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IIeX: Observations On The Inaugural Insight Innovation Exchange Event in Sao Paulo

Ari Popper gives a summary of his key takeaways from Insight Innovation Exchange LatAm Day 1.

Insight Innovation Exchange São Paulo Brazil 2013


By Ari Popper

By most measures, it has been an outstanding first day at IIeX LatAm.  This is the very first event for IIeX and as someone who has helped organize similar events in the past, to have over 250 people attend from over 15 countries in Brazil was a huge success even before the day began. Although certainly Latin America centric, it was a global event, with a reach felt very far indeed according to social analytics provided by Bizzabo:




So the challenge was to make sure the content and degree of engagement was suitably rewarding for attendees, and it was (at least from my point of view!).  As a futurist who strongly believes the world is shifting quickly under our feet, I was hoping for the industry to be challenged.  I was hoping for radical disruption, provocation and new ways of looking at the world.  I think I saw a lot of evidence to confirm this.

A few sessions were split off into two tracks so I only managed to see half, so with that caveat here is my quick summary of day 1:

The day was kicked off by senior client side representatives from J&J and DirecTV.  Susana Pamplona Miranda challenged attendees to rethink the industry and our assumptions with her provocative title” Why I Hates Insights“.  Why?  Because it implies individuality.  Instead we should be looking for ‘connectivity’.  I really liked her after she said  “Chaos is the new reality”.

Luis Duarte spoke about one of the big trends of the morning, Big Data, by outlining the shift from survey based research to behavioral based insights and was especially impactful by illustrating the power of DirecTV’s insight function based on actual behavioral data.

With all this talk of Big Data, Charles Trevail from Promise reminded us not to forget to get intimate with the customer and illustrated this with case studies about how they are helping companies understand consumer needs for new and innovative offers “to build temporary monopolies”.

Pablo Brenner from Globant is a man who is on top of the trends.  He gave us a great summary of the disruptive pace of change – especially technologically facilitated change. It was eye-opening to see these trends laid out so clearly for all.

We heard about clustering differently – not just attitudes but but by degrees of connection.

We saw an innovative interface to aggregate data from InfoTools with a great Coke case study.

The other big trend of the day was Mobile.  Millward Brown gave us a summary of the opportunities for mobile advertising that exists for advertisers – particularly in LATAM.

We also saw two panel companies talking about the need to innovate and using mobile is a key priority for them.

Of course, it has also been an APP sort of day.  If you have a research idea – YES, there is an app for that.  Or there soon will be.  This was illustrated by ConfirmIT – especially by the fact that their app was being used in Africa by market researchers to do research where research could never go before!

Alex Batchelor from my old company BrainJuicer spoke about humans being “unreliable witnesses to their own behavior and motivations” and reminded us of the power of BE (behavioral economics) and the massive opportunity that exists for companies that leverage it’s power to transform understanding and actions.

One of the best speakers of the day was Brazilian anthropologist Valeria Brandini who picked up on the theme that Alex spoke about and said that most surveys miss the “invisible” data of Values and Cultural assumptions.  Her key point: create the methodology from the values of the problem rather than fit it in to your existing methodology.

Finally, the client panel discussion with representatives from Walmart, BAT and Terra Networks was provocative and vigorous.  The key point for me was the disappointment in the large research agencies for creative thinking and problem solving.  Big companies hire people who are specialists – they need their agency partners to give the real creative solutions.  One client was so disappointed in his agency for not recommending a neuro approach – he fired them!

Finally, we were also exposed to the 7 new inventions that are competing for the $20k Insight Innovation Competition prize.  I was part of that so I’ll say no more for obvious reasons, but stay tuned for more on that tomorrow when the winner is announced.

I can’t wait for Day 2 and will give a full summary then too.

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