The research/consumer insights industry has developed a slew of new tools that harness both technology and the ways people currently interact with one another, with products and with media. We have been buzzing about online communities, mobile surveys, crowdsourcing, video journals, neuroscience, social media, text analytics, social gaming and more.
These are important and necessary tools, but, they are only tools. The community needs to continue to design research around business objectives and not around cool new tools. The recent Technology-Driven Market Research Conference was an ironic illustration of the ways in which we're not there yet.
Conference attendees saw PowerPoint presentations that were nothing but pages of numbers and text - no audio, no video -- in fact, no movement on the screen at all. Continued failure to engage our audiences is providing our competitors from outside the research community with opportunities to move right in.
Our insights and implications need to speak to the heart of the business decisions being made. It's been said before, and for many years, but I'll say it again: pages and pages of research results don't cut it. And, a "technology-driven" conference should have been a showcase for presentations demonstrating a visually engaging, interactive, multimedia approach.