A funny thing happened at the Quirk’s 2017 – West Coast Marketing Research Conference in Orange County last week: the power and lights went out for a good portion of the event. While I imagine the event coordinators didn’t find it funny, the power of connecting insights still shined through.
What we do in the market research industry is all about connections: connecting companies with their customer/consumer needs, connecting the dots to link disparate facts for compelling insights, and linking these compelling insights with inspired action.
The loss of power forced all attendees to take their eyes off the presentation screens and instead focus on connecting with each other and the powerful ideas being shared.
The five key themes that were illuminated for Elevated Insights included the following takeaways:
1. Connecting Emotionally During a Changing Time:
Whether driven by the political landscape, rising terrorist activities, or police/citizen unrest, U.S. consumers are feeling less secure this year than in prior years, and a shift to safety and protection can impact emotional resonance. At times of unrest, connecting emotionally is particularly impactful. Many of the sessions talked about empathy and the opportunity that exists in emotional connections.
2. Connecting and Empathy
- Elevated Insights and USAA shared about connecting leaders with consumers (‘Members’) for full understanding. We shared how we held a full, offsite day of insights where leaders and consumers shared a meal and bonded with interactive games and small group discussions that revealed hopes, fears, aspirations, and desires.
- EmpathyWise and Nix Neighborhood Lending, a subsidiary of Kinecta Federal Credit Union, reviewed how they connected with lower socio-economic consumers via the metaphor elicitation technique to understand deep emotional needs.
- Seek Company explored how empathy is linked with the heart and gut nervous system surpassing the head/CNS in processing information and decision-making—and why connecting with emotions can yield rich new territory for established brands and markets.
3. Connecting Insights Without Bias
Lieberman Research Worldwide (LRW) shared how we can identify and be aware of tunnel vision bias, hindsight bias, us vs. them mentality, overestimator vs. underestimator bias—and the importance of setting multiple hypotheses heading into a study so we’re seeking all possible connections.
4. Connecting and Integration
Many sessions explored the power of integration: from various data sources, with metatrends, and with human emotions that drive decision-making. George Carey of The Family Room in partnership with McDonald’s shared that when we “peer into the soul, have empathy, find something deeper, and then link the insights”, we can create deep emotional connection.
5. Connecting Insights with Visuals and Brief Snapshots
As in prior conferences, we heard a continued push for “snackable bites” of insights: one-pagers that are highly visual. As human attention span is now about 8 seconds, insights are more likely to be absorbed if they’re shared via a series of snackable bites vs. one large report.
Industry conferences offer many benefits; for us at Elevated Insights, attending conferences is more about learning than selling. Comparing Quirk’s West Coast with other conferences we’ve attended, we found the sessions to be intriguing, high quality, and not too sales-focused. This enabled the Elevated Insights team to focus on connecting with fellow researchers, learn about future trends, and emerge motivated to harness these connections for market research challenges in the coming year.
Thanks, Quirk’s team!
Until the next conference,
Founder, Elevated Insights
Elevated Insights is a full-service insights agency based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a trusted business partner to our clients, we offer custom qualitative, quantitative, and hybrid research solutions, national respondent recruiting, and a stunning research facility. Learn More about our services.