Day One at IIeX NA 2014 was a packed day filled with research goodness, from the exceptional speakers all the way down to the wide diversity of research minds in attendance. I spent the day popping in and out of sessions and talking to as many people as I could. Here are a few takeaways I had from Day One.
The Market Research Industry is like Mexican Food
I like going to research conferences and listening to people talk about their company’s “unique” approach and how they describe their services. After several hundred conversations I’m starting to notice a strange resemblance to my favorite food type: Mexican food. Who doesn’t like Mexican food, right? If you really think about it, Mexican food has the same core ingredients in every dish; they’re just presented differently and given a different name.
On Day One I had at least ten people tell me about their “unique” approach to generating ideas. Each time I couldn’t help but think, “You’re simply describing a standard idea generation/crowdsourcing approach.”
If you haven’t experience the virtual reality room put on by LRW, you need to….TODAY. Spoiler alert: If you’re scared of heights (like me) please bring an extra pair of shorts. The applications of this technology are endless. I’d really like to see a study done on the emotional effects of a virtual reality experience. I think my heart rate is finally recovering 4 hours later….
My favorite presentation of the day was by Rebeca Fucci of Fresh Intelligence. Rebeca explained how emotional engagement relates to loyalty. Far too often we associate loyalty with frequency. She gave a simple example from her childhood to drive this point home. Rebeca grew up in a small town where the most convenient thrift store was a chain called Ames. She went to Ames almost every day when she was younger. If she were to ask one of the Ames employees if she was a loyal customer, they would have said, “yes” without hesitation. In reality, she despised the store, and by the time she was old enough to drive, it was worth it to her to drive 45 minutes to the nearest national department store.
Rebeca reminds us that if you want to look at true loyalty, you must look at emotions and not just behavior. It’s the emotional side of the decision making process that creates the immediate connection and interest.
Neuroscience is Top of ‘Mind’
Neuroscience was by far the topic brought up most in my conversations and in presentations. I think neuroscience is fascinating and I’d love to know more about it. However, my biggest concern is the learning curve associated with it. The “average” person, if they’re being honest, knows very little or nothing at all about neuroscience. Quite often, when a new methodology or strategy comes around, we spend a large amount of time trying to educate our clients. Neuroscience is not as easy to learn as Max Diff analysis is.
Here’s my concern: The learning curve may be too great and require too much time educating clients for the majority of research shops. If we “dumb” it down so clients can see the applications (so we can sell it), do we lose its value in the process?
You can follow the conversation at the conference via #iiex on Twitter.