The future is now.

Being the outsider at this conference, it has been painful at times to see the traditional MR industry being dragged through the mud. However, if there is one thing that this conference has taught me (it has taught me many things!) it’s that as an industry, we’re in a much better position than neuromarketing…for the moment.

The final speaker (Kimberly Clark…let’s just not go there, but she handles the name very well!), spoke a lot of sense in her summary and look to the future for neuro. She alluded to some of the infighting that exists and that I observed within the neuro space, where EEG is fighting out for supremacy over fMRI…where I saw a tweet asking the rhetorical question of “whether facial coding should be classified as neuro?”

Traditional MR has been infighting for years, but there is a splinter group amongst us that have embraced change, and realised that neuro isn’t a threat, like qual isn’t a threat to quant. The reason I was at this conference was to learn and understand how best to integrate these tools (and identify the best suppliers) so that I can offer a one-stop full service solution for my clients.

All methods have a role. The neuro world has reduced the brain to a scientific, robotic and very un-human organism. Whereas I (as a traditional researcher) still see it in a very human way, knowing that it controls and develops us as people. And the best way to understand people is not to just decode one single piece, but to put together a bigger jigsaw, one that includes neuro, qual, quant, BE, observational, social and everything in between.

KC mentioned the agency of the future will be method agnostic. They’ll be the jack of all trades, but master of none – and partner with all the specialists to deliver clients with singular insights that most of all are crafted to fit with their business strategy.

She’s right.

But that’s not the future. That’s today.

Adios, Barcelona.