Sunday, 30 October 2011

30+ New Buzz words and concepts emerging from ESOMAR 3D conference

Want to know what Silent Dog Analysis is?  Have you heard about Facebook's new cluster influence model? Did you know that news is becoming a social currency?  Have you done any crowd interpretation recently? Are you up to date with your Digital Etiquette? Here are some of the new buzz words and concepts that I picked up upon at the ESOMAR 3D conference that you might want to drop into your next market research conversation. It was a veritable Exoflood of ideas!

1. Exoflood: An exabyte of data is 1 billion gigabytes ie a lot! Exoflood is a new buzz word used by Philip Sheldrake and coined by a west coast think tank to describe the feeling that we are all being drowned in big data.

2. Stream banks: Philip Sheldrake talking about banks that store all the personal data you are constantly generating from your life online and potentially spend by “smart decision makers”

3. Smart decision makers: This is one of several new trends indentified by Dominic Harrison from the Future Foundation. An emerging trend to allow smart process to make decisions for us that we find a bore to do ourselves e.g. tracking and automatically switching electricity supplier to the guaranteed lowest cost supplier.

4. Surrendering choice: comes with this the idea that we are ever more happy to surrender choice to smart decision makers. If someone knows a lot about computers let them tell me which one to by so I don’t have to bother to make that choice myself. Source: Dominic Harrison from the Future Foundation

5. Smart boredom: The idea we are finding more and more smart things to do with our downtime, (primarily noodling around on our mobiles!). Source: Dominic Harrison from the Future Foundation

6. Purposeful leisure: a similar concept that our leisure downtime activity has become more purposeful with the advent of the internet – we don’t sit around and consumer TV we interact more. Source: Dominic Harrison from the Future Foundation

7. The quantified self: We are amassing a huge amount of information about ourselves measuring ourselves is a new trend that is being facilitated by the growing number of apps that enable us to do this. Source: Dominic Harrison from the Future Foundation

8. Connectionomic: the science of how we communicate and connect with people the digital space. Idea coined by Added Value & Yahoo exploring how in particular women use the web. Here is a link that explains more

9. Digital etiquette: studying the evolving rules of engaging with each other on the internet. An etiquette is emerging. An observation by TNS & Yahoo exploring how women use the web.

10. Social + content: One of the emerging pieces of digital etiquette, the idea that to engage with other people on the web you have to provide content and not just spout on about what you are doing. e.g. I am not interested reading a post telling me that you are eating breakfast but if you have just discovered a great new brand of breakfast cereal while having your breakfast that’s worth hearing about. This trend spotted by TNS & Yahoo 

11. Eve-olution: the study of the changing behavior of women. Nice new word invented by TNS & Yahoo 

12. The context gap: Peter Harrison from Brainjuicer identifies and coined this phrase to highlight a major problem with many pieces of research, which is asking people to think about things out of context e.g. asking about food when I am not hungry is not going to deliver the same results as when I am and the purchasing decision I make when I am in a hurry are not the same as when I have time on my hand. And what I feel about when I am angry is different when I am calm.

13. Use games to recreate experiences: an idea championed by Peter Harrison/Brainjuicer that you can use games to recreate certain experience and thus help bridge the “context gap” when conducting market research e.g. you can force people to make decision with time constraints and you can conjure up moods and feelings by game play (not necessarily hunger thought!)

14. Think of the research reasons, not just engagement reasons when getting creative with online research: More creative and gamified question technique have a wide variety of roles to play in market research not just for 'engagement'. Think about the research need for using a specific technique and understand the role each can have before jumping in a message from Bernie Malinoff

15. Gamification v Normification: The biggest enemy gamification has is the fortress of norm data. Researchers have a choice between improving the data and maintaining norms – so which one is most important to you? Point raised by Bernie Malinoff. 

16. Facial expression analysis: OK not specifically new, but we leant from Alistair Gordon from Gordon & McCallum how powerful and flexible this technique can be. All it requires now is a recorded webcam stream. I think we will hear a lot about this technique in the coming years and thus its inclusion as a buzz concept. 

17. Stimulation junkies: generation Y are, as we all know bombarded with stimulus from the web which has turned them into “stimulus junkies”. A term talked about by Tom De Ruyck & Elias Veris from InSites Consulting.

18. Marketing research to consumers: The idea that in the future we will be marketing the participation in a research study in the same way we market other consumer experiences. And that we need to position it as a cool potential thing to do. An idea from Tom De Ruyck & Elias Veris from InSites Consulting who when on to show us exactly how cool market research can be if you pitch it as a fun more game like experience.

19. Crowd interpretation: Using respondents to help interpret and analyze research data. Again perhaps not a new concept but this idea has been brought to life through new gaming techniques pioneered by InSites consulting including “insight battles”.

20. Insight battles: let researchers and consumers battle with others to discover insights using gaming techniques. A great idea from Tom De Ruyck & Elias Veris from InSites Consulting that was demonstrated live at the ESO3D event. 

21. Need & solution information disjoint theory: There are two types of feedback you can get from social listening, understanding of need of consumers and proffered solutions from consumers. Brands like to hear the needs but don’t want to listen to the solutions is the observation from a review of a decades worth of Netnography research conducted by HYVE and Karlsruher Institute of Technology in Germany. 

22. The NIH syndrome: “Not Invented Here” this is partly explain by clients and in fact a latent instinct amongst all of us to want to be part of the solution generated process and if not then it undermines our role so we are reluctant to take up solutions that have been fostered upon us.

23. If you can measure it, it is probably is not important: incite mining via social networks is about understanding what the minority of us are doing as opposed to conventional market research which can focus on discovering what the majority of us are doing. An idea proposed by Ray Poynter.

24. Silent dog analysis: looking for the words not used in discursive analysis and not just the ones that are used, a new phrase/idea coined by Ray Poynter inspired by Sherlock Holmes not hearing the dog barking in the short story Silver Blaze  – which I think has got legs!

25. The cluster influence model: Malcolm Gladwell’s idea of a group of super powerful influencers existing on the web is challenged by new Facebook analysis of influence on their network - demonstrating that influence is made up of connected clusters and you cannot single out any specific super influencers just well connected members of these clusters who are not specifically any more influential than others.

26. Measuring the viral reach of social chatter: Facebook believe we need to move on from simply measuring how many people have mentioned your brand on Facebook, this is the wrong metric, what is more important is how many people read these mentions a figure that is potentially 10 times higher.

27. News is becoming a social currency: The value of news is based upon not who creates it but who distributes it. Highlighted by research carried out by CNN & Innerscope Research

28. Social sharing emotionally tags information: Any information that is shared is more impactful and rest more strongly in our memories because of the emotional tagging of that information with person who distributed it, according to research from CNN & Innerscope Research.

29. Friendships = influence: well all influence each other via our friendship connections on the web

30. We are social media researcher, not social media data miners!: A clearer distinction needs to be made between the process of mining and gathering social media data and the process of interpreting and analyzing as market researchers was a strong message from Annie Pettit - The two get confused.

31. Social media research need to establish some quality standards: As researchers we need to apply the same vigorous standards to the analysis of this data as we do in the realms of traditional market research. Right now this is not always happening according to Annie Pettit. Who eloquently demonstrated this by showing how the results of social media analysis could be so easily manipulated using unregulated technique.

32. Survey chunking: Breaking surveys into micro part and asking those questions independently and then sticking them all together. An idea that has huge potential for conducting research on Facebook where people will more willingly answer a micro poll but not do a whole survey. 

33. The MROC engagement/fun model: Want to maximize active participation in your community – get directly involved with them and make it as fun process as possible was a message strongly espoused by both InSites Consulting and Isabella Kee Wong from Philips design

34. MROC research has the potential to move on from being seen as research to active participatory lifestyle experiences: Just how this can be done was can be found out by reading Jon Rodriguez & Isabella Kee Wong from Philips design’s paper from this conference a supurb, probably best ever example I have seen of how to set up and run a dynamic market research community research project.

35. Social media historical benchmarking: The great thing about social media research is you can look backwards as well as track what people are doing now and thus it is a form of research with inbuilt historical benchmarking opportunities. This is an extremely powerful idea that was explained with tremendous gravitas by Japanese researchers looking at the social impact of the Earthquake & Tsunami and how it had changed opinions in the Japanese society. They did this by looking at the language used in blogs posts that were posted before and after the event. They found they were able to look back 2 or 3 years in history and track year on year changes.

36. Personas: An alternative way of thinking about traditional segmentation groups. Instead of segments, think about "Personas", a technique of personalizing a segment to bring it to life invented by  Jon Rodriguez & Isabella Kee Wong from Philips design


Sorry have I missed any or not got some of the interpretation quite right? Do let me know happy to update and amend!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hm, this is very interesting and would make great content for our MR clients! Would you mind re-posting it in a new Linkedin Group I just started? Thanks!

  3. Hey Jon. Great piece. Just a small correction. The Connectonomics work was actually done by Added Value & Yahoo!. Ref: click through to the presentation deck at the bottom of this Yahoo! blog:

  4. Hi Kate I do apologise! I have amended the wording and added this link in.

  5. The great article posted by you which is the imported from others.Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.


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