Editor’s note: Adam Rowles is a director at The Forge, located in London. He attended The Quirk’s Event - London May 3-4, 2023. 

So what did I learn at The Quirk’s Event – London? Whisper it … we might finally be creating the impact we’ve been talking about for so long.

Reflecting on two days of listening to talks, receiving product demos and having conversations with clients and agencies, I left Quirk’s London this year with one overriding thought in my head; there is a growing sense of confidence in our industry about the impact that we are creating.

In the insight industry, we’ve been talking about impact for years. It’s in every case study, thought piece and creds deck. We name our conferences after it and hand out awards in its name. We even have an Impact magazine. 

But we don’t talk about it from a position of strength. It comes across as a weakness. More than any other industry I can think of, we have become fixated on demonstrating to others that we create value. As if it were necessary to justify the need for speaking to consumers and customers. 

And perhaps it’s no surprise; for the last 10 years or so we’ve been at the forefront of the explosion of data, which for our industry has meant tremendous change. As more data has become available to us, stakeholder’s expectations have grown, the lines between what we could do and what we should do have blurred and timelines and attention spans have shortened.

For the last decade, it has felt like insight has been on the back foot as it transformed itself to make the most of the new opportunities, whilst simultaneously continuing to deliver value to its stakeholders. When you consider these factors, it’s no wonder we are so fixated on impact.

But I sense we might be at a turning point. 

During COVID-19, insight became mission critical. We had a vital role to play. We took on the role of explaining to our organization...