In the past 60 days I’ve spoken at events in Edinburgh, Denver, Mexico City, London, Bucharest. Lisbon and Los Angeles. As with every conference, the days are filled with networking opportunities and endless vendor pitches for new products and services. So how to cut through the clutter?
I’ve found that the key to maximizing this many events back-to-back is to allow yourself to gravitate toward the content and presenters that may be out of your comfort zone.
Exposing yourself to new ideas or new ways of doing
things presents unparalleled opportunities for growth.
Here are the top 3 takeaways that inspired me from presentations around the globe:
1. Think Like a CFO, Present Like a CMO
ESOMAR Congress, Edinburgh, Scotland
Chris Burggraeve, the former CMO of AB InBev, gave an inspiring keynote where he discussed the principles behind his new book “Marketing Is Finance Is Business.” In his talk, Chris highlighted what he believes the one language is that every marketer should speak – the language of business, which is finance! Understanding how marketing performance and marketing investment impacts the bottom line and drives growth is paramount to a marketer’s (and researcher’s) success – and understanding how to present marketing data, so that it really resonates with the C-suite, is of equal importance.
2. Big Data + Street Data = More Actionable Data
AMAI, Mexico City, Mexico
Cristina Quiñones of Consumer Truth: Insights & Strategy in Peru, talked about the importance of combining big data with street data. Often times quant jocks, like myself, discount more qualitative “street data” in favor of big data, when in actuality, both are needed to present a holistic view of a consumer. With qualitative research driving much of the growth we’re seeing in the market research vertical, this renewed focus on the value of small (or “street”) data is a trend we’re going to see more of in 2020.
3. The Art of Looking Sideways
Best of ESOMAR/SORMA, Bucharest, Romania
Back in 2015, trend researcher Els Dragt wrote a great paper on “How We Became Curators of Cool,” where she touched on the “art of looking sideways.” The topic was just as relevant when Els presented a few weeks ago in Bucharest and I love the concept – that we need to look beyond the obvious and see the bigger picture if we want to successfully spot new trends. In most consumer research, the focus is generally on mainstream target groups, whereas trend spotting is all about the front runners. It’s a total mind shift, which I think is an important one for both marketers and researchers.