I was pleased to attend IIEX Europe this week in Amsterdam, where researchers from brands, technology providers, and market research agencies of all sizes convened to discuss the latest trends in market research, learn from new case studies, and connect with others in the industry. Over two days of sessions, attendees debated what’s next for the market research industry and heard about new solutions to industry problems. Everything from gathering biometric data to track fan’s reactions to sports events, to using automated solutions and AI to streamline the research process were topics on the agenda. Below I outline and explain some of my key takeaways from the 2019 IIEX conference,
- Think (and work) like a startup: Several global brands including Lacoste and Cereal Partners Worldwide (a joint venture between Nestlé and General mills) mentioned the need for large corporations to shift their workflows to be more like a startup. This includes putting minimum viable products in front of consumers more quickly in order to test them prior to a full launch.
The use of more agile methodologies, where products are constantly being iterated based on consumer feedback, was emphasized as a way big brands can save time and money as they go to market. Backing this up, Lacoste presented a case study in which they were able to dramatically cut the time it takes to develop and launch a new product.
- New technology can gather valuable insights when deployed correctly: Multiple case studies at IIEX discussed the use of new technologies as a way of gathering consumer data at a level that hasn’t been done before. Formula 1 presented on using galvanic skin response to track the reaction of fans to various parts of a car race, finding that the highest levels of excitement came at the start of the race, and that when there was an accident or commentators discussed more mundane aspects of racing excitement levels dropped.
Danone discussed using technology to examine Instagram feeds and gather valuable data on how consumers express health and indulgence online, which informed their own messaging. Both Coca Cola and Danone also talked about using Artificial Intelligence and cognitive search to generate insights and better organize research that has already been collected so that entire organizations are able to easily access data insights.
- Respondent experience can be improved: There was some discussion on how to improve respondent experience and make participating in research a more desirable activity. Ben from PureSpectrum discussed using profile information to reduce the number of screening questions respondents get and increase the chances they are actually chosen for a study, and InSites consulting presented on how to best gather insights from the next generation of consumers.
Many of the points InSites discussed for reaching younger generations overlap with what GeoPoll has found while conducting research in mobile-based societies in Africa, including that surveys need to be short and fun to take, and be designed to be taken on a mobile phone rather than a desktop computer. They also mentioned the need for more flexibility in standard demographic questions, as more young people identify as gender-neutral or do not identify 100% with one gender over the other.
Overall, IIEX was an excellent outlet for researchers to review forward-thinking ideas, talk about what has worked and what hasn’t, and think about the next years in a fast-changing industry. As GeoPoll continues to build innovative products, expand our client base, and grow our panel in Africa and other emerging regions, we look forward to incorporating some of the learnings from IIEX into our own work.