The 2023 Quirk’s Event - London takeaways from attending researchers

Editor’s note: Text taken directly from LinkedIn is being shared with the writer’s permission and lightly edited for style and content clarity.

The Quirk’s Event – London was a huge success. To better understand the topics that are top-of-mind for marketing researchers today, we reached out to several attendees to see what they learned and what they enjoyed most at the event. 

Below is a combination of LinkedIn posts and excerpts from attendees about the Quirk’s Event – London. 

The promises and reality behind UX  -

Aryn O’Donnell, VP of corporate services at Fieldwork

Bold Insight session photo taken by Aryn O'Donnell.

Market research helps build the brand and informs marketing and advertising on important elements to the target market.

UX is where the brand promise meets reality.

UX is a delivery on the brand promise.

For both to work well together:

  • Respect and recognize strength.
  • Establish common goals.
  • Leverage research methods.
  • Educate the wider organization.
  • Communicate, collaborate and celebrate.

Bob Schumacher, founding and managing director from Bold Insights walked us through the intersection of market research and UX at Quirk’s Media Event – London.

Investing in insights

How do you convince a boardroom of accountants to invest in insights?

This is the question that Anna Cliffe, founder of Trinity McQueen and Rebecca Henson, senior research analyst at Skipton Building Society, aimed to understand in an effort to increase Skipton Building Society’s brand awareness geographically and among a younger demographic.

The answer …

  • Determine need – Trinity McQueen found that 40% of decisions are driven by brand.
  • Prove there is an opportunity – Through brand tracking it was determined there was opportunity for improvement.
  • Speak their language – To convince the accountants, they used language that resonated with them.

Their investment in insights lead to:

  • 200% increase in brand awareness.
  • 40% increase in consideration in younger demographics.
  • 50% more people consider Skipton Building Society a National brand.

Emotionally intelligent brands revealed

“The problem with market research is that people don't think how they feel, they don't say what they think and they don't do what they say” – David Ogilvy. 

Jemma Toynebee-Smith, group account lead at DVJ Insights and Rachel Leaver, head of research insight at Dentsu International/Carat, walked through how they used mass qual to reveal the most emotionally intelligent brands.

  • Context is King – The what without the why only tells half the story.
  • Humans can't do everything – Al cut the analysis stage down by circa 90%.
  • Emotions really do underpin everything – Stories always contain emotions, humans just can't tell a story without them.
  • Reflect the process – It truly helps to step back from the "usual way" and understand the objective.

Stakeholders and AI - 

Michael McConaghy, enterprise account director at Toluna 

Thanks to Quirk’s Media for a great couple of days meeting industry peers and attending some brilliant sessions.

Thought I would share a few highlights, themes and takeaways from the event:

  1. Representation matters and is an essential component in attaining meaningful insight.
  2. Continuous stakeholder engagement and ownership early and throughout any project is a key component of success.
  3. AI is rapidly being adopted and already having a significant impact driving efficiency and automation.

I also picked up a few insightful gems to share:

  • The big, No 1 predictor of the most successful brands is difference (being unique from competitors).
  • Two-thirds of new product launches are dead or dying in their second year so vital to get it right.
  • Immaterial motivations drive purchasing intent and build value.
  • Seventy-five (75) percent of people who see advertising don't remember it.
  • Strong innovation credentials show the greatest brand value.

One thing that stands out to me above all else after a few months in this sector; the people working in research, marketing and insights are bright, friendly, curious and brave which is a great mix for creativity and innovation!

Shifting Sands in Research - 

Martin Head, business development director at Dynata

“We’re here to look at things that will really take the business forward.”

This was a line shared with me by a senior brand-side researcher at Quirk’s London.

Every year Quirk’s is earmarked on the Dynata calendar for us to present ways to pioneer our first party data solutions but also scan for innovation across the market sector. 

The undoubted focal point of this year’s event was artificial intelligence.

A topic that fills me with an equal amount of apathy and excitement.

For those living under a rock or who simply refuse to use LinkedIn, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI that stands to have a significant impact on all industries.

Never mind how we discover, assimilate and generate insights.

Indeed, it’s tough not to get excited about on-demand chatbots providing answers at the drop of a hat. And of course, it’s a space to be monitored closely.

But have we heard this hype before? Big data? Web 2.0 or 3.0? Metaverse?

Sure, we’re not talking about the lovable Microsoft Word paperclip or “Clippy” as he was known from your Office 97 package here, but are brands trying to walk before they run? 

To me it feels like only a fraction of brands have explored machine learning or proprietary algorithms (that offer more control over the data mined) and which are the most logical first steps before dipping into the Open AI space.

And yes, there was a lot of “shiny” solutions on show at the event, however, there appears to be a brand-side divide on whether leadership back the tech and/or back the insight function to experiment.  

For every corporate investing, it seems like there’s many more playing a waiting game and approaching with caution.

And who’s to blame them?

With a challenging economic backdrop and tumultuous market activity, is the way to bend the ear of your board through a large investment in a space we’re still learning about?

Unless the trading tailwinds are really in your favor – I’d argue the answer is probably not.

What might?

1. Risk mitigation activity like demand modeling or creative evaluation (see Dynata’s talk by Kevin Sugrue). An insurance policy and a way to benchmark assets ahead of that next campaign or ad that can’t afford to tank.

2. Greater synchronization with marketing tactics to drive shorter-term revenue (see the pricing and promotional talk by EyeSee).

3. Budget-saving activity, such as in-housing, running DIY research (see the claims of practically every vendor at the event).

Now, if only brands had a chatbot to increase in-house resources and really take their business forward …

Caricature London Quirks Event 2023
Cocktail Hour London Quirks Event
Lunch London Quirks Event 2023
Registration London Quirks Event 2023
Magician London Quirks Event 2023
Caricature London Quirks Event 2023
Cocktail Hour London Quirks Event
Lunch London Quirks Event 2023
Registration London Quirks Event 2023
Magician London Quirks Event 2023