Of Addicts, Infants and Machines..Recaps from MRMW Europe


MRMW Europe took place in London last week and in tune with the conference’s reputation for cutting edge content and new ideas, it was an intense and exciting two days discussing not only where the industry is right now, but also what will define the future of MR.

Case studies by global clients such as Lego, Porsche and Zurich were followed by solid research and thought leadership from leading agencies including Lightspeed, Borderless Access and SSI. It was great to see how clients are now fully embracing social media and consequently moving their market research efforts into the more personal and engaging mobile environment.

Different approaches to profiling

Franz Drack, Brand Director for Lego shared how the company identifies their fans on social media by creating different personas. These profiles are used to offer customised, relevant content for each target group, not only helping to better engage consumers, but also to optimise the ratio between organic and paid reach on social media.

While Lego used a more traditional approach to personas, using classifications such as gender, age and personal interests, Northstar Research took a different, more radical approach altogether. The agency created mobile persona based on mobile consumption and behaviour. Out go the old classifications based on gender age and interests, in come new persona based on usage and engagement with mobile devices. This lead to the creation of new types of persona, with interesting sounding manes like the Addict, Slave, Infant and Machine.

But can you really trust individuals when they share information about their mobile behaviour? I think not, one might say after hearing Wakoopa’s presentation on actual versus perceived user behaviour. The study, carried out together with respondi, compared three weeks of app and website usage with responses collected through a survey about users’ behaviour in the past two weeks. The result? 100% of respondents underestimated the amount of apps used, 82% do not know how often they use their mobile device per day and the amount of websites visited was a whopping 250% higher than perceived!

Big data, passive data and crowd sourcing

Telefonica’s Alistair McMahon may have a good solution to this problem. Combining mobile and behavioural data from multiple data sources (active, passive, websites, apps) allows the creation of dynamic, yet highly detailed consumer profiles. The company collects up to 2 billion network events every day and can analyse them for a period of up to 2 years!

Mobile devices have truly become a powerful source of information. At the same time, they are increasingly influencing the way we live our lives, make decisions, seek information and interact with each other.  Maybe, as one delegate remarked, the question does really beckon whether in future the goal should be to influence the mobile device rather than the person using it!

With data processing capabilities and connectivity increasing worldwide, companies are turning to the crowd to collect information anywhere in real time. Companies like Fieldagent and BeMyEye are leading the charge to check in-store implementations, adding video feeds and to collect direct customer feedback.  Passive data collection is getting increasingly sophisticated with new technologies allowing for an “always on” approach without draining battery power. I will share more about this in part 2 of my MRMW recap. Watch this space!