MRS Impact 2017: Inspiring Insight

Confirmit Team

Confirmit Team

Author Bio

Confirmit’s dedicated teams work to deliver world-leading customer experience, Voice of the Employee and Market Research solutions. 

Author Bio

This week saw one of the highlights of the Market Research calendar – MRS Impact in London. It’s always a fascinating event to attend because it draws such a range of people from across the industry and, to my mind, is a great way to keep tabs on what’s changing in our industry.

One change – and a very welcome one at that – was the fact that 50% of the speakers at this year’s event were women. Hurrah! While women make up a significant proportion of the MR industry, it usually been the case, as with almost every other industry, that women are vastly underrepresented when it comes to taking the stage at big events. Jane Frost, Chief Executive at MRS has had a massive impact on highlighting the role of women in MR and this event was a testament to her work. As was the presence of the incredibly popular writer and journalist Caitlin Moran as the afternoon keynote on day 1 and Dr Hannah Fry, academic, author and broadcaster on probability, stats and the mathematics of love on day 2.

What struck me about the overall tone of the conference was the way in which it encapsulated the way the MR industry is moving, towards a focus on insight, more than pure research. This was neatly summed up on one presentation, chaired by Corrine Moy of GfK which highlighted that the very term “Market Research” is in decline, though no single term is yet taking the lead as its replacement. This isn’t a surprise given the huge range of businesses operating in the market. Just among Confirmit customers, we see a very large spread of “traditional” (and very successful!) MR businesses sitting alongside disruptive agencies who are using all manner of new technologies and techniques to make their mark. It’ll be fascinating to see how these changes evolve over the next five to ten years.

Another presentation that fitted that theme was “Storytelling for insight and change”. This highlighted how the role of storytelling, rather than reports, charts and dashboards can be an incredible driver for change by really engaging an audience with the information being shared. It all certainly makes me think that while a good, intuitive dashboard is a lovely thing, there will always be new ways to share insight.

Of course, I was on the hunt to uncover which technologies were being talked about. There were two key themes; automation and social media. Both are topics close to our hearts at Confirmit so it was interesting to hear other views on the subjects. As always, the questions about automation whirl around the balance of efficiency vs. quality, while social media continues to be that oh-so-promising game-changer, than as an industry, we’re still working to crack.

It was a busy couple of days, and the Confirmit team had a wonderful time (particularly the younger members, who are those pesky Millennials we’re always trying to get hold of).

Predictably as well as plenty of industry chat, there was a critical compare-and-contrast exercise around the refreshments (biscuits on day 2 a clear winner!) and much excitement about the keynote speakers. A cracking time, and great to catch up with so many familiar and new faces in this busy industry of ours.

Looking forward to next year already!

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