November 28, 2016

In the final instalment of our ESOMAR 2016 WORLD CONGRESS series, we take a quick look at social media and the world of implicit research.


It was nice to see how some work we have been doing with our clients is right up there with tech firms in the US. 

One of the hottest spaces of “chitter chatter” was around how companies are using social media to define and learn about the people they are interested in.

There are question marks about how people curate their online identities, but from Germany, to the USA, to India, social media profiles and interactions between ‘friends’ are being used to create new forms of ethnography, and inspiration for communication & gaining cultural context.

Research bods call it implicit research.

No questions. Just ‘observation and deduction’.  

MTV India, highlighting the outcomes of their social media study.
Image source: The Lab

MTV used it to create profiles of Gen Yers in India, amongst other examples. People were quick to “lay the boots” into surveying and asking questions. Both obviously have pros and cons, but the visual dimensions of social media were found to be really powerful.  

Importantly, visual coding and text coding programs help to make analysis more plausible. Quite often social media research was being complemented with more traditional forms like interviews/depths or online qualitative.

Time to try new things…
The Congress highlighted a raft of new technologies, like emotions and facial coding as well as neuro technology. There were also data matching companies showing their wares – whereby companies could match the profiles of their web traffic with other databases.

It was great to see that the typically more conservative industry lived up to the ethos of one of the city’s young musicians, Jordan Hernandez.

“This is New Orleans, it's where you try new things all the time."

Jordan Hernandez, Musician

And that’s a wrap…
That’s it for our series about ESOMAR World research Congress. If you’d like to find out any more about the comings and goings of what we heard & saw at ESOMAR 2016, please get in touch