Insane in the Brain: What I Learned at IIEX

If the market research universe was high school, TMRE is kind of like the Homecoming King and star athlete – he may not be the friendliest, but everyone still votes for him. If you're still following my flawed analogy, IIeX is like the cool theater kid, casually reading Nietzsche, who everyone secretly wants to be. The fact that IIeX was held in the same theater that houses the famous Avenue Q doesn't hurt, either.

IIeX Forum is an exceptional event, presented by GreenBook, that is designed to share the leading methodologies and research practices in neuroscience, implicit approaches, behavioral economic techniques, and other nonconscious models. The event is broken into two days: one that focuses on Behavioral Marketing, and the second focusing on Nonconscious Measurement.

The pace is fast and upbeat – more like TED than a traditional conference. Some presentations are 45 minutes, others are 20 minutes, and energy is high. It's hard to squeeze all of my favorites into one blogpost, so instead I'll consolidate three of the top trends shared at IIex:

1) Stop doing things we know don't work: Methodologies can be a highly personal thing for many clients, and making extreme changes can be daunting and frustrating. Several key speakers mentioned that the catalyst that drove them to explore new research methods occurred after doing the same test, and expecting different results, but getting the same. A CPG company spoke of a copy test that didn't align with in-market results. Another spoke of their creative team who was frustrated with lack of innovative insights. Many were inspired to try new methods to give their research a jumpstart after stagnant business results.

2) Never discount the power of human truths:

Most of the examples of "research gone wrong" trotted out the notion that a basic understanding of human behavior and core human truths would have prevented some poorly received product launches, media campaigns, or branding issues. All research ought to include a stage where one steps back, and considers the results and recommendations through the lens of basic human truths, or as a keynote speaker put it, "we should be experts on people, not methods."

3) There's an app for that!

Did you know that researchers are trying to understand every minor movement you make and every thought you have, in this very moment? There are the more widely accepted methodologies like EEG, eye tracking, or even facial response measurement, and then there are the ones you may find hard to believe: personality analysis based upon Facebook likes, voice tonal recognition, emotion-driven social media listening, and metaphor elicitation. The opportunities truly are endless.