Our key takeaways from Quirk’s 2019

I attended Quirk’s 2019 event last week and sat in on talks that covered some of our favourite topics here at Incite; behavioural science, storytelling, creative deliverables and Voice. What a delight to be able to spend a day learning new insights and developments in fields that are so close to our heart.

But to be honest, I found the comforting thing to be that the day mainly confirmed what we already knew, topics we had been learning about for a long time and change that we had already actioned.

For two different reasons, these were my favourite questions of the day:

Why is it taking so long for clients to move away from the 100 slide PowerPoint deck?

We’re creatures of habit. We’re resistant to change and can fear the ‘unknown’. So, it’s unsurprising that this transition is taking time. We’ve spent years getting comfortable in using our Microsoft programs and building templates that push the design boundaries of the basic slide layout. How do we move away from this habit that forms part of our daily work lives, and that ticks a box on our clients’ checklist?

Change needs to be driven by clients, with help from agencies and via a fundamental shift in the industry. We have an in-house design team that create bespoke deliverables to help our clients – in a visual, memorable and tangible way – land their message within their own businesses to drive adoption and change. We also have a practical tool kit and a streamlined process to make working with video efficient and scalable, meaning that we can keep the consumer at the heart of everything we do. Let’s make this a collaborative journey.

How do we put behavioural science in the hands of our clients to make it tangible?

This was one of the big questions of the day. I heard several case studies demonstrating the use of behavioural science in further understanding the consumer and their decision journey. This was all fascinating but what was missing was the distillation of the complex theory into a tool that was practical, and that could be shared widely as a resource.

We’ve been applying the science of behavioural economics and other academic theory of human behaviour to our work for years now. It was two years ago that we developed our Behaviour Change checklist into a practical model that we have been sharing with our clients in interactive workshops ever since.

Key takeaways from our top four Quirk’s talks:

1 / Others Think, Therefore I Am: Using Behavioural Science to Understand Societal Beliefs of Gambling Behaviour

  • Metaphors are crucial for humans to understand the world. They are a rich way to encourage people to articulate their thoughts and feelings.
  • As humans, we always want to sound rational. But we are born irrational, and that has made us better decision-makers.

2 / To hell with fact! We need Stories!: The Power of Storytelling in Research

  • We are emotionally driven storytellers. If you can’t craft a good story around your research project, then it’s not going anywhere, it’s not going to be actionable.
  • We were talking before we were writing or reading. We are neurologically programmed to understand stories. And we’re much more likely to remember a story if there is a personal element to it.
  • Communicate that complex story in as memorable a way as possible. The more concise a story is, the better it is.

This is how we make the complex simple through storytelling.

3 / Video Won’t Kill the Research Star: How to Get the Most from All Past Research

  • We as consumers are absolutely engaged in video, and audio. Our brains will recall more information from video and picture, than by text.
  • Try and use video to engage and connect with your audience. To humanise the story. The more senior you become in the organisation; the further you get from your customer.
  • What video will convey, that the four-word, open-ended survey responses won’t; sentiment, context, emotion (facial and tonal), speech, object and activity recognition.

4 / ‘Alexa, Order Heineken.’ Voice and the Digital Assistant: A Wake-up Call for Marketing

  • We shouldn’t under estimate the opportunity in this space. AI, digital assistants, and Voice technology are not a hype, they are here to stay.
  • Children are among the earlier adopters of Voice, and young families are leading the way in usage. Currently, we’re using Voice for entertainment (music), updates (weather), to inform (location of nearby shops) and for life management (set a timer).
  • Current barriers for purchasing using Voice include concerns in accuracy and not being able to see a visual of the product before purchasing.

It was great to spend the day hearing from experts in these fields and to a get a good picture of the market research worlds continued journey. Knowing that we are very much a part of driving this change for our clients is both motivating and aspirational.

In collaboration with our sister agencies and our joint expertise in strategy, communication and innovation, this digital transformation is certainly something that we, and our Kin + Carta connective, can make a reality.