This was my first IIeX conference, and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, leaving the conference, I felt a renewed sense of excitement for the research industry. What became clear to me was that technological advancements are breaking down silos. Technology is enabling companies to collaborate more effectively to deliver a level of understanding previously unimaginable.
Staying Relevant with Triangulation
Facial coding, biometrics, eye tracking. While not new research approaches, they have reaped the benefit of technological advancements. Real Eyes discussed the improvements of facial coding accuracy and data linkage to social metrics. MindProber has taken biometric measurements out of the lab and into the homes of consumers with new, wearable tech and a mobile app. There appeared to be an overall acceptance that these technologies are powerful and, dare I say, better together. Among the presentations I saw, it was clear that triangulation is being embraced. It was also clear that companies can increase speed and accuracy by using a variety of techniques and technology partners.
Gold Medal Advertising
Hershey’s Olympic Games advertising campaign with Gold Medalist, Simon Biles achieved unprecedented success. To deliver this world class campaign, they started with Theory, a company whose founder created Mind-Modeling, a method to map consumer thoughts and feelings. Following Mind-Modelling, an Implicit Association Test, run via Sentient, was undertaken to identify key drivers. Once these were identified, the Simon Biles advertisement was evaluated with Real Eyes facial coding. The creative team then worked directly with results from Real Eyes to optimize the advertisement. The result, which can be viewed below, achieved overwhelmingly positive scores:
Collaboration via Integration
API integration and data connectors are opening the door for many tech companies to collaborate. More so than I’ve ever seen before, tech companies are embracing openness and collaboration, and no longer operating in a black box. This was a central theme for many presentations, especially so in the Sentient Decision Science presentation on IAT by Aaron Reid. In addition to providing an excellent background, overview and live demo of IAT, Aaron also discussed the accessibility of their tool, Sentient Prime. This is a mobile-first IAT tool, designed to be programmed in minutes and easily deployed into any survey via API integration. In a collaborative vein, Aaron called out many different platforms that fit well with their solution. These included FV Decipher, for survey technology, and complimentary technologies like Sticky Eye Tracking and Real Eyes Facial Coding.
A Future of Evolution
As mentioned in the 2017 GRIT report, a large percentage of the top-50 most innovative firms are technology suppliers. It’s clear that organizations not utilizing technology will quickly fall behind. Even newer technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, virtual reality, augmented reality were shown to provide tangible benefits to B2B and B2C organizations.
At my first IIeX, I saw a glimpse into the future. A future where continual technological evolution and collaboration will give researchers added headspace to interpret insights and help drive businesses forward.
Michael Kuehne, Senior Research Strategist, FocusVision
Michael is a seasoned research professional with deep experience in leading research initiatives through the successful integration of consumer insights and sensory evaluations. His record of achievement includes strategic development and execution, innovation, technology management and operations. With a unique experience set on both client and agency-sides of the research arena, Michael has a keen understanding of how research is actually used in an organization, and how research outcomes drive product innovation. He has led domestic and international insights teams, spearheaded primary research initiatives and managed new product solutions from concept through launch.