By Marc Dresner, IIR USA
A parade of thought leaders, change agents and research industry innovation champions took the stage at The Market Research Event today to receive honors in the annual EXPLOR and NGMR Disruptive Innovation Awards, respectively.
I like to refer to these awards as the industry’s “innovation barometers” because they really do provide a terrific read on where we’re seeing significant and tangible advancements in the research field, and this year was no exception.
The 2012 EXPLOR Award went to a collaboration between AOL, BBDO and InsightsNow.
The NGMR Disruptive Innovation Award winners by category:
Thought Leadership: FOX Broadcasting Co. and trueAnthem
Research Concept Deployment: EyeTrackShop
Individual Innovator: Steven Cohen, Partner & Co-founder, in4mation insights
So what did they do to earn these accolades?
According to Chuck Miller, President of DM2 and Founder of the prestigious annual case study competition, AOL, BBDO and InsightsNow delivered compelling new insights into consumer mobile behavior.
"As our world continues to shift, content providers and advertisers must rapidly move to mobile or be left behind. The insights gained through this method made them the natural winner of this year’s EXPLOR award,” said Miller.
Research outlined in the AOL/BBDO/insightsNow case study employed a three-pillared approach combining a primary ethnography study, mobile metered data and quantitative survey data.
“The resulting assimilation provided strategic clarity as to why consumers behave the way they do, and uncovered several insights that run counter to the traditional view of the mobile space,” said Miller.
Chuck Miller (L) with the 2012 EXPLOR Award Winners: Denise Brien (AOL), Vicki Draper (AOL), Dave Lundahl (InsightsNow) and Alec Maki (InsightsNow)
“Mobile is a fast-growing market with many opportunities, but there are significant challenges,” said AOL Senior Manager of Media Insights Vicki Draper. “Publishers and advertisers have not adapted their methods or their messages to be fully optimized for this medium, and we need to look beneath the surface view of what users are doing on mobile.
"This research study allowed us to shake up perceived notions of how and why people turn to their mobile devices and really understand how to better reach consumers on these devices,” Draper added.
“AOL wanted to rethink mobile, and propel the industry beyond the constraints of conventional understanding,” said Alec Maki, VP of BehaviorLens Research at InsightsNow.
“To move this idea into action, we employed a BehaviorLens® Landscape study to recast the smartphone market by segmenting different mobile moments based on their underlying motivators. Through moment segmentation, we provided AOL with strategic clarity as to why consumers behave the way they do, across the moments of life, with respect to mobile apps and sites,” Maki said.
Maki continued, “To further advance AOL’s ‘mobile first’ strategy, we added a unique twist—integrating moment segmentation with metered mobile data. This connected stated motivators back to observed, real-world consumer behavior. The synthesis was made possible by applying a common ‘lens’ of consumer behavior.”
NGMR Disruptive Innovation
Tom Anderson, founder of Next Gen Market Research (NGMR), noted the online community and professional networking group’s 20,000 members from the market research industry were encouraged to nominate the companies and individuals they felt were most innovative, which resulted in some stiff competition.
Tom Anderson (L) with 2012 NGMR Award Winners Steven Cohen, Chris Hart, Melva Benoit and Jeff Bander
“While we had many submissions that were unique and innovative—from text analytics to online tracking—one of the factors that put this year’s winners over the top was that their innovations have been realized and put into practice. They’re already disrupting research-as-usual,” said Anderson.
According to a brief on their work, trueAnthem upgraded FOX’s existing share functionality with its patent-pending technology to identify social influencers and track multi-generational sharing of paid, owned and earned media as well as other metrics to help FOX evaluate content creation efforts and better monetize advertising.
“While the concept of earned media and influencers are not new to our industry, instantaneous measurement of social interactions and the ‘right’ way to define social KPIs have largely been in pioneering phase,” said Melva Benoit, senior vice president of analytics innovation, research and strategy at Fox Broadcasting Company.
“Collectively, FOX and trueAnthem are proud to offer a proven method for measuring earned media that the industry can consider as we move into the future,” Benoit added.
trueAnthem CEO Chris Hart remarked: “The recognition of our work with Fox by NGMR is important because it acknowledges the greater industry movement occurring in the earned media space.
“There is massive scale and value in earned media compared to other forms of digital media,” Hart said.
Research Concept Deployment
EyeTrackShop received the Disruptive Concept Deployment nod for developing the world’s first webcam-based eye tracking technology, eliminating the need for travel to a central location and enabling respondents to use their own computers without requiring additional software.
EyeTrackShop President of Americas and General Manager Ephraim (Jeff) Bander said the technology has “liberated the field of eyetracking” by providing significantly lower cost alternative to traditional eye tracking, making it accessible to small and large companies alike.
“Studies that took months in traditional eye tracking can take as little as 48 hours with EyeTrackShop,” said Bander. “And studies can be conducted in multiple countries at the same time. With traditional eye tracking, simultaneous testing around the world was cost prohibitive and took months.”
Steven Cohen, Partner & Co-founder, in4mation insights, took the Individual Innovator Award for “continuously challenging the quantitative side of our industry through such innovations as choice-based conjoint and MaxDiff to more recent insight advancements around clustering and latent class segmentation, much of which can also be leveraged in the analysis of Big Data,” Anderson said.
Cohen, a serial disruptor who’s compared his compulsion to constantly fix what’s broken with research to “walking around with a pebble in [his] shoe,” said, "I have always challenged myself to not accept common assumptions and the standard ways of doing things. I guess that is my 'disruptive side.'
"I am fascinated by new ways of doing research that are better and that conform closer to how people make decisions. The goals are to understand behavior so that we gain better information about why things happened in the past and to make better forecasts about future behavior. So I guess that is my 'innovative side.'"
Congratulations to the 2012 EXPLOR and NGMR Disruptive Innovation Award winners!
About the EXPLOR Awards
The EXPLOR Awards is an annual case study competition, honoring technology innovation in marketing research. Innovation leaders from global corporations, research agencies and academia are invited to submit high impact cases where technology and innovation have advanced the research and insight process.
About the NGMR Disruptive Innovation Awards
The NGMR Disruptive Innovation Awards recognize companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and made significant contributions to harnessing disruptive innovation—technological, methodological or otherwise—to drive research industry progress.
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 marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @mdrezz.