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At the 2016 Asia Pacific Customer Intelligence Summit in Sydney, I had the pleasure of delivering a presentation to 200 client-side market research professionals and their stakeholders from all over the region.

My talk expanded on the themes discussed in my new e-book, Winning the Research Revolution. While it’s great to be able to speak at events like the Summit, I find real value in meeting with and learning from people who are delivering change on the ground, in different countries, sectors and roles.

Here are my key takeaways from the APAC meetings.

Think global

The problems faced by those creating and using insight are remarkably similar from New York to New Zealand, and everywhere in between. Automation, customer centricity and the need for speed—subjects I cover in my e-book—are present everywhere. By developing new tools, approaches and mindsets, the global insight industry creates research that meets the evolving needs of businesses in a more cost-effective and efficient way.

Think Pokémon GO

In the e-book, I talk about SoLoMo (the convergence of social, local and mobile), the speed of change and the rise of automation and new channels. Pokémon GO, the augmented reality game that took the world by storm this summer, is a timely example of how rapidly the world is changing and why researchers need to stay on-trend.

Pokémon GO is now the fastest growing game ever. Within two days of its launch, five percent of Android phones in the U.S. had downloaded it. In Bosnia, warnings had to be issued to tell people not to follow Pokémon into mine fields.

It’s too early to determine how research will leverage Pokémon GO, but the game is a great example of the speed and depth of the change going on all around us. It’s just a matter of time before someone uses it for insight, and we must all learn from that.

Learn from other researchers

_C6A6866The research revolution is happening worldwide. This means that researchers in every industry need to learn from and evolve with the successes, challenges and mistakes of others.

At the Summit, I watched customer intelligence pros from airlines learn from their counterparts at banks, and tech companies talk to energy companies. Even an art gallerist connected with an online payments company rep—all from a range of countries.

Like a jigsaw puzzle, our piece is only valuable if we connect with others to make a bigger, clearer picture.

Boost value for customers

Vision Critical CEO Scott Miller challenged Summit attendees to create more value for customers who participate in research. Whether they’re participating in discussions or surveys, customers need to know they’re getting as much, or ideally more, value from the process than researchers are. The industry can’t expect them to participate as a favor to brands. Paying for customers’ time is unsustainable and doesn’t deliver commitment we want to help co-create the future.

In a good deal, both parties walk away feeling they got at least as much as the other party. Customer participation in research needs to replicate that feeling of a mutually beneficial relationship. Miller’s point has massive implications for how we organize research and insight in the future. Customers expect their input to result in better products and services, for their contributions to be recognized and for there to be an exchange of value. Providing insight community members with information they would not otherwise receive is a good example of providing value to customers.

Embrace automation

In Winning the Research Revolution, I share my prediction that in the next four years, four out of 10 researchers will lose their jobs because of automation and disintermediation, but two out of 10 will find themselves thriving in better jobs. The people who’ll thrive are those who utilize changes in the industry to create better, cheaper and faster results. Researchers need to be automation winners or risk becoming irrelevant.

Join the conversation about the future of research

If you would like to know more about the research revolution, please join me at the 2016 Customer Intelligence Summits in Chicago and London. The Summit series is a great opportunity to network with and learn from insight professionals from the most customer-centric brands out there. You can also download my e-book Winning the Research Revolution for more information.

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