AMA Research & Strategy Summit In Review (And From Afar)

American Marketing AssociationRemember the conference that you went to that was horrible just because you were forced to go to.  Now, remember the conference that you wished you could have gone to but could not because of whatever reason.  I am sure you were disappointed and still tried to find out what happened.  Well, that happened to me last week.  Generally, I am a fan of attending a good conference just as much as the next person, especially if the conference is in Las Vegas.

Last week the AMA (American Marketing Association) had their Research & Strategy Summit in Las Vegas.  Although I was not able to attend, I know several people that did attend and closely followed their tweets, LinkedIn status updates, and blog postings.  After reading them all, I was inspired with some take-away thoughts that I know will impact how and why I do research.  Since I read many of these together, my takeaways are an amalgamation of multiple sessions and perspectives.  Therefore, they may not be all attributable to just one source or session.

  • I really liked the purpose of the conference that the AMA placed on the conference’s website: “Research is undergoing a major transformation. That’s why the AMA’s Annual Marketing Research Conference has a new name and a new focus. With the role of research expanding to include driving strategy and informing critical business decisions, we’re bringing together the brightest minds in research for elevated discussions and planning. We’ll examine integrating new and existing technologies and methods; the expanding role of research in your organization; the impact of these changes on your career; and the future of research.” I wrote a blog about this change a few months back and you can read here.
  • There is no such thing as a research project anymore, it should be integrated into the business process.
  • Continuing on that theme, research and strategy need to go hand-in-hand. Doing research just for doing it is a waste of time, money, and efforts. Developing a strategy without a foundation of research is like building a house on sand…and we all know what happens there…it falls apart.
  • Be sure to spend time upfront to understand why market research is being conducted. This is the key to research success. The research should find solutions targeted for that.
  • The era of not enough data in research is over. The problem is how do we deal with ALL of it. Also, not all data is good data. There is still the “garbage in, garbage out” principle that rings more true today because everyone can do research. That’s where a researcher’s expertise comes into play. Data needs to be turned into actionable results.
  • As much of a fan I am about social media (and social media research), it is not about Likes, Shares, retweets or engagement. It is about Return On Investment (ROI). Companies are in business to make money on their expenses. Be sure results can be measurable.
  • As researchers, we need to understand the data from the actual customers perspective, not what we think the typical customer perspective is. This came about from the session: The one handed world by Kelley Styring, who talked about the average person has less than two hands, yet everything we design stuff for is for the two handed world.

Based on this, how do you think you can adjust your research methods for your clients or your organization? Let me know your thoughts.

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at


About J. Nolfo
Well...there is a lot to know. #Cx, #Analytics, #SM, Specialty #AgChem, #StL sports, & more. FT @BASFAgProducts. @Mizzou Alum. Supporter of the #Rhino. Tweets my own. #SMMW17 attendee....Dad...Hiker...Scouter...and so much more.

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