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 chart

TOTAL (Excluding AAPOR/WAPOR): 1845 men, 1096 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
  • IIR Insight Tech: 22 speakers, 11 men, 11 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
  • 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
  • CASRO CRC, October: 72 speakers, 42 men, 30 women: 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
  • Omnishopper July (Chicago): 67 speakers, 41 men, 26 women: 39% female
  • AMSRS September (Melbourne): 61 speakers, 37 men, 24 women: 39% 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 
  • PMRC Europe October (Berlin): 25 speakers, 16 men, 9 women: 36% female
  • Shopper Brain, June (Chicago): 23 speakers, 15 men, 8 women: 35% female
  • OmniShopper International, November (London): 31 speakers, 20 men, 11 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
  • MRMW Europe: 54 speakers, 37 men, 17 women: 31% female
  • IIeX Latam: 68 speakers, 47 men, 21 women: 31% female
  • MRweek: 32 speakers, 22 men, 10 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
  • CX Fusion: 53 speakers, 35 men, 16 women: 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
  • CX week May: 25 speakers, 6 women, 19 men = 24% female
  • MRMW APAC March (Malaysia): 39 speakers, 8 women, 31 men = 21% female
  • ESOMAR Big Data: 27 speakers, 22 men, 5 women: 16% female
  • Text 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. (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!)

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Keynote speaker: Kerhyl Gantt from Nike North America @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking from AMA Houston. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Snapchat burst onto the scene only 9 months ago after many other things tools years
  • Consumers want to be listened to, inspired, innovation, and enabled
  • Listen to the voice of the athlete, how the consumer feels and how the athlete feels, dimension alive the athlete
  • It can be done in many different ways
  • Need to tell the story in an authentic way
  • Inspire consumers. Sport is the ultimate game and the athlete are the ultimate players but you need to merge the two and reach the end goals, need to elevate the inspiration factor
  • Celebrate amazing moments and athletes
  • Innovation – how to make athletes faster stronger better, how to amplify this, distill innovation to very simple moments, make it buzz worthy 
  • Enable – give consumers a chance to overcome obstacles
  • The ads areon’t about the products, they are about athletes being excited to use the products
  • General I consumer behavior will never change, only their application
  • [lots of videos so not a lot of notes]

Mentoring young talent by Michelle Leblanc @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • All her employees are millenials and they are all digital offices in different countries
  • No generation is all the same – 18 year olds are not the same as 34 year olds even if they’re in the same segment
  • Why mentor – learn new things, understand them better, longevity, faster growth, keeps you at the top of your game [for me, it’s just the right thing to do,  you ought to help other people when you’re in the position to do so]
  • Know what they believe strongly in, embrace honesty and openness, be an active listener, expect mutual benefits
  • They grew up with people listening to them, you don’t have to agree but you have to listen
  • They want mentoring and coaching, straight feedback, and formal development programs; they’ve always had structured actives and are used to having a program to help them become a better worker
  • It’s not you. It’s not one to one.  Peer mentoring, reverse mentoring, speed monitoring.
  • They want personal advisory boards. Introduce your network. Recommend contacts to expand horizons. FInd a specific task for a specific expert.
  • Everything needs to be faster, faster feedback
  • Annual reviews are over, everyday reactions or serendipitous interactions are prefered, continuous feedback and listen to the redactions [but make sure if you do it publicly that the person is okay with that]
  • Ongoing training is extremely important, crowdsourcing answers, webinars, and even formal training and conferences, ask them to choose speakers who align with their goals ahead of time, ask them to go to all the networking events and then add to the company blog when they get home
  • Be the best example you can be
  • It’s a two way street, you both have to adapt and change because good communication takes two participants

Agile marketing from A to Z by Jeff Pedowitz @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note take at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Agile marketing is adapting agile management and software degelopment methods in the context of marketing management 
  • Rapid feedback, collaborative teams, short cycles or sprints, emphasize transparency
  • Good for ongoing campaigns
  • Can see the final result more quickly, could even be real time because you’re doing week long sprints and you’re launching at the end of every week (or two weeks or four weeks)
  • Stand up meetings every day, maybe 15 meetings, say what you’re doing and move on
  • It’s a set of principles from IT and adapted for marketing, you still need a plan but it lets you adapt and change much faster
  • Many small experiments, lots of collaboration, rapid iterations
  • Occasional small errors are fine, we all make typos, don’t let that hold you back
  • Can’t chance your org structure overnight but you can change how you work together
  • You have to measure or you won’t know what’s working
  • You can change course much quicker than your competition
  • Don’t wait for things to fall into place, always be putting something into place
  • You’re turning marketing into a production facility
  • Waterfall – word for sequential based planning, Scrum is completely agile and fluid breaking things into short sprints, marketing uses a combination of the two
  • Scrum is the press, 4 to 7 people working collaboratively. More than 7 means too much is happening
  • Backlog is collection of work you’re doing
  • Stories is everything you WANT to do, you decide what has high medium low effort
  • It’s a habit forming thing, it will take time to get used to doing it and make it feel natural
  • You can be a scrum master or team leader or just a member on several different teams, you can have a variety of roles
  • Stick to the schedule which is the hardest things, launch even when it’s not all there
  • Small errors along the way are less traumatic
  • You could decide to do a sprint next week, make your team, name your team, make it small and simple – estimate the work maybe a week or two
  • Hold a sprint review meeting, learn a couple lessons to apply to the next one
  • Everyone needs to pursue innovation and creativity
  • Use data to make intelligence decisions
  • Build an experimentation engine

CMO panel discussion at AMA Houston @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own. Apologies for not indicating who said what.


Session 1

  • The Seven Big Problems in marketing
  • Focus here is on talent and recruiting and retaining that talent
  • Focus on employees before focusing on customers
  • Where is the skills void – technology, marketing is so heavily influenced by tech, we need to be experienced with tech and have a varuety of expertise. Also research and analytics, customer lifetime value, how to use data, leverage data, attribution modeling, statistical modeling. Need to understand them no necessarily know them.
  • We need to spend a lot of time with IT professionals, go to where the expertise is [yeah go visit your research team, your data analyst, your statisticians, data scientists]
  • [i’m so tired of the millenial term. It’s not millenials. It’s new adults who have money for the first time and are ready to find a brand and become loyal to a brand]
  • How do you attract people to join your company
  • [seems the term has changed from employee to individual contributor]
  • Hiring people is a sales job, always have a list of people who you really like and when you have a job that suits them, go ask them. Have a folder of people you want to hire when the opportunity arises
  • The resume is a pet peeve. You ar selling and promoting your personal brand. 80% are just a list of things someone has done but that’s what they aren’t looking for. What results have you generated. What contributions have you made, how did that produce results for the company. What impact have you made on the organization. Tell how you helped the company advance.
  • If you don’t have much experience because you’re young [then consider all your unrelated jobs and volunteer work and what you contributed to them. NO ONE gets to their first job with no relevant experience. Hard work, perseverance, working under pressure, teamwork]
  • Looking for people who want a career not a job, need passionate people
  • You are NOT owed a new job title and salary increase every six months [or even every two years]
  • You can’t go wrong with an advanced degree. Where all things are equal, that person will win. But someone who’s done amazing things without that graduate degree will win. It’s important that the person can be effective from day one.

Session two

  • [set of nonprofit speakers]
  • Budget issues, limited resource and serious expectations, volunteers, a lot of neuron racy, real lives are on the line, hard to get people to buy into a long term cause
  • Biggest challenge is segmentation of audience, donors, members and every mix of those, young, old, active and not active, everyone needs a different message
  • Need to establish a culture of marketing when the employees are all social workers or medical workers, fighting for dollars doesn’t line up with how they feel
  • Why do one third of ballet audience not come back – what are they missing?
  • How do you create a culture of innovation with nonprofits that have limited resources
  • “Pilot”” is a common word, test something with very little money, tested a Facebook campaign for potential foster families, got a lot of inquiries as a result, a full blown campaign would not have been approved but now it is
  • You rarely know what caused anyone to make a purchase. A billboard? A Facebook post? You have to expect it’s not all measureable and just try anything out.
  • They are mostly digital at this point, important for the staff to be writers and they pay firms to do the rest, good content always gives you the presence, focus on the stories

Opening Keynote with Denise Jacobs, The Creative Dose @AMAhouston #marketing #ME2016 

Live note take at the AMA Houston conference in Houston, Texas. Any error or bad jokes are my own.

  • Creativity is the new black, it’s the talent that CEOs need the most, it is valued the most by coworkers
  • We all have creativity within us, we all WANT to create and it doesn’t mean pictures or dance or music. It’s companies and campaigns, even riffing is creative
  • Creativity is a business imperative, it’s imperative for business growth
  • It doesn’t mean a lone creative genius in their garage
  • We need to unblock our creativity, we all fear our ideas will be criticized or that they aren’t perfect, fear of not being good enough, fear of ideas being TOO crazy
  • FEAR – false evidence appearing real, you don’t know if you will be criticized or judged but you hold yourself back, other people could have benefited from your crazy idea
  • Ted talk.- your body language shapes who you are, our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behaviors, our behavior changes our outcomes – CHECK your body language, put on your best superhero pose with hands on hips or hands in the air [this is where we all stand up and do superhero poses🙂 ]
  • Gaming can be helpful for creativity and stress relief 
  • Go into things with an experimentation mindset – explore different ways, acceptance of failure is built in, you won’t get it all the first time, you won’t get it right NOW but you will get it right, you will learn things along the way, ideas will start to flow
  • More people means more creativity, creativity is linear
  • None of us is as smart as all of us
  • Keeping ideas to yourself is detrimental, be generous with your ideas, you also need to listen, over talking = muting other people [get our your plastic stabbing fork!  :) ]
  • Be present, don’t be figuring out what you’re going to say, pay attention to what they’re saying; relax your own agenda; 
  • CONNECT: Now we’re instructed to tell a partner something very exciting, both at the same time. [I didn’t hear a thing he said🙂 ]
  • Listening builds trust and a sense of safety
  • The most attractive people make you feel interesting
  • COMBINE – diversity of people = diversity of ideas, you need left and right brains, big picture and little picture people, these are complementary like puzzle pieces
  • Must adapt and respond to the variety of people
  • [now we’re asked to tell a story and insert weird words into it, oh my, what a silly story]
  • There was no judgement because everything was ok, no time to think and didn’t know where the story was going, you never what people will say but it might be so unexpected that it pushes you to another place
  • Play is how we invent and experiment, we need to amplify ideas, avoid the phrase “yes but” and focus on “yes and”, an idea attributed to Walt Disney
  • When someone offers an idea, accept the offer, and fully commit to it, add to it, make your colleagues look good and then everyone looks better
  • A six person sentence – six people each choose one word – unicorn, batman, dream, ludicrous, lives, live – words all over the place
  • Now people are asked to pick a word that someone can connect to – marketers are superheroes and also awesome🙂
  • Even the boring words were helpful, everyone owned the outcome 
  • Design an environment for co-creation, have a public space for ideas, need to externalizer ideas, sharing the raw concept gives your team material to work with and respond to, encourage ‘stupid’ ideas, they may be the best ones
  • Have both sitting and standing spaces, create a locus where people and ideas can mix and mingle where people from different departments will cross paths
  • We’ve already tried to be creative by ourselves and be clever, sometimes plain is amazing
  • We don’t need more, more stuff more money more recognition, what we really need instead is better, expand, better quality
  • The total of human effort is not just more but better
  • Develop an openness to difference, form strong bonds among the group

Brand relationships: Augmenting the classic purchase funnel with Deven Nongbri, @Edelman @AMAhouston #marketing #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Peers are more and more a source for purchase information and validation
  • Do you deliver a great product experience, are you doing good as a brand, help society?, it is expected as part of your brand DNA
  • Is someone trying to break you p? New business models like uber are having a serious effect, your relationship has never been more under siege
  • We could give up on building relationships or we could see that these disruptions are threats, turns them into opportunities that work in your favour
  • Create ambassadors and early adopters who will act on our behalf, let them be your team
  • How to navigate this new reality, how does consumer committment lead to better business results 
  • Research conducted across 13 countries [don’t want to bore us with methodologies😦  There’s nothing boring about methods!]
  • Scored brand relationships on seven dimensions, average score was 40/100 in the USA [makes sense to put the average here, you need to leave room for improvement and you need to have a place for starts to shine]
  • Men have better relationships, millenials have better relationships 
  • THere are five relationship stages. Indifferent, interested, involved, invested, committed
  • Indifference – just walking through a store, grab the first thing off the shelf
  • Interested – may check out the label
  • Involved – actively choose your brand, ask if they can’t find the brand
  • Invested – people believe you share common values, stop other shoppers from buying the competitive brand
  • Committed – it’s about shared benefits, they ask stores to carry your brand, they switch stores to get your products, moves from I language to we language
  • Committment is wit hint the reach of all brand categories, even low involvement categories
  • Strong relationship protect your bottom line – consumers up first and stay loyal, they will pay more, they will recommend, they will advocate for and defend you
  • You can’t buy committment, must connect with consumers all along the purchase funnel
  • Earned media matters, 78% of people use traditional media for information about brands – tv, magazines, radio
  • Advertising buys interest
  • Involved consumers engage across all Chanel’s
  • Conversations are the foundations of a committed relationship 
  • Use of peer and owned grows fine times as fast going from involved to committed 
  • Brands fall short on purpose and engagement, telling stories consumers care about
  • Need to strengthen the relationship through purpose, be an interesting part of social media, have a charismatic leader, facilitate ongoing conversation, be there at the tough times
  • Need to better tell the store of their heritage, raise my self esteem and make me feel better about myself, help me feel admired and repeated when I use your brand

The content arms race: Why brands are screwed by Andrew Grinaker @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Our consumption capabilities are going to flatline, content shock, creating more content than is being consumed
  • The audience doesn’t care about your branded content, people don’t wake up wanting to see what their favourite brand said today
  • Only 30% of people have liked a brand on Facebook, when did you last like a brand? It’s not a relationship
  • There is so much content that is vastly more interesting than branded content 
  • Individual people are taking content away from brands – eg, unboxing videos, fanatics showing off their new shoes, someone who does toys review videos
  • How do brands compete
  • Planning: know your audience and your target, know the demos of each social channel, know where your audience lives, know what motivates them; agree on KPIs and goals for brand awareness, engagement, sales, lead generation, retention and loyalty; have a documented strategy, know what you want to achieve
  • Lead with purpose and values
  • [damn that pandora ad where the kids find their mom by touch alone is a tear jerker]
  • Emotional connection doens’t always mean crying
  • Give/get strategy – give 80% to get 20%, don’t focus on a heavy CTA
  • Content should entertain and drive interest, not tied to “thanks for viewing now buy this” GE does a great job of this
  • Budget first, idea second
  • Focus on what you do weekly, monthly or quarterly, e.g., social media is weekly, papers are monthly, information is quarterly
  • Save 20% of budget for promotion if you don’t have a media budget
  • Consider waht is foundation a exploratory, or in review
  • Be agile in publishing, different formats
  • Test all variables – headlines, CTAs, length, type, distributions, images
  • Some brands give us hope – ADOBE, Nordstrom, airBNB, IKEA, TSA, Jaguar

Your Facebook opinion has no effect on me

It doesn’t matter whether you like it, it’s common practice to share on Facebook and Twitter your support, or lack thereof, for political candidates and issues. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense when so many people hold firmly to their beliefs and won’t change their mind anyways.  So why bother?

For me, there are two main reasons. 

  1. It reminds people that there are opposing views out there and the entirety of the world does not agree with them. It helps prevent some of the silos. 
  2. It reminds people that others they respect and perhaps look up to for being intelligent and good people disagree with them. This helps them to see that diverging opinions probably have merit even if they hate those ideas. 

With the increased use of social media algoeithms, it’s getting easier to go an entire day and not see any opinions that differ from yours. We need to see and appreciate the diversity of people and opinion. 

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.

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