From the desk of Kathy Doyle
And, as promised, here are four more sessions that stuck with me at TMRE:
- Daniel Pink’s keynote spoke, among other things, to the paradigm shift in sales. No longer is it “Buyer Beware” with the Seller having all the information and, thus, the power. It is now “Seller Beware” as buyers have unlimited access to information that helps them make informed purchase decisions. This puts the burden on the Seller to really understand the needs of their customer, and address them. Which is what we, as qualitative researchers, do so well.
- Malcolm Gladwell was provocative and talked, essentially, about there being a point of diminishing returns and in fact a point where something positive can end up having unanticipated negative consequences. His example was the “3 strikes” law in CA, and how it’s ended up incarcerating people for years at a time in their life when, statistically, they are unlikely to commit another crime – and who have often left behind family who is now without support, parenting, and community.
- Google Surveys has entered the market research industry, offering 1-10 question surveys with a limited but representative sample (which they provide) for $.10 per complete. They argue that long questionnaires reduce response rates and accuracy, and that we are better off getting our questions answered one question at a time. Honestly, I’m not sure whether to view them as friend or foe.
- In a session on Client-Supplier relations by Mike Swiontkowsi, Director, Consumer Insights at Activision, it was reinforced that clients no longer view deliverables as “bigger is better” and they struggle with reports that lack compelling visuals. So… we are going to work harder at that than ever before.
From a sales perspective, I walked away with three key takeaways:
- Deeply understand what the best suppliers in our industry are delivering – and then exceed them
- Share working documents with clients “in progress” so that the effort is more collaborative, and more likely to deliver against expectations when complete
- Use either a specialty product, or a relevant syndicated study, to get in a client’s door. They are bombarded with requests for meetings. Don’t waste their time.
There were many, many more sessions, and many of them were terrific. But there’s only so much a human can absorb, and this is what has stuck with me. What stuck for you?