As The AD Club concludes the fourth week of the A&M Series, a seven-week course offering presentations from masters of the industry who are redefining our business, audiences have gained tremendous insights and access to some of the brightest minds in advertising and marketing. On October 14th, Ann Green, Senior Partner, Client Solutions and Innovation at Millward Browndiscussed the fundamentals of the research in the industry.

Attendee Avia Bushyhead, Client Development Manager at NTENT, reflected on the valuable takeaways from the evening. Read more below!

Reflections of a Young Advertising Professional

Avia Bushyhead, Client Development Manager at NTENT 

Avia Profile

Listening to Ann Green, Senior Partner and Cross Portfolio Consultant for Client Solutions and Innovations at Millward Brown, speak about research on October 14th at the AD Club’s Advertising & Marketing series was eye-opening. Green’s enthusiasm helped bring the processes and uses of her field to life.

Running the production team at digital start up for a year has been a daily reminder for me that every department is dependent on one another to successfully launch campaigns. Green’s talk proved that building a campaign that speaks to the right people in the right way can only be supported by the right data to back it up. Data is what validates both our analytical decisions and creative efforts.

Below are five takeaways from the A&M series on research and its applications in our business:

  1. Start by asking the right question. Every aspect of this business seems to come back to storytelling. And the best stories are told by starting your research with a clearly identified problem. “Big Data doesn’t answer the questions of the universe. It answers the question you’re asking,” said Green. Know your question and let it guide you to the type of data and form of research you really need. It is also vital for us to stay open to ideas beyond our current beliefs and assumptions or we will miss out on effective ways to communicate with the consumer.
  1. Research is about people and its goal is to generate an impact. Information helps us break down the wall between brands and people. It helps show the way to move forward and shape the relationship brands can have with their customers.
  1. People come first when it comes to research. Giving respect applies to everything from the amount of time we ask consumers to spend on surveys, to how we handle user data. Consumers will be more willing to share what they think and feel if they believe that marketers truly value what they learn from them.
  1. Mobile has made cutting edge technologies much more applicable to researchers. With phone cameras, health apps and wearables human physical responses can be tracked by Autonomic Arousal, Eye Tracking and Facial Coding Methods such as these help researchers decode what Green terms the “myth of rational choice.” We must identify certain things that consumers can’t express or won’t say—the instincts that lie behind our decisions.
  1. Researchers are able to rely more on technology to assist in data comprehension. Programs now utilize Artificial Intelligence to generate in depth reports with text summaries, recommendations and other desired features from data sets. However, AI cannot replace the inspiration and experience that a seasoned performer utilizes to transform data takeaways into a dynamic campaign.

Green also reinforced the importance of accurately connecting the dots. After buying a baby gift at Target, the brand continues to send Green ads that speak to her as an overwhelmed mother. Which is the opposite of the life she actually leads considering she doesn’t have any children. Details can make all the difference in resonating with a consumer, so make sure your data is qualified and comprehensive.

As I left the event I kept thinking how important it is that we all stay passionate about our sectors and industry as a whole. With the dynamic nature of our industry and a more plugged-in consumer, we must stay excited about the challenges and the discoveries our challenges lead us to. Otherwise, we’ll just get lost in a universe of ever-expanding information and that’s a story we can do without.