Posts tagged Innovation
65 CEOs Share Thoughts on Insights

Insight Association’s Inaugural CEO Summit: Future Tied to Collaboration and Technology Writing this at the Miami Airport as I’ve just finished up a great 3 day meeting of the minds at the new Insights Association’s first official event, the Marketing Research CEO Summit.

Though this event was formerly part of the Marketing Research Association (MRA), after the merger between The MRA and the Council for American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), it is now is part of the greater and brand new Insights Association. This is also the reason I chose to attend the event for the first time this year. I like many others are eager for positive change in our industry and optimistically welcome new initiatives (as I mentioned in a post on their founding earlier this month).

Steve Schlesinger, CEO of Schlesinger Associates and Merrill Dubrow of M/A/R/C Research did a great job putting together and hosting the event.

While the obvious benefit of any event like this is the attendees and not the speakers, we had some other interesting and well respected client guests including Walmart’s Urvi Bhandari, Merck’s Lisa Courtade, Electrolux’s Brett Townsend and Dhan Kashyap from Humana. Their very candid evaluations of how well the industry is delivering *Hint* it’s not even close to as well as we think, was worth the cost of attendance.

Getting back to the attendees though, Market researchers as a breed are a cautious bunch and CEO’s in any industry are likely going to be “Alpha’s”. Quickly gaining trust and enabling sharing among this audience of would be competitors is not an easy task. Partly this was made possible via a fun case study competition sponsored by La Quinta CEO Keith Cline who also spoke at the event.

Another interesting aspect of the event was the Hot Seat interviews wherein a handful of the CEO’s in attendance were asked a series of tough and sometimes semi personal questions. I was one of those selected for this impromptu exercise and was asked what I thought about various aspects of the future of marketing research including digital/social (which I like to separate from other text analytics), and of course the topic of machine learning/AI which seems to be on everyone’s mind. For that reason I’ve decided to do a short blog post on AI and Machine learning later this week.

What I’d like to end this post with though is in re-answering one of the questions which I think Merrill indirectly asked me, and which I was asked by a couple of other attendees. I think the question is also related to the future of research. Do you think of yourself as a Marketing Research co. CEO or a software CEO? [Prior to founding OdinText Inc. in 2015 I ran boutique research firm Anderson Analytics for 10 years]

I admit it’s a tricky question, and obviously if I didn’t consider myself at least in part a marketing research CEO I wouldn’t have attended. Yet many of our software users definitely aren’t market researchers.

So here goes, I think we as an industry have an important skill set and understanding of our clients that no outsider has. I’m proud of this background and like other speakers including ZappiStore’s CRO Ryan Barry and Dan Foreman of Hatted pointed out, the future is not in resisting technology, nor is it necessarily in building your own technology, which can be time consuming and wasteful, but it’s about embracing technology and often learning how to rent or partner with technology experts and adding what you are best at (often data and as importantly consultative insights and strategy).

Several of the CEO’s I spoke with separately admitted having tried various internal technology builds which either weren’t right, or in some cases may have been right when the effort began, but didn’t evolve quickly enough and so was outdated when they did come to market.

Yet it was also quite clear to most of these CEO’s that while it’s critical to watch out for new technology oriented entrants into the market research space, more often than not these simply do not have the knowledge necessary to deliver truly actionable insights. Companies like IBM Watson for instance, certainly have a strong brand name in computers, but their offering as a plug in for marketing research API’s is sorely lacking to say the least.

The point is, knowledge and trust is what we have in good supply at both the event and in our industry in overall. The key to evolving is to remember the knowledge and best practices our industry was based on while being open to understanding outside technologies and ideas, yet resisting the urge to just try to copy them. Importantly as Merrill Dubrow pointed out, there are tremendous benefits in overcoming your fear of collaborating with other research and technology companies and partnering.

This is the idea I’m most optimistic about coming away from the conference. I made several new friends at the event, and I welcome anyone who attended to please reach out if they have are any questions in regard to text analytics and data mining software and discussing potential mutually beneficial relationships.

Until Next Year!




OdinText is a patented SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform for advanced analytics. Fortune 500 companies such as Disney and Shell Oil 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 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. Anderson and OdinText have received numerous awards for innovation from industry associations such as ESOMAR, CASRO, the ARF and the American Marketing Association. He tweets under the handle @tomhcanderson. Request OdinText Info or a free demo here.

Next Gen Market Research 2016 Award Winners Challenge and Inspire!

ngmr-award-Nomination NMGR Awards honor a social start-up, a top change agent and a playful solution! Time flies. It’s hard to believe that eight years have passed since we first presented the Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) Awards for Innovation at The Market Research Event (TMRE). The NGMR Awards recognize companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and/or made significant contributions—technological, methodological or otherwise—toward pushing the field of research in promising new directions. When we open the nomination process every year, I confess I’m always a little bit fearful that maybe this will be the year the tap runs dry. Happily, year after year, my fears go unrealized. Innovation in the field of market research is alive and thriving! Ergo, this year we received more than 50 nominations and submissions for companies and individuals who are making impressive strides in the advancement of the practice of research. This morning I had the honor and pleasure of presenting awards to three honorees whose contributions and accomplishments exemplify innovation in market research today in each of three categories at TMRE in Boca Raton, FL…

  • Outstanding Disruptive Start-Up: Cubeyou
  • Industry Change Agent of the Year: Dan Foreman, Director & Operating Adviser, Hatted
  • Most Innovative Research Method: PlayFULL Insights™ (Karen Lynch & Assoc.)

Author’s note: If you’re here at TMRE today and would like to hear from the winners directly, please join us for a panel this afternoon! The Winners: Who and Why

Outstanding Disruptive Start-Up: Cubeyou

cubeyouIn any industry, start-ups constitute the primary innovation artery. And I’m pleased to say Cubeyou does not disappoint. This company could’ve also been a contender for Most Innovative Research Method, but it’s as a new entrant in the field that their disruptive impact really stands out.

Cubeyou initially distinguished itself as one of the first three preferred Facebook Marketing Partners in Europe. And in the first year since launching its consumer insights software platform stateside out of Redwood City, CA, Cubeyou has already partnered with more 60 advertising and marketing agencies across the U.S.

Notably, Cubeyou has created what it claims is the first statistically representative study of the American consumer powered entirely by social data via a panel of more than 10 million Americans weighted out by age, gender and location.

Cubeyou Sr. Product Manager John Foster explains how it works:

“We observe, monitor, and categorize all of our panelists’ interactions across over 55 million brands on social. We run these interactions through our algorithm (developed with Cambridge University) that allows you to profile any audience. Please note that we weight out panelists interactions to determine if there is a statistically significant amount of interest between an individual and a brand. The 3 factors being weighted are: 1. type of interactions, 2. frequency of interactions, and 3. timing of interactions. The result gives you a 360° view of a brand’s audience, the competition’s audience and the market as a whole.”

Foster adds, “We truly feel that the old ways of surveys and questionnaires are outdated, biased, slow, costly and are just an old fashioned way of learning about consumers.”

Apparently, Cubeyou’s customers agree. Consider these testimonials submitted on Cubeyou’s behalf:

“Simmons and Scarborough were the tools we were using the most before Cubeyou came into play. They take a lot of time to sift through the data and come up with profiles while Cubeyou+ is nearly instantaneous.”

- Matt Sincaglia, Senior Brand Strategist, RedPeg

“It’s becoming harder to have the time to do a quality work. Cubeyou is the tool that finally gave us that time back, and has quickly become a daily routine for our team.”

- Joe Huber, Media Director, Garrigan Lyman Group

“Cubeyou is great in covering recent stuff and goes way deeper than anything we have ever used. At first, only our insights team was using it, but now most of our planning team does.”

- Anne Hufham, Director of Measurement and Performance Science, The Marketing Arm Industry Change Agent of the Year: Dan Foreman, Director & Operating Adviser, Hatted

danforeman Being an industry change agent is often a lonely and unappreciated job, and certainly not one for the faint of heart. As someone who’s done a bit of disrupting, personally, I can tell you it sometimes takes a strong stomach and thick skin to demand more than the status quo. But ESOMAR Past-President Dan Foreman has earned a reputation for making change agency look easy. A quick look at Dan’s professional affiliations on LinkedIn here will speak volumes. He is particularly known for supporting young startups and pushing the industry to adopt new technologies and methods. Disruptive credentials: - Bringing a range of disruptive solutions to the market research industry, forcing modernization (Ex: Zappistore, Dalia, Bakamo, Veylinx)

- Elevating the value and profile of research beyond its traditional audience, including investors, brands and the broader data eco-system (Ex: Zappistore – automation; Dalia – largest mobile panel [new sourcing]; Veylinx – skin in the game for consumers by involving them in real auctions)

- Raising the overall credibility from young companies and speeding innovation to market (Examples: Dalia investment within 3 months of starting; Cutting sales cycles in half for Zappistore; Increasing credibility in the overall perception of high-level stakeholders around Veylinx)

Per Nico Jaspers, Ph.D., Co-founder & CEO, Dalia Research GmbH (one of the people who nominated Dan):

“Dan Foreman is someone who is able to elevate the standing of research much beyond its traditional realm and into the strategic place that it should hold among investors, brands, technology leaders and the whole data-science ecosystem. Among hundreds of encounters with industry thought-leaders over the past years, I have not met a single person who so ably and persuasively pushes the boundaries of market research.”

Most Innovative Research Method: PlayFULL Insights™ (Karen Lynch & Assoc.)

playfullinsights1My colleague on the NGMR judging panel, Kristin Luck, summed up our sentiment about this year’s Most Innovative Research Method nicely here:

“Too often, in this age of technology overload, we think of innovative research methods as tech driven, rather than creativity driven. PlayFULL Insights is a great example of how looking at research from a different angle, utilizing tools as simple as Legos along with storytelling skills, can lead to breakthrough innovation.”

The PlayFull Insights TM method involves Lego Serious Play (LSP)

—“a facilitated thinking, communication and problem-solving technique for use with organizations, teams and individuals that uses LEGO® bricks and elements.” LSP purportedly draws on extensive research from the fields of business, organizational development, psychology and learning. playfulinsights2


Essentially, respondents use LEGO® bricks to build 3D models that represent their thoughts, beliefs and feelings in response to the moderator’s questions and which then become the basis for discussion.


Karen Lynch from the PlayFULL Insights team explains that the method “leverages the power of play and enables respondents to go deeper, quicker. With PlayFULL Insights, everyone builds and everyone shares so everyone is engaged. There's 100% equal airtime around the table and reduced group think. Plus it levels the playing field between extroverted and introverted thinkers while engaging auditory, kinesthetic, and visual preferences.”


It’s worth noting that the PlayFULL Insights submission included details about work in partnership with Siri Lynn, qualitative consultant and president of Idea Exchange, Inc., and skincare giant


Beiersdorf in which the methodology was deployed for an important project to understand “What is Care?” Beiersdorf Director of Consumer & Market Insights, Michelle Onofrio, had this to say:

“The project was very inclusive. PFI and our brand and agency team worked together, took the learnings and workshopped next steps. The output garnered high praise from the Global VP of NIVEA, the Global Head of NIVEA Crème and the VP-Marketing U.S.”

And that wraps up another year of disruptive innovation! If you aren’t yet an NGMR member, check us out on LinkedIn here. Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to the winners! @TomHCAnderson


Tom H. C. Anderson OdinText Inc. 888.891.3115 x 701

About Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) is a professional networking group for market research practitioners who are interested in exploring innovative, emerging market research techniques and technologies. Originally founded as a discussion forum on the LinkedIn network in September 2007, NGMR’s membership now exceeds 23,000 market researchers worldwide (clients and suppliers) and is the most active online community in the field. For further information, please visit the NGMR group on LinkedIn.

[The 2016 NGMR Awards are brought to you by Next Gen Marketing Research Group and WIRe (Women in Research). This years awards are proudly sponsored by OdinText and UB Moble.]

Top Innovators in Market Research Announced!

NGMR 2016 Innovation Award Finalists Offer Fresh Thinking! Change is never easy for any industry, but for those of us in research and marketing, change has increasingly become imperative. We and our clients are beset with myriad new challenges for which conventional solutions no longer suffice (and in cases don’t even apply). We need fresh thinking!

Now in its eighth year, the Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) Award recognizes companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and/or made significant contributions—technological, methodological or otherwise—toward pushing the field of research in promising new directions.

The winners will be announced at The Market Research Event (TMRE) taking place October 17-20 in Boca Raton. Over 50 candidates were nominated by industry peers and have been vetted by a panel of respected industry veterans.

Today I’m pleased to share the FINALISTS for this year’s award in each of three categories (listed alphabetically)…

Outstanding Disruptive Start-Up CubeYou Wiser

Industry Change Agent of the Year Dan Foreman, Director & Operating Adviser, Hatted Lawrence Gibson, Consultant & Author Marie Wolfe, Consumer & Market Insights Director of Research Innovation, Unilever

Most Innovative Research Method DataGame PlayFULL Insights™ (Karen Lynch & Assoc. and Idea Exchange, Inc. ) Social Currency (Chadwick Martin Bailey w/ VIVALDI) The Understanding & Insight (U&I) Group Brädo

Congratulations to the finalists and thank you to everyone who submitted an entry! Stay tuned for the winners in October! @TomHCAnderson


About Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) Next Gen Market Research (NGMR) is a professional networking group for market research practitioners who are interested in exploring innovative, emerging market research techniques and technologies. Originally founded as a discussion forum on the LinkedIn network in September 2007, NGMR’s membership now exceeds 23,000 market researchers worldwide (clients and suppliers) and is the most active online community in the field. For further information, please visit the NGMR group on LinkedIn.

[2016 NGMR Awards at the TMRE brought to you this year by Next Gen Marketing Research Group and WIRe (Women in Research) and co-sponsored by OdinText Inc. and UB Mobile. See Call for Nominations.]