4 key learnings from TMRE 2019

4 key learnings from TMRE 2019

Adam Lee, Group Senior Vice President at MetrixLabBy Adam Lee,
Group Senior Vice President, Brand Engagement & Innovation

The MetrixLab team is back from this year’s TMRE in Las Vegas. The theme of this year’s event was “The Rise of the New Insights Leader,” and according to TMRE: “To win in today’s insights world, it’s all about relationships.” If you’re aiming for success, you need to build global networks, break out of business silos, garner stakeholder buy-in, and take advantage of vendor partnerships to make the most of your insights.

Adam Lee presenting at TMRE 2019 in Las Vegas

That’s why we teamed up with Coca-Cola to present together on blazing new trails in social media marketing. If you ask us, the innovative offerings we presented for social media optimization methods were very much on trend with this year’s theme! We promoted a cutting-edge solution to optimizing connections with consumers on social platforms through advertising. This really echoed the sentiment of what we took away from the event in terms of developing industry technologies, changing media, and combining the most ground-breaking AI tools with an expert human touch that turns data into insight.

Coca-Cola and MetrixLab at TMRE 2019

Weren’t able to attend TMRE this year? Here are my top 4 takeaways:

1. Data fusion is essential to any insights firm moving forward

Leveraging behavioral, attitudinal, and other secondary data sources really enables insights leaders to make better decisions for their business. There was a lot of talk at TMRE around utilizing multiple data sources to get at every angle of the issue. So behavioral and non-survey data is being used more and more.

There’s also a consistent push to go beyond behavioral data and continue to support it with primary research. Many clients draw on behavioral data to help them address business questions, but support that with quantitative or qualitative research to really dig into the “whys”. Facebook presented that they leveraged behavioral data to make the decision to make Facebook Messenger a stand alone app for consumers, but they needed to go beyond the secondary behavioral data to really understand the whys.

2. Advances in technology are changing insights methodologies

Media is changing at the pace of new technologies, and that demands changes in insights methodologies. In China for example, social media interaction has become the mainstream entertainment among young adults. Everyone is participating in live streams of interactive data. This has the potential to provide huge amounts of data for insights, but shows how social media has literally become the media. So how will measurement need to evolve?

Another continuing theme heard from insights leaders at TMRE is the need for speed and agile methods. If the industry does not meet the demand of tighter deadlines these days, insights will have significantly less value to driving key business decisions. As an industry, we need to continue to make strides in utilizing technology to assist in making better decisions, with methods that utilize AI-based technologies to help get deeper and faster insights.

3. AI-powered market research solutions are most powerful paired with human expertise

So much of this year’s sessions were about the use of AI and automation to increase speed and decrease costs in market research. But my take is that there is a tendency to overestimate what AI can and should be doing at this stage with the goal of driving accurate insights for brands.

Many of the AI-powered qualitative and quantitative market research solutions I experienced use AI to replace humans. These kinds of solutions essentially employ chat bots in place of moderators, using text recognition to generate robotic follow up questions. But many brand owners at TMRE still stress the importance of human analysts in parallel to automation, and that’s the space MetrixLab wants to occupy: leverage AI to synthesize buried but relevant themes and speed deliverables, combined with human analysts.

4. Relationships drive business forward

The insights world is a small industry. That means long-standing relationships which allow you to really build trust and credibility go a long way in driving businesses forward. And new relationships can build even greater partnerships, which in turn lead to greater innovation. That’s why MetrixLab continues to expand our partnership across the industry and across the globe. One of the reasons we were so pleased to present with Coca-Cola this year was to share what is possible to achieve with the right partnership.

Keynote speaker Pratiti Raychoudhury also spoke about how relationship building within Facebook as an organization is what truly creates impact across teams: specifically frequent, unplanned interactions with everyone in the business process. This is a good practice for all insights professionals to focus on, especially in the face of all the changing technologies that are shaping the industry.

MetrixLab team and clients at the TMRE 2019 in Las Vegas

MetrixLab team and clients at the TMRE 2019 in Las Vegas

Watch this space for the video recap of our presentation with Coca-Cola for more inspiration on keeping the human touch central in an age of changing data and new technologies.

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