Hundreds of delegates gathered in the ballroom at the Omni in Downtown Nashville. The energy in the room was palpable as David Boyle, Founder, Audience Strategies & TMRE Chairperson back live and stressed how Customer Insights are more critical than ever to business growth.
The exclamation point was added to that sentiment by Kirti Singh, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer of Procter & Gamble. He emphasized how only by applying humanity, technology, and data can we really get a grasp on what today’s buyers think and want.
Soon Yu, International best-selling author, Author of Friction, shared stories of his own career and life and applied them to business growth, emphasizing the importance of conflict and failure (and even disagreement within companies) in leading to huge ideas and transformation.
The breakout rooms and exhibit hall were packed (with social distancing protocols and other health-related precautions in place), as speakers and delegates tackled a wide range of consumer and b-to-b solutions and case studies. The topics were broken down into four hyper-relevant tracks:
- Consumers Decoded
- Future World
- Mission: Innovate Insights
- Collab Lab
And, for those who literally wanted a “breath of fresh air” (although all sessions were infused with transformative concepts), another track took place on the Spa Terrace.
From sports, entertainment and food and beverage to business services and tech to consumer products like underwear, brands and industries were well-represented in discussions of how customer insights led to quantum growth. More importantly, how do we know what tomorrow's consumers will want?
Key themes on the exhibit floor were:
- AI and its role in accurate and instant consumer insights
- Video capture and research, enabling brands to observe real-time decision-making behavior
- Conversational intelligence (and how automation is accelerating the application and accuracy of qualitative data)
- Diversity and how market research can be used to increase empathy and informed marketing
We were all ready for a spirited singalong at day’s end, as CMA winner Jimmy Yeary grabbed his guitar and shared how to use data and humanity to craft compelling brand stories. The delegates then all contributed their own “live experiences,” as Yeary wrote and performed a song based on that consumer data.
Gathering on the exhibit floor, the country music fest continued with local spirits and a live performance by Yeary, and songwriting hall of famer Tim Nichols.
As we all prepare to enter 2022 and a moment like no other in brand creation and marketing, the insights we gained on Day 1 are certain to amp up the “music of growth.”
About the Author: Nancy A Shenker is the Founder of theONswitch marketing and nunu ventures (a content strategy and storytelling company). A former marketing executive at Citibank and MasterCard, she consults to a variety of industries about scaling through branded content and a strategic blend of digital and conventional media. A graduate of the University of Michigan and NYU’s Graduate Publishing program, she is a published author and writes for the Rolling Stone Culture Council and the Forbes Agency Council.