IIeX Europe 2016 Review: Innovation and New Technology in Market Research

By Stefan Boom, Sales Manager

“Imagine it. See it. Do it.” This tagline for the Insight Innovation Exchange (IIeX) Europe conference in Amsterdam recently aptly explains my experience at this forward-thinking event. Overall, the IIeX was a great success with several interesting lessons for the research industry: context matters, implementing video and sound in your research and that it’s really past time to embrace mobile.

The main event was two days long, packed with over 100 presentations and over 300 people in attendance. It was a chance to gain and share knowledge and meet other industry people. IIeX does a great job providing people and companies a stage for presenting innovations, even though many of these presentations are sales heavy.

With this in mind, I narrowed my focus down to three key takeaways.

1. Context Matters. Understanding context when doing research was one of the hot topics at IIeX. InSites Consulting, Heineken, Haystack and several others presented their view on context—how it influences the data you are collecting and why you want to control or at least understand it.

This comes two fold. Set up and focus on the right environment, as Heineken did for testing beers: They asked respondents to come to a bar to complete their surveys, which gave them more insightful data specific for their company. Or, focus on understanding the context established by respondents, as InSites did by asking respondents to upload a picture of their current location while filling in the questionnaire.

2. Video and Sound. As if we did not struggle enough with analyzing all the data we have available, we now also see an increasing number of companies that use video and/or audio to measure people’s emotions and even recognize (in the moment!) what advertisement a respondent is exposed to.

Although I feel that video (and probably audio as well) will play a vital role in future research, I also think these innovations are still in the early adoption phase. The market research industry will need to work to better understand these technologies and how to add value to clients’ research.

3. Mobile. What is there to say about mobile that we have not already heard a thousand times? How is it even possible that at an event focused on innovation, mobile is still a topic? IIeX summed it up really well: “We are going on with this topic until we get it right as an industry.”

Mobile is a growing medium and a very important tool for new research initiatives. But above all, we need to understand the need to make mobile-friendly questionnaires; not doing so will have a large impact on data quality. Not only in terms of reaching certain audiences, but also in terms of representation and avoiding bias. Even if you’re not embracing mobile with your survey design, that doesn’t mean your respondents aren’t still using mobile to answer—which can affect their overall user experience and the quality of the data.

The quantity of information and the speed at which it is delivered makes this event quite a different experience than others in the industry; however, if you were able to find the right balance and pick the right tracks, IIeX provided you with a valuable and broad point of view on several ”innovative” topics and the chance to meet a lot of possible new partners, suppliers and clients. I look forward to attending again next year.


Connect with SSI at future events. To see what 2016 conferences we are attending, visit our Events page.