Highlights from Day 2 of Insighter 2020

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Posted Oct 02, 2020
Tiffany Mullin

It was smooth sailing for the second half of the Insighter Virtual Conference. The sessions were intriguing, engaging, and filled with all the tips, tricks, and best practices you need to elevate your insights acumen.

If you could not attend or simply want to relive all the thrilling moments of Insighter 2020, read on.

 If you missed what happened on day one, start here

The morning sessions

Joe Razza, Head of Product at KnowledgHound, jump-started day two of Insighter with a coffee talk on “Keeping research piping hot.” After showing a mini-montage of him drinking espresso around the world ☕, Joe shared KnowledgeHound’s origin story and ran through some strategies insights pros can use to avoid their research being forgotten or lost in the shuffle. 

Next, aytm’s own Sarah Snudden, VP Digital Transformation, led a fantastic session on “Leveling up your DIY powers.” As you know, it can be challenging to create a meaningful survey experience where people from diverse perspectives understand and answer your questions in the intended way. Sarah describes survey design as part art, part science. Check out her session for some fundamental design principles to level up your DIY research game.

In “Agile Solutions for Hard to Find Audiences,” Sarah Howe, Strategic Insights & Analytics at Johnson & Johnson, gave us a sneak peek into her world where she faces the challenge of gaining access to hard-to-reach audiences in an industry with complex rules. From pharmaceuticals to food & beverage, the insights team at Johnson & Johnson recycles and reuses consumer research for multiple purposes, maximizing the value of insights. Sarah also touches on how her company maintains its professional equity and stays true to its corporate mission.

Heather Dallam, Global Fuels Market Research & Data Analytics Manager at ExxonMobil, followed with an interesting talk called “DIY Research: Turning Lemons into Lemonade.” In it, Heather shared the story of how ExxonMobil was forced to make a shift because of unforeseen circumstances. 

Amid the uncertainties of the pandemic, ExxonMobil realized the benefits of DIY research, finding that they go beyond saving time and money. This experience gave people outside of the insights team a whole new appreciation for research, brought them closer to consumers, and helped foster a more collaborative team environment. I think there’s a lesson there we all can learn from and relate to both professionally and personally.

Next up, Rachel Gruber, Founder of Tempo Consulting, spoke about ways to ensure that the insights you derive from consumer research actually drive impact within your organization. She gave some excellent tips on how you can better leverage insights to impact your go-to-market strategy, media plan, and retail execution. Check out the recording of “Insights for Impact” to learn more.

Lunching and Learning

When it was time to break for lunch, each of Insighter’s four partners hosted a discussion in their respective Zoom rooms again. Aytm’s Kandice Coltrain, VP Business Development, led a chat about the meaning of the term “agile.” At the same time, Chris Fenlon, Enterprise Account Executive at KnowledgeHound, hosted a conversation to find out how market researchers are moving forward. And in Remesh's Lounge, Rob Rocco, Senior Sales Director, spoke about “Leveraging Analytics and Unification to Unlock the Potential Hidden in Your Survey Research.”

By the way, did you know that 90% of your decisions are subconscious? 

That was the topic of discussion over in Cint’s lounge, where Megan Springmeyer, Director of Customer Success, welcomed Jonathan Burman, Human Capital Investor at The Best Workplace, LLC, to dig into “The Neuroscience of Insight.”

They explored the root of human decision-making – the“Motivational Triangle” –  and how it creates bias/preference, irrationality, and often blocks our ability to see things clearly. They also offered some actionable tips for training our brains and our organizations to overcome these human tendencies and become more effective at generating insights.

Exploring equality

After lunch, things got real. Melissa Gonsalves, Co-Founder & Director of Colour Of Research (CORe), served up some startling statistics on the racial, gender, and socioeconomic divides that exist in both the US and the market research industry. Here’s a bit of what she discussed. 

Of the top Fortune 500 companies, women represent 63% of workers on minimum wage and only occupy 5% of the CEO positions. She also touched on the loss of income and the lack of career growth experienced by women after they have a child. 

Her segment on the racial wealth gap was truly mind-blowing. 

“A median white family in the US has 20 times more wealth than a median Latinx family and 41 times more wealth than a median black family.” If that stat wasn’t discouraging enough, she went on to talk about what things will look like in the future if we stay on the same trajectory. 

“If current trends continue, it would take the typical black family over 52 million years and an average Latinx family 24 million years to reach the wealth of the average white family today.” 

I think just about everyone was speechless when she hit us with that one.

Melissa’s session, “Equality in an unequal world,” was both fascinating and disheartening. But after watching it, you’ll come away with a better understanding of where we stand and a few small changes you can make in your own life and career to become part of the solution. 

The afternoon sessions

Steve Orebaugh, SVP, Global Supply at Cint, held a session on “Managing Data Quality,” exploring the spectrum of ownership and how each link in the supply chain plays a vital role in our ability to recognize and combat quality issues. Steve also discussed some advancements in technology that are making the job easier for us all. 

In the session, “Brand Building with Consumer Insights,” Lev Mazin, CEO at aytm, sat down with an old friend, Krish Menon, CEO at Phenomenon, to discuss how the ad agency has leveraged consumer insights to help launch, re-launch, build and re-build some of the world's most iconic brands. Lev also shared how aytm co-innovates with clients, evolving the platform to meet their needs, including how Phenomenon played a key role in helping aytm adapt to agencies’ unique requirements. Also, give this session a listen to hear Krish’s take on where the ad industry is headed. 

Next, Stephanie Vance, VP Research at aytm, gave a talk called, “American Life in 2020: A Case Study in Consumer and Researcher Adaptability.” In this session, Stephanie explored consumer trends over the past six months through both a quantitative and qualitative lens. She dove into Americans’ changing perceptions and behaviors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, both as consumers and simply as humans seeking to adjust to extraordinary circumstances. She also discussed strategies for adaptability during these changing times – both for consumers and the researchers who study them. Be sure to download the latest consumer tracking report created by Stephanie and her research team to reference during this session. 

Ever find yourself frustrated by increasing online fraud like click farms and survey bots, which compromise panel data quality? 

Aytm’s CEO, Lev Mazin, made a second appearance on day two, this time alongside Dale Gilliam, aytm’s Director of Product Strategy. The pair explored the issue of response-level data quality and shared an entirely new approach to combating junk data. Data Centrifuge, aytm’s automated data cleaning engine, features a spectrum of vectors that analyze respondent behavior, automatically identifying factors that affect the integrity of survey responses — while recognizing the good completes. Sophisticated algorithms analyze patterns, spotting anomalies in the data — some of which would be invisible to human analysts. Check out the recording of this session, “Data Centrifuge - Cleaner Data for Reliable Insights,” to learn more about what aytm is doing to stop bad actors in their tracks.

In the final session of the day, “The Great Conversation: Virtual Book Club,” Michelle Gansle, Senior Director, Foresight, Innovation & Growth Insights at Mars Wrigley; Kristi Zuhlke, CEO & Co-Founder of KnowledgeHound and Sarah Snudden, VP of Digital Transformation at aytm engaged in a fun and casual conversation about their favorite books and podcasts that have inspired them in life and business. 

Before we knew it, happy hour was upon us. We closed out the conference with Insightful Margaritas in hand (recipe) and raised a glass to two exhilarating days of endless inspiration from the best minds in the consumer insights industry.

And just like that, the Insighter conference was a wrap. It may have been the first, but it certainly won’t be the last. If you missed any of the fun, you can catch more than 20 recorded sessions on-demand

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