Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Frontier of Consumer Research

TMRE 2015 Session

New Frontier of Consumer Research

Olga Diamandis, Senior Manger, Open Innovation, Mattell

Three key things are happening that are changing research: Crowdsourcing, big data, and artificial intelligence.  We will mine these dimensions, but first let’s take a brief look at the history of marketing research.

The field was born in the 1930s with the Likert Scale. This scale becomes the primary tool to measure consumer attitude. Then, the internet drastically changed things in the 1990s. Once web sites became dynamic and data was easy to handle crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing enabled researchers to crowdsource around the globe. Everything from toys, car design, to a country’s constitution have been crowdsourced.

For Mattell crowdsourcing became a tool for creating new characters in their Little People line, reducing the time spent in Market Research.

Big Data creates new opportunities. From behavioral data to predictive analytics, Big Data shortens the time to generate insights. Every human leaves a digital trail that can be cross-analyzed. In the Connected Era the amount of data will spike even higher.

What Big Data means for advertising is hyper targeting, creating meaning and relevance for consumers.

Artificial Intelligence allows us to track everything without consumer reported data, decreasing consumer biases. AI, in this realm, includes peer reviews (such as reviews on and consumer ratings.

AI also helps us understand ourselves better. What movies we like. We words we use most often. In time, Siri will take a more proactive role, recommending places to eat and things to do based on our user patterns.

I know I can go online and find an answer to a question simply now. Then, I’m thinking that machines can handle the search and the critical thinking. Revolutionary. I get excited and overwhelmed, but so excited. The future is limitless, but we have to be adaptive to take advantage of this emerging mode of the market.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

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