Amplify Voices, Create Connections, Drive Innovation

Last week, a few of us from Marketing Sciences attended Confirmit’s Community Conference 2013. Confirmit hold this event as a way of bringing together their clients to talk about ways to inspire thinking and generate new ideas. I attended on day two and thought I would summarise a few of my thoughts here on The Breakout Room. 

Once I had recovered from the disappointment that I was being sent to the London version of the conference and not the event they are holding in Las Vegas (a girl can dream), I was looking forward to seeing how other companies, both client organisations and our competitors in the market research world, are working with some of the tools available us. 

Like a lot of conferences I have seen recently, a major theme was the impact technology is having not only on us as consumers but also in how we conduct and report in Market Research.

So here are my highlights from day 2:

Kathleen Wiseman from Scottish TV presented a very engaging piece on the development of ScotPulse, a customised online panel with a very special unique selling point; that all of its panellists are Scottish. She showed us how engaging with their panellists, creating a strong panel identity and also having the fantastic advertising power of Scottish TV behind them, means that they have been able to create from scratch an online panel that is ready and willing to respond to topical subjects for market research. I thought some of the principles that Kathleen spoke of that have contributed to the success of ScotPulse are very much in our line of thinking – that the more engaged a group of panellists / respondents are, the more they will participate in not only surveys, but also in collaborating with us more and sharing more of their consumer world with us. This is key in an age where so much opportunity lies not just from getting panellists to do surveys and be a number in a crowd, but also in teasing out the individual stories behind consumer decisions. I also loved the branding and characterisation of ScotPulse – turning it into a likeable personality.

Jon Pulseton from GMI gave the conference a very hands-on and practical tour of how a lot of innovation can come from questionnaire design for online surveys. I particularly agreed with his points about how we must all strive for surveys to get shorter and shorter yet many research buyers need them to be longer and longer. This is an endless battle between what’s good for the respondent, and what’s good for the client’s purse strings – and we need to meet in the middle somehow. Particularly as mobile is not going to ‘go away’, meaning shorter surveys are the future.

Maurice Wheeler from Little Big Partnership talked about the influence of children on spending. He took an interesting perspective that it’s not about trying to appeal to just children in marketing (pester power), or just trying to appeal to the Dad, or the Mum individually, but that we must aim to appeal to the whole family unit together. I enjoyed the stats he included about how the more time poor a family, the more they actually involved their kids in household purchase decisions – as a way of spending time together. Food for thought certainly.

Tim Macer from the University of Winchester ran us through some of the findings from the 2012 Confirmit Market Research Software Survey. This was really useful as I have yet to read the full report and found it great to get a topline summary to spark my interest further. Like Jon Puleston, Tim talked about survey length and what is being done (if anything) to shorten surveys. It was also interesting to hear his point of view from the survey results on mobile apps versus mobile browser – as this is something that opinions are evolving on all the time. He also discussed the incentivisation of panel surveys and it was interesting to see some alarming figures on what some market research agencies say they do to ensure quality control for their online panels.

All in all, it was a thought provoking day, and we look forward to next year’s. Mike, who attended Day 1 will be posting his thoughts on the Conference tomorrow, so check back soon!

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Amy Nichols
01962 842211
Article date - 24/06/2013
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