Mark Earls started the day with his topic, I'll have what she's having, and the observation that we are more like Capt Kirk than we are Spock (Behavioural Economics distilled to one slide.)
Social influence and social learning is the most important factor shaping human behaviour. The UK government is working with behavioural economics insights to shape policy (seriously, data and science? innovative idea. Note to self, find the study publication, also called "I'll have what she's having".)
Several categories are more influence by social than independent thinking: alcohol, music and voting, for example. Deodorant and insurance purchases are more independent.
Paul McDonald of Google Consumer Surveys, a very good speaker, is talking about the future of surveys. They'll be mobile. They'll be chunked up into small bits and then reassembled. (Think packet data applied to surveys.) They are talking about having a billion person panel. They want users to install the app on their phone, and then earn free music downloads and similar things as incentive to respond to surveys. (Kind of sounds like a panel that just has better validation via their background analytics. Oddly, the more familiar this becomes, the more familiar it seems.)
According to Paul, we should be asking ourselves, "How can I take advantage of Google's Technology?" So I did ask if they could help me out with Hangouts as a qualitative product. He says that's a different division of the company. Oh well.
They are about to announce a website satisfaction product. Their pitch, clearly, is to the DIY end user, but maybe also to smaller research firms that might want different tools. Certainly, Google is not going to be providing analysis of the data.
They are offering free samples. So sometimes, Google is a conventional marketer, just like the rest of us. Speaking at conferences, offering free samples.