You've got just a couple of weeks left to book your place at Warc's Advertising Research 2011 conference. Ahead of the event, which takes place in London on September 14th, I've been talking to Jo Rigby, Research Director for the EMEA region at Omnicom and one of the day's presenters. She'll be providing a media agency perspective on one of the major challenges facing today's market researchers: how to strike a balance between using traditional techniques and the new research methods made possible by the digital revolution.
Rigby's guidance on this issue is clear, and should strike a chord with many delegates: researchers should not get "carried away" in uncritically embracing the new, but at the same time, should not reject out of hand the potentially rich insights offered by digital techniques. As so often, taking a "holistic view" is the way to go.
Along with her colleagues at Omnicom, Rigby is currently preparing a 32-market global study of Generation Y for publication. She has also previously published research on the over-50s market, Warc subscribers can read full reports here and here. And at the conference she will be providing her own perspective on age group trends.
Presenters will also be taking on some of the key questions surrounding best practices in measuring campaign effectiveness.
These days, much of the buzz is around social monitoring tools, which track mentions of a brand on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. To Rigby, there is a real risk of agencies over-promising on what they can do with this data; after all, there is still no real way of "tracking the campaign" through social media alone. For one thing, Rigby points out that the type of people who talk about a campaign online are not generally the exact target audience. It's also difficult to gain a proper understanding of the way cultural differences shape the way people talk about brands, both on social media platforms and offline.
Elsewhere at the conference – you can browse a PDF of the brochure here – there will be presentations from research firms including Synovate, Mindlab International and MPG. Digital techniques will also be discussed by representatives from Yahoo and Google, while the client view will be provided by BSkyB and T-Mobile.
And don't forget that you can also book your place at Warc's other remaining conference for 2011, Social Media: Beyond the Hype, which will take place in London on October 26th.