“We now live in the expectation economy wherein customer expectations will be set by the best in class: design, customer experience, service, quality, price etc. We need to anticipate future customer needs.“ Such was the overarching point of the keynote message by Henry Mason, Managing Director of Trendwatching, a sought-after trend expert who has been quoted in numerous business publications such as The Guardian, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist and more. This keynote address set the tone for this year’s “Consumer Insighting & Storytelling Conference – The Next Frontier” by Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy*, held last August 28-29 at the Marquis Events Place in BGC.
Dubbed as the ‘The Next Frontier’, range of topics covered not only local and international brand stories that showcased best practices, but also approaches from various disciplines that use consumer insights in order to address the evolving needs and wants of consumers to future-proof brands and businesses. Meaning.Global Founder & CEO Dr. Martina Olbertova’s talk on semiotics, or the multidisciplinary study of codes and symbols, as well as that of Melinda Tan, a licensed psychologist trained in the application of neuropsychological theory, show that contextualizing consumer behavior through external/environmental and internal/cognitive signals give us insights on consumers’ unsaid preferences and decision drivers. Even with the advent of data analytics and artificial intelligence, Albany Woo from Initiative APAC stressed the need for ‘soft skills’ such as data storytelling to translate big data into actionable insights for management. Synergy MRSC’s President/CEO Germaine Reyes’ emphasized, during the open discussion, that companies’ management teams also need to ask the right business questions to trigger the investigation process among data scientists and data translators or researchers. This will impact on what, where, how to investigate (including what tools to use) to emerge the ‘consumer truths’ or insights. Framing the right questions was reiterated by Miguel Aranaz, a design thinking expert, saying that “Great innovations are rooted on great questions.”
In line with this year’s theme, a peek into the present and future consumers through PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019 delivered by Benjamin Azada, Consulting Managing Principal, and FEU Institute of Education Dean Harold Culala’s Gen Z and Alpha Gen Study were both shared for the first time here in the Philippines. Jane Basas, President of Cignal TV and TV 5, emphasized the potential of women as content creators and being natural storytellers themselves. Also, as a future potential state, Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian catalyzed the idea of the Philippines’ strengths and areas to hone to be a future knowledge hub in Asia. Synergy hopes that private and public collaboration dialogues, new/meaningful conversations and further exploration of these will continue even after the conference.
According to a delegate from a multinational company, “We got a glimpse of the future… [the conference] gave us a glimpse of what else we can do as a company, how we can mine the data and maximize our data.” This and many more comments from delegates spoke volumes on how well-curated the consumer insighting and storytelling topics were for participants’ companies to gain an advantage in anticipating customer needs and managing their expectations much better.
A learning event to anticipate every year, this flagship conference of Synergy is the brainchild of its President/CEO, Ms Reyes, as part of the company’s advocacy to propagate the value of getting valid and actionable insights from customers especially during the expectation economy. The event will again be back on stage this coming June 2020.
Official sponsors include IPG Mediabrands, DOOH, ANC, ABS-CBN, Marquis Events Place, Enderun Extension; Media Partners: The Philippine Star, BusinessWorld, CNN Philippines, Rappler, adobo Magazine, BusinessMirror, Marketing in Asia; Event partners, Team Executive Decisions, PurplePen Creatives, Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International, UP School of Economics Alumni Association, Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines, IMMAP, AFFI, 4As, Seda and Coca-Cola Philippines.
*This conference was conceptualized and organized by one of the most preferred companies for strategic research, consulting, business & marketing solutions that have worked with top companies in the Philippines and other countries. Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy has been in the industry for almost 20 years. This conference is earning the name of being “The Learning Event of the Year”.