This was my second year attending IIeX (Insight Innovation Exchange) and it was great to learn about so many innovative new approaches, technology, and suppliers in the market research space. Below are the top 6 themes that I took away from IIeX 2016--what's new and what's next in insights!
Key Insights Industry Trends:
1. The Commoditization of Research Execution
Key take-away: Automating non-value added work can be faster, cheaper and more accurate. However, it can never replace an actual human for creativity, influencing and engaging, convincing and telling stories.
2. Bite-sized, Right Sized
Key take-away: In our information-overload, time-starved world, collecting and communicating data in bite-sized amounts can increase engagement all around.
3. Storytelling Everywhere
Key take-away: Emotion is required for action, whether it’s consumer buying behavior or client/stakeholder decision making, and nothing gets to emotions better than a good story.
4. Rise of Machine Learning
Key take-away: Advances in machine learning mean that computers can take over hours of laborious hand-coding of text and emotion—it’s not perfect yet, but it is much more scalable.
5. Visualization Drives Clarity
Key take-away: Visualization in survey design can help increase accuracy (e.g. visual scales, pictures + words), while in reporting and strategy documents, it’s a way to bring the content to life.
6. Behavioral Research: Actions Speak Louder
Key take-away: Identify research respondents via actual behavior (vs. claimed) to increase accuracy. Also, brain science tells us that most decisions are made unconsciously, so don’t rely only on what people say, but also consider implicit and behavioral findings.
I attended the Future of StoryTelling (FoST) event in New York City last month and experienced a cornucopia of performances, roundtables, workshops, speakers, and interactive experiences all centered around “reinventing the way stories are told”. As described on their website:
The Future of StoryTelling is an invitation-only, two-day gathering of technology, media, and communications visionaries from around the world. The summit is designed to put participants in direct contact with the most vital ideas, people, and technologies that are shaping the way we tell stories.
There were three sessions in particular that gave me great inspiration for storytelling for brands and companies and I wanted to share a few key nuggets from each here:
Dave Nadelberg, founder of Mortified, taught a “story extractor” method for turning anecdotes into stories. He recommended starting with one aspect of the event and then filling in the rest of the framework. Mortified focuses on adults telling stories from their childhood, so the framework looks like this:
There are a few things I love about this approach. First, you don’t have to know the entire story when you get started. When writing a brand story, maybe you only have “the goal” to start with or “the fix”, but by walking through a step-by-step framework like this, you can flesh out a holistic and multi-dimensional brand story. Also, this approach separates out “goal” and “motivation”—translated into business speak, that’s “mission statement” (goal or objective works here too) and “brand purpose”. The motivation, or purpose, is the why behind your brand story—why you do what you do as an entrepreneur or a company—and no brand story is complete without it. Lastly, this framework is equally applicable for brand or customer stories (and don’t forget, the customer is always the hero of either kind of story!).
Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE, talked about growing a corporate brand and I took away three big lessons from her roundtable discussion.
Frank Rose and Paul Woolmington, senior fellows at Columbia University, talked about “The Story World” that the most engaging brands and media properties build around their entire proposition. This Story World offers four levels of engagement to participants/audiences/customers:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into the Future of StoryTelling and just maybe, found something that inspires you too.
Sarah Faulkner, Principal, Faulkner Strategic Consulting