As published on Switch & Shift on January 27, 2014. In an economy of individuals with everyone in the world close to all the information in the world, organizations can no longer just copy-paste their strategy and plans from the year before. There is no way back. The open world is here to stay and expected to further accelerate. The future will be less about money, power or size, but more about agility, networking and sharing. In order to survive, businesses need to grow to a permanent state of curiosity, making it a core strategic competence.
Last week I was invited to speak at the Product Design + Innovation conference at the Oval Cricket Ground in London. The gathering of almost 40 speakers from leading international brands such as Cisco, Thomson Reuters, Telefónica Digital, Virgin Atlantic, Nike and Philips provided food for thought on how scientists, designers and users can collaborate in the future. Sessions on connected objects, the circular economy and the consumerisation of health covered a broad array of contemporary trends in industrial design. I’d like to focus on one stream of thoughts: how consumers are becoming the next superstars in design.
Last year, at the sunny, sunny beach of Zandvoort in The Netherlands, we’ve pulled off “The Double” at the MOAwards, the annual prizes for Market Research firms in the Netherlands. Kristof De Wulf won the Agency Researcher of the Year Award and our Dutch office the Research Agency of the Year Award. And today, we’re happy to announce that we are nominated twice in the category Innovation Awards 2012! Together with RTL Netherlands InSites is nominated for a Facebook research community app, that was executed on the Facebook fanpage of The voice of Holland. The other Innovation Award is for InSites Consulting’s efforts for bringing gamification into market research online communities (MROCs).
The Dutch Accenture Innovation Awards, Amsterdam at the Congress centre RAI, November 2011. 5 sectors – consumers products & Agri, Health & Public services, Energy, Media Communication High tech and last but not least Finance – were challenged to come up with innovative projects. In total Accenture received more than 1200 projects! Let us take a look at Finance. For me an exciting universe even now in these stormy times where sector, resources, strategies and policies are questioned.
Consumers have conversations about your products, if you like it or not… A lof of them want to have an impact on the future of your brand, because they care and social media has given them the power to do so. This is not a threat. It’s an opportunity: research has shown that companies who listen and actively involve consumers in innovation and decision making, outperform the competition. Research Communities enable you to join this conversation and start a real dialogue: giving key customers a seat in your board. It will bring ‘the voice of the customer’ into the heart of your business. They connect your internal organization with the real stories and real emotions of consumers and change the hearts, minds and actions of your marketing and innovation teams.
“Innovate in the name of sustainability”! This call by Contzen from the Luxembourg Bankers association can be considered the key message of the first Innovation for Financial Services Summit, 21-23 September 2011, Luxembourg. Banks and insurers need to start building sustainable relationships with consumers and open up to include the consumer’s voice in the open and collaborative innovation process. Even if this implies/requires one of the most disruptive cultural changes in the financial sector of the past decade: from reactive/ close to proactive and open.
Today Media Marketing announced their MM Marcom Innovation Ranking. This list contains the most innovative companies in marketing, communication and media in Belgium. InSites Consulting is ranked at the top of the list, for several reasons according to Media Marketing:
At the end of the ’90s InSites positioned themselves as the first internet research agency. Over the last years they also positioned themselves as marketing consultants and are constantly searching for new innovative research methods (such as online communities, social media research, nethnography, etc.). And last but not least their vision on marketing with The Conversation Manager, the bestseller book of Steven Van Belleghem.
Media Marketing completed the ranking with Boondoggle as the runner-up and then netlog, Kinepolis, mortierbrigade, Deepblue, Brandialog, Alfacam, Bananas and Good Deal (SBS).
More information on the MM Marcom Innovation Ranking will be available in the next month issue of MM.
The ARF Great Mind Awards recognize and celebrate individuals who are making research great today. They are awarded for research innovation, rising stars, outstanding ARF member contributions and lifetime achievement within the industry.
Niels Schillewaert, Managing Partner at InSites Consulting has been nominated for an ARF Great Mind Award in the Innovation Category. Awards will be given out at the end of March during the ARF Annual Convention.
While writing this blog post, I’m sitting on the train to Belgium. I’m on my way back from Amsterdam, where I attended the kick off of the ‘Givolution’-campaign of Ben & Jerry’s, the legendary ice cream brand. Although it’s very cloudy and rainy outside, I’m feeling excited. It has been an epic day, and this is how it all started:
Last week I attended the IIR congress ‘Front End of Innovation’ in Amsterdam. As a market researcher with a passion for innovation, and as an employee of a company which fosters innovation in everything we do in order to take research forward, I really looked forward to this event. I was there to be inspired, to hear things I did not know yet and to meet interesting people who shared interest in a common topic: passion for innovation.
I must admit that I returned from this conference with a puzzled mind and mixed feelings. Here are my key take-aways from the congress: