The gender split in #MRX conferences: 2016 edition

Rating conferences on gender ratios is not easy. Though we may want every conference to be 50/50 male/female, it doesn’t always make sense.

  • Not all industries are balanced on gender. For instance, qualitative researchers are much more likely to be female than male, and some regions in the world have very different employment rates for women and men.
  • Men and women don’t necessarily submit at the same ratio. For instance, maybe 70% of the submissions were male and thus it makes sense that 70% of the speakers were male.
  • Men and women don’t necessarily agree to speak at the same rate. A conference may offer equal numbers of acceptances to men and women but then it’s up to men and women to actually accept those offers. Conferences with 10 speakers can instantly drop from 50% female to 44% female if just one women declines the invitation.
  • Normal variation means that sometimes a conference will have more men or more women. That’s just how numbers work and you can’t fault an organization because one time, one of their conferences wasn’t perfectly equal. But when ‘random’ variation across every conference is consistently in the same direction, you’ve got to wonder what’s happening behind the scenes.

Regardless, the best way to be aware of whether there may be gender issues is to actively measure reality. My methods aren’t perfect. I can’t always tell the gender of a speaker from their name and so I manually check names in LinkedIn and other times I leave that speaker out of the equation. I never know the submission rate by gender and so I can’t defend a conference that has few female speakers even if they had zero submissions from women. If you can correct my numbers, then I absolutely welcome your help. And, if you’ve been to a conference that I haven’t attended, do let me know the numbers and I’ll add them here.

gender

TOTAL (Excluding AAPOR/WAPOR): 1539 men, 927 women: 37% female

The Grades

A: Ratios between 47% and 50% – Huge round of applause for any conference that lands here!

  • TTRA June (Colorado): 194 speakers, 78 men, 89 women (cannot identify gender of many names) = 53% female
  • TMRE October (Florida): 126 speakers, 65 women, 61 men = 52% female
  • TMRE Consumer Insights May (California): 12 men, 12 women, 50% female
  • AAPOR/WAPOR June (Austin): 1463 speakers, 718 men, 745 women = 49% Male (Yes, you read that correctly. 745 female speakers.)
  • Quirk’s Event February (USA): 126 speakers, 64 women, 62 men = 49% Male  
  • LIMRA June (Florida): 39 speakers, 19 women, 20 men = 49% Female
  • AMSRS September (Melbourne): 49% female
  • NewMR February  (Global online): 27 Speakers, 14 women, 13 men = 48% Male
  • MRIA June (Canada): 63 speakers, 33 men, 30 women = 48% Female
  • EphMRA June (Frankfurt): 45 speakers, 24 men, 21 women = 47% female
  • AIMRI Under30 February (New York): 9 speakers, 5 men, 4 women = 44% Female. Although this percentage doesn’t strictly belong here, with 9 speakers it can’t get any more equal. 

B: Ratios from 42% and 46%

  • MRS Health February (London): 26 speakers, 12 men, 14 women = 46% male
  • PMRG May (USA): 37 speakers, 17 women, 20 men = 46% female
  • IIR New Face: 22 speakers, 12 women, 10 men = 45% male
  • Qual360 February (Berlin): 32 speakers, 14 women, 18 men = 44% female
  • Media Insights February (Florida): 56 speakers, 24 women, 32 men = 43% female
  • IIeX Health April (Philadelphia): 40 speakers, 17 women, 23 men = 43% female
  • NEMRA May (Massachusetts): 14 speakers, 6 men, 8 women = 43% male
  • ARF Audience Measurement: 58 speakers, 25 women, 33 men = 43% female
  • NEMRA May (New England): 14 speakers, 6 men, 8 women = 43% male
  • WCQR March : 43 speakers, 18 men, 25 women = 42% male. One of the conference organizers ran the numbers and determined that the ratio of submissions from men and women was the same as for speakers. You can read details about their speaker selection process here
  • MRA ISC May  (New Orleans): 43 speakers, 18 women, 25 men = 42% female

C: Ratios from 37% and 41%

  • MAGHREB SUMMIT January (Casablanca): 17 speakers, 10 men, 7 women = 41% female
  • MRS Travel March (London): 22 speakers, 13 women, 9 men = 41% male
  • ESOMAR LATAM April (Bogota): 32 speakers, 13 women, 19 men = 41% female
  • ESOMAR APAC May (Tokyo): 51 speakers, 20 women, 31 men = 39% female
  • ESOMAR Menap March (Dubai): 24 speakers, 9 women, 15 men = 38% female
  • BHBIA May (London): 39 speakers, 24 men, 15 women: 38% female

D: Ratios from 32% and 36%

  • MRS National March (London): 94 speakers, 34 women, 60 men = 36% female
  • MENAP Forum March (Dubai): 25 speakers, 9 women, 16 men = 36% female
  • ESOMAR congress September (New Orleans): 72 speakers, 26 women, 46 men = 36% female
  • CASRO Tech (New York): 11 speakers, 7 men, 4 women: 36% female 
  • Shopper Brain, June (Chicago): 23 speakers, 15 men, 8 women: 35% female
  • CXfusion April (Las Vegas): 53 speakers, 18 women, 35 men = 34% female
  • ARF ReThink: 141 speakers, 48 women, 93 men = 34% female
  • Febelmar Februrary (Brussels): 21 speakers, 14 men, 7 women = 33% female
  • MRA CEO January  (Florida): 12 speakers, 4 women, 8 men = 33% female
  • Sentiment Analysis Symposium July (New York): 15 speakers, 5 women, 10 men = 33% female
  • Shopper Brain Amsterdam (June): 21 speakers, 14 men, 7 women: 33% female
  • IIeX NA June (Atlanta): 194 speakers, 63 women, 131 men: 32% female

F: Ratios <32%

  • MRS Kids January (UK): 29 speakers, 20 women, 9 men = 31% male 
  • MRSI February (India): 35 speakers, 24 men, 11 women = 31% female 
  • IIeX Europe March (Amsterdam): 115 speakers, 36 women, 79 men = 31% female
  • IIR Analytics: 42 speakers, 13 women, 29 men = 31% female
  • ARF ReThink March: 140 speakers, 96 men, 44 women = 31% female
  • MRIA QRC January (Toronto): 15 speakers, 11 women, 4 men = 27% male 
  • CASRO Digital March (Texas): 46 speakers, 14 women, 32 men = 30% female
  • BVM Kongress April (Berlin): 28 speakers, 8 women, 20 men = 29% female
  • Market Research Exchange, Florida (May): 41 speakers, 29 men, 12 women = 29% female
  • AMA Analytics February (Arizona): 18 speakers, 5 women, 13 men = 28% female
  • NMWF April (Dubai): 36 speakers, 9 women, 27 men: 25% female
  • Insight Show MW May (London): 123 speakers, 30 women, 93 men: 24% female
  • CXweek May: 25 speakers, 6 women, 19 men = 24% female
  • MRMW APAC March (Malaysia): 39 speakers, 8 women, 31 men = 21% female
  • Test Analytics Event April (Chicago): 19 speakers, 3 women, 16 men = 16% female
  • SampleCon January (USA): 40 speakers, 6 women, 34 men = 15% female
  • Predictive Analytics World April: 28 speakers, 4 women, 24 men = 14% female

Upcoming ratings: ESOMAR congress September, AMSRS congress September, CASRO CRC October. (Please let me know of others.)

What can YOU do?

  • Submit! You can’t complain if you don’t join the cause. Take the plunge and submit your first proposal ever this year! Make it easier for conference organizers to find you by taking the first step yourself.
  • Encourage! Look to your left and look to your right. Have your neighbors submitted to a conference yet? Well, maybe right now is the perfect time to encourage them to just do it!
  • Demand diversity! When you notice that conference speakers reflect a very narrow group of people, point it out and ask for more. Organizers want to give you want you want. But first, you need to tell them what you want. And, still, sometimes organizers don’t realize what is happening.
  • Recommend! Remember that awesome speaker you saw at the last company meeting? At the last chapter event? Email your favourite organization and let them know you found a speaker for them.  Organizers can’t ask them to speak if they don’t know who to ask.

What can conferences do?

  • Look at submissions from a new point of view. Realize that people from different walks of life write differently and that some proposal styles may have greater appeal to you. Notice how much the writing style is affecting your choice of content and remove your style preferences from the equation. Recognize that some equally high quality proposals brag and exaggerate, while others are factual and modest.
  • Ask sponsors to promote diversity. As conference organizers, only you know when the collection of speakers has veered away from a diverse group. Take a proactive approach and let sponsors know you care about representing the entire community. Ask sponsors to send great speakers who don’t fit into traditional boxes – really old, really young, differently abled, non-white, women.
  • Ask for recommendations. Not just of the most popular speakers who know other popular speakers. Ask your fringe speakers about other awesome fringe speakers.
  • Go to Twitter. There are tons of lists of women speakers and experts. My Lovestats account has several lists you can use.  WIRe has a list a women speakers.  Just ask.
  • Share your numbers. When it turns out that one of your conferences seems skewed, let people know that the submissions were also skewed. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if 30% of your speakers were female if only 30% of your submissions came from women.
  • Be the change we want to see. Even if your speaker ratio matches the submission ratio, if it’s not mostly equal, do something about it! Don’t wait for submissions. Hunt for awesome speakers who didn’t submit.

 

Demand that your conferences be Diversity Approved! (Tweet this post!)

Related Posts

Neuroscience gets the stage (and so does an #AllMalePanel) #IIeX 

Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. ANy error or bad jokes are my own.

Inspiring vendors to go the distance for exceptional insights by Debbie Balch and Rairo Davila

  • Act as partners not vendors
  • Asked vendors for examples of their work to judge the quality of it, asked for references
  • Clear on setting up objectives and expectations of the research
  • Client showed the vendor examples of reports that worked well in his company
  • You might need to kiss a hundred frogs before you find your prince, trust is necessary but not easy
  • You need to guide the supplier, touch base regularly maybe once a week, not just to track status of project but also to express questions or explain something that has changed in the company
  • Both parties need to be willing to try new and innovative techniques to seek the truth
  • Be flexible and willing to shift
  • [moral of the story – be a nice person]

The brain science of buying by Susan Weinschenk

  • People buy when they feel confident of thir decision [well sometimes]
  • They may not ACTUALLY be confident but they feel they are ready to make the decision
  • It is an unconscious process that can result in a single neuron firing, you cannot be aware of a single neuron firing
  • You just need to make people confident enough to make that one neuron Fire
  • Sometimes you just need one person to say “good decision” to make that neuron fire
  • Dopamine is released when people anticipate, not when they get the reward, the feel good chemical
  • Dopamine makes you seek information, more dopamine is released when the reward is less predictable, we react a lot to unpredictability
  • Remember when the process to buy an iPhone was unpredictable and you had to get on a list that allowed you fill out a form which allowed you to get a phone which allowed you to get a phone, and you didn’t know when any of these things would happen or allow you to get a phone
  • Don’t be afraid to make people wait
  • Most decisions ar Meade unconsciously, 95% of thinking and decisions are unconscious
  • Researchers could predict what choice people would make 10 seconds before the person was award of having made a decisions – using an fMRI
  • People can make up an give you reasons but it probably isn’t the real reason
  • Don’t really on what people say
  • Most buying decisions involve emotions and feelings, not just logic and reasoning
  • If you can’t feel emotions then you can’t make decisions,  when people feel loyal to a brand they have a feeling to the brand, feeling is a precursor to making a decision [I like Ray’s definitions of loyalty – when logic says to do anything else but you do that]
  • People make either a goal directed value based buying decision or they buy from habit, not both
  • Don’t give people all the value information if they are asking a habit decision because people can’t do both at the same time


The real role of emotions in marketing by Caryl Weber

  • We need to reach consumers emotionally
  • The rise of “sadvertising” – brands want to are us cry
  • “A snack for anyone who is seeking experiences” great empty tag line:)
  • We are not thinking machines, we are feeling machines that think
  • Emotions guide us unconsciously
  • Why do you buy tide, mom uses it, friend uses it, like the colour, you’re guided to a habit forming purchase
  • Showing people pictures of something will make them more likely to choose something later on related to those pictures, even when it’s stages away in terms of something like Puma to cats to dogs
  • Go beyond words when you position a brand, embrace the messiness of abstract feelings and emotions, music, characters, images can be a brand statement or strategy document
  • How you say it may matter more than what you say – the lighting, the colours, language used, tonality – meta communication 
  • Feeling of an ad lasts longer than a rational message
  • Can build these feelings into the features of the packaging 
  • Emotions guide us unconsciously, brands are vast messy networks in the mind, meta communication is more important than you think


GreenBook research industry trends panel on the future of insights: Kevin Lonnie, Mark Simon, Cillin Manaois, Steve Phillips, Niels Schillewaert, Aaron Reid, Dave Carruthers

  • #AllMalePanel

Bravery in market research takes many forms 

For the second time in two weeks I am humbled to accept an award.

This evening, the Research Liberation Front awarded me with a Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage for calling the industry to account. I guess what this means is that from now on, I am no longer encouraged but rather required to name names when conferences don’t create gender parity on stage. 

It is too late to say you didn’t realize it wasn’t balanced. Too late to say you tried. Too late to say women didn’t submit. 

When people don’t see themselves on stage, they feel like they are not part of the community. If your conference doesn’t go above and beyond to create parity on stage, ask yourself if you truly care about it, if you truly want to see it at the next conference. If you can’t do it today, then why would women/minorities want to submit to your next conference. 

CREATE the change we want to see. 

And ladies, HOLD UP YOUR END OF THE BARGAIN. Submit to conferences, say YES when you are offered a spot, push your female colleagues to submit and speak. 

[Insert inspirational music here] Together, we CAN do this.

Nonconscious Impact Measurement #IIeX 

Live note taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own

The politics of emotion and reason by Aaron Reid

  • Some ads saw Bernie decrease his positives and Hillary decrease her negatives
  • During election years, people remember new products much less, it’s usually 60% but in those years it’s 30%; how do you touch people in those years – things like puppy monkey baby help 
  • 40 million online plays, 750 000 social actions, 6% of share of Super Bowl social ads, women less likely to like, millenial males loved it
  • How do you measure nonconscious associations – millisecond timing of swipes on a computer screen can be used
  • When implicit is added to measurements, social contagion correlations increase a lot from .3 to .6 has been seen
  • Implicit measures captures something unique
  • Predicting sales volumes of tables to cereal to soda, have seen r square go up to .9


An insights introspective: einstein’s definition of insanity and the future of consumer insight by Randy Adis and Andrew Baron

  • Problem solving requires new approaches, what should we be doing differently
  • Most companies are traditional market researchers or business contributors, only 10% are strategic insights or insights as so competitive advantage companies; we are still order takers
  • We used to have bigger teams and more funding but now smaller teams are asked to do more work
  • We used to get the time we needed and now everything is a fire
  • We used to have control over our funding but now MR reports to marketing and the CMO who determine our priorities 
  • Now we’re asked to know many kinds of research
  • Clients expect to do more data analytics, data integration, digital ad optimization, customer experience, path to purchase, digital focus groups
  • Small data is the new big data, big data train has been running for a while and we are losing touch with our consumers
  • Prediction without why means you are less likely to be able to repeat things
  • If you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance a lot less
  • Now we must be a scientist/sleuth, marketer who understands the problems, salesperson who can overcome inertia, champion/advocate to institutionalize something in an organization, strategist to help marketers figure out what to do with insights, brand steward
  • Humans are not fully conscious of their decisions, most often we think system 1 fast, law of least effort
  • People are accustomed to having an answer for thing seven if they don’t know the answer
  • Are you doing enough semiotics, ethnography, neuroscience (fmri, eeg), biometrics, predictive markets, implicit tests, metaphor elicitation – add a picture of a brain scan to anythign and believe ar Elmore likely to believe it


Future of advertising is the brain – why branded content’s success will be driven by neuroscience by Kevin Keane

  • 500 million people block mobile ads, 80% want to skip TV commercials, 80% mute online video
  • [my thoughts if anyone cares, if they put only one or two ads on a page I wouldn’t care. Bunches of videos flashing in my face like confetti R simply scream download an ad blocker]
  • Branded content is ready to take over
  • In 1860s wine companies sponsored theatre shows and stars
  • John Oliver went to town on native advertising recently {I’ll have to find that!}
  • Projected to grow to 25 billion in just a few years, hard to say where it is now or where it will be but it will be huge growth
  • More advertisers are turning into publishers
  • Content marketing is the only marketing left – Seth godin
  • Best branded content always provides value by understanding the user’s need and addresses those needs
  • Execution is a separate issue – can do meaningless content like Wayne’s World holding a Pepsi in front of his face or CocaCola on American Idol
  • The Achilles heel is measurement
  • Advertisers want to connect with consumers but need proof of that connection
  • Publishers need to grow audiences not alienate them and they need ad money
  • Consumers have near infinite amount of choice, competition for attention is fierce, hello facebook!
  • Enter neuroscience
  • Cools light wanted lots of brand on screen, TSN didn’t want so much bran on screen to be more authentic – what is the right way to do it
  • Best sports had the brand elements on screen, need to integrate the brand meaningfully, branded content outperformed, authentic stuff works a lot better
  • RBC did a 20 episode content where the didn’t reveal the brand until the 12th episode – double digit improvements
  • Brands were too nervous to move forward with a new paradigm without seeing neuroscience data


Strategic brand meaning management: aligning associations, metaphors and emotions for enduring brand relationships by Anders Bengtsson and Roberto Cymrot

  • We buy brands for what they mean not just waht they do
  • The worlds most successful brands manage brand meaning
  • CocaCola is moving to a single brand advertising for efficiencies, Coke Zero is ten years old and this could be risky for them to lose ads that are simply Coke Zero ads
  • Respondents need only a few minutes, can be done on mobile, pose a question like consider a person who drives this brand, select an image that describes that person, then ask people to describe the image and interpret the image
  • From it see emotions, personality traits, associations, attributes
  • Let’s them see functional attributes that trigger emotions
  • Can leverage the imagery in image clouds
  • Mercedes gets images of horse, golf clubs, mansions, a certain type of old money status, country club, classic people, established 
  • BMB gets mountain climbing, socializing, adventurous, roller coaster, a certain type of new money and a different type of person altogether – Bsuiness people, urban professional, young and successful, confidence entrepreneur 

Workshops: Video insights and Second City for humour in storytelling

Live note taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Workshop: Empowering people with video insight by Dave Carruthers 

  • People remember stories not statistics
  • Video is important because edit gives unrivalled depth, replace open ends with video, get 50% more content with video
  • text boxes are becoming less and less effective, “it was great”. “I liked it”
  • Video gets us closer to the moment of truth, adds authenticity, video brings consumers to life with emotion
  • Video is at the heart of everything we do, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, this is how people want to do thing snow
  • Challenge is doing video at scale, but we are solving this problem
  • Early video research was difficult, cumbersome, time consuming, need to watch and code all this video
  • Got 350 videos this morning in just a few hours, asked people to rank Hillary and Donald on numerous issues, how can you build a report in 20 minutes, that’s what we’re going to do
  • [now we go into three workgroups to turn hundreds of videos into reports. The room is FULL so introverts are safe if they stick to the back.:) ]
  • We’ve got fifteen minutes to make a video
  • The videos have verbatim text beside them and the words are coded with the time they were said so you can extract it easily, people have manually transcribed the videos
  • Words have frequency counts so you can see what topics come up the most, can set aside topics to review
  • Can select what is relevant to you [could be very biased depending on who is selecting the topics and videos]
  • Software snips out the piece of video related to the topics you chose
  • Can add sentiment score to video, overlay captions
  • Videos are put online with passwords to avoid some privacy issues
  • [quite like this system as long as caveats around research bias are transparent]


Workshop: adaptive storytelling – know your brand, know your audience by Piero Procacci

  • Do corporate entertainment, training, facilitating, and using the tools of improve to understand brand insights
  • How to move from iprovisation to storytelling – go big then go small, wide then narrow
  • Improv is a mind body experience
  • [Here goes, everyone is asked to stand up and now we’re going to do the wave  and some screaming. ]
  • Half of people nervous about improv, easier to engage if there is unconditional support from everyone, create an environment of no judgement, show this through lots of applause
  • Volunteer on stage, huge applause for the first nervous person, we are asked to applause every single thing she does, even if it’s just saying her name, We are now applauding her every tiny word
  • She liked the applause but was still really nervous even thought everyone was clapping, she got to experience full cycle even with a tiny event , she trusted what she said was right and moved forward from there
  • Today, we assume everything we say is right, say the first thing that comes to mind, say it, then censor it so that it’s more funny the next time, build on what you already said
  • Reserve all judgement of self and others, we tend to judge ourselves first, we focus on ourselves first even though no one really else is
  • Now we’re asked to introduce ourselves to partners and chat with each other, one person in each pair is asked to raise their hand, and the other perso will begin, the risk taker gets to go second; asked to plan a party for your own birthday party, respond to every idea with “no, because”; next person takes their turn and responds to every idea with “Yes” and add something to the idea
  • Hearing no makes it hard to keep going, had to come up with more and more safe options, just want to quit, ideas are less innovative and risky, it’s a normal experience, we hear no a lot in life because it keeps us safe, we default to no when yes would benefit us more, it’s okay to say no but don’t default to no
  • Hearing yes let people be even more outrageous, couldn’t have a bad idea, took more risks, more laughter, more fun, less scary, puts us at ease
  • Brand stage event – company is in theatre, invite consumer audience, have a cast of improvisers and musicians, see connections that we wouldn’t notice otherwise, alternate discussion and iprovisation, discussion gets to emotion more quickly
  • Find a new partner now, pick a favorite story you both know, tell it to the other person in less than a minute, now the other person has to tell the story in only 30 seconds, now it has to be told in ten seconds, and now in a reasonable length single sentence, now tell the story in the “I” form, now tell the story from the point of view of a different character in the original story
  • Shortest story needs you to make a key point, more theory and images  than details, focus only on what matters, short takes more time than the longer story, (have to talk faster), have to eliminate information that is irrelevant to the audience, have to focus on the audience more than yourself, not eliminate what you think is uninteresting but what is irrelevant 
  • Telling story from another point of view generate different details, more intimate, more emotional, more vulnerable
  • Workshops help people see a new way of communicating, being more open and accepting
  • Get feedback before something is fully baked
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously, lighten up and be open to a different perspective, play gets teams more engaged, improv is about compassion and empathy, can deal with delicate issues this way, people become more willing to share because they create a safe space
  • Use humour to empathize not to entertain, play humour to help the conversation, may not be humor in the end but motivational

The future of insights #IIeX 

Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Impacting clients: Raising the bar by Andrew Cannon, Alex Hunt, Simon Chadwick, Kathy Cochran

  • There is stiff competition ahead, are we making a big enough impact, can we crack the ROI question
  • Is the c suite more interested in customer insight than they used to be?
  • Are we earning our seat at the table [or…. Are we setting that damn table!!]
  • Google this: GRBN100day. Challenge website,  put your name on a list of people who have committed to make a difference towards the research industry – value to clients, and ROI impact, enter your name and email address. [DO THIS, I signed up:) ]
  • Why the emphasis on ROI, you can’t demonstrate this because ther’s too much in between my research and the real world. – wrong. 
  • Only 1 in 5 are delivering strategic value that makes a different for business outcomes
  • Must have a positive championing relationship with the C suite, without this, the research function will never be more than a contributor, will never reach strategic level, must prove your worth so they will stand up and champion you, they need to see you as a pillar not a jolly good thing
  • The more advanced the research function is, the more likely they and clients are happier, and that they are measuring ROI; if you measure ROI, you are likely a strategic partner
  • Marketers regard insights function as purely librarians,  marketers want us to be strategic consultants
  • [how do leaders lead? They continue the panel when the moderator is gone. THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT!]
  • ROI doens’t have to be in an algorithm, think small, don’t get overwhelmed, have a dashboard for tracking, start small and build
  • How many research companies are famous for driving an initiative
  • Insight folks need a strategic plan,, doesn’t need to be fifty pages, plan the next 3 to 5 years, what information do you have, what areas are you missing, where will you help drive innovatio
  • Everyone. wants to be a strategic partner, what does that really mean, you need to BE a strategic partner, if you are at a meeting BE a strategic partner, MAKE a decision, HAVE an opinion, connect the dots,, be the person. Who makes the connections and states the real implications
  • Tactical – we are inconsistent in explaining the wider business challenges, making recommendation
  • ROI word gets people’s defences up
  • Mobile is faster, cheaper, better – frame that for your business clients
  • Don’t underestimate the power of anecdotes
  • THink of the Dove brand – made millions for the Unilever brand, promote the value of what we do


Using social media intelligence to analyze category and brand performance against changing benefits by Natasha Stevens

  • [Natasha chairs the Boston chapter of the New Research Speakers Club. If you’re NEVER spoken at a conference before, please come! Http://researchspeakersclub.com]
  • Natasha is a coffee fan, she used to choose a local coffee house, now she orders her coffee while she’s on the train to work, she doesn’t wait for her coffee because it’s ready at hand when she walks in the door
  • The market place is ever changing where benefits are the currency
  • Digital has transformed the landscape of influences and opportunities
  • Brands need to stay abreast of categories and how your business will be impacted
  • What’s being said about how get the job. Done, which needs are discusse
  •  All market decisions trace back to four cornerstones – security, well being, gratification, and freedom
  • Alcon contact lens case study – most was about well being, then gratification, brands performed differently within the category;; security is a hygiene factors in this category,,  they needed to create an educational format because users were seeking advice from ophthalmologists online


The compass and the map of content marketing insights by Andres Almeida. and Peter McCue

  • The running of the wiener dogs, an absolute disaster; this is us as analytics trying to measure custom content 
  • We have metrics and measurement but we don’t know what they mean because we don’t have a compass to tell us where we should be
  • We have page views, visitors, social actions, but WHY do we look at all this
  • RElating to beer – Time spent with content plotted against social actions taken – celebrities, comedy, and sports/football stood out; Celebrities account for low social interactions, people are too embarrassed to share those things
  • Ford F-150 – rank videos by views and you can see disparity in high view and low view counts, more inspiring and informative language rose to the top, audience wants information AND inspiration
  • Eight content moment types – some perform better for certain topics
  • No one wants to be inspired by political content but they want information [good chart here but can’t read a it of it. [FONT SIZE people ]

Shopper insights for foresights #IIeX 

Live note taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

I didn’t do anything wrong: The inventor’s dilemma by RIck West

  • In 1989, lots of people had nokia’s which were awesome phones at the time, bricks that never broke. In 2008, smartphones started to enter the market. Why did Nokia go from 55% share to 3%? They did nothing wrong so how did they lose?
  • We don’t want to be sitting here five years from now screaming that we’re relevant
  • But I invented this and we coined this phrase!
  • Today, no one swipes their credit card on a physical charge machine. We swipe in on a Square. No bank certified that charge marchine.  Inventors of the charge machine are now out of business.
  • Five years from now, you will not be doing the same business you’re doing now without major change

Completing the consumer journey with purchase analytics by Jared Schrieber and Bridget Gilbert

  • How do people purchase alcohol for attending an event
  • Data collected from a purchase panel, people take photos of every receipt they get from every purchase everywhere
  • Groups “The Socialite” and “The Rebel” – rebel spends 20% more
  • Trigger, ready to buy, and buy – three stages of the purchase
  • Journey for millenials is straightforward – invited to some event, think about the occasion, speak to someone, mental budget, added to list, talk to friends, check the fridge section, check for sales, compare prices, buy [darn it, I tried to avoid millenial talks!]
  • Millenials are always talking to someone at some point in the journey 
  • Key differentiator with rebels is they don’t speak to people, they have ghost influencers, more likely to say they bought someone else’s favorite type of alcohol, they are thinking about friends or family or whoever will be attending the event [or is this simply self justification of a larger purchase – “it’s not for me”]
  • Socialite – liquor store, express lane, after 5pm, shop in pairs, has a baby, lower income
  • Rebels – grocery store, stock up trip, before 5pm, shops alone, has a pet, higher income 

Brands and American mythology: Narrative identify, brand identity, and the construction of the American self by Jim White

  • We are all tellers of tales, give our lives meaning and coherence 
  • We don’t construct this identity in a vacuum, it’s within our culture, the mythology of our culture, we try to align our lives with the this we’re familiar with
  • We edit and reedit our identities
  • Brand strategists need to spend  more time listening to consumer stories
  • We rarely step back and listen to customers talk about themselves
  • Six languages of redemption – atonement, emancipation, upward mobility, recovery, enlightenment, development
  • We use brands to tell ourselves stories about who we are, to try and give ourselves some reality
  • Brands can be markers in our lives, can tap into that notion of our lives
  • Understand how personal myths draw from cultural myths
  • Ask people to tell stories about themselves not about your brand
  • Find the tensions they need to resolve, can my brand help smooth those contradictions, actualize th story they want to tell

Reimagining the traditional consumer panel by Bijal Shah

  • She’s a promotions company and they have millions of purchase records in their database, they are not a data company
  • Rely on panels but there is a sever lack of scale, not enough information about the entire population
  • We try multiple data sources but often can’t link sources
  • Partner with a DMP to make your data actionable like krux, lotame, Adobe
  • Find unique data source to enhance your data assets

Up close and personal with consumers using nonconscious measurement and text analysis #IIeX 

Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Chameleon communities: immersive learning takes many forms with Stephen THompons and Kendall Nash

  • Communities are iterative sharing, exchange of ideas, genuine dialogue, relationship building, sense of accountability
  • Chameleons can change colour, to communicate, to be what they need to be; communities should be what we need them to be
  • COntinuous insight communities – reach out to them an any time, on-demand insights
  • Longer term communities 3 to 4 weeks
  • SHort term pop-up communities – bulletin boards sometimes, less than 3 weeks, part of a wider research program 
  • Use for testing, online diaries, advisory Angels, shop alongside, co-creation, feedback, and it’s better if they’re layered
  • Technology accommodates learning 
  • Build an online environment o suit – easy to use, attractive, and engaging tools make research fun
  • Great for discussions of TV shows and what is and isn’t funny
  • Feel licensed to right size them and make the suit your needs, if it’s not perfect then make it right


What nonconscious measurement says about America as a brand by Elissa Moses 

  • America is a brand [I assume you mean USA because America includes Canada, Mexico, and Brazil]
  • When brands erode, they become vulnerable
  • Brands give you shortcuts re expectations and whether something will be a good fit
  • Implicit research was great to study racial prejudices because they either don’t want to tell you, or they’re conflicted or they really just don’t know
  • Brands can change – Disney, apple, VW, BP all used to be high esteem and fell from grace, vulnerability always lurks, there can be a scandal tomorrow
  • Used a device agnostic tool, mobile friendly [Did you hear that MOBILE FRIENDLY!:) ]
  • Calibrated on individual baselines [thus repeated measures, within subjects design]
  • Sweden, USA, MExico, France have high scores on great place to live
  • but if you ask if their country will ever be as great again, then negatives pop up
  • There is huge ambivalence about where the country is headed and that people worry about
  • 50% of Americans say yes to beginning in immigrants [ of course, even if I take longer to answer a question, it could be not that am unsure, but that I want to make sure I truly believe my answer. I know I pause a lot when I answer questions because that’s how introverts do it]
  • Tools is good for busting cliches
  • People in America just aren’t sure about their country any more
  • People don’t believe American standards for justice, upholds the constitution, respects separation of court and state, gives equal to rights to all
  • People DO have pride in America so we can get back on track


Return on customer investment: linking customer insights to revenue growth by Manila Austin

  • Are companies customer-centric? 80% of companies think they are but only 8% of customers think so
  • Returns on Assets is declining and going flat, old models are no longer working 
  • Companies spend 14$ on advertising for every 1$ spend on understanding consumers
  • Most R&D efforts go towards sustaining existing products
  • When customers are more likely to say a company “Gets them” their revenues are more likely to increase in comparison to other similar companies
  • Raising your customer quotient will increase your ROA, a .5 point increase is worth millions in revenue and net income
  • Employees and consumers see things differently, employees thinks their customer experience is far better than consumers
  • Consumers want openness, relevant, loyalty; employees want openness, empathy, to be closer to end users
  • Diagnosed the customer into the organization


Social Insights: The next generation by Rob Key

  • Language is really complicated
  • Rules based solutions are complicated, one wrong word and everything gets messed up
  • Precision – do they match gold standard of humans, 80% of time humans can tell what it means – 3 independent humans [I remember when no one cared about validation:) ]
  • Relevance – does a Boolean query do the trick? Maybe but it’s not nearly enough; words take on different meaning in different domains, small is good for smartphones but not for hotel rooms; faded jeans are good but not faded interiors; every industry has its own lexicon
  • Need precision and relevance and recall to achieve quality
  • People don’t say “I trust this brand” or “I highly recommend this brand” THey say things like “I give this to my baby” or “I’m the hell outta here”
  • Language must be customized to industry
  • Emotions come in many forms which many words [seems like everyone uses plutchik’s wheel of emotion:) ]
  • Can you isolate spam the food from spam the email hell
  • Unify the data with call Center data, survey data, unification f the voice of the customer 
  • Social data is not quantitative and meaningful, mainstreamed into large organizations
  • Clean data does indeed create valid results [as does clean survey data and clean focus group data]

Tipping the sacred cows of MR #IIeX 

Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Will Watson replace researchers? By Bruce Weed

  • Health data will grow 99%; Insurance data will grow 94%; Utilities data will grow 99%, and more than 80% of that data will be unstructured
  • Machines don’t make up answers, they will give the answer you teach it to give
  • Now we teach machines to read images like MRIs, a doctos can’t remember an MRI from ten years ago but a machine will
  • Machines understand, reason, learn. They can learn multiple languages too. Can teach it how to read, hear, see, and 9 languages 
  • Showed all the Ted talks to Watson and now it will find the relevant part of the video you want to see
  • Teach machines to do more than a keyword search, teach it to learn and understand
  • Machines are listening in to call Centers and helping the agents give better answers
  • Machines learning will give us crime and threat detection, early detection of diseases, understanding customers, new product development
  • Machine learning makes humans smarter because it gives us capacity

Co-Creating a tailored experience to identify relevant insights leveraging advanced cognitive text analytics by Sion Agami and David Johnson

  • There are lots of five star ratings out there but not all five stars are created equally
  • Can’t approach analytics from a single dimension
  • Corpus linguistics – how people communicate
  • Olden days used to be keyword, Boolean, taxonomies
  • Now it’s NLP, machine learning, topics modeling – these are probabilistic models – 65% confidence that this is what you wanted, what if 4 different models are 65% confident?
  • Next is leveraging all methods in parallel – focus on emotions and cognitive states
  • Emotions, persona, experience, purchase path, topics are all important
  • How do you rate BOO, Not like, disappointed, like, good, WOW, and then add the emoticons into the scale
  • Algorithms can pick apart which products really are a 5
  • Fix the social media comments that are filled with emotion
  • How do identify WOW experiences before launching a products? What is the best question to ask consumers so they can share emotions, how accurate does your model need to be, can you measure what moved the needle from consumers with confidence
  • Put new tools in front of people who are passionate, those with project specific challenges
  • Watch out for groups who think they can already do something, maybe it’s time to work together OR let the people are ARE doing being the people who DO

The Perils and Pitfalls of Recall Memory: How flawed recall and memory bias pollute market research with David Paull, Elizabeth Merrick, Andrew Jeavons and Elizabeth Loftus

  • [I did an entire class in graduate school on unconscious and flawed memory. I’m totally on board with this session. Love this topic. Wish I could remember more of it. Ha ha. I really do.]
  • Market research has made a lot of assumptions about how memory works, completely contrasting academic research, we can’t remember names so how can we remember the past
  • [we need more true academics in market research ]
  • We assume what you did in the past will predict what you did in the future, or that we can predict
  • Our goal is to make money, we want to know allocation of marketing dollars so we ask about recall, we just don’t have better tools though good tools are on the horizon
  • There are lots of false positive and false negatives in recall data, 15% of people misremembered receiving something [This is NOT a bad respondent or a cheater or fraud. This is real human behavior.]
  • There is more to memory than forgetting, false memories are a huge part of memory
  • It’s very easy to expose people to leading questions, misinformation, erroneous versions and to contaminate or transform people’s memories
  • You can plant entirely false memories for things that didn’t happen, it has consequences, it affects their thoughts intentions and behaviours, memory is malleable
  • They planted memories that people got sick eating something as a child and people no longer wanted to eat those foods, they planted positive memories and got people to like yuck foods more
  • Should we take advantage of this to make people happier and healthier, or use them for marketing purpose
  • Sounds like advertising, we find a feeling like nostalgia so we put that into an ad
  • [we need more academics on stage. Most market researchers just don’t have the relevant psychology/sociology background]
  • Manipulation feels creepy but that’s a practical application
  • What is ethical – a therapist helping someone eat better, maybe not; What about a parent doing it with an overweight child?… Hello Santa Clause. WHich would you rather have, an obese child with heart problems or a child who remembers broccoli with grandma when that never happened
  • People have a lot of fiction mixed in with their facts
  • Memory includes “what you bought at the store last week” but memory also includes meaning “I remember the brand Uber” but I may now remember going to the store
  • Semantic memory helps us build great products
  • Memory applies to doors – we expect a pull door to look in a certain way different from a push door
  • We know we shouldn’t have long questionnaires, cognitive load is a problem, that hurts recall, we need to make it easy for people to recall episodic memories, it’s very shaky to ask people to remember the past
  • At least get the recollection as soon as possible, as they’re happening, need to get it before they interact with other people, responses influence each other, doesn’t matter if it’s a focus groups, early responses affect what people say later on
  • Automated systems can help remove some biases, qualitative is less and less reliant on humans
  • think about biases of respondents and and yourself
  • If people know they can look up the information later, they won’t try to remember it, we no longer bother to remember phone numbers, passwords are a huge problem
  • Does the precise memory matter more than the feeling, we can alter the feelings people have about products
  • “You told us you were a 4 on that scale” and many people won’t remember that they originally said it was a 2
  • Must think carefully about the outcome you need, be realistic about when you need precise memories vs insightful memories, knowing it was the 37th flow of a building may not matter because all that was important was that it was high

Social Disruption: The vertical network arrives by Ashlyn Berg

  • There are many social networks specific to  careers – ResearchGate is for PhDs, Github, ZumZero, SpiceWorks
  • Community aspect – online home for professionals to interact with their peers
  • Content – users share millions of original and shared content to stay up to date on trends and do their jobs better
  • Apps and tools – help people get their job done
  • Mostly for free so people engage for a long time
  • 1-stop shop for marketers, place to build relationships, platforms for research
  • Easy place to investigate Ned’s and challenges of your audience
  • Better platform for research over other alternatives
  • Rich projected information, not just into about their company, know which apps they use, hardware and software they use, massive amount of Behavioral insight
  • Vertical network is very clean data, social behavior is clean, it is the real audience you want to talk to, not someone who wanted an incentive 

Harnessing text for human insights #IIeX 

Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Chaired by Seth Grimes

Automated text coding: humans and machines learning together by Stu Shulman

  • It is a 2500 year old problem, Plato argued it would be frustrating and it still is.
  • Coders are expensive, it’s difficult at scale, some models are easier to validation than others, don’t replace humans, no one right way to do it, validation of humans and machines is essential
  • Want to efficiently code, annotate coding with shared memoirs, manage coding permissions, have unlimited collaborators, easily measure inter-rather reliability, adjudicate validity decisions
  • Wanted to take the mouse out of the process, so items load efficiently for coding
  • Computer science and HSF influence  measure everything 
  • Measure how fast each annotator works, measure interacter reliability, reliability can change drastically by topic
  • Adjudication – sometimes it’s clear when an error has been made, allows you to create a gold standard training set, and give feedback to coders; can identify which coders are weak at even the simplest task, there is human aptitude and not everyone has it, there is a distribution of competencies 
  • 25% of codes are wrong so you need to train machines to trust the people who do a better job at coding
  • Pillars of text analytics – search, filtering, deduplication and clustering and works well with surveys as well, human coding or labelling or tagging which is where most of their work goes, machine learning – this gives a high quality training set
  • If humans can’t do the labelling, then the machines can’t either
  • Always good to keep humans in the loop
  • Word sense dis ambiguities – relevant – is bridge a game or a road, it smoking a cigarette or being awesome

Automated classification interesting, at scale and depth by Ian McCarty

  • Active data collection is specific and granular, as well as standardized; but it’s slow and difficult to scale, there is uncertainty, may be observer bias via social desirability, demand characteristics, Hawthorne effect [EVERY method has strength and weaknesses]
  • Declared vs demonstrated interests – you can give 5 stars to a great movie and then watch Paul Blart Mall Cop 5 times a 6 months [Paul Blart is a great movie! Loved it:) ]
  • They replicate the experience of a specific URL to generate more specific data
  • Closed network use case – examined search queries from members to recruit them into studies, segmentation was manual and company needed to automate and scale; lowered per person costs and increased accuracy, found more panelists in more specific clusters, normalized surveys if declared behaviors conflicted with demonstrated behaviors 
  • Open network use case: home improvement brand needed a modern shared meaning with customers, wanted to automate a manual process; distinguished brand follower end compared to competitive followers, identified where brand values and consumer values aligned, delivered map for future content creation and path to audience connection

Text analytics or social media insights by Michalis Michael

  • Next gen research is here now, listening, asking questions, tracking behavior, insights experts
  • Revenues don’t reflect expectations, yet.
  • We’re not doing a great job of integrating insights yet, social media listening analytics is not completely integrated in our industry yet 
  • Homonyms are major noise, eliminating them needs humans and machines
  • Machine learning is language agnostic, create a taxonomy with it, a dictionary of the product category using the words that people use in social media not marketing words
  • It is possible to have 80% agreement with text analytics and the human [I believe this when the language is reasonably simple and known]
  • Becks means beer and David beckham but you need training algorithms to do this, Beck Hanson is a singer, you need hundreds of clarifications to identify the exact Becks that is beer
  • Beer is related to appearance and occasions, break down occasions into in home or out of home, then at a BBQ or club
  • What do you say about a beer when they do a commercial that has nothing to do with the beer
  • English has s a lot of sarcasm, more than a lot of other languages [yeah right, sure, I believe you]
  • Break down sentiment into emotions – anger, desire, disgust, hate, joy, love, sadness – can benchmark brands in these categories as well
  • Can benchmark NPS with social media
  • Brand tracking questions can be matched to topics in a social media taxonomy, and there can be even more in the social media version than the survey version

How Harley-Davidson does research in an ever changing technological world #IIeX 

Live note-taking at #IIeX in Atlanta. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Fueling an iconic brand by breaking the rules of insight development by Heather Malenshek

  • Customers start their dream very early, often around the age of 8
  • CEO wants to be the most customer led company on the planet
  • Not new, started with the founders decades ago, went on the road and went around the country and asked people what they like about HD
  • Put humans at the Center, the truth is in their stories, don’t talk about customers, talk about people
  • How can their brand have a unique connection with the brand, they don’t do targeting, they talk to children and 70 year old people
  • Let their hypotheses guide them, helps them focus , it’s not in going bias, it’s having open hearts as to what they might find
  • Spend a lot of time with every area to understand the questions they have
  • Know when to zoom in and zoom out to find the why, adjust and adapt
  • Digg deep for the core emotional truth, everyone has a story about a crazy aunt or a couple related to the brand
  • They don’t consider themselves to be researchers, it is all about the insights
  • They don’t hire researchers, they hire fresh perspective 
  • They spent one year trying to hire a manager, wanted people with tangible and intangible skills, can’t train passion and curiousity and brilliance
  • We partners to bring creativity, new ideas, doesn’t have to be tech, a new way of approaching an idea
  • We are story tellers not report writers, they don’t bring back 300 page reports
  • We didnt’ earn a seat at the table – they set the damn table. They created pull for the work they’re doing, they insprire people
  • If you can’t feel it you won’t remember it
  • Inspire people


Time for a new breed of researcher by Joan Lewis

  • Research used to take 12 weeks after following a very specific process of writing a questionnaire, getting project numbers, writing tabs by hands
  • It’s not how she would spend her time how, she too wants to pay people to think not type
  • Now we have integrated questions that can be answered with tools that change all the time
  • Researchers, psychologists, engineers, engaging with people
  • We need results yesterday, we’re not waiting for tabs to come back
  • We used to be good methodologist so, now we need to be experts in humans, we used to care about test-retest reliability, now we care about validity even if it doesn’t compare to how we answered it yesterday or tomorrow
  • Answers need to field growth
  • Set the damn table. DON’t ask how to earn a place at the table.
  • Used to have a short list of methods and few options, there were standards around all of them. Today new things are emerging all the time, untested, pretty, hard to keep up. Is it noise and distraction or will it propel us.
  • Embrace the chance, expect and find ways to learn more, better, faster
  • Honda civic is a good car that will get you everywhere, But tesla gets you there a lot faster and anticipates your arrival and departure times
  • LRW, locately, info scout, Brainjuicer know about implicit testing
  • Extinction or evolution
  • Fading or don’t exist – travel agents, phone operators, taxi drivers, …. Market researchers?
  • Elder care consultants is a huge industry – help you navigate care, transport, insure older people
  • You need helpers because EVERY bit of information is online and it’s overwhelming
  • Industries emerge as well, is market research here?
  • Doc Smelser – first person to do market research at Procter & gamble, started an industry of listening and talking to people, he was trusted and well regarded

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