What You Missed at IIEX 2018 – 3 Takeaways Walking the floor at the Insights Innovation Exchange (IIEX) for a day and a half with our new CEO, Andy Greenawalt, we spoke to several friends, client and supplier side partners, and ducked into quite a few exciting startup sessions.
Three things struck me this year:
-Insights Technology is Finally Getting More Innovative. By that I mean there are no longer just the slight immaterial modifications to existing ways of doing things, but actual innovation that has disruptive implications (passive monitoring, blockchain, image recognition, more intelligent automation…).
As expected most of this innovation is coming from startups, many of which, while they have interesting ideas, have little to no experience in marketing research - and have yet to prove their use cases.
-A Few Marketing Research Suppliers are picking up their consulting game. Surprisingly perhaps, in this area it seems that change is coming from the Qualitative side. For a while qualitative looked like a race to the bottom in terms of price, even more so than what was happening in Quantitative Research. But there are now a handful of Image/Brand/Ideation ‘Agencies’ whose primary methodologies are qualitative who are leading the way to a higher value proposition. There are a couple, but I will mention two I’ve been most impressed with specifically, Brandtrust and Shapiro+Raj, Bravo!
-The Opportunity. I think the larger opportunity if there is one, lies in the ability of the traditional players to partner with and help prove the use cases of some of these newer startup technologies. Incorporating them into consulting processes with higher end value propositions, similar to what the qualitative agencies I noted above have done.
This seems to be both an opportunity and a real challenge. Can Old help New, and New help Old? It may be more likely that the end clients, especially those that are more open to DIY processes will be the ones that select and prove the use cases of these new technologies offered by the next generation of startups, and therefore benefit the most.
While this too is good, I fear that by leaving some of the traditional companies behind we will lose some institutional thinking and sound methodology along the way.
Either way, I’m more optimistic on new Marketing Research Tech than I’ve ever been.
Keep in mind though, Innovation in Marketing Research should be about more than just speed and lower cost (automation). It should be even more about doing things better, giving the companies and clients we work for an information advantage!
GreenBook Interview Covers Partnering, AI/Machine Learning and the Latest Insights Applications for Text Analytics
“We should be less worried about each other and more worried about the potential new entrants to this industry.”
It’s not often that one gets to talk shop at length with the industry’s top pundit, so Tim Lynch and I were delighted when Lenny invited us for a frank and broad-based discussion that covered some important ground, including:
Why partnering and collaboration among research companies is becoming a critically important factor in today’s marketplace;
What the buzz around AI and machine learning is really about and what researchers need to know;
How text analytics are being deployed in powerful and novel ways to produce insights that either were not accessible or couldn’t be obtained practically in the past.
P.S. Want to know more about anything we covered in the interview? Contact us here.
About Tom H. C. Anderson
Tom H. C. Anderson is the founder and managing partner of OdinText, a venture-backed firm based in Stamford, CT whose eponymous, patented SAS platform is used by Fortune 500 companies like Disney, Coca-Cola and Shell Oil to mine insights from complex, unstructured and mixed data. A recognized authority and pioneer in the field of text analytics with more than two decades of experience in market research, Anderson is the recipient of numerous awards for innovation from industry associations such as CASRO, ESOMAR and the ARF. He was named one of the "Four under 40" market research leaders by the American Marketing Association in 2010. He tweets under the handle @tomhcanderson.
6 Tips From - Insights Innovation Exchange (IIEX) Chicago 2016
Next week in Chicago I’ll be participating in two events: the IIEX Forums and IIEX IMD (Insights Marketing Day). I’ll cover IMD at the end of this post, but I wanted to first discuss the IIEX Forums.
The IIEX Forums Nov 14-15th are dedicated to the Nonconscious Consumer: How We Understand, Measure, & Drive Behavior. This is obviously a topic of enormous interest in marketing and research circles, as behavioral economics and other fields have provided new intelligence into how people make decisions and what really drives behavior.
The notion that people are not entirely conscious of the things that really motivate them—hence the “nonconscious consumer”—is something we’ve explored extensively here at OdinText. And we’ve seen time and again that what people say both explicitly and implicitly when they have the opportunity to provide feedback to open-ended questions tends to be far more predictive of actual behavior than responses to conventional quantitative survey questions.
I’ve been asked to chair the sessions on afternoon of the 15th and I’m delighted to have the opportunity moderate a Q&A with a very talented group of fellow researchers with expertise in nonconscious measurement.
In advance of the event I reached out to each of them and asked that they share one tip from their session. So, without further ado…
Unconscious Measurement: Six Tips
Tip #1: "Have a hunch about something? Curious about validity of a common wisdom or an urban legend? Test it out. It's easier than you think and certainly easier than ever before to experiment and arrive to your own conclusions using research automation."
Tip #2: “Look beyond just @ mentions of your brand on social media for opportunities to engage consumers at the right time, right place. Consumers on social media are seeking engagement, affirmation, advice, and opportunities so if done properly, brands can win big if they can tap into the right moments on social.”
Tip #3: “We should always consider the role of consumers’ non-conscious motivations but we shouldn’t position these motivations as the silver bullet for all problems. Sometimes consumers’ are perfectly capable of telling us how they feel.
“The opposite of rational is not irrational! In fact, our gut reactions are often just as logical as our rational decisions because gut reactions are based on dozens—if not hundreds—of experiences and have proven themselves to be a helpful heuristic for navigating the world. I think it’s very dangerous for us to think of consumers as irrational decision makers when, in reality, they are simply following a systematic process that just happens to be outside of their conscious awareness.”
Tip #5: “Gamification is most often seen as a tool for teachers and trainers, and improving the learning process. The principles are much more fundamental, however; gamification influences decisions and behaviors through the use of incentives and structured rules. It's a great methodology for nudging consumer behavior.”
Tip #6: “as we advance and apply the science of non-conscious motivation, be mindful of the business case.” [I've observed insights professionals using neuroscience for copy testing and various methods for creative development. Which is all good!!! Emotion--or non-conscious motivators--is also a largely undercapitalized business asset. This is a big opportunity for insights professionals to lead that charge]
Alan Sorfas, Co-Founder, Chief Intelligence Officer, Motista
What’s IMD About?
We could all probably do a better job of marketing our research. And after the Forums, IIEX will also host Insights Marketing Day (IMD), also in Chicago (but at a different venue).
I speak at several conferences each year together with other colleagues on how and when to best employ text analytics and other research methodologies. But one thing that almost no one talks about is how to market research software or services. It’s always been a bit ironic that marketing researchers (those who research marketing) know so little about marketing. I guess it’s a bit like the shoe makers children.
Anyway, yesterday on YouTube I came across this market research firms supplier panel which I participated in last year at IIEX’s Marketing Day in NYC.
I realize both videos are a bit on the long side, but being so many of the blog readers are marketing researchers on both client and supplier side -- I’m genuinely curious on your thoughts. How does one more effectively market research services or software?
Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Data Analytics and Passive Listening Capture Minds - 2016 Insight Innovation Exchange
I’m just back from the IIEX conference in Atlanta, where OdinText competed in the Insight Innovation Competition. Although I was disappointed that we didn’t win, I’m pleased to report that the judges told me we placed a very close second.
Attending conferences like this affords me the opportunity to get a pulse on the industry, and I was struck by the fact that text analytics are no longer viewed as a shiny new toy in market research. In fact, as someone who has been working in the natural language processing field for so long, it’s actually somewhat remarkable to see how perceptions of text analytics have matured over just the last year. Text analytics have become a must-have, and the market has a new wave of healthy competition as a result, which I think is further evidence of a healthy market.
Since OdinText goes beyond just text data and incorporates mixed data—text and quantitative—in our competition pitch we highlighted OdinText’s ability to essentially enable market researchers to do data science.
I strongly believe making data science more accessible is a huge opportunity that OdinText is uniquely positioned to solve, and it’s an area where market researchers can step up to meet a desperate need as we currently have a shortage of about 200,000 data scientists in the US alone.
(Check out this 5-minute video of my IIEX competition pitch and let me know what YOU think!)
“Machine learning” appears to be the new buzz phrase in research circles, and at IIEX I was hard pressed to find a single vendor not claiming to use machine learning in some respect, no matter where on the service chain they fit. Honestly, though, I got the sense that many use the term without entirely understanding what it means.
We continue to leverage machine learning where it makes sense at OdinText, and there are a few other vendors out there who also clearly have an excellent grasp of the technique.
One such company—which took first place in the competition, in fact—was Remesh. They’re actually using machine learning in a very unique and novel way, by automating the role of an online moderator almost akin to a chat bot. They’ve positioned this as AI, and to replace humans completely with a computer is a holy grail for almost any industry.
I’m optimistic on AI in my field of data and text mining as well, but we’re still a ways off in terms of taking the human out of the mix, and so our goal at OdinText is to use the human as efficiently as possible.
While totally automating what a data scientist does is appealing, in the short term we’re happy with being able to allow a market researcher to do in a few hours what would take a typical data scientist with skills in advanced statistics, NLP, Python, R and C++ days or weeks to do.
Still I admit the prospect of AI replacing researchers completely is an interesting one—albeit not necessarily a popular one among the people who would be replaced—and it’s an area that I’m certainly thinking about.
Third place in the competition I understand was Beatgrid Media, which leverages smart phones (without using almost any battery life) to passively listen to audio streams from radio and TV and overlaying geo demographics with these panelists’ data to better predict advertising reach and efficacy. This is admittedly going to be a very hard field to break into by a start-up as there are many big players in the space who want to own their own measurement. And so this may have been one of the reasons Beatgrid had trouble taking more than third, even though they admittedly have some very interesting technology that could perhaps also be applied in other ways.
In just a few years it’s become one of the best marketing research trade events and probably my favorite when it comes to meeting those interested in Next Generation Market Research.
If you’re attending please let me know. I’d love to meet up briefly and say hello in person. My colleague Sean Timmins and I would love to meet up, hear what you’re working on and see whether OdinText might be something that could help you get to better insights faster.
[PSST If you would like to attend IIEX feel free to use our Speaker discount codeODINTEXT!]
There are so many cool sessions at the conference, and the venue and the neighborhood are great (love the Atlanta food options). In case you are still considering which sessions to attend I’d love to invite you to our sessions:
1. Monday 2:00-3:00 pm / Making Data Science More Accessible
Monday 2:00-3:00 In the Grand Ballroom please come support our mission of making data science more accessible in the Insight Innovation Competition. If you are at IIEX, this is THE session you don’t want to miss! [We blogged about this exciting session earlier here].
2. Tuesday 12:00-2:00 pm / Interactive Roundtable
Tuesday 12:00-2:00 also in the Grand Ballroom I will be hosting an interactive roundtable on Text Analytics & Text Mining. In this discussion group, I will be hosting an informative and lively discussion on where and how this very powerful technology is best deployed now and how it will change the future of analytics. This effects everything from social media monitoring, and survey data, to email and call center log analysis and a whole lot more…
3. Tuesday 5:00 pm / Special Panel
Tuesday 5:00 in a special analysis of survey panelists I will be joining Kerry Hecht Labsuirs, Director of Research Services at Recollective and Jessica Broome, Research Guru at Jessica Broome Research in an investigation of survey panelists. The session is entitled Exploring the Participant Experience.
(sneak peek here!)
OdinText was used to analyze the unstructured data from this research, and so I will help by reviewing some of those findings briefly. You can read about some of the initial results here on the blog. We plan to follow up with a second post after the conference.
Again, we really hope to see you at the conference. Please reach out ahead of time and let us know if you’ll be there so we can plan to grab a coffee. If you can’t make it to the event, and any of the above interests you let us know, I’d be happy to schedule a call.
Survey Takers Average Two Panel Memberships and Name Names
Who exactly is taking your survey?
It’s an important question beyond the obvious reasons and odds are your screener isn’t providing all of the answers.
Today’s blog post will be the first in a series previewing some key findings from a new study exploring the characteristics of survey research panelists.
The study was designed and conducted by Kerry Hecht, Director of Research at Ramius. OdinText was enlisted to analyze the text responses to the open-ended questions in the survey.
Today I’ll be sharing an OdinText analysis of results from one simple but important question: Which research companies are you signed up with?
Note: The full findings of this rather elaborate study will be released in June in a special workshop at IIEX North America (Insight Innovation Exchange) in Atlanta, GA. The workshop will be led by Kerry Hecht, Jessica Broome and yours truly. For more information, click here.
About the Data
The dataset we’ve used OdinText to analyze today is a survey of research panel members with just over 1,500 completes.
The sample was sourced in three equal parts from leading research panel providers Critical Mix and Schlesinger Associates and from third-party loyalty reward site Swagbucks, respectively.
The study’s author opted to use an open-ended question (“Which research companies are you signed up with?”) instead of a “select all that apply” variation for a couple of reasons, not the least of which being that the latter would’ve needed to list more than a thousand possible panel choices.
Only those panels that were mentioned by at least five respondents (0.3%) were included in the analysis. As it turned out, respondents identified more than 50 panels by name.
How Many Panels Does the Average Panelist Belong To?
The overwhelming majority of respondents—approx. 80%—indicated they belong to only one or two panels. (The average number of panels mentioned among those who could recall specific panel names was 2.3.)
Less than 2% told us they were members of 10 or more panels.
Finally, even fewer respondents told us they were members of as many as 20+ panels; others could not recall the name of a single panel when asked. Some declined to answer the question.
Naming Names…Here’s Who
Caption: To see the data more closely, please click this screenshot for an Excel file.
In Figure 1 we have the 50 most frequently mentioned panel companies by respondents in this survey.
It is interesting to note that even though every respondent was signed up with at least one of the three companies from which we sourced the sample, a third of respondents failed to name that company.
Who Else? Average Number of Other Panels Mentioned
Caption: To see the data more closely, please click this screenshot for an Excel file.
As expected—and, again, taking the fact that the sample comes from each of just three firms we mentioned earlier—larger panels are more likely than smaller, niche panels to contain respondents who belong to other panels (Figure 2).
Caption: To see the data more closely, please click this screenshot for an Excel file.
Finally, we correlate the mentions of panels (Figure 3) and see that while there is some overlap everywhere, it looks to be relatively evenly distributed. In a few cases where correlation ishigher, it may be that these panels tend to recruit in the same place online or that there is a relationship between the companies.
Again, all of the data provided above are the result of analyzing just a single, short open-ended question using OdinText.
In subsequent posts, we will look into what motivates these panelists to participate in research, as well as what they like and don’t like about the research process. We’ll also look more closely at demographics and psychographics.
You can also look forward to deeper insights from a qualitative leg provided by Kerry Hecht and her team in the workshop at IIEX in June.
Thank you for your readership. As always, I encourage your feedback and look forward to your comments!
The competition celebrates innovation in market research and provides a platform for young companies and startups to showcase truly novel products and services with the potential to transform the consumer insights field.
Marketing and research are becoming increasingly complex, and the skills needed to thrive in this environment have changed.
To that end, OdinText was designed to make advanced data analytics and data science accessible to marketers and researchers.
OdinText is a patented SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform for natural language processing and advanced text analysis. Fortune 500 companies such as Disney and Coca-Cola use OdinText to mine insights from complex, unstructured text data. The technology is available through the venture-backed Stamford, CT firm of the same name founded by CEO Tom H. C. Anderson, a recognized authority and pioneer in the field of text analytics with more than two decades of experience in market research. The company is the recipient of numerous awards for innovation from industry associations such as ESOMAR, CASRO, the ARF and the American Marketing Association. Anderson tweets under the handle @tomhcanderson.
When Text Analytics is Your BrandWhat I learned about personal branding at IIEX
Coming back from Insight Innovation Exchange (IIEX) this week in Atlanta and thought I’d blog briefly about the two panel sessions on Personal/Digital Branding in which I participated.
My main reason for attending IIEX was actually to give a brief presentation on the dramatic improvements we've made to our OdinText text analytics software, and how it brings value to untapped consumer text data (open-ends, NPS reasons, customer feedback, website comments, etc.), and how it can really turn any market research analyst into a powerful Data Scientist. Because of IIeX’s stellar reputation, this was the first time we’ve ever given any kind of demo of OdinText in public. Usually our presentations are approved case studies about how our clients like Coca-Cola, Disney, Shell Oil, etc. are using the tool. Also, as text analytics remains a very competitive field, we prefer to share details around the software with those we know have the kind of data where OdinText can be useful.
However, since we are launching a new version of OdinText and I was assured by Lenny Murphy that, contrary to what I believed, most attendees actually want to see software demos rather than just hear use cases. In case you missed it, I've posted a brief teaser video below, along with a shameless plug before I go on. If you regularly collect comment type text data, we’d love to hear from you and get you more info about OdinText (Request Info Here). Shameless ad plug over.
Other than showing off OdinText though, I was also honored to be asked to sit on a personal branding panel with prolific market research tweeters Tom Ewing and Annie Pettit, as well as Dave McCaughan who is a well-known name in East Asian and Australian market research circles.
On the Summer Friday (at 5:30pm no less) before our Monday morning session, Annie Pettit came up with the idea to field an impromptu convenience sample survey, and to my surprise by Sunday afternoon we already had about 150 comments relating to the panelists. Lenny Murphy who has also accumulated a loyal #MRX following on Twitter and on the Greenbook blog was also included in the survey which asked something like “Q. What three things first come to mind when you hear each of these names/personal brands?”.
Though this sample is a bit on the small side for OdinText I quickly visualized the comments to give us some idea of how similar/different each of these 5 ‘brands’ are and what specific topics most frequently co-occur with each of them.
I’m sure all of us were equally interested in the findings, because let’s face it, while EVERYONE has a personal brand (even if unfortunately not everyone recognizes it), few of us ever get an insight into what it really means to people in this unaided top-of-mind market research sort of way.
We agreed not to share any of each other’s raw data, but I’m fine sharing the first 40 responses I received (both good, bad and ugly) below, sorted alphabetically:
His banner ads pursue me remorselessly around the web marketing
know his name but can't recall...
Lover of anything that reminds him of the Swedish socialist utopia
next gen guy
odin text - text pro
OdinText Text Analytics, smart, trustworthy
respected, helpful, innovative smart
Social media junkie
straight shooter. willing to challenge hyped claims. maybe falling too in love with his own methodology
text analytics odintext
Text analytics pro
Text Analytics, expert, outspoken, industry leader,
text analytics, NGMR, vikings
Text master, text Analytics
The first to advocate Next Gen Market Research, especially Text Analytics and Data Mining,
The first market researcher to truly understand social, AND bold enough to stand up against trade orgs on behalf
of mid-small research firms. A true research hero
Tom is a great example of focusing on one thing you really care about and want to make better,
and then actually doing that..
Tweeted this survey
up against trade orgs on behalf of mid-small research firms. A true research hero.
A first thing that struck me looking at both the responses for my ‘brand’ as well as those of the others on the panel was that the negative comments, while few overall, were also rather consistent proportionately across all of us.
I think this may have come as a surprise to some of the others, but I expected a few negative remarks related to some of the positions I’ve taken about market research. While I believe the majority of US researchers agree with me, my positions weren’t as welcome by an outspoken few researchers more closely associated or working for these trade organizations. So the question is, as it relates to our personal brands, should we shy away from controversy (as long as it’s not personal or destructive in nature)? And the answer is, I don’t think it’s hurt my brand at all; controversy often leads to change, and usually change for the better. I'm happy to be associated with these issues, and do not fear ruffling feathers.
Of greater importance, and more surprising to me, was that our company brands were almost never mentioned for any of us. I’ve been concerned whether my comments related to other areas of consumer insights research have taken away from what I really want to be known for, OdinText and Text Analytics. The good news was that when market researchers who know me think of me, they think “Text Analytics”. The bad news was that few mention the brand OdinText. But how bad is this really?
A few months ago I wrote about personal branding and Kristin Luck (someone else whom I definitely think should also have been on the panel). You can read that piece here, however, I think the main point is that personal brands undoubtedly create a different and more complex association network in the minds of people than corporate brands or logos do.
This can’t be a bad thing, I believe they are complimentary. If people think Tom H. C. Anderson = Text Analytics, they also are likely to think Text Analytics = Tom H. C. Anderson, and so when they have a need for text analytics, some will think of me, and then OdinText (even if the brand OdinText doesn’t first come to mind).
I’m not sure what the association network is for uber personal brands like Bill Gates or the late Steve Jobs, but I would venture to guess it’s similar. Surprisingly perhaps, Microsoft and Apple may well not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone first thinks about these two individual brands. Both really are far more complex than either of the company brands Microsoft and Apple. The individuals stand for so much more (philanthropy, design, success, strength, perseverance, intelligence, innovation…).
Definitely an interesting area, and one that could use more research, aided by text analytics of course, and OdinText ideally .
My takeaway and advice to other market researchers is that personal branding is a good thing. It’s a complex thing, and that’s a good thing. Unlike a simple company product or logo, we as people are deeper and have ability to encompass far more, and deeper dimensions. I believe these personal brands, as I know from experience is the case for both myself and Kristin Luck, have been very beneficial to the companies associated with us. It’s a truism, that this is a people business, and people buy from people.
I encourage everyone to give some thought to their personal brands. Unlike corporate brands they don’t have to be perfect. If they were, they would be very boring and one dimensional. Just be you – and let others know it!
THCA: Next Generation Text Analytics of course! Over the past year we’ve seen so many interesting uses of our text analytics software OdinText (http://odintext.com). I’m just hoping to share a little bit of what our users have been teaching us.
What are some takeaways from your session?
THCA: Text Analytics has moved beyond a nice to have and is now a need to have. My own opinion of text analytics has changed radically within just the past two years. I now believe we are wasting a lot of time and money with much of the traditional structured research questions just getting the same answers over and over again. Text Analytics and thus an understanding of unstructured data, when implemented correctly, can improve insights far more than anything that can be done with structured data. There really isn’t any more value that can be squeezed out of a likert scale.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
THCA: I’m fanatical about text analytics. I wasn’t always this bad, but the more I learn the more I love what I do. Happy to tell you more about it!
What are you hoping to get out of IIeX?
THCA: IIeX is a great place to meet like minded researchers, people who are excited about the insights process and are looking for ways to do things a little differently, better, faster, cheaper – SMARTER!
What are you most looking forward to at the event?