The New MR Age and Technology: Jeffrey Hunter #CASROmanage #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the CASRO Management Conference in Chicago. All posts appear within minutes after the speaker has finished. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.






  • First job was doing phone research, then coding, then data processing
  • Used to work for General Mills
  • Nouriel Roubini predicted the housing crisis. He was called a Cassandra but now he’s called a sage. Even though it was one right prediction among many wrong predictions.
  • Futurism is easy, sure, sure, if you only pay attention to the predictions that came true
  • The future is already here. Mobile has been around for a bit but we still stay it’s just arrived. MROCs also seem to have just arrived but they’ve been around for a while.
  • Information, not data, has value. It’s the people who do something with the information that turn data into money. How do we manage data towards positive economic value. Everyone remembers the one insight that led to $$.
  • The world has changed for our businesses. Cheerios has been around 50 years, in a yellow box for 50 years, business model has not changed. What is different? We live in a multi-screen world: TV, print, radio, internet, smart phone, apps, tablets, digital price, in auto programming. Do you have enough time and money to deal with all of these instead of just TV and print? When do you choose what is ‘good enough.’ There could be hundreds of touchpoints in one day. It’s not additive, it’s geometric. How many information partners, and they all need to be treated differently?
  • Consolidating retail formats – have to worry about relationship with retailers that have a lot more power, new retailers don’t carry about rep samples, they want to know their market, their targets, behaviourally related
  • Fragmenting retail formats – small format stores with different clientele, established formats that now carry completely new categories compared to their entire history. It only matters what the retailer believes, not what social sciences believe.
  • Global – Where is growth? Outside of North America
  • Implications – futurism is necessary, the future is already here, it’s about information not data, information needs will follow the evolution of the business
  • What research tools will we use?
    • Surveys – continue but less of it, it needs to be reinvigorated, if you structure surveys well you can get pretty good estimates to supplement what you have from syndicated data – together is better, more research on research
    • MROCs – why aren’t these bigger than they currently are? They can help with every single thing – the copy, the package. Do it all as one piece of research, not split up into all its components
    • Web scraping – still developing, cumulative buzz corresponded exactly, r squares were in the 90s
    • Neuroscience – he doesn’t get excited about this, it shows up every few years, it’s insightful but incremental value doesn’t justify expense
    • Behavioural economics – useful for interpreting data
    • Mobile – good for adding diagnostic value
    • Big data – suffers from definitional ambiguity
  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty – Winston Churchill
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