Insights Association 32nd Annual Joint Event: Recap Part 2

Insights Association 32nd Annual Joint Event: Recap Part 2

Aptly titled “Gladiators of Insights,” the Insight’s Association Southwest, Southeast, and Northwest joint conference took place April 4-6th in Las Vegas. The event was focused on education, networking and open discussion among industry leaders.  The agenda of presenters was robust and offered fascinating perspectives on key issues impacting brands and consumers — so fascinating, in fact, that my first recap  couldn’t cover all of it. Here are some other great highlights from the conference.

The Green Rush: Understanding the Impact & Opportunities of Legalized Cannabis for Your Brand
Rick Maturo, Cannabiz Consumer Group

As a Coloradoan who has witnessed the economic and business impact of legalized cannabis in my state, I was eager to hear Cannabiz’s take on the impact of this phenomenon.  Rick’s particular focus was on assessing impact to existing CPG companies.  Current stakeholders in the world of legalized cannabis tend to be those who deal directly with the plant or product – retailers, manufacturers, growers and processors.  However, non-industry stakeholders are emerging in the form of financial institutions and investment firms, the government and social sector as well as other private businesses and industries.  The most risk for existing industries is where the consumption of legalized cannabis negatively impacts consumption of other products – where one is traded for another.  However, there is also tremendous upside for products that compliment cannabis use.  The world of legalized cannabis is unlikely to contract or go away – the genie is out of the bottle, and large tax revenues likely mean it will continue to expand, state by state.  Cannabiz publishes a study they call “Cannause” which offers national statistics relevant to the world of legalized cannabis and national brands.  They have an informed perspective on user types and segments and see a lot of opportunity in the pain management sector.  This creates an interesting risk equation for the existing CPG market in that cannabis use can satisfy many of the same needs.  The risk of category substitution or replacement for beer, wine, spirits, pharma, tobacco and other retailers is real.   Legalized cannabis also has so many emerging categories (edibles, drinks, tinctures and topicals, to name a few), it is hard to project the exact category impact.  What’s clear is that researchers and brands alike have much to learn from the impact legalized cannabis will have on consumer behaviors.

Is There Life After Insights?
Nick Bambick, Pricing Manager for Sonic

Nick, a Wheel-of-Fortune winner and recovering Insights Professional shared his take on how well the skills he learned while working in insights have served him as he’s transitioned into a new role at Sonic.  An on-going awareness of the importance of the voice of the consumer helps define decisions that can seem far removed from needing consumer impact. Keeping consumers top of mind outside the insights department results in a Sonic experience that feels authentic to consumers at every level of brand engagement.

Gamify Your Research
Tony Cheevers, Vice President at Researchscape International

Tony gave a fun and interactive presentation about how to incorporate elements of games into your research.  With trivia prizes for audience members, he showed firsthand how fun and engaging gamification can be.  Importantly, gamification is not always the right solution for research studies – it needs to be used thoughtfully.  However, the use of time limits, rewards, competition, scores, role playing and teams can increase participation, completion rates and the overall experience of participating in research.  A win for consumers and researchers alike.

Balancing Act: Walking the Generational Tightrope
Lisa Herceg, Director of Market Research for the National Association of Realtors

I was interested to learn the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has three million active members and that “Realtor” is a trademarked term – members abide by a code of ethics and standards.  Ms. Herceg is busy – primarily responsible for all corporate research with realtors, she handles an impressive number of qualitative and quantitative projects each year.  The NAR knows their core demographic well, and works hard to keep up with their needs while also watching for trends and differences among the new generation of younger realtors joining the ranks.  The impact of technology on the industry has been significant, and the NAR does a thorough job staying on top of this and other key trends impacting their realtors and homebuyers.


Overall, the conference touched on a wide variety of topics influencing the industry, and provided a great balance of efficient yet engaging content that made the event worthwhile for me.

If you’d like to discuss these key issues trending in the market research industry and how they are impacting your research needs, just drop us a line. We are here to help.