Best quote of the morning was "In God we trust; all others bring data. If you don't have any data, you're operating on opinion. If it's a contest of opinions, we're using mine."
Observation: one way to ensure everyone has their head down during your talk is to put the conference program on an app.
Next up: Google Consumer Surveys (John Sadow) and Gut Check (Matt Warta) promise to talk about their case study after we listen to their pitch. Odd approach, because most people here would have heard about Google's survey offering, and we'd all be more interested in the pitch after we heard their case study.
I had stopped by the Google booth earlier, because I have this crazy idea that Google Hangouts might be a good real-time webcam research platform. Not sure they really got it, but they did concede that some people are already using Hangouts that way.
The promise of the case study is doing a full quali-quant study in 24 hours with equivalent quality to traditional methods. The category and product: Cover Girl foundation makeup.
Matt says that they don't do a lot of preliminary design -- they dive in and do some iterative stuff. First iteration was 25 in-depth interviews (not yet defined exactly what he means by in-depth interview. Not clear how GutCheck is recruiting people. Looks like it is some kind of panel.)
In the end, they took 72 hours to gather data, and a week to provide a report. I'm guessing this was with dedicated individual people resources. Still pretty fast.
What is appealing here -- the ability to iterate quickly, such as with concept development work. They're calling the approach Agile research, a nice label.
Rajan Sambandam of TRC: Behavioural Conjoint: Can Behavioural Economics and Conjoint Analysis Coexist?
Conjoint analysis is an approach that uses statistical modeling to evaluate tradeoffs. A conjoint study will present you with a number of scenarios where you need to choose one of two options, where feature levels and prices are varied. Example: Folger's in a bag for $9.99 or Maxwell House in a can for $8.99. Choice is modeled as a function of each feature being tested.
One difference is that conjoint uses a within-subjects analysis, whereas in behavioural economics, it is a between-subjects design. There is generally some subterfuge in behavioural economics -- the thing being tested is not supposed to be obvious. In conjoint, it is completely obvious.
Another way to look at this: behavioural economics looks at how environmental stimuli affect decision making.
What they did, was run the same study two ways, to determine whether the presence of a picture in the stimuli affected the results of the study, where every other factor is held constant. What did they find? The presence of a picture (even a fairly bland picture of coffee) beats a plain text stimuli across all other factors (such as brand, features, price).
(I think this means that we like anything presented with graphics, more than we like things without graphics. Probably why most advertising has graphics, not just words. But now we have proof. I'm being a bit unfair, because this guy is clever, and a really strong presenter. He would make a good prof, which I guess explains why he is adjunct at Columbia.)
Last up today, Rudy Nadilo of Daprosey talking about Using Data Visualization to Drive Stakeholder Value. He argues that reporting tools have not changed much in 20 years. "Instead of static slides, what if you could provide dynamically generated information in a much more visually engaging way." They're nice infographics, and they appear to be created within their tool. A pitch, but a nice pitch.
Off to cocktails now. And no, I won't be live blogging from there.