Esomar Chicago: Day 1

Well, day 1 of this conference has been unlike any conference I’ve ever attended before. Instead of case studies and new statistics and plugging under the guise of presenting, the focus today was almost 100% on one single topic: research using social media data. You might think the marketing research world went through the same transition when we moved from offline to online methods, but no way hosee! This transition seems to be on a totally different plane.
Of course, there are still skeptics about the feasibility or usefulness of SM research, as one might have noticed with the gentleman who so easily admitted he just didn’t get twitter and why wouldn’t you just text what you ate for lunch to your three friends instead of tweeting it. Clearly, this is someone who tested out twitter by following his mom and three teenagers who get their kicks by tweeting every swearword they’ve ever heard. Sure, I’m being harsh. It took me a couple weeks to warm up to twitter and to find the right people to follow. Once that happened, I was hooked. Now, i completely get the twitter thing and I completely get why researchers should care about the twitter thing.
So on that note, there certainly was lots of interest in social media research. Swarovski showed a website they used for a watch and jewelry design contest. Looked so interesting i wanted to design something myself. Then we learned how X-factor, a Belgium style American Idol show, used social media to identify issues that each contestant needed to work on in order to do their best on the show. I quite enjoyed seeing the webvideo presentation by McNarry and Bower as it showed how easy it is to attain a level of cultural diversity that is so frequently lacking in some methodologies. I loved hearing from Brainjuicer about how Starbucks has implemented over 300 user generated suggestions to improve their business. Also loved how Austin showed that the use of emoticons can be a cultural difference. Finally, loved the pecha kucha session! I’ve never seen that before, basically 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide, both features fully enforced. Forced the presenters to get creative, be concise, and make the point quickly. I may not do one of those presentations but the theory is so intriguing, I just might try to implement it in some way.
So, my suggestions to presenters tomorrow, as if any of them have time to read this or even care to read this… 🙂
PLEASE, go overboard on data. You can never present too much data. i’d rather see piles of data than piles of fluff. Please give me tidbits of knowledge that i can take home and use. I got lots of inspiration today, and a few tidbits of learnings. Tomorrow, overload me with actionable learnings. And more dessert.

Some of my ipsos buddies, Alina, Renee, Deb and Efrain. Hi guys!


The rest of my pictures seem to be stuck in zannel, you can see them here:

Beautiful setting

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    One response

    1. I agree the conference was very different from others. It finally dawned on me why last night — all of the presentations were written first as submitted papers. Most MR conferences I attend the presentation is the only deliverable. Compared to other conferences, I found many of the presentations hard to follow–the speakers didn’t “tell ’em what you’re goin’ tell ’em, tell ’em, then tell ’em what you told ’em.” But, on the plus side, the presentations all had a greater depth to them as a result of starting out as papers.

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