Earlier this month, we attended the Pharma Market Research Conference in a snow-covered Parsippany, New Jersey to connect with new and current clients as well as our colleagues in market research. The conference was a fantastic opportunity to talk about the changing environment in market research, the increasing importance of partnership, and the industry focus on making insights memorable.

One of the primary themes of this conference was gamification, and there was a lot of discussion regarding the value and implementation of this technique. Many of the presenters talked about the spectrum of ways it can be applied, from simple question framing to more holistic solutions, such as Solitaire-type games. It was great to see this level of discussion regarding gamification, because we’re big fans of this technique as a way to improve data quality and engagement from respondents. We enjoyed talking about our own unique solutions from our survey programming team (“Build-a-Patient” and “Virtual Office”) with those people who stopped by our booth.

Another primary theme was the application of behavioural economics, a topic we adore discussing. We were frequently hearing about the different techniques that can be employed to understand the factors underlying decision-making. There was also a lot of talk around how to make the right methodological choices to account for heuristics and biases. In our own discussions at the booth, we noticed there was a lot of interest in our work with implicit association tests.

Some of the most interesting talks we attended were regarding the application of insights from a client perspective. We’re often hearing from our clients about the increased demand for bite-sized snippets, since these snippets enable them to share our core findings internally and make the most of our research. We certainly agree that bite-sized snippets are becoming increasingly important, but we also believe that it’s essential to share in a way that is not only brief, but also highlights the core insight in a memorable way so the findings continue to ‘live’ internally with the client company. We pride ourselves on our diverse and engaging outputs, so it was great to have this discussion at the conference (for those of you in the UK, catch our BHBIA conference and training sessions on this topic later this year).

We also enjoyed sharing our presentation about our work with Google Glass! Our talk generated a lot of interest from our clients and colleagues, not only regarding how we have applied Google Glass as a market research tool, but also lots of wonder at how cool the device is in general (there were lots of selfies!). Many clients said they see this as the future of wearable tech and are looking at how to engage with the trend. We’re looking forward to applying the positive feedback we received to our upcoming talk at PBIRG, which will take a broader perspective on where various wearable tech options can be used and what the limitations are. We hope you’ll join us there!

Overall it was a very engaging and interesting conference, and we were pleased to be a part of it, as it was an excellent way to meet new clients and exchange ideas with colleagues. Best of all, none of us got snowed in!

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