2018 Market Research Trends | Drive Research Recap of the Quirk's Event

March 1, 2018

This week Emily, Research Analyst at Drive Research, attended The Quirk’s Event 2018 in Brooklyn, NY. Over the course of two days, the event featured several speakers who discussed new case studies, tips, and insight on the market research industry. 


At the event, Emily attended 13 sessions which meant 390 minutes to learn new tips and insight! Below are a few tidbits learned from each of the sessions she attended.



 Emily, Research Analyst at Drive Research, attended The Quirk's Event in Brooklyn, NY!



Session #1 Content Engagement Best Practices

What makes a good ad? Testing, testing, testing. Advertisers should measure the idea for content before publishing the ad.


Ad testing is needed to ensure the content is engaging. Studies show attention spans have shortened to just a few seconds. In these few seconds brands need to capture the attention of target audiences and communicate their message. These days, the format of an ad needs to adapt to several formats to hit consumer micromoments.


Rather than interrupt what audiences are interested in, advertisers need to become what audiences are interested. Enter native advertising! Native advertising is the creation of content and disseminating it to target audiences through ways they communicate (e.g. Facebook). Testing ads and measuring the success of an ad using market research had a direct influence on how well brands and the content itself performed.


What was the main point?

Test advertising ideas and shift to advertising formats that engage consumers, like native advertising.



Session #2 Brands Should Reconsider How To Think About People

We are living in a bubble and need to integrate consumer empathy into our everyday work as researchers. It’s important to understand consumer perspectives before developing your research methodology.


Take the famous, “What color is this dress?” for example. To some the dress was white and gold, and to others the dress was blue and white. If you don’t seek out consumer perspectives and incorporate these perspectives your research will struggle. Tips for insight on consumer perspectives included exploring tribal analytics, incorporating narrative economics, and researching target audiences and demographics.


Also, ask about mottos from research participants for insight into attitudes, beliefs, and values.


What was the main point?

Oftentimes, time is wasted in research trying to find the “perfect” respondents. Instead of wasting time, researchers need to start thinking about ways to reconsider and expand research methodologies.



Session #3 Using Digital Reacting for Insight on Consumer Behavior

What can be learned from digital tracking and how does it apply to market research? Digital tracking provides insight on how people are spending their time. A few key pros of digital tracking includes the ability to optimize marketing channels, understand digital touchpoints, identify trends, and measure brand effectiveness.


For example, an online music streaming brand wanted to understand how consumers spent their time while listening to holiday music. To no surprise, many were online shopping. One individual spent 19 minutes searching for lipstick, but during this time also bought a pizza online and searched for video games. After collecting this data, the big issue becomes understanding what to do with the data and why the consumer path matters.


Another interesting data nugget was at what point consumers started listening to holiday music. Some started listening to holiday music after Thanksgiving and others started listening in October.


What was the main point?

What do we do to understand consumer behavior online when we’re drowning in digital data? Identify consumer paths for insight.



Session #4 Will Big Data Put Market Research Out of Business?

Big data provides a lot of information but primary research answers why. For example, we might know how many times someone goes to Starbucks to buy a coffee, but we don’t understand why from just big data alone.


Key questions about the future of big data:


  • Will big data need big research to fill in the gaps of consumer behavior and its psychology?

  • Will big data will reduce survey lengths, improving participant engagement and experience?

  • Will both big data and market research data be part of every market research data set by 2038?

  • Will privacy be an issue for access to big data?



What was the main point?

The moral of the story is that it’s somewhat hard to tell the impact big data will have on the market research industry. This is mostly because it’s difficult to guess what access to big data will look like and understand the form big data will take in the future. There is currently a demand for bigger, richer data but big data is still too difficult for many to truly understand and turn into something actionable.



Session #5 Behavior Data and Survey Insights Create a 360 Consumer View

Wondering how combining sensor data with survey data creates a complete customer view? (So was I and the answer was more obvious than I expected.)


Using this methodology not only asks consumers questions but also using sensors to track these respondents. It’s important to note these sensors are powerful. They are able to tell how often consumers visit a location, how long they stay, time of visit, top competitors used, etc.


What was the main point?

Coupling behavior data with survey insights allows market research pros to create powerful customer personas.


Learn more on customer personas in a prior blog post.



Session #6 Gen Z Trends

A short study was done with families with kids aged 6 to 12. Here are a few tidbits from the findings!


  1. YouTube is the #1 brand and is a digital playground to Gen Z.

  2. Language is dominated by emojis, memes, GIFs, and stickers (bitmoji)!

  3. Sensational play, like fidget spinners and slime, are on the rise.

  4. Challenging times, kids and families are pushing themselves and others into challenges (like the ALS ice bucket challenge, water bottle challenge, etc.)

  5. New “gen(d)eration” that is a new “you do you mind” set that steers away from gender-based play.

  6. Rise of females and supporting feminist values among both Gen Z boys and girls.

  7. There’s a love of Amazon among parents and Gen Z.

  8. The bot boom! We know Alexa, Siri, and Google, but kids are using toys like Dash.

  9.  There’s a clean movement leading to healthier options for kids. Prioritizing straight from nature and simpler snacks and meals. 

  10. Eat-ertainment, or whimsical food-fads (like the unicorn Frappuccino) and snapchatting food pictures.


What was the main point?

Gen Z is the future! It's important that we as market and marketing researchers pay attention to how this audience prefers to communicate and what content is most engaging. 



Session #7 Research Reporting and Visualization

Understanding the needs and wants from data from the client perspective is key. It’s important to understand the difference between how analysts want data versus how C-Suite roles want data. Reports should adapt accordingly to each audience, which is why market research pros like Drive Research provide a variety of options from key findings to infographics to interactive dashboards to question-by-question results. New data visualization tools allow for a more seamless view of data that allows for data filters, digging deeper, data comparisons, and refining.


What was the main point?

There’s an increased demand for accessing data. Dashboards are powerful, but this method doesn’t provide the depth to understand why.


Session #8 How to Measure ROI for Marketing Research

Is generating insights and then fueling decision making the goal of marketing research? Or, is trying to understand the value of marketing research a goal? The answer to both questions is no. The goal of marketing research depends on the unique needs of each client.


So how is the ROI of marketing research determined? Well, perhaps we should not try to measure the unmeasurable, but rather try to understand that many believe there is an inherent value to research.


The first step to measuring the ROI of marketing research is to understand that the researcher’s opinion doesn’t matter. Instead, researchers need to start measuring the ROI of marketing research from the client’s point of view. For example, once your project is complete, hopefully your client says, “The research helped us choose the right ad to move forward with.”


Clients usually don’t come to marketing researchers telling them what they need to know, but rather they come with lists of questions to be answered which muddles the end-goal of the research. In order to be truly valuable, marketing researchers need to find out the research end-goal and guide clients through the research process for efficiency and success.


Advice to researchers:


  1. Re-think the purpose of your marketing research report. The purpose for a marketing research report is to persuade the client to agree with the researcher’s objective point-of-view.

  2. You shouldn’t be so quick to answer questions. Don’t become “the data person” instead become “the insight person”. Before answering a question like, “What’s my NPS score?” it’s critical for researchers to understand why the client wants to know their NPS score, why NPS is valuable, how it’s measured, how the score compares to the competition, etc.

  3. Politics are unavoidable, but researchers need to understand who they need to convince before the research beings.



What was the main point?

The key to measuring the ROI of marketing research is to understand the end-goal or “so what” for clients before the research begins rather than determining it afterwards. If you find the “so what” after you collect the data, you run the risk of missing something. By understanding the end-goal up front you learn how to be an influencer to clients.



Session #9 Disrupting Traditional Innovation Methods

Before creating a product, brands start by assessing the needs of consumers. Next, is to get marketing on board followed by the rest of the departments.