Past Conferences

Board of Trustees Meeting: The Marketing Research and Analytics Revolution


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Online registration for the Board of Trustees Meeting is curently closed due to meeting capacity. For registration questions, please email MSI Meetings or call MSI at (617) 491-2060.

New technologies and creative thinking have converged to produce a host of new methods to study and understand consumer/customer behavior. This conference brings together some of marketing’s most-admired scholars and thought leaders to share the latest and best thinking on how marketing research and analytics are evolving.

 In addition to presentations addressing the conference theme, some additional highlights include:

  • A panel of senior practitioners discussing the future of market research and analytics in their business sectors;
  • Breakout sessions showcasing recent findings from MSI marketing services companies;
  • Sessions on the challenges in measuring emotions, advances in neuromarketing, new approaches to dealing with unstructured data, and how to effectively communicate and disseminate research insights.

Trustees Meetings are open only to corporate and academic members of the MSI Board of Trustees. If you are not a Trustee but would like to attend, please contact one of your MSI Trustees or MSI for approval.


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Unfortunately the MSI group rate for the hotel has expired, but please contact the Taj Hotel as additional rooms may be available. For your reference, below is general contact information for the hotel.

Taj Hotel
15 Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02116 
(617) 536-5700




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Breakout Sessions

From Analytics to Business Impact: 2 Case Studies on How Companies Cvercame the Implementation Barrier

Marcus Roth and Robert Turtle, McKinsey
The challenge of deriving real business impact from analytics has plagued the insights community for decades. Too often we hear stories of truly great analyses sitting on hard drives because organizations lack the capability to act on the insights generated.  The most commonly cited reasons are organizational barriers, sub-scale adoption, and IT restrictions. Marcus Roth and Robert Turtle will share two case studies illustrating how two very different companies overcame these challenges by following a systematic, structured approach. They will invite participants to react to these examples and share their own experiences.

What’s Going On?  Hot Topics in Research Innovations at Millward Brown

Bill Pink, Millward Brown
The research landscape is evolving at an incredible pace.  Sources of disruption are everywhere. Consumer “information snacking” is increasing in developed markets as everyone is time pressed; new mobile opportunities  reach more and new consumers in emerging markets; analyses of marketing effectiveness more frequently combine big data with survey based metrics; and the timing and quality of data from lengthy surveys is increasingly being questioned.  Bill Pink will offer Millward Brown’s point of view on how these developments impact approaches to brand measurement, including the benefits of shorter surveys, applying data fusion as a tool to “fill in the blanks” with incomplete survey design, and the interplay between passive social media and survey-based research on brand equity.

A New Approach to Integrated Segmentation

Ramin Mikaili, Prophet
More than ever, organizations recognize the need for tighter linkage between brand and customer lifecycle management--an integrated view of customers that includes value, behavior, needs, attitudes, demographics, and other relevant customer dimensions.  In this presentation, Ramin Mikaili will offer a set of design principles for building effective integrated segmentations. One size does not fit all: the principles are organized in the form of trade-offs that a segmentation architect must consider in order to provide the right solution to serve the specific needs of an organization. He will offer sample segmentation methodology and architectures through a few case studies that resulted in significant business impact.   

This CMO's Journey: Transforming from a Brand Marketer to a Data-Driven Marketer

Lisa Arthur, Teradata 
Affinity. Equity. Loyalty. Do the core attributes of a brand still apply in today’s data-driven business environments? Absolutely! Does that mean it’s easy to make the transition from a brand CMO to a data-driven CMO? No, not at all. Lisa Arthur will discuss “the good, the bad . . . and the data” that occurred while she and her team shepherded the Aprimo brand through its acquisition by Teradata to become the data-driven organization it is today. Most companies say they want to become more data-driven, but few are actually doing so. Lisa will demystify the process and help attendees envision a data-driven future –not only for the marketing organization, but for the entire company.

Building a Social Spine into Tracking Research

Larry Friedman and Bob Burgoyne, TNS
Survey-based tracking research has come under severe criticism in the past few years, for being too slow, too expensive, and too backward looking.  By making use of various forms of new data – including social media data and search data – and integrating them with quick, flexible surveys, we can renew tracking research, turning it into a valuable management tool.  Larry Friedman and Bob Burgoyne will discuss research TNS has done that point the way to the future.

Twitter Causality

Mike Hess, Nielsen
Twitter is a big part of social media today, and much of this activity is by TV viewers as they watch and discuss their favorite programs. While TV viewing can apparently cause tweeting, the question remains: what is the effect of tweeting on television  tune-in? Mike Hess will discuss recent studies by Nielsen that address this question of Twitter causality, on an overall basis,  and reflecting differences by genre.

Integrating Media, Brand and Digital Attribution: Why a Holistic Approach Is Needed

Michael Svilar, Accenture
A structural equations approach to measuring media channel interactions is imperative in a multi-channel consumer world.  Michael Svilar will discuss the importance of systems thinking in marketing measurement and offer lessons from case studies that reveal how online and offline marketing vehicles work together in customers’ paths to purchase.

Engaging the Selective Shopper: Why Today’s Consumers Expect Personalization

Paul Flugel, Catalina
Paul Flugel will discuss a Catalina supermarket study of American shoppers' purchasing choices that illustrates that product choices have become a very personal undertaking. Across tens of millions of shoppers, no two consumers were the same based on their purchases, offering further evidence of the need for greater personalization. In response, brands have dramatically extended product lines, introducing thousands of new, targeted products with specialized scents, sizes, flavors, fashions, and functions for today’s more selective consumer needs and preferences. It’s a trend that will only grow as America’s consumer population continues to diversify. The rest of marketing needs to keep pace.

How to Get the Biggest Impact from Your Consumer Insights Team

Manila Austin and Julie Wittes Schlack, Communispace
The job of the marketing team is to move people - internal stakeholders and customers - to new behaviors. But multiple skills and techniques are needed to do so, and consumer insights teams are never going to break new ground unless they relax their grip on the way research and reporting have "always" been done. In this session, Manila Austin and Julie Wittes Schlack will share findings from interviews with insights professionals on successful strategies for overcoming organizational barriers and driving insights through the firm. They will discuss innovative synchronous and asynchronous tools and techniques that, wisely used, can help implement these strategies and help teams get from insight to material impact on their businesses.    

Going Beyond Surveys

John Wittenbraker and Norbert Wirth, GfK
Understanding of the emotional experience of consumers has been a significant challenge for the research industry. The development of neurometric methods has been promising, but the science and technology are still young and scalability of commercial applications is a challenge. John Wittenbraker and Norbert Wirth will share GfK's developments using affective computing to track and analyze facial response to marketing stimuli like advertising, long-form programming and other video content, all on a global scale. Their talk will focus on how GfK uses a combination of self-report and biometric data to assess the emotional appraisals that underpin behavior to help clients build better advertising and program content.

Using "Extension Teams" to Build Capacity, Generate Integrated Insights and Drive Business Impact

Jag Veerappan, Microsoft and Kumar Mehta, Blueocean Market Intelligence
With the rapid pace of change in technology products and services, the demand for synthesized data and insights has significantly increased, while research budgets and the ability to add headcount to teams have not.  Jag Veerappan and Kumar Mehta will describe how Microsoft approached this challenge. Partnering with Blueocean, they created “extension teams” that enabled Microsoft to maximize value from all research investments and address critical business questions quickly, comprehensively, and effectively.

Building Word of Mouth from the Brand Up

Anne Rivers and Jordana Roberts Marcus, BAV Consulting
Brands and word of mouth (WOM) are cornerstones of the marketing field, and yet their relationship has received relatively little attention. Anne Rivers and Jordana Roberts Marcus will discuss a comprehensive empirical analysis undertaken to enhance the understanding of brand characteristics as antecedents of WOM. Using Y&R’s Brand Asset Valuator, among other tools, the authors construct a data set on online and offline WOM and characteristics for more than 600 of the most-talked-about U.S. brands. To guide their analysis, they develop a theoretical framework arguing that consumers spread WOM on brands as a result of social, emotional, and functional drivers. They identify a set of 13 brand characteristics that stimulate WOM, including three (level of differentiation, excitement, and complexity) that have not been studied to date as WOM antecedents. They find that whereas social and functional drivers are the most important for online WOM, the emotional driver is the most important for offline WOM. These results provide an insightful perspective on WOM and have meaningful managerial implications for brand management and investment in WOM campaigns.

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