With the perspective of two weeks behind me, TMRE 2012 went down as one of the more thought-provoking conferences I’ve attended.

And I’m not alone.

Four colleagues and I met this week to download our collective insights to share with our company and our clients. The flurry of actionable ideas were a reinforcement of our vision of the future.


After spending three days in sunny Boca Raton at The Market Research Event 2012, Ron William’s keynote “Beyond Business Model Innovation: Embedding Innovation in Everyday Business When the Customer Makes the Rules” stands out to me. Based on his book “The Value Path: Embedding Innovation in Everyday Business When the Customer Makes the Rules,” it offered many insights that I thought were applicable to Market Research.


Blogger’s note: This post has been co-authored with Bryan Cremeens, one of the many bright young researchers at Gongos.  Bryan brought this subject to my attention some time ago and our resulting conversations have been both fascinating and wide-ranging. What you’ll read below is a nice synthesis of these conversations, focusing on what we see as some of the key implications of the coming generation of smartphone technologies.


On July 25, my friend and mentor John Gongos passed away from metastatic melanoma. While many have found ways to channel their grief and pay tribute to the man John was, it’s taken me time to find the appropriate words to convey.

I knew John for over 22 years. Fact is, I could probably write a book about all the lessons he taught me about research, leadership, and what makes a company great.


Blogger’s Note: “This post is co-authored by Kaylie Gerds (Twitter @grrrrds), one of my colleagues here at Gongos.  Kaylie and I have been discussing what we’ve been reading and learning about Pinterest for a couple of months now.  Her insights into the significance of Pinterest in general (and for research in particular) have been amazing, and I’ve been both energized and inspired by her passion for this topic.


by Greg Heist with Tiffany McNeil

Blogger’s Note: Having had two weeks to digest and reflect on TMRTE, Del Monte’s Tiffany McNeil and I have continued the discussion “offline” about what we found most inspiring there and what we feel it means for the future of MR.  Part of the reason Tiffany and I can’t stop talking is because we don’t want to lose the “high” from the event once stepping back into the real world.


Gradual. Subtle. Insidious.  And, ultimately devastating to life as we know it.

This is the picture painted by climate scientists to describe global warming. Interestingly, it is also these characteristics that make it so easily mocked by critics.  In the end, scientists foretell humanity will look back on these warnings and realize the irrevocable damage that has been caused by our inattention to this threat.


The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) spotlights a trend that has particular relevance for the future of marketing research.  It points to a “ubiquity of connectedness” – that is, a future in which consumers are “connected” not only via their smart devices, but their televisions, home appliances, and of course, their vehicles.

What’s driving this trend, you ask?

As humans, we’ve become “connection junkies” – having grown accustomed to the convenience of accessing information, entertainment and insights at will.


It’s no surprise that with smart devices changing the way we communicate, they’re also changing the way we gift-give.

This holiday shopping season, as I seek out gifts for my family, co-workers (and of course, myself!) I am drawn to gifts that may be better suited for the technophiles in my life.  Beyond the cool factor though, three of them speak to the strength of the smart-device revolution that I have previously referred to.


“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long; and you have burned so very, very brightly.”
– Dr. Tyrell, Blade Runner
Yesterday, we lost Steve Jobs, the Henry Ford of our generation. Yesterday, I also lost a mentor who taught me and inspired me, even though we never met.

It’s difficult to overestimate the impact of his legacy in the field of innovation and, like Henry Ford nearly a century ago, it’s almost impossible to walk through the day and not see his genius in the hands of almost anyone we meet.


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