Conference Report: MRMW North America Cincinnati, Netherlands Plaza, April 10-11, 2019

30 April 2019

Conference Report: MRMW North America Cincinnati, Netherlands Plaza, April 10-11, 2019
The theme for MRMW 2019 was “Powering the Future of Insight Automation”


Attracting an audience of MR and CI professionals, there were some significant presenters from Procter & Gamble, BMW, PayPal, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Google, Facebook, Warner Media

What was clear from the conference was the increasing interest in bringing together methodologies and technologies to better map consumer choices, before, during and after a purchase decision.  New techniques including sensory analysis can analyse the passive biometrics behind consumer choices, which is then compared to the vast amounts of data available in social content globally.

Keynote speakers Kirti Singh, Chief Analytics & Insights Officer, Procter & Gamble and Gayle Fuguitt, Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation, Foursquare, led off the conference with a focus both on the importance of new technologies within their research operations and test methods that are engaging for consumers.

Digital Taxonomy presented, along with our client, RDI Corporation, a case study paper discussing the use of AI, machine learning and text analysis in better understanding consumer behavior. RDI were able to demonstrate real-world productivity improvements from the use of CodeIt’s blended machine learning technology. Other papers from Celgene and Royal Caribbean Cruises added weight to the increasing use of AI technology to better understand consumer behavior. The takeaway slide is this:


A number of other papers referenced the use of text analysis and AI as key methods to organize the large amounts of consumer comments and other data across a spectrum of traditional surveys, online communities and social media content. 

Cautionary comments, though, from Tia Maurer, Group Scientist at Procter & Gamble, who discussed the importance of data quality when using social panels, notably claiming: “The market research industry is plagued with professional survey takers and posers who misrepresent their identity and product usage experiences to maximize their income. Consequently, the data provided by these panelists is faulty and misinforms our business decisions.”

An interesting panel discussion (“Winning your consumers – Combining passive data with primary research”)  looked at linking multiple data types -  passive, qualitative and quantitative – in order to reach a more holistic picture of consumers. Zachary Heinemann, Head of Research & Development (R&D) at Activision Blizzard Media said, “…primary research needs to be invested in behavioral data and more importantly big data. Empowering our researchers to conduct qualitative and survey research with the necessary technical skills to combine these attitudinal insights with behaviors is critical for creating a full consumer picture from thoughts to actions in the purchase journey!”

MRMW3.pngOur little display area on the exhibition floor gathered a great deal of attention for both Codeit and Loading, whilst I’d like to extend a special thanks to the local Women In Research, WIRe, chapter, who hosted a reception offering attendees a relaxed opportunity to get to know more about each other, their companies and offerings.

A very interesting couple of days with lots of forward-looking thinking and discussion. Definitely one for next year’s meetings calendar!

Rudy Bublitz

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