Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TMRE 2012: Superextenders+CrossFit+System 1 Thinking=Full Brain

Today's post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven.

Based on the positive feedback regarding the rundown-of-sessions blog format, I kept the same format for today-enjoy the recap:

Nothing like starting off Day 2 of TMRE with a Nobel Prize winner!

The first keynote of the day was Daniel Kahneman, Professor Emeritus at Princeton, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow.  Kahneman outlined System 1 and System 2 thinking, why confidence in our intuition may not be accurate, and why we shouldn't take others’ confidence at face value, but rather examine whether they have the experience and skill to back up that confidence.  The #TMRE Twitter stream came alive with applications Kahneman’s observations have to market research – including questions as to how can we tailor research to invoke System 1 or 2 responses?

The second keynote of the morning was Ron Williams, co-author of The Value Path. Williams focused on embedding innovation in everyday business, rather than focusing on changing the business model. Williams asked a key question: “How can you and your clients continue to innovate (sustain value creation over time) if you can't predict what the customer of tomorrow will value, in an ever expanding choice space?”

Williams shared highlights of companies who do well in ever-changing marketplaces (“Superextenders”) and those who struggle (“Ultrafades”) with case studies that included GAP, Blockbuster, Amazon and Nokia. What do Superextenders do well? Among other things, look for new dimensions of value rather than focusing on new product features, and they don’t fall into the “commodity trap” where everyone has the same value narrative. This leads to companies aggressively inventing around incremental features and functions.


Heading into sessions this morning, one that caught my eye was “Shattering the Proverbial Glass Ceiling,” a panel discussion led by Kristin Luck of Decipher, with panelists Karen Morgan of Morgan Search, Kelley Peters of Post Foods, and Melva Benoit of Fox Broadcasting.  Luck introduced the session by quoting some statistics from a recent study from Women in Research, such as the fact that only 16% of firms on the Honomichl list are led by women. A heartening finding from the study? Neither females nor males feel they are being discriminated against in the industry. What advice did the panel have for women looking to get ahead in the industry? Identify a mentor who can be a champion for you, find a niche within the industry (i.e. kids + television for Benoit), and hone your negotiation skills whether you’re asking for a better title or an increase in salary.  



Data visualization continues to be a hot topic, and it was standing room only in the “Data Visualization and Deployment Techniques that Bring Research to Life” session co-presented by Rajit Chakravarty of BP and Lisa Gudding of GfK.  Gudding spoke about data visualization living at the intersection of art, science, and communication, and provided some salient examples of easy, inexpensive ways to work more data visualization into your reports and deliverables. The session wrapped up with an eye-catching segmentation case study by Chakravarty of BP that included logos, customized visualization templates, a branded web portal, and workshops with their marketing executives to immerse them in the segments.  BP employed creative visualizations from comic book style storyboards to dashboard-like overviews of the segments.


Stepping way outside my comfort zone, I decided to head to the “Lessons Learned from Reebok/CrossFit Facebook Fans” session.  I don’t do CrossFit (but aspire to!) and we don’t do Facebook research, but I certainly took away some interesting nuggets of insight.  The premise:  Reebok was interested in researching fans of their Reebok CrossFit Facebook page and their overall Reebok Facebook Page. Why? Reebok strives to be the brand for fitness and wants to be authentic and supporting of the CrossFit community, without crossing the line into over-commercialization. Working with iModerate (COO Jen Drolet co-presented), fans of both pages were interviewed and the findings are helping Reebok to enhance their relationship with CrossFit, drive cross-over traffic to the corporate page, and strengthen their engagement with their fans.

Two fantastic keynotes rounded out the day – Robert J. Atencio of Pfizer and Bob Johansen of the Institute for the Future  - and kept everyone’s rapt attention until the cocktail hour began.  For more information on the day’s final keynotes ,other sessions that I didn’t cover, and overall event chatter, don’t forget to follow the hashtag #TMRE on Twitter.

Stay tuned for news and notes from the final day of TMRE tomorrow!

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More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the”Voice of the Customer” inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

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