Editor’s Note: Traveling home from IIEX Europe gave me ample time to read recaps of the event shared via LinkedIn. Thank you to everyone who took the time to do so. Each recap both informs those who missed the event and extends the learning for those in attendance. With this goal in mind, I asked Cecilia Sylvan Martin if we could repurpose and republish her recap in particular, as it resonated with me and touched upon many of the things I’ve been reading. Also, I encourage each of you to look for the recaps on LinkedIn (by searching for iiex and iiexeurope) and join the conversation taking place over there. The event might be over but the insight innovation exchange continues!
1. Diversity: inclusive marketing can change things for the better!
Love how the #AbsolutALLY campaign contributes to driving positive change for the LBTQA+ communities in India. We are at a tipping point for diversity being not just about altruism, but crucial for brands to engage with consumers who’d increasingly walk away from brands not relating to their values.
2. Generative AI: the new kid on the block: a friend or foe?
Well, well, well. The talk of the town.
While outside the industry, key figures in AI (such as Elon Musk) called for training of AI systems to be suspended amid fears of a threat to humanity, at IIEX we discussed how we could adopt AI and machine learning, and work with it as a tool to assist us when uncovering human insights, not replace us.
3. Big Data: let’s not leave human empathy behind
In the age of Big Data, it’s crucial to remember that people are more than data points. As a Quallie, I’ve often felt the reality of human behaviors are left out of the equations at times.
I’m not a luddite, but what came clear to me throughout the conference is how important human connections are in understanding people. Without empathy, it’s hard to create brands that resonate and build trust.
4. What really matters when the air raid sirens call
I often say to myself ‘this is not life or death’ when we have hiccups during field work. However, hearing Oksana Pleskova talk about lessons she learned in Ukraine was an eye opener:
“We’ve become obsessed with technology, but imagine sitting in candle light when air raid sirens call. There are only two things to consider: digging deep into clients objectives and keeping respondent safe.”
5. Clients do really want it all!
Agile (DIY) is here to stay. At times, it enables research that would otherwise not happen. But not at the expense of quality … quality is still a key driver.
Agile research (and automation) also frees up time and budget for the big strategic projects. Win-win!
6. ‘Sticks’ as much as ‘Carrots’ to nudge people to change behaviors
Consumers also want it all. And, the ‘say-do’ gap is real. We should use behavioral science to make things easy for consumers to make better choices.
Should we also make it harder (or less palatable) to make unsustainable choices, by calling out the baddies? If so, are companies ready for that?!
7. Innovation Sprints: team work makes dream work
Loved to see how Nestle & Novartis are embracing Lean Start Up methods into their innovation processes. Especially since design thinking and innovation sprints are close to my heart and day job!
A key reminder for me is how important it is to involve key stakeholders throughout: get senior buy-in from the start, then have regular check ins with gatekeepers and consumers to co-create, pivot and build ideas.