I now pronounce you big data and market research

For any laggards out there, big data is the (too large for traditional processing) collection of consumer data relating to our behaviours and attitudes – all captured through our online activity. Companies harness this info to target their desired audience(s). Big data erupted over the last decade and consumer research has never been more effective. 

Three of the companies heavily connected to this are Google, Facebook, and Amazon; all using big data and market research in their strategic decision-making – for better or for worse.

Despite concerns over privacy issues, I’m okay with this. With summer officially gone, I was in the market for a new winter jacket. After a simple Google search and visit to a few online retailers, I transferred my focus to social media where I was suddenly bombarded with adverts of furry parkas as I scrolled through various platforms. I’m now £49.99 out of pocket but am also guaranteed warmth against the chilling winds that will surround me in the coming months.

All it takes is a few searches showing interest in a set of new salt and pepper shakers to impress Grandma with my cooking skills (mainly to add some much-needed excitement to the flavourless chicken I’ve just popped in the oven), and I’m suddenly being targeted with ads for new bowls, cutlery sets, and a new blender. Some may find this annoying but, for me, it makes shopping easier and more enticing than ever. My wallet’s been dented but at least I get to make a delicious smoothie whenever I want.

Unsurprisingly, there’s been a tidal wave of conversation around big data; you have the clear benefits to business strategy and consumer needs on one side – and the societal implications of living in a big data environment on the other. 

In a highly hedonistic and post-modern market environment, I say ‘hell yeah!’ to big data.

Unlike during the 60’s, when my Grandad was told that Brylcreem was the only way to get the Elvis shine and hold, consumers now give the directions. It’s us in the driving seat and brands are our passengers. We’re creating demand like never before. Having our behaviours and attitudes mined and analysed means our needs and demands are met instantly through segmented targeting.

When I need something, I want it now (I am a millennial after all). So, it’s good to know that my data’s been collected and my needs are being catered to. (And I will get it delivered tomorrow afternoon thank you very much.)

Naturally, this phenomenon raises considerable ethical issues – particularly when companies transfer any consumer data they’re holding to external companies without prior consent. The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal is a high-profile example. In spite of this, the collection and transfer of data across multiple industries continues and competition has never been so fierce.

Big data has transformed the quality of secondary data sources because they tell the researcher the ‘whats’ and allows them to tailor their methods to discover the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’. 

Despite experts claiming big data could replace market research, it’s clear that a long and happy civil partnership between both will serve consumers far more effectively; not to mention, giving brands a competitive advantage.

I’ve got to go now. Instagram’s just shown me the perfect panini grill I’ve been searching for.

AI and quant

Why AI could destroy more jobs than it creates.’
‘Experts warn that AI poses a clear and present danger.’
‘AI cyberattacks will be almost impossible for humans to stop.’

Just a few headlines from recent months. Not a particularly rosy picture of technology, I think you’ll agree! Even the late, great Stephen Hawking expressed fears that AI might replace humans altogether. It’s a huge topic and there are genuine concerns.  

At the start of the year we introduced a new internal initiative, ‘Razor Drive’; where every so often we select a topic which will challenge us and stretch our imaginations. A topic that, in some way, relates to market research – but also doesn’t. Our first was Artificial Intelligence. We ran sessions to help understand AI by digging beneath the surface to get to the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

A March 2018 special report from The Economist pointed out that companies from a range of sectors harnessed AI to forecast demand, hire workers, and to deal with customers. In 2017, companies spent almost $22bn on AI-related mergers and acquisitions; about 26 times more than in 2015.

This led me to think about the role that AI plays in the world of consumer quant research.

The pessimistic mindset is all too easy to guess: ‘We’re all doomed! Machines will take over our jobs and leave us redundant!’.

A balanced and informed viewpoint is often important in these instances, so I’ve done some digging. There’s no questioning the fact that advances in technology have (and will continue to) alter the way we do our jobs. But it’s not all bad…

Recent developments in AI have made identifying emotions & personality traits more accessible and more accurate than ever before. Businesses such as iMotions simplify advanced biometric research by providing companies with the hardware & software to move the ‘lab’ to their office (or location of their choice).

With this technology, eye-tracking, facial expression analysis, and galvanic skin response are all possible on a large scale. We can get an accurate view on where people are looking and how they feel about something based on their body’s natural responses. Other companies such as EyeSee and Realeyes use respondent webcams to detect emotional reaction in a simple and non-intrusive way. The ability to read emotions like this is a game-changer for any researcher, adding another important layer to our understanding.

Trendwatching recently unveiled that there are many fresh examples of brands harnessing this kind of deep human data to help provide even more personalised products and services. For example, Expedia and Palace Resorts ran a campaign with a series of ads split across a screen and used eye-tracking to see which type of holiday consumers were focusing on. 7-Eleven in Thailand and Walmart in the US have also introduced facial recognition technology to track shopper moods around their stores and, therefore, tailor products and experiences accordingly.

AI has also allowed for far speedier analysis of video, audio and text from samples. Companies such as Crimson Hexagon have developed platforms with the ability to process large amounts of natural language data. They’ve also developed algorithms powered by machine learning to detect patterns in online conversation and to automate the classification of these attributes on a large scale.

So where does this leave us humble researchers? In my view, there’s still very much a role for humans in collating and interpreting this data. Common sense and human observation will surely remain the driving force for most successful projects, when providing well-rounded insights to our clients.

Alongside these automated techniques, focused and direct research methods still have a huge role to play in helping clients to tackle specific business issues. Only humans can truly understand clients’ businesses and the wider context – and then use this knowledge to craft an engaging and informed narrative; a fine-tuned narrative that clients can use to action change.

AI is still very much in its infancy. There’s so much more to come, and no one really knows what the future holds. But, in its current form, we should consider it a blessing rather than a curse. The more we acknowledge and understand the benefits of technology enhancing our understanding of human behaviour, the better!

The Listening (Goal)Post

Welcome to The Listening Post. Each quarter, we update you on trends & influences relating to a specific topic. Issue two looks at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and how Brits have been feeling about it in the run-up. And, more importantly, what they plan to do around the tournament.

Click here to read all about it.

To find out more about our Listening Posts (and/or to suggest another topic), give #JoRazor a shout.


Confessions of a quant-aholic

I have a confession to make. I was a little apprehensive about joining a predominately qualitative research agency. I had visions of being banished to a special room where Excel wasn’t blocked, or being made to sit in the ‘geeky datahead’ corner, (I mean, this part is half true; #JillRazor does sit in the corner, but that’s purely because she chooses to!)

The truth is, as much as running focus groups and being responsible for helping to guide the discussion of a room of opinionated folk fills me with pure terror (I’ve done it before, and I’m gonna say I didn’t love it!), splitting us into buckets of ‘quali’ vs. ‘quanty’ is neither helpful nor accurate. Though there’s no denying that some of the core skills required do differ, we are actually quite nicely clustered together under one umbrella: ‘researchers’, ‘insight specialists’, ‘the voice of the consumer’.

Whatever you want to call it, our main aim is to uncover truths about consumer behaviour and to interpret these into a clear and actionable narrative for our clients; facilitating storytelling, if you will.

We’ll delve further into the world of data-led storytelling in one of our future blog instalments. For now, I wanted to strip this right back to talk about the start of the process; designing a research programme to help us get to these human truths. How people really feel.

Qual & quant methods aren’t as different as people initially think. After all, the fundamentals of crafting a solid questionnaire are the same key principles that apply to a strong discussion guide. Being focused enough to help answer the client’s key question(s) without being restrictive, considering rules like “spontaneous before prompted, general before specific”… The blurring of lines between qualitative and quantitative research has gone on for some time; so why is it that we still pigeon-hole ourselves so much in our research professions?

There are some common misconceptions about quant research. It often gets a bad rep for being boring, restrictive and not properly reflecting how people really feel. I’ve heard it time and time again, ‘how would you do that using an online survey?!’.

Well, times are changing! It’s no real secret that quant research has come a long way over the years from hideous grids and one dimensional questions. We’re continuously implementing new methods that bring quant even closer to qual.

  • Engaging respondents. Survey design is an area of increased focus, making the research as visual and fun for people to answer as possible. Showing images (personalising them) and mixing up the type of question (in terms of both the way they are asked and what respondents have to do to answer them). These are all principles that also apply to qualitative methods; simply making it personal, interesting and varied enough to encourage the people we’re talking to to really open up about their thoughts.

  • Top-of-mind questioning. A nod to the now widely-recognised fact that humans are quick and instinctive in their decision-making. Placing respondents under time pressure means they’re purely answering in an implicit way rather than being too rational or considered in their thought process. This is not only a more engaging way for respondents to answer, but yields much more natural and genuine responses.

  • Reading emotions. Only 7% of communication is verbal. In the same way that a moderator reads emotion during a session to unpick what is going on under the surface (the unsaid nuances), this is now becoming more common in the world of quant. Biometric methods have exploded over the past few years and technology that reads facial expressions on respondent webcams is bringing emotional analysis to a much broader audience than ever before.

These are just a few ways that the wonderful world of quant is getting more and more interesting. We can only expect this to continue, as both the desire and the technology shifts traditional quant to be more like ‘quali-quant’. Quant that is more engaging, emotive and real.

In our budding quant team we’re continuously keeping an eye on these new developments, as well as working alongside our fabulous fellow Razors to come up with engaging mixed-method approaches to delight our clients with!


To speak with our experts, contact Jill Sarsfield or Jo Coombes on email or call us on +44 (0)20 3865 1075.

Digital natives

Cute little boy in headphones watching something on laptop at home

Today’s kids are growing up in a digital universe with all the power at their fingertips. We already know that the digital world is an enchanting place for kids – but it can also be a dangerous one. Cyberbullying, exposure to unrealistic images, fake news, sexual content, violent imagery…It’s a risky landscape to navigate and could have a detrimental effect on kids’ mental health.

A few weeks ago, YouTube hit the headlines for streaming a video by influential tween icon, Logan Paul. The video showed footage of what appeared to be a dead body in a location, referred to as ‘Suicide Forest’. Shockingly, not only did the video make it through the YouTube filters (receiving 6.3 million views!) but it also made it through to the top trending videos list.

And a few months ago, YouTube caused another storm for allowing violent and offensive content to slip through the net. This time it wasn’t just for the main channel but also YouTube Kids a standalone app built specifically for children and child-friendly entertainment.

It’s not only inappropriate content that is a concern. We see, from our studies, that girls as young as six are not only conscious of their body shape but tend to be unhappy with it. We’ve no doubt this is being exacerbated by the proliferation of videos and imagery they are viewing.

With the staggering growth and penetration of smartphone and tablet ownership by children, media viewing and active, digital participation has become individual and child-led. It is often unmonitored by a responsible adult. This has, not surprisingly, created tension and concern among parents, teachers, and the government with regards to how safe or appropriate the virtual environment is for young people. There’s been considerable investment in education with interventions to help safeguard children but it’s clear this isn’t working hard enough and that the problem stems from children’s homes. Last year, hype on social media led to many children watching an 18-rated, suicide fantasy series called 13 Reasons Why. By the time schools and parents had found out, it was too late. It proves that access to inappropriate content is easy and highlights the lack of involvement parents have in knowing what their kids are getting up to.

A YouGov survey from 2015 found that British parents were reluctant to have conversations with their children about what they’re up to online – waiting until children turned nine to tackle online safety, despite 91% of eight-year olds accessing the internet once a week. Since then, we’ve seen brands such as O2 and EE open the dialogue to support parents with online protection. 02 have partnered with the NSPCC to offer free online resources and workshops in schools whilst EE are also providing parents and children with tips to stay safe online. This comes after 40% of parents reported that they do not consider online safety when buying technology gifts for their children.

teenager with tablet while lying on the floor in the room

So why aren’t parents doing more?

Parents tell us that they feel disempowered and deskilled to monitor what their kids are doing online. A generational tech gap exists between kids and parents. However, whilst parents are aware of stealth tracking software to monitor their kids’ surfing and social media feeds, uptake of this is very low. A key reason for children’s online and autonomous independence stems from the fact that in many households, working parents are the norm and unable to be around as much. This has impacted on family dynamics. Parents are much more likely to expect help from their offspring around the home and in return are often rewarded with ‘screen time’. Modern parenting styles also skew towards a liberal approach of trusting their children to be responsible and behaving appropriately, especially as parents’ perceptions are that their kids are equipped to navigate online safely. And let’s not forget ‘pester power’ which is in force among hormonal tweens and teens. Tired parents find it hard to resist allowing kids to watch a video or get a social media campaign when persistently being nagged by their children – especially if they feel this will socially ostracise their kids in their social friendship circles.

Whilst we all know children under the age of 13 shouldn’t have a social media account, recent studies show that the truth is far from this. There’s a direct correlation with social media activity and smart phone ownership and in some markets, this is as young as seven years of age. But we can’t blame parents. Many social media platforms are unwilling to admit to an underage user base and squirm their way out of being responsible for this invisible cohort. However, pressure from government, children’s charities, parent and school forums is finally starting to have an effect. Facebook currently has 4,500 moderators and last year announced plans to hire more. Even before Logan Paul’s dramatic fall from grace, YouTube announced similar plans to hire thousands of new moderators.

The media giant is now said to be making changes to the way it moderates content, with a greater focus on footage that might violate their policies whilst further developing advanced learning technology to automatically flag content for removal. It will be interesting to see how future safeguards to protect young people will emerge – especially given the technical skill & knowledge, online giants must have within their reach.

But we also must be careful that support for kids doesn’t mean removing their digital access or being too stringent on restricting their online/social media activity, as there are many benefits about growing up digital and is after all, the world they will be working and communicating within, for years to come.

Teacher and kids lying on floor using digital tablet in library at elementary school

We hear from kids, parents, and teachers about the benefits digital access has brought to learning and education and enhancing children’s creativity and problem-solving skills. In this information age, kids have a genuine thirst for knowledge and the boundaries between learning and play have blurred into ‘edutainment’.  Social media platforms are helping kids understand the importance of growing diverse networks and will put them in good stead in the future and they tap into these for career and leisure purposes.  

Growing independence is also helping them learn to self-regulate their behaviour and abide by their own standards of what’s right and fair.

They are a generation of kids who have greater awareness of what’s going on in the world and are deeply moved by the negative impact that man is having on the planet and want to change this. Access to personal technology has also helped them develop new and far reaching friendships. We’ve heard from families about how connected they feel with each other through chatting on social media platforms, allowing continual, intermittent exchanges about what’s going on in their life or troubling them.

The government’s Internet Safety Strategy consultation came to an end last month. It will be interesting to see how we find a way to balance the benefits of children being online or on social media with safeguarding them more effectively.

Lesley Salem, head of Razor Kids appeared as a panelist at the 2018 MRS Kids & Youth Research Conference, exploring ‘the role of research in protecting and empowering young people online’. If you have an idea on how your organisation could get more involved in sharing significant trends around children’s online safety or could have an impact on policy, we’d love to hear from you.


Buzzfeed – reactions to Logan Paul
Buzzfeed – parents’ reactions to Logan Paul 
Mashable – YouTube changes
The Guardian – YouTube accused
Polygon – YouTube
Campaign – O2 and NSPCC
EE – staying safe online
EE – press release
The Guardian – moderating social media
The Telegraph – moderators allowed Logan Paul video


Same same but different

‘Imagine you’re doing a weekly shop of supermarket own brand products.

At checkout, you’re allowed to exchange just one product for a branded label. Which would you pick?’

Last week we hosted a wonderful work experience student who asked us this question on her last day. It created quite the discussion amongst us – including whether we think Generation Z* are less brand loyal than Millennials…and I’ve been mulling this over ever since she left.

Now I have to admit that I only know a small handful of Gen Z’s. And the majority of my research has focused on Millennials and their predecessors, so I feel a little out of touch with this cohort!

What I can glean (and I’ve more to learn), is that Gen Z are set to be a super-charged version of Millennials and will pose a greater challenge for brands to engage and retain.

I say super-charged Millennials because in a lot of ways Gen Z are looking for the same things – only, seemingly, amplified tenfold! For instance, they choose brands that are authentic, they want fast and friction-free customer service across channels, they favour experiences over possessions, they’re driven by content that engages and entertains, and they feel empowered to create change in the world.

However, there are two fundamental differences (no doubt there’ll be more!) that mean brands will have to work harder and find new ways to market to these consumers to stay relevant:

1. Gen Z are the first true digital natives. They’ve grown up (almost from the get-go) with easy and immediate access to the internet and it’s become an integral part of how they live their lives. They’re addicted to tech. I’d argue that this means they’re:

  • Exposed to a wider variety of brands – which will likely engender a natural promiscuity in buying behaviour. Thus making it harder to generate loyalty.
  • Likely to tune out of lot of advertising and focus on what feels relevant to them. The rise of influencer marketing is a clear reaction to the demand from consumers – and most likely much of this cohort – for relevant, credible content that feels more authentic (even if it’s not!). And this is only likely to continue.
  • More focused on the present and judging brands on what they see and hear in the moment; placing less stock in brand heritage.
  • Looking to connect with brands that help them develop their own online image and enable them to connect with others through content and experiences.

2. They’ve grown up in the aftermath of the recession. They’re facing the prospect of huge university loans and a seemingly impenetrable housing market, which will no doubt make them more budget conscious. Brands will have to work much harder for a share of wallet.

So generating loyalty among Gen Z is definitely a challenge and brands will have to stay ahead in the marketing game to stand out from the crowd. Indeed, Gen Z is less motivated by loyalty programmes than Millennials, which means some brands may have to take a fresh approach to building loyalty with this generation.

However, it is clearly not an impossible feat. You only have to look at user numbers for Snapchat and Instagram or the success of brands like Nike and Forever 21 with this generation to see that loyalty is achievable.  The question is what are those brands doing exactly and how are they doing it? It’s time more brands tried to find out.  

*There are never clear cut dates for generations so, for arguments sake, let’s assume that we’re talking about anyone born between 1995 – 2012

Nowhere to hide

Brands used to be in the power seat. And that seat was enclosed within a black box where they were able to carefully curate the image they promoted to the outside world – ultimately shaping consumer perceptions.

Trendwatching’s recent report on Glass Box Brands  makes for a thought-provoking read on how that power has shifted and what it means to be a brand in today’s world.

The rise of transparency, user-based journalism, social media – and consumers’ increasing need for connectivity – has led to the black paint being scrubbed away to reveal ‘glass box brands’. In this guise, everything a brand does – both externally and internally – has the potential to be visible to the hearts and minds of consumers, readily scrutinising everything they see and hear about what brands are up to.

The report calls for brands to think (if they haven’t already) about how to deal with this increased level of scrutiny, particularly in terms of increasing public interest in a brand’s internal culture.

Although we agree that brands would do well to take a more 360-degree approach to nurturing brand image, past and present events suggest that if a brand plays a fundamental value and convenience function in the lives of consumers then we (as consumers) will be more willing to turn a blind eye to any of their indiscretions. We may wrestle with how the likes of, say Amazon, Starbucks, and Uber operate, however we won’t always vote with our feet. 

BUT we are seeing a shift…  

“The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation.” Not our words, but the words of new Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, in an open letter to his employees following the recent Transport for London ruling that denied them an operating licence.

What we’ve seen is Uber’s tone go from arrogance to humility. Khosrowshahi followed up with an open letter to London apologising and promising that his company will change. Music to consumers’ ears.

Michael O’Leary, CEO of RyanAir (notorious for his aggressive nature) also changed his tone in recent times. The airline ‘messed up’ their rosters and many flights were cancelled affecting more than 700,000 passengers. In comparison to his previous outbursts, he’s been uncharacteristically remourseful towards his passengers.

Is this a sign of things to come? Probably. It’s fine in consumers’ eyes to come along and shake things up. That’s what challenger brands do. However, when you’re successful and suddenly playing in the big leagues, things inevitably change. Consumers will scrutinise you and expect a decent level of customer service and ethics – in addition to the value and convenience you’ve been offering them. It would be absurd to disregard outsider opinion and expect no fallout. In Uber’s case, TfL pointed an uncomfortable spotlight in its face. If their response is anything to go by, we should eventually have more trust in them – not just in their reliable product but their reputation too.

Game of phones

What a weird and wonderful 10 years it’s been. The iPhone was first released back in June 2007 and shaped the world of mobile as we now know it. Over 81% of people in the UK now has access to a smartphone device. The smartphone has shifted the way we interact with each other – and how businesses interact with us.

Whilst social media began on desktop, its transfer to mobile continues to rocket as more and more people own smartphones. Social media (in at least one form) is almost something the majority of us cannot live without. To put its rapid rise in perspective, Snapchat was born in 2011 and now has more than 20,000 snaps sent per SECOND by its users. That is over 1.7 billion per day!

It’s not new news to us but, ultimately, this technology has changed the way we see/view advertisements. For instance, despite not having a TV set in my own home, I still get push notifications, forced ads on YouTube, sponsored ads on Insta, brand stories on snapchat…the list goes on.

Recently John Lewis became the first company within the UK to use Facebook 360 adverts to allow customers to view collections in full view. Whist browsing kitchens/rooms, customers can zoom, click-and-buy items easily. With the increase in popularity of live streaming, started by Periscope and growing with the introduction of Facebook and Instagram Live, I wonder how long it will take big brands to step into this marketing space too?

We are seeing smaller brands already using live video through social media platforms to their benefit, so it can’t be long ’til the big boys follow suit.

And while we are not there yet, virtual reality no doubt will continue to grow. Just think of the immersive experiences brands can deliver through this medium.

It’s impressive how far the smartphone has developed in the last 10 years and how brands have, and are, changing with them. I wonder what will happen in the next 10?

Meditation…in moderation

I’ve always been drawn towards the idea of meditation. Not so much for the spiritual side of it, but more with a view to quieting the mind and gaining greater focus on what’s right in front of me. Like all budding qualitative researchers I go from moderating groups, to writing debriefs, and jumping between projects. I consider meditation an invaluable skill in our line of work.

A few months back I attended a weekend course on Vedic meditation with 20 other individuals. We all signed up for different reasons, but shared an eagerness to learn how to make meditation part of our everyday lives. Since then, I have slowly developed my own practice. It’s still inconsistent – and there are days I don’t manage to find time for it – but I’ve realised that, as with all important things, you have to prioritise it. So I now get out of bed earlier or nip into one of the phone booths at work during lunch. I’ve noticed that when I do this my mind is clearer and I feel even more engaged with what I am doing.

Throughout this process I’ve started to wonder whether there are techniques or tools that could be derived from meditation, or indeed mindfulness, which could be used in qualitative research.

While I can’t imagine any scenario where we would ask respondents to sit and meditate before a group(!), I did attend AQR Spark’s Stop, Breathe, and Be (a mindfulness for moderators workshop). There we were asked to close our eyes while eating a piece of popcorn and to focus our thoughts on what we were experiencing. Going around the group afterwards, many felt they were recalling a deeper response where they were able to more clearly articulate their thoughts on the experience. I left feeling that there might be potential to incorporate similar techniques into our qualitative work. For example, focussing the minds of respondents on the task or topic at hand, or perhaps using it as a warm-up task in client workshops.

But the courage is in having the conviction to try it out! While meditation and mindfulness have a greater awareness and presence in today’s mainstream consciousness, there is a sense (I would argue) that it’s still something associated with ‘hippy’ culture. Thus it would be hard to sell to clients as a qualitative technique or a valid thing to spend five minutes of a focus group on. My hope is that, over time, we will start to draw in techniques from other similar disciplines to enhance the quality of the conversations we have and, ultimately, the insights we deliver to our clients.

crystal ball


Note to self:

I love the MRS Conference. I love spending two days surrounded by my comrades. I love my annual catch-ups with the same people I always vow to have lunch with within the next 365 days, and then don’t. I feel lucky that it’s become part of my annual social (and intellectual) calendar.

I love the fact that however hard the organising committee strive (I assume) to lay ‘theme’ across submissions and sessions (this year it was Impact with a capital ‘I’), it’s often delightfully hijacked by global and local fissures along with the sheer will, velocity, and personality of the keynote speakers – who in my view were more stellar this year than ever before.  Okay, it might have been cheaper to watch some TED talks or go to a ‘how to…’ event to see people like Oliver James, Caitlin Moran, Dan Snow, and Hannah Fry…but choosers shouldn’t be sniffy beggars.

The themes that bubbled up eloquently amongst the speakers and panellists (and are now simmering away in my intellect):

  • You should say the word disruption a lot nowadays. If you say disruption with emphasis, you will look as if you are a disruptor. That makes you look like a jolly good thing and quite an important person. I am not very disruptive.
    Note to self: work on that.
  • Being ethical is also a jolly good thing. The more ethical you are, the more people will like you and the more they will buy your stuff if you are a big company.
    Note to self: hone ethics.
  • The internet might implode soon. Or it might not implode soon, but something has to happen at some point because all the famous people who are on the internet are tired of the lawless wild wester-y (or should that be Westeros?) of it all. I have yet to be trolled so I probably shouldn’t complain.
    Note to self: don’t comment – just in case. 
  • Being a woman is another good thing. If you were a woman at this year’s conference you were lauded and celebrated for simply turning up. I’m totally up for sisterhood in principle. I’m just not great at group hugs.
  • Finally, David Bowie will reign long in the hearts and minds of researchers. I pity the other dearly departed of the last year as they quite simply didn’t get a mention. Who knew market research was so zig and zag? Maybe it happened when I wasn’t looking. 
    Note to self: be more Bowie.