Just before the new year, Ramius quietly celebrated the first anniversary of our Recollective software’s commercial launch. That first year was an incredible learning experience for the Ramius team and we continue to gain a tremendous amount of feedback from our customers and prospects on each and every project. Everything that’s been shared with us contributes to improvements in the software, supporting services and helps us to envision how to innovate Recollective into a vital online platform for research and insights in the months and years ahead.
It’s December! The days are shorter, the weather is colder and we’re beginning to look forward to the holidays! December is also a good time to reflect on what has happened in the past year and to plan ahead for the new year.
With DIY (do-it-yourself) a trending theme among many conferences we have attended this year, not to mention the new and emerging DIY technologies appearing for online research, it’s not surprising that companies are beginning to ask, “what happens when non-researchers collect and analyze data for their own organizations?”
A past client of mine, who worked in talent management for a Fortune 1000 technology company, once commented to me that it was easier for her to recruit a mid-career engineering specialist than it was to find the millennials who would become her future workforce. The difficulty wasn't because of any negative stereotype attributed to the millennial generation but it was simply because there was so much competition for the large numbers that she needed to find, hire and onboard. Obviously, this comment was made during a time when the economy was better performing. If I recounted this story to a young person today, I might get a response like: "I'm a recent grad and I can't find work." Or, if working: "I'm worried that I'll be the first one laid off." In spite of diminished prospects, I'm often impressed with the initiative young people have to create opportunities for themselves to gain useful skills and experiences to ensure they stand out to potential employers.
Gen Lamorie-Wallace is a busy woman. By day, she is an Ottawa, Canada-based Vice President with market research consultancy Phase 5. By night, she runs a restaurant with her chef husband in a trendy city neighbourhood. Sometimes, Gen's worlds collide and inspiration strikes. For her, it's when a 'foodie' patron pulls out a smartphone and starts tweeting an online commentary about his dining experience. This experience as a restaurateur informs Gen's belief that market researchers need to understand how our communication culture is shifting and to be able to offer to clients new approaches that mimic this "new normal" for communications. Following her presentation Lessons Learned When Adapting Technology Platforms for Qualitative Research at the recent MRIA QRD Conference, we had a chance to talk to Gen about the forces that are transforming consumer culture and the opportunities for businesses and MR.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the MRIA's 2012 QRD (Qualitative Research Division) Conference in Toronto where one of the speakers was Dr. Sam Ladner. Sam delivered a presentation entitled Truth, Lies and Ethnography. Think of the talk as being an 'ethnography 101' -- it was intended to help researchers in the audience learn "What to expect, how it's done, and when you should do it."
For Americans and Canadians, multicultural consumers are a rapidly growing demographic. Understanding the social lives of such consumers -- their values, beliefs, habits and preferences -- is of great importance to brands and their marketers. An annual day-long event called the Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum will explore this demographic. Presented by marketing research consultancy Horowitz Associates, the March 21st, 2012 conference will focus on ". . . how the concept of community impacts programming, marketing, and advertising geared toward America's new multicultural audiences."
This Friday, February 24th, I am looking forward to traveling to Toronto to attend the MRIA's annual QRD (Qualitative Research Division) event: ". . . a full day conference about all things qualitative with speakers, breakout sessions and opportunities for networking." I note that the event will take place at the Ontario Science Centre, a museum I last visited during my high school years. I hope the organizers will treat us to a Van de Graaff generator demonstration!
A shout-out to the folks attending the American Marketing Association's Research and Strategy Summit in Orlando, Florida this week! I've met and learned from many marketing research professionals having had the chance to attend this conference in 2009 and 2010. Well-produced by the AMA and the event organizing committee, it offers excellent opportunities for networking and conversation among an engaged community of researchers.