A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the ESOMAR congress: ‘ODYSSEY 2010 – The Changing Face of Market Research’, in Athens, Greece. The congress provided a wonderful opportunity to meet some very interesting and successful people and to see how our industry is facing the challenges and opportunities beyond 2010, on a global scale.
From day one of the congress I noticed how much more focus there is on the use and integration of online tools (including social media) and methodologies as opposed to ‘traditional’ research. In fact, over two thirds of the exhibitors/stands were suppliers of online related services, software etc, e.g. panel providers. The last decade has been of great change in terms of societal changes, technological progress and economic crisis. How we challenge transition and ‘embrace’ these changes will determine our role/positions and its form over the next decade. A part of me does question whether market research will be overrun by software powerhouses? Many of the presentations were also focused on this area including the following papers:
- – “Using online bulletin boards to develop high value corporate strategy”
- – “A primer on data collection on digital platforms”
- – “From clipboards to online research communities”
There were also papers on the integration and/or value-add to these online platforms such as:
- – “Marrying CRM analytics with research insights”
- – “Beyond the buzz and towards robustness”
- – “DIY – new life or the death of research”
- – “Insight, cultural diversity, revolutionary change”
- – “Achieving new insights and better brand knowledge through courageous ways of collaboration”
The attraction of these online and social media platforms is around their ability to connect and engage with the audience and to provide visibility and immediacy of outputs, all at relatively lower costs than the more traditional methods of research. At the end of the congress I felt energized and challenged, yet questioning:
- – Is the industry, as we know it going to be taken over by software providers?
- – Are the fundamentals of being a researcher around listening, interpreting, asking the right questions no longer enough?
- – In order to differentiate ourselves will we need to shift from a traditional focus to relational focus?
- – How quickly can we integrate traditional methods with the savvy/fast online platforms without compromising validity, quality and comparability?
There were over 800 delegates attending the congress, from all over the world; however there were only 9 delegates from Australia. Sadly, we did not even have enough Australian representation to form an Australian table at the international lunch! That aside, the event proved to be extremely informative, insightful, beneficial and fun. Some pictures follow of me with the current ESOMAR President, the next ESOMAR President and ESOMAR’s Council Member from Australia. ESOMAR website link: http://www.esomar.org/index.php/events-congress-2010-overview.html
From left: Dietr Zorczak (President 2011-12), Gunilla Broadbent (Present), Angela Orsaris (TMIC), John Marinopoulos (Council Member)
Gunilla Broadbent and Angela Orsaris
Registration for ESOMAR conference in Athens
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