A look at Quirk’s November series of marketing research webinars

On November 16, 2022, Quirk’s Media hosted its Wisdom Wednesday webinar series including webinars from Zinklar, Entropik Tech and quantilope. Sessions by Gatorade/PepsiCo and The J.M. Smucker Company were shared as well. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from each session. To watch the November sessions or any other previous Quirk’s-hosted webinars, visit our video archive.

Panel Discussion: How Corporate Insights Pros are Getting Ahead of the Game in an Evolving World

This webinar included a panel of three people: Luciana Procopio, manager of insight strategy, Panasonic Europe; Vanessa Bougla, head of insights, Avanti West Coast U.K.; and Helen Dunnington, voice of the customer manager, Avanti West Coast. Zinklar’s CMO, Ignasi Fernández was the moderator. 

The group discussed how each company was combating the changes in the global economies and their markets. All the organizations discussed using a hybrid model of internal and external research to better understand why spending has shifted in their markets. 

The panelists also offered advice around planning for changes to the global economy. Procopio explained how Panasonic has pivoted recently. She recommended thinking of all possible scenarios and creating a plan for each. That way no matter what happens the organization is ready. 

Dunnington said it's more important than ever to listen and deliver on what your customers are telling you. Bougla recommended checking industry sources to stay ahead of the game. 

Behavioral Upgrade for Qual and Quant Research 

John Crouch, vice president of sales, Entropik Tech, gave a presentation on how the company has changed the game when it comes to using qual and quant research on behavioral studies. The secret ingredient? AI. 

One quote really stuck out to me: “Kind of accurate isn’t kind of useful.”  Researchers must stay focused on conducting accurate research so that it is the most useful possible for clients. 

Stories Beat Statistics: How to Tell Impactful Stories Through Data 

This webinar was easily my favorite of the day. Mike De Gagne, senior vice president of sales, quantilope and Gianna Saladino, associate research manager, quantilope were engaged and animated presenters. 

The pair shared that 33% of researchers see storytelling as their biggest challenge, which is understandable. There are a lot of parts to creating the storyline that can make getting your point across to your audience hard to do. 

Stories need to be memorable, impactful and personal. The personal aspect should be universal. For example, De Gane had a teddy bear that he used because everyone had a favorite stuffed animal or toy as a kid or has a kid in their life that does. 

My favorite comparation was that data analysis with no story is like Peter Parker. Data with a story is Spiderman. Peter Parker is a social outcast who uses big words and technical language – essentially presenting data with no story. No one wants to listen to that. However, Spiderman speaks like those around him and makes things interesting and easy to understand which is what happens when data is presented through a story. 

Digging a Good Story: How Gatorade Uses Analytics to Change the Game 

Douglas Healy, senior director of consumer insights, Gatorade/PepsiCo, and Paul Rau, director of consumer insights, Gatorade/PepsiCo, originally gave this presentation as part of The Quirk’s Event – Global. Healy and Rau shared some great analogies throughout the webinar. 

One analogy was between researchers and baseball managers. Healy used a baseball manager who had commented in an article that he loves all the statistics that are available for him today, but he hates that players have access to all of it too. The manager claimed it was distracting for the players. They should simply ask what one thing they need to do and focus on that. 

Healy said this is the same for researchers. We have so much data at our fingertips, but we do not need to give all of that to the executives. They only want to know what they need to know. 

The other example was that data storytelling was like dinosaurs. Rau compared the work of researchers to that of archeologists digging up dinosaur bones. They remove the dirt and anything else that is not needed. Then the dinosaur skeleton is put together because people in a museum will understand that better than the bones scattered about on the floor. When telling a data story, researchers need to find out what is important and bring it together in a way people will understand. 

Mind the Gap: Elevating In-House Research

Heidi Carrion, senior scientist, product research, consumer foods R&D, The J.M. Smucker Company gave this presentation at The Quirk’s Event – Global earlier this year. The presentation was re-broadcasted during November’s Wisdom Wednesday. 

The biggest take away from this webinar is that when sharing data with others in the organization aesthetics, understanding and feedback are the three aspects that matter the most. Researchers should make sure presentations are pleasing to look at and easy for non-researchers to understand and be sure to listen to the feedback of those you are presenting to.