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Cultural Insights and the Power of Futureproofing Your Brand


Gould and Eldredge proposed that evolutionary change is not gradual and does not occur on a continuous basis but rather transpires in sharp fits and starts. Species experience long periods of relatively little change in a relatively stable environment.

This is interrupted by rapid change which occurs in a relatively short timeframe. The species will change or evolve quite quickly and a new species, or even a family, will emerge having very little resemblance to its common ancestor. During the first 70 years of the research industry, this pattern of punctuated equilibria was driven mostly by changes in the modes of data collection and methodological design. The research process which replicates the scientific method from the natural or social science disciplines was held constant by the rules, laws, and traditions associated with the philosophy of science.

Evolutionary change occurred mostly within methods and data collection. Continued Evolution or Paradigm Shift If the theory of punctuated equilibrium is valid, then why is there a renewed focus on change in the discipline as if it will radically alter its direction and how we conduct our research projects? We contend that the renewed focus on disruptive change in the industry is indeed valid, but it is also a qualitatively different change pattern driven by the onset of a significant paradigm shift in both the industry specifically and the environment generally.

Whereas the evolutionary change of the old regime[iii] was driven by changes to data collection and methods, the change being experienced after the paradigm shift is being driven by change concerning the respondents and their universe. Based on the works of Kuhn and his application of paradigm shift in the natural sciences, a true shift is an infrequent occurrence driven by an inability of the old paradigm to solve puzzles or questions.

Compensating for fundamental change within the respondent body and its surrounding environment is something that the old paradigm is unable to account for currently. Exhibit 3 illustrates the role of a major paradigm shift within the evolution of the marketing research discipline, setting a clear division point between the old and new regimes. The old regime was dominated by a punctuated equilibria evolutionary structure based primarily on changes associated with methods and data collection procedures.

The current paradigm shift is being driven by critical characteristics of our respondents and includes a basic understanding of humans and their attitudes, as well as the insights which we glean from the very marketing research studies we conduct.

Key Attributes of the Post-Paradigm Shift Marketing Research Discipline Based on the current change process and a focus on the human subjects that we are studying, the new attributes identified by the current paradigm shift can be segmented into five major categories.

Focus has shifted from decision-making to decision intelligence[iv]. Table 1 provides a list of the five categories associated with the marketing research paradigm shift.

This represents a major shift in thinking and assessment concerning the way we approach and internalize the marketing research process. The first category 1 addresses the need to understand human nature in a total sense of the term. Humans and their decisions were viewed as being rational by definition or based on a-priori reasoning. There was little or no room for irrational or non-rational thought patterns or behaviors. Theories and general normative viewpoints from psychology, anthropology, among other disciplines have essentially been ignored.

The rise of behavioral economics has proven to us how misguided we were. Seminal work by Brainjuicer[v] has proven the importance of the non-rational within basic decision structures. It is clear that we must understand and comprehend the respondents in their totality and assess the contributions that both rational and irrational thoughts and behaviors have in our studies.

The second category 2 addresses the environment in which humans function and make their various decisions. Historically, we studied human decisions and nature, either void of environmental factors, or at a single plane, whether global, regional, or individual.

Based on the work by Kenneth Waltz[vi] in international politics, we know that the three levels of analysis tend to interact with one another—humans are actually influenced by one or more levels simultaneously. Too often marketing researchers constrain their study design and analysis to their human subjects within a single level and profess that humans do not interact or move between levels.

As globalization has become apparent, we recognize that respondents are greatly influenced by all three levels of analysis, creating hybrid influences on behaviors and the decision-making process. Similar to the old regime, technology is continuously influencing and setting the foundation for change in both methods and collection modes.

This is our third category 3 under the new paradigm. Within the old model, method and data collection change was seen as linear and a conduit to gather consumer information. In the new paradigm, it will be influenced not only by technology and technological breakthroughs, but also by the interaction with humans themselves. From this outcome, we will observe the rise of gamification, in which the questions and functions of techniques will be disguised to more closely resemble the normal functioning and actions of the human brain.

This will stimulate natural human dialogue where more biological-based measurements will be triangulated and compared with attitudes and statements. The post-paradigm shift world of marketing research will also need to view business problems and objectives with a broader lens, chiefly at the industry or enterprise level.

Much has been written about the rise of big data and predictive analytics, which is our fourth category 4. Under the old regime, much of our research was focused on a single problem, in a single space, at a single point in time.

While this approach supports a simple strategy, it artificially reduced the complex nature of life and the consumer decision-making process. The use of big data and predictive analytics provides complex levels of data and is able to assess the research problem and objectives from a number of dimensions more accurately reflecting the complex nature of the problem.

We aim to deliver the highest standards of quality, integrity and fairness in everything we do. Our software and systems are a reflection of our people. It is our people that set us apart. We are as data and analysis-oriented in improving our own business as we are in helping our customers with their businesses. We turn a critical eye at our deliverables and processes to find new avenues for improvement. We then take ownership of changing the system as our way of building a stronger company. Our team brings together a vast array of experience from a variety of industries — the perfect mix of skills and disciplines.

We develop industry-leading technology for data analysis and ROI management. We personally gain gratification seeing our customers use our technology to succeed. We love to help you leverage our software for maximum benefit for your business. Rex has also won international research awards for his work in understanding website effectiveness and online advertising.

His work in understanding the effects of advertising in television, magazine and online was nominated for the prestigious John and Mary Goodyear Award for best international research. His research has been translated into a half-dozen languages and he has taught at leading universities around the world.

The studies were designed by Marketing Evolution to track media expenditure in real time and offer solutions on how marketers can improve ad effectiveness. His expertise derives from direct experience measuring and improving the performance of a wide range of marketing programs for more than Fortune marketers. He is currently a Founder and Managing Director of Zetta Venture Partners, the first early stage fund focused only on the intelligent enterprise.

Prior to his career in venture capital Mark served as a software executive, entrepreneur and a member of the first SparcStation team at Sun Microsystems. Jeff Horing has been a co-founder and managing director at Insight Venture Partners since Jeff graduated from M. During his 3 year tenure, he was able to triple sales revenue, while increasing customer satisfaction. Prior to joining SAP, Chris worked for well-known companies like Siebel Systems, PeopleSoft and Oracle, in a variety of high-profile executive roles, leading their sales and operations.

John knows finance, marketing and technology. He joined Marketing Evolution as its general manager of software development and operations, and then became president of the company in its transition to a fully SaaS business.

John has been deeply involved in marketing as a marketing strategy consultant and as a professor of marketing. John also founded Beacon Advisors LLC, a consulting firm specializing in the application of customer intelligence to market strategy and investment decisions, and was a senior partner at Mercer Management Consulting now Oliver Wyman. John holds a doctorate in business administration from Harvard Business School, where he concentrated in marketing research analytics and decision support systems.

Shane brings more than 18 years of sales and sales management experience in the technology space and has over 15 years SaaS sales experience. He was crucial in growing Silverpop's client base from under a dozen clients to over 1, of the most recognized brands in the world. Silverpop sold to IBM in Most recently she served as CMO at ServiceChannel, a facilities management software provider, and CMO at Evariant, a digital health company focused on patient engagement.


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Marketing research had a common ancestor in political polling of the ’s. From there it embraced the scientific method from the natural and social sciences and then evolved on a gradual basis. As a consequence, qualitative and quantitative approaches separated into two distinct species.

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Since its founding in , Evolution Consulting & Research has grown rapidly to become an industry leading global biopharmaceutical consulting and marketing research firm. We provide consultative and collaborative solutions throughout all phases of the product lifecycle with unparalleled global experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare . Decades of marketing research expertise and a passion for cutting edge techniques – successfully applied to an increasingly broad array of client requests – have led us to become the full spectrum marketing consulting firm we are today.

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