Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Live from TMRE 2011: NGMR 2011 Disruptive Innovators Jostle Research!


Net Promoter Score Displaced? Cookie-Free Ad Effectiveness Kudos! And Big Data Play Makes Waves...

By Marc Dresner, IIR

Disruptive innovation was on display today at TMRE as two research companies, one information services provider and one visionary individual accepted awards for pushing the research envelope in progressive new directions.

The 2nd Annual Disruptive Innovation Awards presented by online professional community Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) were—as anticipated—reorganized into three new categories:

Thought Leadership:
- Ipsos Loyalty (Wallet Allocation Rule)

Research Concept Deployment:
- InsightExpress (Ignite Network)

Non-Traditional Provider:
- RapLeaf


The only holdover category from last year was awarded to a perennial change agent and friend:

Individual: Dr. Bill MacElroy, Chairman, Socratic Technologies


A quick scan of nomination submissions revealed compelling reasons to count each of the winners comfortably within the disruptive realm.

My review…


WHO & WHY: RapLeaf
Arguably the most conspicuous innovator in the bunch—RapLeaf—came from without the research industry as traditionally defined and has made waves in ad targeting, CRM and analytics circles.

RapLeaf’s database includes over a half-billion unique email addresses and corresponding data from various social and ecommerce sites, enabling the company to provide real-time information to B-to-B clients.

The company notably ran into issues with Facebook last year after a Wall Street Journal series profiled various social research and online data aggregators.

RapLeaf has reportedly since resolved the matter and has pushed ahead with an information deliverable that NGMR Founder and Chairman Tom H. C. Anderson says demonstrates what is possible when you are first to leverage this type of data.

“By thinking outside the box, RapLeaf has distinguished itself from traditional consumer data aggregators and has built the richest database of social behavior on the Web,” said Anderson. “They’ve learned a few lessons along the way, but they’re the first to access this breadth of data and I expect they’ll continue to refine and evolve their products.”

While RapLeaf had difficulties due in no small part to an emotionally charged privacy climate, they’re not the first and they won’t be the last. One key takeaway, I think, is that to compete in a space like Big Data analytics where innovation abounds, research providers are going to have to take a few calculated risks. Think two steps forward, one step back.

For bucking the status quo in pursuit of a superior information capability, RapLeaf was awarded Most Innovative Research Product from a Non-Traditional Provider.


WHO & WHY: InsightExpress (Ignite Network)
Launched in January 2011, InsightExpress’ Ignite Network has ingeniously cleared hurdles that have heretofore frustrated online ad effectiveness research efforts.

While I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on under the hood, the main thing you need to bear in mind is that according to InsightExpress the Ignite Network is an opt-in platform that does not rely on cookies to track respondents.

Why is this important? Cookies can be deleted, which significantly handicaps attempts to get an accurate picture of browsing behavior. And it’s nearly impossible to assess post-exposure ad impact over time with cookies.

Via strategic aggregation arrangements with leading sample providers, Ignite Network can also deliver a scalable, persistent respondent pool, thereby eliminating dependence on recruitment by pop-up and banners. (The former is restricted on Facebook, YouTube, portal homepages, ad networks, etc., and the latter yields abysmal response rates.)

“The potential of this breakthrough isn’t confined to online ad effectiveness,” Anderson noted. “The ability to capture online behavior without cookies in an opt-in way has important implications for a variety of other research.”

For surmounting cookie limitations and facilitating ad measurement on some of the Web’s most important properties, InsightExpress got the nod for Most Innovative Deployment of a Research Concept.

Additional props to InsightExpress SVP & CRO Marc Ryan for lighting the fuse behind Ignite Network!


WHO & WHY: Ipsos Loyalty (Wallet Allocation Rule)
Net Promoter Score critics rejoice! Ipsos Loyalty appears to have discovered a new formula for predicting share of wallet with an unprecedented degree of accuracy: The Wallet Allocation Rule.

In a groundbreaking, two-year longitudinal study among more than 17,000 consumers spanning more than a dozen industries and nine countries, Ipsos Loyalty uncovered a strong correlation (0.9 out of a perfect 1.0) between share of wallet and the rank that consumers assign to a brand relative to other brands in a competitive set.

Furthermore, while other approaches seek to “fit” data to share of wallet via regression techniques or back-solving functions, according to Ipsos Loyalty the Wallet Allocation Rule performs as well or better than very complex data-fitting methods across industries with no data fitting required.

Is this the Holy Grail that marketers have historically sought using NPS, customer sat and other loyalty metrics?

Perhaps. It certainly has generated interest in the right places (notably the October 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review).

“Net Promoter Score and traditional loyalty metrics haven’t correlated to what matters most to marketers at the end of the day: share of wallet,” said Anderson. “The Wallet Allocation Rule may completely change the rules.”

For potentially displacing an industry standard with a simpler alternative with bottom-line impact, Ipsos Loyalty won the award for Innovation Thought Leader.

Congratulations to the team:
- Timothy Keiningham, PhD, Global Chief Strategy Officer, Ipsos Loyalty
- Lerzan Aksoy, PhD, Associate Professor of Marketing, Fordham University
- Alexander Buoye, PhD, Vice President of Analytics, Ipsos Loyalty
- Bruce Cooil, PhD, Professor of Management, Vanderbilt University


WHO & WHY: Dr. Bill MacElroy, Chairman, Socratic Technologies
Last but not least, there is in my opinion no individual in research today more deserving of the label “disruptive innovator” than the incomparable Dr. Bill MacElroy.

Since he hasn’t been put out to pasture, I won’t turn this into a Lifetime Achievement Award by recounting MacElroy’s innumerable and pioneering accomplishments and contributions to the research industry over the years. That’s all well and good, but what’s he done lately?

MacElroy shared a few current pastimes:
Respondent Engagement: Use of technologies (animations, interactive video, etc.) and methods (brand affinity, topic salience, different forms of digital incentives, etc.) to increase online survey cooperation and improve data quality.

Interface Transitions: Experimenting with usability and question content control in non-traditional-PC environments (tablets, smart phones, etc.) to determine best practices for using touch-based systems and alternative methods to physical keyboards for data entry (voice recognition, virtual keyboards, Swype, etc.).

Data Dissemination: Developing more interactive systems and tools for research end users for scenario analysis, tracking analysis, real-time modeling and reducing time to decision. (This involves extensive database work and creation of smarter, more interactive tools for accessing and filtering the tons of data being generated both from traditional research and transactions.)

While these were reportedly among the key considerations that earned him the distinction of Individual Disruptive Innovator, I have a hunch the really disruptive stuff Dr. MacElroy is working on isn’t necessarily being shared. We’ll just have to wait and see…


Congratulations to the 2011 NGMR Disruptive Innovation Award winners!
 


Editor’s note: For more on this year’s NGMR Disruptive Innovation Awards, be sure to visit NGMR’s blog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz. Meet him at TMRE 2011 in Orlando this November!





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