Top 4 Takeaways from the 2021 GLC Fall Conference

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Top 4 Takeaways from the 2021 GLC Fall Conference

In-person market research conferences returned to Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago with The Insights Association’s Great Lakes Chapter Fall Conference. If you weren’t able to make it to the conference, whether in-person or virtually, no problem! We have the top 4 insights from the 2-day event!

1. COVID-19 Has Impacted All of Market Research

As many are already aware, when COVID hit and the world shut down, the impact was felt across every industry, including market research. Qualitative research took the brunt of the impact, but every facet of market research has had to pivot and adjust to the “new normal.”

Qualitative researchers moved in-person research to online using new tools like Zoom, Teams, and many others. Other researchers adjusted how they conducted research, and companies across the industry were forced to adjust how they could work as a team and continue to function as a cohesive workplace.

From the client’s perspective, things have also shifted. As we move toward a more online-friendly world, it’s becoming easier for clients to have greater access to data. At times, it’s expected or needed to field projects quickly to help make business decisions. Having the capabilities to turn projects around and present results is becoming more common.

2. Empathy in Research is Needed Now More Than Ever

It sounds like a bit of a broken record, but the pandemic has changed the world; and because of this, people have changed — not just their opinions, buying habits, or activities, but their entire lives have changed. From how and where they work, to home situations, and work-life balances, nothing is the same as it was a couple of years ago. As researchers, we need to remember this as we conduct research and have empathy for our respondents. While most presentations were typical conference presentations that focused on client solutions and case studies, an undertone of each presentation was focused on the impact of the past year and half.

3. Success Means Data from All Directions

We were lucky enough to have Jake Rouse of Braxton Brewing, a Cincinnati-based brewery, come to speak about how they are leveraging data to grow. He talked about how, in order to be successful, we need to be looking at data from all directions. Sometimes when you look at data without the full picture or additional context, it can lead you in the wrong direction. It’s important to vary the way we ask questions and talk to consumers because what they think they want may not always be what they really want.

This was outlined in an example he gave when discussing what kind of hard seltzer he should be looking at making. On paper, it seemed like respondents wanted a low carb, low sugar option, but, when analyzing the behavioral data, they were looking for a more flavorful option, which led them to create their punch flavored line.

4. Encouraging the Next Generation of Researchers

The final session on Friday talked about the exciting programs out there allowing college students to engage in real data to solve business problems outside of a traditional classroom. Econ Games is a collaboration between universities to connect students with real-world opportunities to use data analytics to solve real-world problems. This is an exciting way to get students interested and to learn how data can ultimately impact decisions that need to be made.

This sparked a nice discussion with a lot of the people who attended the conference about getting the next generation of market researchers and insights professionals excited about joining our industry.

To get more details on what was discussed at the Great Lakes Chapter fall meeting, click the button below to request a free consultation.