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.


One of the most striking dichotomies of the MRMW11 conference were the two pools of participants: the Researchers and the Technologists. As I listened to their presentations and the way they talked about their efforts in the mobile research space, the old song by War, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” came to mind.

It’s pretty clear that Researchers and Technologists see mobile research through a different lens, and, at the end of the day both camps have a lot learn from each other, here’s my take:

What Researchers can learn from Technologists:

Embrace technology faster.

With a week’s distance from the “Great Debate” on mobile research – with my colleague Michael Alioto and industry voices Lenny Murphy, Ray Poynter and Reg Baker – it’s clear to me that the two sides represent the forces of tradition and innovation in marketing research. While it’s tempting to root for one side or the other, there’s no devil or angel in this equation.


Ray Poynter posted a response to our recent release regarding the results of a new study on the validity of smartphone research. Our own Michael Alioto responded to Ray’s post.

I think this is an extremely important conversation for us as researchers to be having at this time.  Mobile research is an important emerging way of engaging with consumers, and rigorously establishing both its validity and how to best utilize it is something both myself and my colleagues here at Gongos are working on very aggressively.


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After the Editor-in-Chief of GreenBook Blog Lenny Murphy visited our team at Gongos, he wanted to get a handle on our thoughts leading into IIR’s Technology Driven Research Event in May. It’s a great interview that touches on mobile research, social media, gaming and more. Here are a few questions Lenny posed:

What do you think are the major drivers of change in the market research space right now and how is Gongos Research planning to take advantage of those trends? Gongos is one of the few MR firms that I know of that has a senior level role, plus the infrastructure to support them, dedicated to innovation.

While collage exercises used in qualitative research generally have consumers assembling cut-out images from say, a magazine, onto poster board before coming to a focus group, there are occasions when creating a collage is part of the focus group itself.  I’d like to explore how feasible it would be to apply technology to the in-group collage-building process.


Our friend Lenny Murphy posted a comprehensive piece on the GreenBook Blog about why he thinks mobile research applications have switched from hype to hope. In it he cites results from the most recent GRIT trends study. I look forward to insights from the next study!

Mobile MR: Hype or Hope


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