5 Observations From The Quirks Event London May 2022 

Girls in STEM Mentor jan Choudhury

by | 7 Jun, 2022 | Untapped Thinking

Untapped partner, Sally Kemkers attended The Quirks Event in London May 2022. It was her first face to face conference of the season with plenty of familiar and new faces to see.

Here are Sally’s five over-arching themes that struck her across the variety of capabilities on show, relevant for both clients and suppliers. 

1. More than ever, research capabilities are promising agile, flexible and fast.  

Clients are demanding this and increasing numbers of suppliers offer “always on” capabilities across the insight industry. The latest GRIT report (Greenbook Research Industry Trends, 2022 Insights Practise) reports “Agile” methodologies newly ranked 2nd in 2022 behind “Story-Telling and Data Visualisation” which has been ranked 1st over the past few years. As AI enabled text analytics and method automation help suppliers build agile solutions and the pandemic has accelerated the migration of in-person to online methods, it’s not a surprise that agile is rising in importance. Suppliers like Fastuna and Cambri shared case studies of their agile survey solutions and Bilendi & respondi talked about collecting in-the-moment insights via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. 

2. DIY is offered across all agile qual, quant and social insight tools.  

Linked to flexibility, this concept intrigued me, since while clients are saying they look for tools with a DIY option, many opt for a serviced solution due to a lack of time and people in their insight teams. However, the better tools were so intuitive to set up and pull actionable, visualised insight and data off the dashboard, that repeat users are moving to DIY after a few uses. Suppliers should be aware of the expectation that their methods should be flexible enough to span DIY to full service. 

3. “Democratising insight” across organisations was another big theme. 

Many clients showcased how they are creating internal hubs or hives to house, organise and share out their data and insight. Kantar talked about a move from “knowledge is power” to “knowledge is action” and this driving the growing number of internal insight “mission control” hubs. However, a barrier to democratising insight can be low levels of pull from across big organisation and it feels like hard work to push it to the right people. This is backed up by Kantar’s Insights 2030 Report that interviewed 1000s of businesses, finding 65.7% of companies are putting Insight at the centre, contrasting with a survey quoted by Fuel Cycle saying only 11% of top firms are satisfied with the Insights process today. Examples of internal Insight hub creation included: 

  1. Stravito partnering with Burberry to build their Insight Engagement Hub. Head of insight at Burberry, Ross Dempsey shared how they have created a newsroom style regular digest and integrated communication to the organisation with Yammer, their internal WhatsApp functionality. 
  1. Lucy’s AI powered knowledge management assistant is helping clients access their most up to date insights and data. 

4. Companies are achieving efficiency by bringing one-stop-shop capability in-house. 

As technology is enabling an ever increasing array of methods to collect data and insight, there were several examples of clients collaborating with a single supplier to drive scale, cost efficiency and benefit from standardised techniques and KPIs: 

  1. Kantar Marketplace offer self serve to fully managed access to an 88 million strong global panel for instant idea, ad screening including facial coding and agile studies. Case studies were shared where they partnered with Reckitt and Heineken.  
  1. Toluna shared a case study of how they have worked with Asahi to design a bespoke evaluation method across their NPD cycle from idea screening to claims to pack testing. This includes bolting on quick questions to get fast answers to specific business problems. 

5. There’s a continued evolution from traditional question / survey based qual and quant research to unsolicited observational methods.  

Such methods are driven by tech innovation and touted as being the answer to avoiding question bias. To note, there is still plenty of innovation happening in question based qual and quant research. Social analytics is becoming more mainstream, being used for unearthing target sentiment, segmentating users, predicting trends and identifying whitespace opportunities. In a blog this month, Suzanne Allers talks about how we use social listening to unearth what is not being said by people, i.e. a way of getting to unarticulated insight. At Quirks, Trendscope from Black Swan shared case studies with Twitter and PepsiCo and describe themselves as the “World’s first social prediction tool”.  

Untapped Innovation work with a variety of partners, including many present at Quirks, to curate and blend impactful research approaches to get deep, robust and actional insight. This enables Untapped to help clients develop transformative products and ideas by unearthing and connecting deep human, future and product insights. Do get in touch if you have an innovation question you’d like help with. 

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Written by Sally Kemkers