Speed dating at the Market Insight Forum

On 3rd June, we sent conference ‘veteran’ Matt and debutee Sam to Westminster for the 2015 Market Insight Forum. It’s the biggest UK event for senior insight clients – and a crash course in speed dating for agencies operating in the insight industry. Now they’ve (just about) recovered, here are their observations:

Disruption is everywhere in business – and it’s getting faster

So said David Rowan (Editor, WIRED) in his keynote. He sees new technologies increasing the speed of disruption exponentially. The same technologies it also provides massive opportunities for the insight industry. As clients and agencies, we need to learn from and embrace it to generate faster, better, richer insight. It’s a great and inspiring reminder that as disruptive as Big Sofa is, we have to keep innovating and pushing into new territory to stay ahead of the curve and deliver value for clients in this new world.

Speed dating brings out the best (and worst) in us

18 twenty minute meetings with potential clients from a range of roles and industries, with a host of varied business challenges? Pressure to sow the seeds for a beautiful long term relationship? No problem: Sam talked even faster than usual while Matt told (anonymised) stories about ‘inappropriate’ content submitted (but thankfully not published) on the platform in the past. Each to their own.

The shift to video is in full swing...

Many clients were at different points on their video journey – some already use loads of video in their insight projects; others are just starting to explore it. But no one needs convincing about its power as a medium for capturing rich, authentic, powerful stories any more.

...but cost remains a short term barrier...

Several clients told us they’d love to do more video. But some still perceive it as expensive and short term – a big expense for a couple of 5 minute output films. As an industry, we need to reframe the cost of capturing and managing video as an investment in research as content that:

  • makes time-consuming video analysis fast and easy
  • connects staff around the business to video insight
  • facilitates better quality, authentic video research rooted in actual rather than reported consumer behaviour
  • can be valuable for other projects, parts of the organisation and purposes (e.g. in internal comms or staff training; or for getting answers to new research questions without the need for more primary research)

With so much positive feedback from clients, it’s clear that we’re not just on the right track - we’re right in the centre of a huge unmet need. Now that clients are embracing video in research, the next challenge is helping them see it as an easily usable tool on a daily basis. There’s a lot more to do; and for all the ways that we know clients use our technology we still haven’t finished exploring all the possibilities and opportunities it opens up for organisations. An excellent position to be in and one we look forward developing.

Roll on next year.