Real-time research, data mining and emotional branding: Highlights from the 2013 MRS Conference

Manfred Mareck

Everything needs a label these days and for this year's annual gathering of the Market Research Society (MRS), held in London in March 2013, it was Shock of the New – a phrase most widely-known as the title of art critic Robert Hughes' classic book and TV series, which many credit with changing the way we look at modern art. Which begs the question as to whether this conference will change the way we look at market research.

Either way, the MR industry has some major issues to address, not least in the way it treats personal information, the life blood of this activities, in an increasingly digital "big data" age.

Trust and transparency

"Responsible use of personal data has become more fragile recently" warned Jane Frost, CEO of the MRS, in her opening remarks. Trust and transparency were the themes of the first panel session, led by Justin Webb of the BBC's Today programme.