Same same, but different.

That pretty much sums up Day 2 for me. While Day 1 started with a bang, Day 2 seemed grounded in the insight that ’emotions are important’. I think the mood in the room was one of “tell me something I don’t already know”. It was also the day of pitches, and a lot of back slapping which is to be expected I guess.

One of the benefits (and there are few of them) of being a ‘traditional’ researcher here at the conference is that I have no qualms about asking questions to try and establish what people are thinking. Sure, we know this is a fallacy, but when you speak to several different delegates who are all saying the same thing, you don’t need an EEG to know something is up. It felt good to not be shrinking in my seat while a room systematically destroys focus groups. I must say, clearly people have a very old fashioned view, or just haven’t seen or worked with good researchers (call me on +44 208 994 2333 when you want to see good stuff 🙂 )

Still, there were some nuggets of interest (particularly around how impactful humour can be, which gives me creative license to try and be funnier in the office), and the last speech by Nick Southgate was the realistic shot in the arm that the client world and model needs to change for a lot of neuromarketing to actually make the differences that are being claimed.

What struck me was how far away from the consultative, insightful world a lot of neuroscientists/marketers actually are. While the measurements are great, it’s not enough to just show flashes of brain reactions or biological responses. As we all know, it’s what that all means for next steps, and whether or not it will generate a return on investment.

I’m much less of a researcher as I am someone who consults. Our clients at Relish want to make decisions, and I feel accountable for the outcomes of those decisions. I’m here because I want more confidence when offering advice, not only through a better understanding of a clients business and challenges (for example, by learning their 5 year plan), but also through a better understanding of people (not consumers!).

Small steps, but no giant leaps today.



PS. The evening event was amazing, dinner at Gaudi’s Casa Batllo. Cava was flowing, met some wonderful people, and just such a great vibe throughout. Well done to the organisers in securing the location!