Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Quirks Event in Brooklyn. This conference always presents a great opportunity to network and engage with clients and partners, as well as to attend sessions and hear more about the ways brands are approaching their research challenges.
As I reflect back on my learnings from this year’s event, one thing that stands out to me is that the content and conversations in many ways represented a return to basics. In years past, there has been a lot of talk about trends like AI, for example, and how it might displace researchers, or other technologies and approaches that are new and shiny. This year, though, I found most of the insights professionals I talked to are focused on what really matters, the core of what research is about – getting close to the consumer.
Considering this need to get more in-depth and frequent insights – but to do so with limited resources and lately, potential travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus (without doubt this was a topic that came up frequently – more and more researchers I spoke with are turning to digital methods.
Whether it’s a digital discussion platform that can handle multiple event types and serve as a single repository for data or tools to engage with respondents via video, brands are applying these approaches in creative ways – and are looking for partners to help with design – to get into their consumers mindsets.
For example, one attendee I spoke with, a researcher with a manufacturer of kitchen appliances, was using mobile ethnography tools to be in respondents homes and capture experiences firsthand, without having to be there.
And one great benefit from these approaches, beyond their ease and effectiveness, is that they give insights teams the ability to deliver compelling deliverables to stakeholders. More than once I heard that a digital project with video meant that other teams within the brand could really get a true face and voice for the customer target.
As in previous years, the Quirk’s Event was well worth the trip to New York. Fingers crossed we can all gather again next month in Chicago!