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Highlights of the APRC/RANZ conference, Auckland 2015– Research without Boundaries

Hosting the Asia Pacific Research Committee Conference in Auckland, New Zealand provided us with a fantastic opportunity to rub shoulders with senior researchers from all over the Asia-Pacific Region and beyond, as well as showcasing NZ’s thriving market research industry.

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This year we’ve had the honor to be hosting the Asia Pacific Research Committee Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.  It provided us with a fantastic opportunity to rub shoulders with senior researchers from all over the Asia-Pacific Region and beyond, as well as showcasing NZ’s thriving market research industry and some outstanding NZ businesses and business speakers.

After a qualitative workshop on Monday, the conference really kicked off in a typical NZ style with an amazing traditional Maori welcome.  Everyone’s awake now and RANZ chair Maria Tyrell and conference organizer Winifred Henderson got us underway.

Keynote: Phil O’Reilly, Business NZ – Business without boundaries

Phil considered the trends that are changing business today – new sources of value, new approaches to trade, and an exponentially growing information base.  Here are some if his nuggets of information

  • Scientists speak French, businesses speak German. We need more Belgians who can speak both.
  • Megatrends include
    • Rise of Africa
    • Changing demographics in Europe and Asia PAC
    • Changes in the global power balance
    • South-South trade and assistance
    • Next revolution in manufacturing
  • Understand where the value comes from
    • Tech / innovation
    • IP and value add (high niche, very specialized)
    • Diversity (thinking, doing, creativity, authenticity)
  • Blurring boundaries between manufacturing vs services, exports vs imports
  • Trade will triple by 2025
  • What it means for us as an industry
    • Stay close to the business
    • Be global, not just science global but business global
    • Be the best NZ community of research, science

Duncan Stuart, Kudos Dynamics – when Robo marketing goes wrong

(Winner People’s Choice)

Duncan is a fellow and life-member of RANZ and he showed us how automation can be a double-edged sword.

  • Technology is here to stay and can help us to be more efficient, effective, faster and better.
  • Robo research are getting results more accurate than ours based on humans?
  • Be careful when robots are used to drawl social media and then send out customised comms.
  • Invention the mother of necessity – Earl Wiener
  • Whenever you solve a problem you usually create one.
  • The problem with autopilots is that they often can’t account for emergencies, can’t make out of the ordinary decisions.
  • Robots are more reliable but are often useless in a crisis, random events or malice
  • Every time we use robotics in marketing there will be someone trying to exploit this.

Keynote: Dominic Quin, Fonterra – Deeper Research for global success

Fonterra is the world’s largest dairy exporter and New Zealand’s largest company.  In his presentation, Dominic shared some of the insights from Fonterra’s stellar growth journey so far.

  • Nutrient security will be the biggest issue of our time. Malnourishment on one extreme in emerging markets vs. bad food choices in developed countries.
  • Moving away from the largest exporter of dairy to a dairy nutrition provider.
  • Traditional research is not a great predictor of whether a consumer will buy a product or not.
  • Strategic Planning – Using Big Data to create a single consumer Ecosystem, including CRM, Social Media, Market research, media, etc.
  • Moment of truth – Influencing at the most potent moment of truth in the decision making
  • More decisions are made in-store than ever before, 3 out of 4 in CPG
  • Accelerated de-risked innovation. Less reactive, more real-time dialogue. Using co-creation and consumer panels
  • Using learning across all markets is part of using available, existing research better at the same budget.

Key note: Kevin Bowler, Tourism NZ – The power of imagery

Tourism is one of New Zealand’s largest export industries, second only to the dairy industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings.  Tourism New Zealand’s mission is to increase the value of international visitors to New Zealand, impacting both the tourism sector and the wider economy.  In total, around one in 11 working New Zealanders is employed in the tourism industry, with its growth benefiting small and large communities around New Zealand (not just hotels, tourist attractions).

Kevin talked about the challenges when marketing a niche product across global markets, whilst having a large number of stakeholders who all have an opinion.  Tourism NZ is using a mix of communication platforms to bring its message across.  Both earned and paid media play a big role, including its website, Facebook, local influencers & bloggers as well as agencies.  They are using consumer insight to help them identify the optimal images to portray particular product offers, and regions, whilst simultaneous ensuring these build to the overall brand New Zealand promise.

  • Getting it right for each geography and/or segment
  • Consistent but localised
  • Imagery to transcend borders – use the most persuasive images
  • Offline vs online
  • Evaluating images by bringing the consumer and some science into the picture
  • Image research using neuro science helped to understand subtle differences.

Insights and outcomes from the research and other learnings are shared across all Tourism NZ regions via online dashboards.  Images are also shared freely across partners and stakeholders.

Peking Tan, Xinsight & Miaozhen Systems (China) – The new equity of brand in the digital era

Xinsight is connecting and measuring single-source digital data and providing results back in real-time.  They also provide insights by integrating big data and small data.

The Internet is changing consumers and consumer decision processing.  People are now more empowered than ever and can select and purchase anyplace, anytime, anywhere.

Consumers no longer rely on memory, we just need to know where to find the information we seek.

When consumers connect with brands directly they create digital equity.  This means the more digital connections a brand has with consumers the more powerful the brand is.

  • Digital brand equity = digital connection
  • Data equity = data of the digital connection

Jon Dodd & Louisa Wood, Ipsos – When the elephant in the room is an invisible gorilla

2010 saw the publication of “The Invisible Gorilla, and Other Ways Our Intuition Deceives Us”, which should have sent shock waves throughout the market research industry.  The authors presented much evidence demonstrating how inaccurate our memories and recollections tend to be.

  • Irrational decisions are normal
  • Not remembering what we have done is normal.
  • Real people in real life are irrational, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Our memories and perceptions are more flawed than we think.  So as marketers and market researchers we need to be smarter in how we engage with our consumers and people.

Here are some ideas:

  • Observe real people in real life – think ethnographic research, accompanied shops etc.
  • Don’t just overserve in one environment, go to multiple places
  • Get the right people – Audition for focus groups rather than recruit them. Accompanied shopping
  • Overcome client and researcher inertia
  • Challenge clients, they are people too and can fall in the same traps as we all do
  • The methodology doesn’t matter – outcomes, answers, insights do
  • Clients don’t buy market research, they buy insight, guidance, understanding, solutions and support to their challenges.

Jude Rutherford, Juice Research – Don’t fence me in

Parallel stream not attended, based on a paper summary and Twitter feeds

There has been so much talk about the need to “change or die” in our industry.  On the face of it there has been change…neuroscience has led to new products, we talk to people via mobile apps, behavioral economic language and thinking has been taken up by some and so on.  But have we fundamentally changed what we offer and do?  When clients consider the role of research in their strategic process, where and how is it positioned?

Market Researchers should aspire to the characteristics of honey badgers- inquisitive, resourceful and fearless.  While cardigans are comfortable they don’t make a statement – market researchers need to wake up, stand up and be counted on.  Have an opinion, have a view, help businesses with their challenges.  Read, learn and share knowledge generously

Horst Feldhaeuser, Infotools & Carl Edkins, Coca-Cola – Visualizing a Coke & a Smile

(Winner best paper)

Presented, based on summary and Twitter feeds

In the latest GRIT Spring 2015 report, Coca-Cola was recognized as 2nd most innovative market research client.

Why change and innovate:

  • Constant changes in Consumer behavior
  • Changing expectations about brands
  • Data Deluge

Consumers and therefore markets are not always predictable.  Change is constant, change can be rapid and change can be unpredictable.  Flexibility is key both in terms of methodologies and talent deployment/service model.

By operating a disaggregated supply chain Coke benefits from locally capable lower-cost suppliers and best in class global suppliers in the same protocol network.

But they still face typical research challenges – the Garbage In, Garbage Out adage still applies.  Think data quality, global vs. local, human errors, survey length, mobile, claimed behavior.

Reinventing Coke’s global tracker by adding more flexibility, changing to a modular approach and using advanced technology instead of humans wherever possible.  Moving from a ‘pull’ focused environment and culture to one that helps to proactively ‘push’ information to users.

Technology heavily supports this through 24/7 apps, automatic reporting, notifications, and data integration.  Market Research is only one component of a future integrated system, that brings together market studies, Business data, and other information into ONE single desktop dashboard.

While technology is the enabler, changes don’t come alive if you don’t have the right service model and PEOPLE.

Mark Lepine, SSI – Big Data & technology’s impact on market research

Parallel stream not attended, based on a paper summary and Twitter feeds

Our industry is excited and daunted by Big Data.  Is it a threat to market research or a big opportunity?  And how do we best utilize it?

We need technology – of the right kind – to solve the big data challenge, but the technology for its own sake doesn’t matter unless it brings us closer to people (i.e. the consumer).

And we need people who understand how to evaluate, prioritize and make sense from data, whether it’s big or small, whether it’s collected through traditional market research or Social Media, whether (how much) it can be relied on.

Key note: Alexis Perrott, NZTE – Which market?

Choosing which international market a company enters based on gut feel, a relative’s recommendation or a few email inquiries is no longer an option for New Zealand companies wanting to be competitive and extend their global reach.  Understand your markets and their priority for your business before you commit to launching.

6 key mistakes

  1. Looking offshore to solve problems at home
  2. Lack of clear to go market strategy
  3. An international strategy that’s too broad
  4. Lack of understanding the market
  5. Lack of resourcing
  6. Lack of data or data being misleading

Beer example in Korea:  Koreans drink lots of beer so it might be a good idea to enter.  But because they drink only cheap beer it wouldn’t be viable for a craft beer manufacturer.

Cereal example in China: The cereal market looks big, but manufacturers need to understand that cereal is mainly used for toppings and afternoon snacks.  Not as a breakfast.

Another theme emerging: numbers and data can be misleading. You need to dig deep to get to the roots of the data.

Businesses need to ask better & more specific questions, be curious, use data & information, and buy into research.  And market research companies can help with this.

NTZE helps businesses to find the right haystack rather than just going out and try to find the needle in some hay stack.

Erica van Lieven, Direction First – Turning Consumer insights into company-wide Memes or how to market MR

Driving new and powerful insights from consumers is silver, but doing something meaningful with those stories, something in support of corporate goals is gold.  It’s about the battle of the methodologies vs. insights.

Marketers don’t care where they get their insights from. Businesses look for impact, so we need to dial up the internal business value of insights/market research.

Here are some outcomes for research conducted with marketers:

  • The big gap on what they want to do and what they achieve
  • Data overload on one hand, while insights are under appreciated
  • We need to get outside the silo and share wider across the organizations
  • Only 1 in 5 are workshopping the research results – Most of the rest are being less dynamic and non-interactive in their approach
  • Don’t forget and recognize your internal staff when looking at insights.

Spend 1/3 of your project upfront to really understand the brief and the needs of different stakeholders, spend 1/3 on the actual project, spend 1/3 to share and distribute.

We need to mix the level of attention intensity.  From knowing insights to experience them. From market research project to habit creation.  We need to find ways to help companies get addicted to using insights.

Andrea Mitlag & Sian Campbell, Think Research – What do customers really think about completing a survey?  What are you going to do to make your survey stand-out from the crowd

Parallel stream not attended, based on paper summary and Twitter feeds

Andrea and Sian were running a workshop covering the following:

  • Do survey participants find value in answering a survey?
  • What drives them to do it?
  • What are you going to do to make your survey stand-out from the crowd?

Some of the must-dos for surveys include

  • Be honest about the time needed
  • Give different options to complete (when, where)
  • Spice up your invites
  • Use personal diaries, gamification, non-traditional surveys
  • Make it exciting to be part of the research

Leo Paas, Massey University – Survey data, history or a complement to big data

Big data is not new, it has been around for a long time.  But today with the Internet we get more of it and it is freely accessible.

With this information overload, how do we enhance CRM and customer profitability?  And do we still need traditional survey data?

The answer is yes!

While big data can tell us a lot (in particular the what), market research helps to understand why!

  • Why has this customer joined or left us? Maybe it wasn’t the last touchpoint.
  • If you don’t listen to your customer they leave you
  • Understand big data, add customer view, translate into decision making
  • Use different modeling and analysis tools, then combine this information with customer feedback, communications, listen, co-creation
  • Use a variety of customer feedback tools

Georg Clubb & Elizabeth May, Research Now – Audience Amplification, Measuring Message Content Over Click-throughs

Parallel stream not attended, based on the paper summary and Twitter feeds

In times where the new is evolving quickly, where we have to jump on the bandwagon and “give it a go”, we also know that performance has to be delivered and therefore measured.

Today’s world demands an innovative but simple approach for improvement and the digital marketing evolution deserves just this.

  • Do current customers demonstrate a stronger purchase intent as a result of seeing a digital ad?
  • What about non-customers – were they attracted to the brand messaging too?
  • Did it resonate well?
  • Can we measure the success of digital marketing beyond click-throughs?

The answer is yes.  The research industry is embracing innovation and measuring digital advertising falls exactly under this banner.

Mark Pickering, Fluxx Marketing, Experiential Marketing Association of NZ, CAANZ – Measuring brand experience – process and outcomes

(Winner Innovation paper)

To fully engage with consumer we need to create experiences for them.

Experiential marketing is live marketing, live experience so that consumers can sense and experience the brand.  Use digital, mobile and social to amplify events and keep the buzz for longer.

Dwell time = the longer people spend time with the brand the better their connection, engagement and loyalty

The challenge for market research companies is to work with experiential marketers and help them to measure these events.  An experience can be measured for: Potential audience, experience impact, effectiveness, amplification.  The hard bit is measuring the experience and this can be over multiple days and may involve a range of objectives.

How can we add value to agencies and brands working in the experiential field and how can we work together to show brands and businesses the value of this channel?

Peter Cullinane, Lewis Road Creamery – Research isn’t working

Peter brought a contrarian view to the conference and challenged our industry (and his).

In the business world, there’s always a complex dance between clients, agencies, and advertisers, etc.  The market research value is entirely dependent on the decision that is based on it.  Conducting research is not the same actually using it.  But, we need clients who have the guts to make decisions based on good research – don’t hide behind it.

Good marketers focus on more than just pricing.  You need a good product first and foremost.  Use intuition and research to find business opportunities.

Good markets are constantly using informal research.  They are thinking about their products 24/7.  They experience customer experience live to understand people and what they really do.

Good marketers disrupt, innovate, delight, and surprise their consumers.  They break the traditional way of doing business.

So his tips for our industry is along the same lines:

  • Stand for something
  • Think solutions, not MR or methodologies
  • Judgment is more important the data
  • Take ownership
  • Think fresh, out of the box
  • Look in new places
  • Have a high EQ
  • Think creatively
  • Think pragmatically
  • Bring new ideas to the table
  • Use secondary research, be curious
  • Find examples, case studies
  • Have an opinion, make it a good one, provide wise counsel
  • Win back the guru status
  • Find better payment structures
  • Have fun and make sure that people that work with you are having fun

His final words – Excitement doesn’t come from traditional market research.  Become partners to new business thinking – disrupt market research.  Be courageous, optimistic, positive, hard-working.

20/20 – Pecha Cucha Experience

Jenni Anderson, Ipsos – Philippe Boulanger, Needscope International – Natasha Turnbull, Colmar Brunton – Gareth Jones, Nielsen

One of my favorites at these conferences – presenting 20 slides with 20 seconds for each slide.  These ‘kids’ are amazing, passionate and not afraid to stand in front of their peers.  They all did a great job, with special mention going to Jenni who won.  The future of our industry is bright and alive and kicking.

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