Wow. It’s been a crazy last few weeks leading up to the 2nd International Conference on Market Research in the Mobile World, but it all paid off earlier this week as 175 professionals involved with mobile and social media research converged on Atlanta for an intense 2 days focused on knowledge sharing and debate. We worked together to develop a road map for how mobile and social media technologies can be utilized for insight generation. Based on the overwhelmingly positive comments we received as well as my own observations of the event I think the consensus is that it was a major success! The volume of great thought leadership on display by the speakers, highly engaging debate by participants, and extensive networking for all were fairly unprecedented in my experience with most conferences. It really exceeded all of my expectations!
If you’d like to see pictures of our wonderful pre-conference kick-off with the Research Club, you can find those here. That was a fun night and it was a great way to start the conference. If you get an opportunity to go a Research Club event, do yourself a favor and get there. Jonathan and Bob really know how to host a good party!
I’m racing now to get ready for a much needed family vacation in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida so I don’t have time to write a full recap. The good news is that my colleagues at NewQual.org are posting numerous blogs on the conference; here is a list of what is up so far and more will be coming soon:
Roxana Strohmenger of Forrester was scheduled to be a speaker at the conference but had a last minute complication come up. She has contributed in another way now with a great post regarding mobile research with the unassuming title Wake Up! You Need To Be Thinking About Mobile Market Research Now. Here is an exceprt:
July has been a “sizzling” month so far, and I don’t just mean the weather. Although its pretty hot and humid here in Miami, the market research world has been burning up with talk about mobile market research over the past three weeks. First, we kicked off the month with a debate I moderated about whether mobile research is the great hope or the false dawn. You can listen to a recording of the lively debate here. And now, the Merlien Market Research in a Mobile World conference just wrapped up. This conference brought together more than 200 client-side senior executives, market researchers, and mobile developers to discuss the challenges and opportunities mobile technologies can bring to generate customer insights.
Is all of this talk warranted? Yes! Just take a look at some of these facts. Forrester forecasts that by 2014, 65% of the world’s population will own at least one active mobile phone (click here for details; subscription required). And, earlier this year, Mary Meeker of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers stated that we have globally reached an inflection point in Q4 2010―the global shipments of smartphones and tablets surpassed the global shipments of desktop and notebook PCs.
As always, anything Forrester puts out there is worth reading seriously, so take a few minutes and check out the implications she draws from all of this activity.
Adam Wexler of Insightpool has a provocative post that tackles the issue from a similar angle: Traditional Market Researchers Will Not Know How to Leverage Mobile Soon Enough
Just wrapped up with the 2nd Annual Market Research in the Mobile World Conference. This year’s event was held in Atlanta and brought close to 200 folks out. It was non-stop info on the hot-button topic of how the mobile platform can fit into market research moving forward.
Here’s the biggest issue that really wasn’t addressed: As much knowledge as was shared around the room, I fear that a good bit of it was going in one ear and out the other.
Adam goes on to give us a few ideas on how to fix this issue. It’s well worth a few minutes to read his take on the issue.
Tim Stock of ScenarioDNA gave a rousing presentation on how mobile and social media technologies can be used for a new paradigm of deep social understanding via expressive research. Luckily that presentation is already available online. Here are some links related to the presentation:
Companion article on Uncluttered White Spaces: http://unclutteredwhitespaces.com/2011/07/research-advice-from-a-caterpillar/
Kathleen Poulous of InCrowd also has a great summary of both days of the conference on the InCrowd Blog. Here are her key take aways from Day 1:
My ‘aha’ moment is actually a bit of surprise at the resistance to mobile research methodologies that focus on ‘now’ or this moment in time. The world is increasingly mobile; reaching those you want to engage when it works best for them seems smart. Looking to the future I see brands accessing exclusive mobile crowds on an ongoing basis for frequent but short encounters.
And here is her summary of Day 2:
Day 2 of Market Research in the Mobile World #MRMW11 focused on foresight and best practices. The presenters challenged us to look into the future, asking if we would recognize our industry in 5 years. We explored pitfalls and opportunities along with the changing paradigm in market research.
Check out the complete summary. InCrowd presented a case study on their work with Vertex pharmaceuticals that was one of the high points of the event for many in attendance.
You can also follow along on the #MRMW11 hashtag stream on Twitter; there were many active “tweeters” at the event and it is an informative and entertaining few days worth of running commentary of the conference!
On a related note, Dana Stanley from MRGA interviewed me this morning as a debrief on the event and to get a sense of what may be next. I gave him a few “scoops” on next steps, so once he makes that available make sure to listen to it. It should be up on both the MRGA and here early next week, be on the lookout for it.
One of the things we did differently compared to other conferences was adopting a social-centric strategy. One of the critical pieces of this is that we video recorded the entire conference and will be posting all of the presentations and video online for the entire industry to access.
We are preparing the presentations, video, and pictures for the event for upload now. We will be using the MRGA 365 platform as the primary storage site for this content. We’ll have the presentations up next week, and the video linked to each presentation will be available within the next 2 weeks. Click on the image below to go ahead and register for access; it’s free.
Last but not least, earlier this year myself and several others involved with mobile research were approached to be interviewed by Carrie Robbins, a brilliant Grad Student doing her thesis on Mobilizing Market Research: The state-of-the-art, future evolution and implications of mobile data collection methods in the field of market research. I was so impressed with the results of her work that GreenBook and I agreed to publish her paper. Since GreenBook is also a Co-Sponsor of the Market Research in the Mobile World Conference, it seemed fitting to publish it as a weekly series on the GreenBook Blog as a run up to that event. We also decided that it deserved to be published in whole and made available via download. This is that complete version. You can access it by clicking the image here.
This truly is a comprehensive review of the current state of the industry, the views of many industry thought leaders on what the future holds, and of current best practices being used. It should serve as a great resource for anyone interested in or actively engaged in utilizing mobile technologies for research-based initiatives. I think you’ll be as impressed as I was upon reading it. Enjoy!
That’s it for now. I may sneak in one or two more posts myself in the next week, but even if I don’t there will be a steady stream of great posts from our contributors in my absence. I can’t wait to get back and jump into the conversation again!
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