Just Do It!

Whew, just back from four content-packed days at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) re:Think 2012conference. It was great to meet up with many of you there and connect through Twitter. If you missed my Twitter stream, click herefor a summary or check out the re:Think feed here.

So, what are the key takeaways for Market Insights Professionals from the conference? Simply, we need to:

  • Improve! On Day 1, we heard several passionate presentations on the need for market insights to evolve and deliver higher-value and more actionable insights. On the next day, Kantar’s CEO said the profession needed improved talent to meet the business’ needs and the ARF discussed the need for improved research and respondent quality.
  • Innovate! A number of presentations focused on the need for market insights to develop better predictive tools, identify white spaces more effectively, and package insights in more innovative ways. There were many calls for market insights to bring much more creativity to the table.
  • Integrate! Although not identified as a theme, I would say integration was the “glue” that connected most of the presentations. Whether the presentations were about connecting social to surveys, insights to ROI, or even biometric to behavioral data, it was clear that “integration” is the path to help market insights improve and innovate.
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Of Mad Men And Market Insights Professionals

So, I’m off to the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) re:Think 2012conference next week. This started me “rethinking” how advertising has changed over the decades, and what that means for market insights professionals.

Back when I was born, advertising was a no-brainer. TV. If you could afford it. Only 3 channels to choose from so the “marketing mix model” was not really complicated. Did you need a lot of research to optimize your advertising? Hmmm, with all eyeballs tuned to you, research-optimized content probably was not as important as it is today (for a trip down memory lane, click here).

Fast-forward a few decades and customer choices have exploded. Has TV been killed by the Facebook star? Should you invest more in Google Adworks than traditional media column inches? If you do venture into social media, in which of the 1,000s of sites do you find your customers? And are they your best customers, i.e. the ones you really want to attract? It’s like playing Find Waldo, except that Waldo is a fickle consumer who keeps moving around.

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