Norstat was proud to sponsor the latest conference from the Market Research Society: The Media Research Summit 2017. It was an excellent day including diverse papers from the likes of BBC, Twitter, Facebook, ITV, Channel 4 and many more. Despite the relatively short sessions it felt like every presentation packed a solid punch as we moved through the topics from traditional research to neuroscience. Over 100 delegates arrived and received a well-stocked goodie bag (I’m told the chocolate bar was welcomed for an afternoon pick-me-up).

Our industry is changing at a rapid pace in this digital age, even the subjects we study are evolving at an ever increasing speed. The way they consume media; their interaction with brands and their attitudes towards and their usage of content. We heard the digital detox doesn’t really exist, but a digital diet and usage of “dumb phones” is becoming more prevalent.

The panel discussion was as always, one of my favourite sessions of the day. How much personalisation is too much? It raised a good point that in many cases while brands are trying to get closer and closer to their customers – we don’t always want a relationship with a product. ‘Do you want an email every time you buy Heinz soup?’ What this feels like to me is often brands are caught between a rock and a hard place and can be walking a very fine line between welcome engagement and annoying, almost creepy invasion.

The upcoming implementation of GDPR was floated as a good thing which will help give consumers the choice to opt out or tone down what they receive. The GDPR is just 12 months away and I’m glad to see our industry talking about this more and more and being prepared for the change in legislations.

Snapchat. Very much a part of the media world, and I feel like I should engage with it. But I do worry about being billy-no-mates and having no one to message! Maybe that is my next personal challenge – discover what the fuss is about and find an actual friend who has the app! I did however massively identify with the trend of watching videos with the sound off – 80% of people do this. So this is apparently a ‘thing’ now and content creation has to bear this in mind. Short form content featured heavily on the program, especially with the speed at which people scroll and determine if they will in fact engage with a piece of content. Our attention spans are getting shorter but we are also getting faster at filtering the information presented to us.

The day wrapped up with a traditional drinks reception that the MRS has become so well known for; hopefully there won’t be too many sore heads this morning!

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Philipp Kemser

About Robert Agnew

Robert is a dedicated and well versed market research professional, heading our UK office as managing director.

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