Insight Innovation Exchange 2018

Our Illuminate Innovation team recently attended the Ilex Europe, Insight Innovation Exchange 2018 in Amsterdam. We wanted to share our thoughts on hot topics and what that means for us as researchers and brand champions.

Interestingly, with all of the talk of tech and automation, in our view the key takeaways focus on what it means to be human…

We humans are lazy
The move away from focusing on humans as logical, rational beings continues and for sure, the key theme from this conference was that we as humans like to get by on minimal effort!

Practically, what this means for research is that accessing system 1 as well as system 2 influences remains of paramount importance. Methods of tapping heuristics and biases at play and measuring more automated processes are plentiful.

At Adelphi, we’ve been applying Behavioural Economics to brand challenges for several years and helping our clients strengthen implicit associations with their brands and corporate identity. Measuring implicit associations through reaction times, and considering how ‘certain’ respondents are in their responses were key methods at this conference.

But ultimately we’re still human, and humans like other humans
Amongst all of the talk of automation, underlying responses and instinct it is easy to forget what makes us tick day-to-day.

There is no escaping that we are social beings working under the influence of social and cultural norms in all spheres of our lives. We play board games with our families, buy goods through online auctions, cringe and laugh when watching our favourite TV programmes together (and shock horror, this also applies to NHS hospital consultants!).

And humans love to be entertained
Several talks at IleX brought to life how our social context can be incorporated into research such as gamification through board games, role playing our favourite TV shows and introducing competition through bidding or points collection in online communities.

As well as respondent engagement, storytelling and gamified delivery to clients were also highlighted by many of the speakers. Video content remains staple to empowering the voice of the customer, particularly when engaging multiple, high level stakeholders.

Augmented Intelligence is coming – but don’t worry, research will still need humans (phew)
Augmented intelligence and machine learning were key buzzwords at this conference. Practical applications in the here and now for pharma market research includes the optimisation of traditional quantitative coding and allows techniques such as facial coding to take place in a workable time frame and budget. However, the key message coming through is that the combination of human and machine is far more powerful than machine alone – our interpretation and ability to overlay nuances means analysis remains deeply rooted in people.


For more information get in touch with our illuminate team by emailing