Celebrating creativity and hard work in our industry is a joyful duty. Over the years the NGMR nominations have maintained, if not increased in quality. This year once again the judging committee had several difficult choices to make, including one of our past winners who yet again this year proved very deserving of another award. We also received an exciting mix of Client and Supplier nominations, and thus may in the future consider these separate categories.
For those of you attending the TMRE, in Scottsdale AZ this year, after the award ceremony at 8:30 AM this morning there will be the Winners Panel where we open the discussion around innovation to the winners and the audience at 11:00. I urge you to attend a lively and exciting conversation.
Without further ado, here are this years’ deserving winners:
Opinion Economy (CEO Ted Waz accepting)
Data fraud in marketing research sample has been estimated to be a $1 Billon a year problem. Sadly, researchers have come to expect that on average at least 15-30% of their data is fraudulent. This fraud drives up costs and worse, undermines the credibility of market research in general.
Opinion Economy has tackled this ongoing problem in a new way. The partners of the research firm 20|20 Research created a blockchain technology solution tied to a SaaS technology platform. Their solution is a new system creating a market economy whereby incentives are aligned to reward quality, not volume.
The Opinion Economy platform will not only drive costs lower but ensures that both respondents, as well as buyers, are incentivized to provide quality rather than quantity. Respondents with higher reputation scores can set a higher price for participation; sample buyers with higher reputation scores can more easily obtain a sample. Each is incentivized to be a fair and truthful actor in survey and payment transactions.
The net effect promises to be a real, dynamic marketplace for research sample where quality is rewarded for both the respondent and the researcher.
ThinkNow Co-Founder & Principal, Mario X. Carrasco
Be it penning perspective on what advertisers can learn from Drake or unveiling disruptive technologies that transform cultural conversations, Mario X. Carrasco, Co-Founder and Principal of ThinkNow, an award-winning technology-driven cultural insights agency, has helped elevate market research from mere data points to conduits of soul-baring insights on the most sought after yet misunderstood audiences—multicultural consumers.
Carrasco, a proud Mexican-American, approaches multicultural marketing from a place of authentic concern for how these audiences are portrayed in mainstream media. Under his co-leadership, ThinkNow is one of the few independent firms researching and sharing expert commentary on multicultural populations in the U.S., purposefully pursuing hot topics like virtual reality, cryptocurrency, and other conversations that often exclude the multicultural perspective.
Mario has worked to make sure multicultural is a lifestyle at ThinkNow, not a division, and to make sure these opinions are heard, and help address some of the disparities in multicultural marketing.
As NGMR Award Judge Kristin Luck put it, “Mario embodies the attributes of what we believe makes a truly next-gen market researcher. He’s been a leader in developing innovative marketing and research solutions that drive deep multi-cultural understanding and integrate mobile intelligence, first-party data, and panel profile insights to create a more holistic view of today’s complex consumer.”
Align – Susan Ferrari
(Quant+Text Data Analysis of B2B ‘Data Lake’ to Predict KPI’s)
The Most Innovative Research Method category is always among the most competitive, and this year was no exception. This years winner is Susan Ferrari of Align, as exemplified by her work with a large financial institution.
Sue’s case and methodology is one that she has been working toward and perfecting over time. It involves both structured and unstructured (text) data analysis as well as predictive analytics. It is useful to both practitioners of big data and small, and for researchers working with either B2C or B2B data.
The truly innovative approach that few people have thought about, and fewer are trying involves a certain amount of risk, as does anything genuinely new and innovative. Spending resources on a project where outcomes are unknown can be scary. She was counseled not to do it by one of her vendors (full transparency, Sue and her team used the OdinText platform for much of the analysis).
However, Sue pushed on, showing true grit in first building what has recently been referred to as a ‘Data Lake,’ and then spending a lot of time and effort prepping and standardizing these disparate data sources. The work was, in fact, a characteristic of a Big Data type project, made up of much smaller individual data sets. Smaller than what we see in some B2C data lakes, but not in the total economic opportunity represented (As this was B2B data, each record/customer represented millions of dollars).
Sue effectively married disparate survey sources, with real behavior KPI’s (revenue, return behavior etc.), with unstructured comment data (text), and in large part because of the value in free form customer text comments, was able to predict and understand several business units critical KPI’s.
Senior management was extremely impressed with the insights and strategic prioritization the analysis provided.
As NGMR Awards Judge Michael Gadd pointed out “The methodology is very interesting – I have long thought that there are opportunities to marry different types or survey data for analysis and predict outcomes but increasingly we are having issues with the quality of survey data. Interestingly however, we find generally speaking with proper professional probing from qualitative data we get deeper, more accurate and reliable insight. This is a truly remarkable application of both!”
Please join me in congratulating this years’ winners!
Big thank you also to the Judging Committee:
Mike Gadd, CEO Gadd Research
Kristin Luck, Luck Collective
Tom De Ruyke, Insites Consulting
Steve August, Poinyent/August & Wonder
Scott Upham, Valient Market Research
And finally also a big thank you to all the NGMR Group members who nominated the many talented researchers and companies, and The Market Research Event (TMRE) for their assistance in getting the word out about this year’s call for nominations, and to VoxPopMe which together with OdinText supported this year's awards.