Embracing Insight Innovation in the Modern World

Having joined Marketing Sciences only the week before, on Thursday the 14th of November I attended the company’s fifth Insight Innovation workshop, entitled ‘Embracing Insight Innovation in the Modern World’. Nine clients attended, representing a range of sectors from retail to FMCG to finance via betting (not forgetting a window manufacturer!). As always the aim of the day was to learn about and discuss how these new (and new-ish) digital tools can address key business issues via research, and hear from our counterparts on the client-side of the fence about how they have employed these in their business.

This year I returned to agency life after eight years clientside and I know how valuable these days can be for clients. I always looked forward to discussing with my fellow clientsiders their issues and challenges, often similar from one sector to another. Although ‘content is king’, the format is also crucial – with an extended focus group style set-up everyone really engaged – as evidenced by some of the quotes:

“enjoyed the discussions” (Jane Bushell, VELUX)

 “good knowledge sharing among participants” (Claire Coulson, Tesco)

The day was structured around four areas: the impact of social media and digital identity, mobile research for a connected world, mapping the mind and measuring emotion (neuroscience) and online vs. offline qual; this was rounded off with a discussion about how to embrace insight innovations. Some key discussion points emerged from the day:

Social media: more considered usage nowadays?

In the recent past many companies have felt the need to be on social media but didn’t necessarily stop to consider how best to use it. The thinking was still a bit old school– a primarily one way broadcast often about products and promotions rather than a true interaction with customers. Whilst some companies have since taken a step back realising they don’t yet have the mindset or systems in place to embrace this New Way, others have learnt the Two Golden Rules of Social Media: you can increase customers’ engagement with your brand if you 1) provide regular content for followers, and 2) respond quickly to customer questions (in fact super quickly on Twitter: within 30 minutes is the policy of one major retailer). Our acclaimed study for the IAB on Social Media ROI backed this up, finding that for every £1 invested, an additional £3.34 in sales were generated.


Mobile Engagement: Mobile Research

Research from Google showed that, given the amount of e-commerce conducted on smartphones, not having a mobile optimised site would be the equivalent to shutting your online store one day a week. The same issue exists for research surveys – as 34% of emails are now read first on a smartphone, online surveys must be mobile optimised otherwise not only will you experience increasing non-response levels over time, but you are likely losing a valuable niche group of tech engaged consumers (who are generally unforgiving on such matters). So whilst mobile is a great medium for collecting in the moment data (e.g. diary apps or with geo-fencing) and ethnography (it’s unintrusive and uninhibitive) we see it is also more and more the medium of choice for online survey completion. A consequence of this and of lower attention spans is that we must, as an industry, make them more ‘infotaining’ and crucially also ‘think long, write short(er)’ & simpler questionnaires that really focus in on the key business issues.


Neuroscience: Neuromarketing

Everyone around the table was keen to understand more about this topic and how it is being applied in our related industries. With a focus on what makes effective advertising, Andy Myers (our neuroscience guru), demonstrated via graphical results of Single State Topography or SST tests how brain activity peaks and troughs whilst watching ads (even split by left and right brain!) and shared the following proofs: that successful ads are typically associated with high memory encoding at key branding moments (we knew that); strong emotional responses are often followed by an increase in memory encoding (so it’s a good idea for branding to follow an emotional peak); but that advertisers should beware the dreaded ‘conceptual closure’- when the brain pauses to process a narrative sequence it thinks has just ended, it is relatively closed to new information, so a bad moment to introduce your brand for the first time (we definitely didn’t know that). ‘Neuromarketing’ is going to become increasingly important within our industry and it’s important to raise the bar of knowledge in this area and demonstrate its practical application.

So after a day of learning and lively discussion our clients left happy, with much food for thought (and case studies) to take back to their businesses. We know because they told us!

“Enjoyed all the sessions; neuroscience was something I hadn’t seen before. [Feel] re-energised over techniques”

“Felt much more enlightened & armed with facts to go back to the business” (Liz Boffey, Iglo)

“enjoyed the examples, case studies and the networking with the other clients”

 “A great day, thank you!” (Anne Mullins, Denplan)

We’d love to know what you think about any of these topics and look forward to seeing some of you at our next workshop!

Sign up to our latest blogs and newsletters

Richard Snoxell
01962 842211
Article date - 26/11/2013
View all articles by this author

Let us know your thoughts


twitter in facebook google youtube

Welcome to Walnut Unlimited: The human understanding agency.

Marketing Sciences Unlimited has evolved into Walnut Unlimited: The human understanding agency. At the heart of our proposition is a single concept – human understanding –underpinned with no-nonsense science to generate purposeful insights.

We want to help you better connect with your customers and believe these human insights deliver brand growth.

Created by bringing together all four of the Unlimited Group’s insight agencies: ICM Unlimited, ICM Direct, Marketing Sciences Unlimited and Walnut Unlimited we will deliver a new offer which is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

To read more about Walnut Unlimited click the button below, but to continue to read this page please close this pop-up.