercise for researchers. Choosing which session to attend means that there are six other sessions going on simultaneously that you are not attending. Since – as a result – no single attendee has a full picture of the event, our own Pamela Bracken, shown above, connected with MRII volunteers, underwriters, and other friends of the program to learn their perspectives on this week’s conference:

  • “Here’s my #1 takeaway from my TMRE experience: Data is readily available – and accumulating exponentially. Insights professionals are uniquely positioned to both understand the story behind that data and provide analyses to unlock insights that move their businesses forward.” – David B. Shepherd of Ford Motor Company
  • “Many marketers have shifted their reliance away from traditional primary insights approaches to analytics, based upon the easily ‘observed’ behavior offered in Big Data. This belief in the Holy Grail, that so much data exists about a person that you can forgo primary research leaves users blind to the reality that much of what is easily collected is riddled with gaps and inaccuracies. As John Dick, CEO of CivicScience, demonstrated in his workshop, while these data may well tell us what happened yesterday, they’re not always a good predictor of what will happen tomorrow. As a result, we have a media and marketing economy that is unpredictable, inefficient, and error-prone. Nothing illustrates this in a more public way than P&G’s move in July to cut more than $100 million in what it deemed to be largely ineffective digital advertising. That’s not to say that the perception that consumer insights are too slow and backward looking to support modern decision making are entirely unfounded. As I listen to the dialogue around this topic in its many forms, at TMRE and in the c-suite, it strikes me that this isn’t an either/or. It’s about finding the right mix to deliver on the needs of the business in credible way and in one that is better adapted to the cycle of business today. We need to be agile, digital, and rapid, but we also need to be reflective of reality, appropriately rigorous, and deliver in a meaningful, succinct manner. We also need to embrace Big Data and look for how to harness its power, coupled with deep insights, to drive the business. A PR campaign about all that is new, relevant, and sexy in the insights business couldn’t hurt either!” – Lisa Courtade of Merck, Immediate Past President of the MRII, and winner at TMRE of the NGMR Most Innovative Research Method award
  • “Here are my top takeaways: Innovate around your core. Know your data’s provenance. Have equal empathy for your customers and colleagues; and an extra dose for senior decision makers. Tell your stories with narrative arc, keep it uncluttered, and fear not the element of fun in influencing decisions.” – Anne Camille Talley, author of the Trends module of Principles of Market Research
  • “I saw a real focus by the presenters on data visualization and delivering more useful insights. It’s a great time to be helping researchers do that using the MarketSight platform.” – Michael DeNitto of MarketSight, one of the underwriters of MRII curriculum development
  • “This conference is unique—its audience is a diverse, talented group of people from across the entire research/insights industry, each open to sharing and exploring their own experiences for our collective benefit. I also have to commend the speakers and the high-quality content, specifically in regard to how research impacts other areas of the business world.” – Adam Weinstein of Full Circle, also an underwriter of MRII curriculum development

And check out my recaps of three of the sessions:

If you attended TMRE, we hope you choose (ahem) to share your perspectives in the comments. Thanks!

Jeffrey Henning at the MRII booth at TMRE Jeffrey Henning, PRC volunteers as the president-elect of the MRII, when he’s not running research for Researchscape InternationalHe left TMRE with three times as many pairs of socks as he brought with him.

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