Our industry is set up on an income model in which the entire industry is paid on its most commoditized component, data collection. We pay for data collection and don’t expect to pay for the intellectual added value that a good vendor can provide. Basically, we charge on the number of completed interviews and the sample frame costs plus margin.

It doesn’t really matter how hard, complex or technically challenging the project is, we make our money on data collection. So in a world in which data collection is becoming more of a commodity, how does the industry stay alive?

In this conference, we will take an honest look at the past, present and future of our industry and tell stories of success and failure based on our current model. We will also discuss future models. This conference is about how the industry works and how to make it better for future generations. Are we to go the way of the railroad, or are we going to find a new way to do this?

Speakers will be given a 30 minute session to present their information. We do these short presentations because our attendees love this very quick style and it keeps the conference moving.

2014 Speaker Summary




Simon Chadwick – Managing Partner, Cambiar

Future of Research

In this latest round we have examined this model as well as the place of Big Data, social media and other broader analytics in the future of the research model. We have interviewed CEOs of research companies, VPs of Insights functions, CMOs, new entrants and young researchers.

Michelle Adams – President, Marketing Brainology

Marketing Research Revolution or Evolution?  Time to shake things up. The good news is…Knowledge is ‘Still’ Power.

Change can sometimes be uncomfortable. We all have different tolerance levels for change. Some of us welcome it; while others dread it.

The reality is we are all forced to change over time.  We do it incrementally. Usually these are small changes; less noticeable and definitely; more comfortable. We evolve.

Whether marketing research needs a revolution or evolution; is a matter of perspective.  We can all relax; our industry isn’t going away.  Insights generation will always be in demand. How we obtain data and connect it…will be the new currency. Our sample sources will change, and so will our interview techniques and tools.  Our industry will continue to evolve.  Time has shown our critical skills will be about intellectual curiosity, anticipating unmet needs, and connecting dots between different data points. Come see how you can shake things up; and evolve your own skill set and our industry.

Doug Grisaffe, Ph.D., Rebecca VanMeter, Ph.D. Candidate – UT Arlington

Social Media Brand Engagement and Brand Advocacy: Are We Missing the Trees for the Forest?

Companies are excited about Social Media as a new source of information for extracting customer insights. The “fire hose” is continuously gushing unprecedented amounts of Big Data, and researchers are struggling to effectively mine data taken from this stream. Traditional marketing researchers are suddenly out of their quantitative, survey-based, individual-level, “little data” comfort zones because social data sets are often text-based, observational, viewed in aggregate, and massive in size. But does this change in data sourcing come with a price? Are we losing perspective on important underlying psychological bases of customer behavior? Observing brand engagement and advocacy at the forest-level may be good. But if we only study the larger forest, we may be missing the tree-level phenomena that make the forest what it is. In this presentation we show how new academic research involving individual-level psychometric measurement offers valuable predictive insight into social media based brand engagement and brand advocacy.

Casey Bernard-CB Research Services and Jeanne Corrigan – Founder, Mosaic Insight Group

New Hybrid Approaches to Qualitative Research (working title)

In the past, a hybrid research approach meant combining qualitative and quantitative approaches – often conducted in separate phases. Today with many different tools available, the definition of the hybrid approach can mean many things.

In this presentation Casey and Jeanne will discuss the advantages of designing qualitative studies that combine online activities with in-person work, as well as adding quantitative elements. These multiple data collection methods add depth and understanding to provide deeper insight into telling the whole consumer experience story. Using case studies and best practices, attendees will leave with ideas for getting deeper on their next qualitative assignments.

Gregory S. Heist – VP Strategies & Innovation, Gongos Research

From Data Collector to Agent Provocateur:  The Transformation of Market Research in the Era of Disruption

Does market research have the chops to become a greater catalyst of organizational transformation?  The answer hinges, in part, on how effectively we embrace decision sciences to fuse primary and enterprise data. But crossing that chasm will require clients and agencies to reimagine the business we’re in and the value we create.

Kyle Nel – Head of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, Lowe’s Home Improvement

Uncommon Partnerships: The Way Forward

MR has historically been a very siloed function.  Those that are breaking through and providing game-changing insights are forming partnerships beyond those in their dept.  The best researchers and research organization are forming partnerships beyond their companies, beyond their industries, beyond what anyone had previously thought of.  These uncommon partnerships will be the platforms that will drive insights to the next level and prove our value as researchers as data collection and analysis becomes commoditized.

Luncheon Roundtable

A new model for the marketing research industry?

Panelists Include:
Lenny Murphy –  Thought Leader, Consultant, Gen2Advisors
Jerry Thomas – President & CEO, Decision Analyst
Bill Tanner – Dallas Morning News
Simon Chadwick – Managing Partner, Cambiar
Colleen Doyle – Qualitative Research Manager, M/A/R/C Research

Robert Clancy – VP, Will Leach – Sr. Director, Jacob Tucker – Sr. Analyst, Insights & Stategy, uSamp

Utilizing the power of mobile to get closer to consumer intimacy

uSamp will discuss how mobile is uniquely qualified to get closer to consumers and shoppers at the points of consumption and purchase than ever before.  uSamp will share case studies to show how companies have gained insights they would not have been able to capture through other modes and will highlight the key features of mobile research technology:  geolocation and geovalidation, video capture, photo capture, audio response.

David Howlett – SVP Innovation at iModerate

The New Researcher

Our presentation will focus on the the shift in the researchers job – from collector to curator and interpreter. In this age of big data there is so much information already being collected by companies that have no idea how to put it to use. Our presentation will show how research (and the researcher) can and should be an integral part of that process from the inception to analysis, helping organizations develop a plan to make sense and good use of the data streams they already have.

Jerry W. Thomas – President & DEO, Decision Analyst

Loyalty, Lore, and Other Tales

The study of customer satisfaction, or customer experience, or whatever the latest moniker is, does not occur in a vacuum; typically, it takes place in the context of the large corporation.  Large organizations have tendencies, or peculiarities, that often complicate the process of measuring, understanding, and using customer satisfaction or customer experience data.  Let’s look at some of these corporate complications.