On Jun, 9 2020
This year, as part of the first ever fully virtual Insights Association NEXT conference, our Chief Marketing Officer – Chris Martin - was invited to write about the event for the industry body. In the piece, Machine Aided, Human Intelligence, Chris touches on the major themes that shaped the three days and provided a important touchpoint for researchers during turbulent times.
Over the course of the three day event, Chris highlights how the conference delivered an agenda that spotlighted new technologies without losing sight of the importance of unique human connection. And it wasn’t just in the content of the presentations that the value of being human was present.
In the summary, Chris speaks of how he was encouraged by the number of presenters taking a moment to recognise, call out and rally support for the Black Lives Matter movement – as momentum and support continues to grow. I think it signals that the insights industry, does care deeply about the wider social issues in our society.
Facts, Innovation and Action
Across the course of the final day, there were three major points that speakers underscored. The first, from Lee Carter's opening keynote, was around the importance (or un-importance) of facts - and how other factors like persuasion play a larger role in decision making.
Armed with a compelling nine-step model for persuasion, Lee spoke about the importance of vision, empathy, being realistic, mastering a single narrative and more. The ubiquity of these skills and steps that really got to the bottom of some of the insight industry’s toughest challenges. Are we really doing all we can to persuade stakeholders effectively? What about customers and consumers; is insight feeding the right messages to marketing?
The following set of sessions showcase both a range of innovative techniques and the real impact they are having. Case studies from Mondelēz, Microsoft, Mars Wrigley, Kimberley Clark and LinkedIn all gave a real-world look at the fantastic work happening across the industry today.
Chris concluded by stating to summarise the day as a whole would be difficult. But that it most certainly felt like was a showcase of the real action and impact that research is making. Whether that’s through innovation, or tried-and-proven methodologies. It wasn’t just a day of learning; it was inspiring too.
About Insights Association NEXT
NEXT is the annual gathering of research minds and industry peers organised by the Insights Association. As the insights and analytics industry continues to transform at a rapid pace, NEXT asks how are we preparing our skillsets and talents to prepare for the future. And for the first time, in 2020, the event was held entirely online.
The conference is a hotbed for fresh ideas, new research techniques and unbiased, practical training to expand perspectives and boost the skills of entire insights teams.