Takeaways from The Market Research Event Orlando

The EyeSee team had a chance to attend one of the most prestigious industry events on a global level – The Market Research Event held this October in Orlando. Here are the sessions they found to be most impressive, what they learned and what inspired them.

Joris De Bruyne – Partner

Joris De Bruyne

Although it might be a cliché, I cannot fail to mention Malcolm Gladwell’s refreshing take on debunking data for which he used a non-market example: high education and the absurdities within the system. For instance, he pointed out how the most reputable schools are rewarded for being the most costly for students, which actually leads to further escalation of college fees. This kind of approach questions established ways of thinking and may seem to come naturally to researchers of any kind, but Mr. Gladwell showed that we could all be more critical with our assumptions and the way “things are done”. We should actually take a step back and ask ourselves what is the whole story behind the data we obtain.

Another great presentation, this time with a reassuring and positive message comes from Campbell Soup’s R&D department. They applied consumer-first mindset as a guideline for product innovation, and as Carlos Baroso explained, their “real food” philosophy is translating to concrete changes and product launches centered around health and well-being. The talk helped me understand the latest retail trends, but also how consumers approach food and cooking, as well as their expectations and worries.

Finally, I really enjoyed the presentation by Michelle Gansle from Wrigley, who spoke about how packaging can make or break the brand. She pointed out that confusing shoppers at the shelf is a troublesome cause of sales decline, and shared some of these great recommendations for packaging success:

The most important step in each stage – considering change, pursuing new package design and launch – is research that helps understand how different solutions perform and identify opportunities for optimization.

TMRE’s panel discussions were also wonderful food for thought, especially the keynote panel featuring speakers from Twitter, Facebook, 20th Century Fox and Luck Collective (Christina JenkinsJohn FernandesMarina Kosten and Kristin Luck). The topic itself was promising – how insights leaders can increase their influence on decision-making process throughout the organization – and shed light on how, even though researchers provide high-quality insights, they still need to work on getting their message across. The key recommendation for them is to view their work from the executives’ perspective and take into account their challenges and struggles. Only then true teamwork and collaboration can ensue.

Robert P. Merrin Ph.D. – Business Development Director, The Americas

Robert Merrin, Business Development DirectorI had a great experience at TMRE this year; it revolved around a central theme: entertainment. Specifically, in a world where audiences have an abundance of entertainment choices, how does content break through to foster the kind of emotional engagement that drives action?

This question was addressed from different angles in brilliant presentations by thoughtful women from the industry’s most recognizable heavyweights – NBCUniversal, Viacom and Disney ABC. ______   __________________ __________ _________ ___ __ _____ ______ _____

NBCUniversal’s Lauren Zweifler approached the content question from the perspective of measurement. Using an algorithm developed by Coherency to match couples on dating websites, her team produced LoveQuotient®, a survey-based tool that quantifies the emotional connection between audiences, the content they watch and the brands that fit them. The result is improved targeting of audiences through the NBCU content, networks, platforms and talents. This means that NBCU can make better media plans for advertisers because they result in audience relationships that are far more likely to result in brand love. Brand love is the kind of emotional engagement, they showed, that results in 45% more action.

In a customer-centric, relationship-based economy, targeting with surgical precision is key on any platform. Our case study with Twitter shows this as well: relevant content & context boosts the effectiveness of ads.

Measurement is fundamental in understanding how content breaks through and connects to audiences. Rebecca Prindable and Kassie Deng from Viacom presented their new study Millennial Mosaic, which examines the topic from a different angle; it focuses on what the content is meant to connect with: the audience itself – specifically multicultural Millennials. Millennials are incredibly diverse, 7 in 10 claiming to be their own “culture mixologists,” a fact that exacerbates one of the main challenges of targeting audiences with content that breaks through. The presentation was a great resource for the messaging and channel strategies that can help (their full study goes into agonizingly enjoyable detail – highly recommended!).

Where the Millennial Mosaic presentation spoke to the strategic side of content breakthrough, Disney ABC’s Lyndsey Albertson and CMB’s Judy Melanson spoke to the tactical side. In the Golden Age of Content, they examine what starts and keeps viewers watching. There are several factors that need to be considered – where and how the content is discovered, connection to characters, the time invested, social motivators, etc. – but my favorite takeaway is that consumers make the rules, and they decide what and when the touchpoints are. “New to the world” content might be new because it is released in the fall and no one has seen it, but “new to me” content is that old show you can binge watch during the summer. If the viewer discovers the content on a mobile app, and they want to watch it there – then that’s it: there is no space for pushing your own platform. You have to give people what they want!

This finding is in line with TMRE’s general philosophy – there is no guesswork or agendas, researchers need to pay close attention to the consumer… more and more, they are calling the shots… and content tells us what those are!

Olivier Tilleuil – Founder & CEO

Olivier TilleuilI am going to be biased here, as this year, we did not only attend TMRE, but had the opportunity to present our case study with Twitter. We focused on advertising to one of the “toughest” target audiences in the market – the Millennials, dubbed the “distracted generation”.

Consumers have transitioned from traditional to online media, which drastically changed the rules for advertisers. Advertising budgets remain high, but the ROI is still not adequate as marketers are not sure how to exploit the potential of new media, especially social networks.

This is why we tested different advertising setups using the latest behavioral methods, able to provide information on how different marketing content stimulates the nonconscious mind, which heavily impacts purchase decisions.

We summarized our findings in three actionable insights – align ads with suitable context, maximize branding cues and use the product as a key creative element of your solutions.

These recommendations may not seem radical, but they make a world of difference in increasing ad effectiveness. For instance, simply integrating the ad in a relevant context (for example, sports brand in sports feed) can increase stopping power by whopping 42%, lead to higher emotional engagement by 24% and invite 26% more people take action.

See what else we discovered here and don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] for more details.