ESOMAR CONGRESS 2017: Outtakes from Day One

By Pete Cape, Global Knowledge Director

SSI Vlog: Live from Amsterdam, NL, SSI’s Jackie Lorch interviews “Dr.Pete” Cape about some of the presentations, insights and experiences that they are looking forward to at ESOMAR CONGRESS 2017.

No one mentioned “listicles” at CONGRESS today, so let me be first. Three things to note from today:

  1. We are no longer at the crossroads.

Normally, much fun can be achieved by counting how many times this phrase is said. Poor pickings today. Not a one!

So, we must have decided which fork to take. Personally I’m never quire sure why we always confuse a “crossroads” – which generally has four paths coming together – one that you are currently on, so there must be three possible paths to take – with a fork, which is a binary choice, but anyway.

Now, we are in a place where we are joining dots. Some say connecting, some say joining, but “dots” it is. And that’s what we do – we connect them. Also, I bumped into Graeme Lawrence of “Join the Dots,” the Manchester-based consumer insight agency. He was beaming…

  1. Stop with the “why” already.

I stood behind Bram Jonkheer of Blauw to watch Keith Philips “doing his stuff” with Microsoft. Looking around, I wondered why I had such a good spot. While looking down to check my bag was safely stowed, I noticed two things. One, he was wearing denim cut-offs. Two, he was wearing red trainers. This ensemble was complemented by a very nice shirt, tie and waistcoat. The best word to describe me next was “sidling” as in “sidled off.” All became clear later during his presentation.

Great brands don’t need to be different merely to stand out. The blue and the red referred to the book by Bryon Sharp – How Brands Grow – which has a red cover, and blue in Dutch which is Blauw (of course). The serious message, and one I think we’ve had coming for a while is that consumers (and that’s also you and me Buddy) have no idea why we do the things we do, we just do them then rationalise afterwards!

So, we should stop asking why. Or we should ask in a different way. That’s why I hope Astrid Lubeck of Validators in the Netherlands wins the YES Pitch Competition and gets to do a paper on it : “Measure what Consumers Don’t Know and Can’t Tell…”

  1. I wish my name was Ted.

As in Ted Talks. Everyone wants to seem like they would be in a Ted Talk. Just eight slides of lovely images and a compelling story, beautifully delivered. I can do the eight slides (or at least my long-suffering marketing department can) and think I have compelling stories. It’s the beautiful delivery that sometimes gets lost.

Market research isn’t always easy and our stories can get quite complex. That why they give you twenty minutes to tell them in. And you need to pay attention. As Zoe Dowling of FocusVision reminded us – humans can process images in like, a third of a nanosecond. Words take longer. And for humans, especially humans sitting in a trade show trying to listen to a speech while lunch is being laid out behind you, attention can wander. I miss the visual clue that a good old PowerPoint list can give you.

I set out a new challenge: do a twenty minute presentation without saying a word! Just graphics and emojis and a very strict word limit. Now wouldn’t that be fun? Couple it with some instant feedback from the audience – like multiple choice: what did that mean? I think I’m onto something here … and Pecha Kucha would be a doddle.

Another listicle of three coming tomorrow I hope, if my Heineken Experience isn’t like the Heineken experiences of my youth…

-Pete