In March Research For Good attended London Insights 2017 in Kensington Olympia with the aim to get fully immersed in the industry, speak to peers and learn all that we could. London Insights show did not disappoint. Between listening to talks and going stand to stand, we met some of the industry’s most influential people, saw some of the new and exciting methods in data capturing and heard some very exciting debates. Here is a recap on our experience. 

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CEO Debate on Main Stage – Panel includes Kirsty Fuller, Vanella Jackson and Bart Michels. Moderated by Danny Russell

The current state of the industry was just one of the talking points in the CEO opening debate. With questions like “What can we, Market Researchers, do to ensure we get the edge?” asked to the panel it started some great conversations, but it was Vanella Jackson, Global CEO of Hall and Partners, who had the perfect answer: be disruptive. Brands need to adapt to match what the user wants and Ms. Jackson used Facebook as an example of adapting to a more mobile friendly experience. We totally agree. In a world that moves so fast it is essential that brands maximise what they can to create stand out. A good example of this is the below Spotify campaign where they generated campaign messaging based on the noteworthy listening trends of their users.

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Spotify Campaign

The CEO’s opening debate continued and suggested that we should think of ourselves as journalists and reposition ourselves to deliver data in the best way. However, the next day in the Research Leaders of the Future debate, this approach was indirectly challenged. With Emma Kirk, Business Development Manager, Join the Dots, saying that we are not journalists and that people should not be interested in a creative story to WOW over real data. But is there a way to do both? Perhaps adopting an opinion based response means we are not just delivering data, we are giving them meaning. Which echos Ms. Kirk’s statement: “Data is meaningless without the why!”

As the Leaders of the Future debate continued it moved onto a topic that we at Research For Good hold very dear. Respecting the respondent and communicating with them on their own terms. As we reach out to Millennials and Gen-Z, why do we use traditional methods of data capture which isolate our audience before they even start? We need to be fresh and emotive when communicating with these generations. Emma Kirk went on to say that one idea that she and her clients are adopting is the use of emojis or “Digital Body Language”. These tiny icons add emotion to text and are used by 92% of smartphone users. We need to be utilizing all the modern day tech/software to ensure our respondents are providing insights in a way that is best for them. “At present,” as Ben Hogg, MD of EMEA Lucid states “the respondent isn’t at the heart of our industry.”

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The Great Sample Debate – Panel includes George Davidson, Ben Hogg, Heval Ceylan-Gilchrist, Rahul Krishna & James de Vick. Moderated by Sima Vasa

Mr. Hogg was one of the panelists on The Great Sample Debate, in which the future of Sample was discussed. This discussion reiterated many of the points our Co-Founder, Baillie Buchanan covered in her Samplecon report but with one big difference, we had an end client as one of the panelists: George Davidson of InterContinental Hotels Group. Mr. Davidson was quick to put his hand up and say that clients need to take responsibility when it comes to questionnaire requests and in a move to look to the future of good survey design, we perhaps should look to the past. By this he meant bring back Pre-Survey Insights; a stage before a survey goes live in which a smaller sample are brought in to go through the survey and highlight any problematic questions. Whilst this idea is a good one, does the industry allow for this time?

As the debate came to a close the focus moved to data quality and survey design. Mr. Hogg asked why are there trick questions? It sends the wrong message and maybe we should give more trust to our participants. To this Mr. Davidson replied “absolutely not, he often meets people on the street but still locks his doors at night.”. A response that got a chuckle from the audience. But he is right, it doesn’t matter how good the questionnaire is, if the sample is bad then the data is bad and that is why there needs to be more emphasis on Sample Quality.

After 48 hours we left the conference with some invaluable knowledge and some exciting new contacts along with enough free pens and notebooks to start a stationery shop. It truly was an amazing experience and I Tip-My-Hat to the organisers – see you next year London Insights Show. Need help when planning conferences? Check out our 5 Factors to Consider when Choosing a MRX Conference blog for some helpful tips.