Agency creatives, tech firms and market researchers were all represented at Advertising Research, an event organised by the MRS and held in London last week. I was there too - and subscribers can read full Warc reports from the event, including key charts and video interviews with presenters, here and here.
To Helen Gawor, who chaired the conference, the main theme of the day's presentations was the expanding repertoire of new techniques available to today's researchers.
And it's also true that the day's presenters were drawn from a broad church: they included Google on how skippable YouTube ads can boost user engagement, Wieden + Kennedy on building a viral hit (in this instance, the now-infamous Thumbcats) and VCCP on attempting to tackle the massive social problem of binge drinking through ethnography.
Other presenters focused less on specific research techniques and instead concentrated on the macro branding and media issues that marketers have been struggling with for years. For example, in her presentation, Kimberly Kriss of Interbrand explained how the consultancy measures what should be one of the industry's most closely-watched metrics: brand valuation.
This methodology is, she suggested, a possible solution for the "CMO conundrum" - the fact that the vast majority of marketing executives, despite being in control of multimillion-dollar budgets, actually have no idea how their brands have gained value in the first place.
Meanwhile, in his last presentation as IPA director general, Hamish Pringle demonstrated his concept of the "media flow" - the way in which today's consumers constantly dip in and out of digital media consumption in their daily lives. And Pringle's hypothesis was backed up by a joint presentation by IAB Europe and Screen Digest, which showed how large marketers are reallocating their digital budgets to match fragmenting media consumption patterns.