MRMW North America 12 Interview: Adriana Rocha

Continuing in our pre-MRMW interview series, I was excited to talk with Adriana Rocha of eCGlobal because she has a voice in the social media sphere that many #mrx-ers are familiar with.  Among many things, her insights about the correlation between user experience and completion rates are interesting…read on.
RM: What are you most excited to share about with us at MRMW and why?  What difference could it make for your audience if they were to implement what you’ll be talking about?
AR: I’m excited to share in firsthand with the industry the key findings and results of 7 years of experience conducting diverse experiments on the usage of gamification and social media techniques applied to market research which have inspired us to develop a very unique and innovative digital research platform originally pre-tested in Brazil and nowadays being implemented in other Latin American countries and the United States.
The platform we’ve developed combines in the same integrated environment online research communities, a proprietary social network, mobile apps, social games and a DIY (do-it-yourself) research tool.  One of its main differentials is that it has been developed through a co-creation process with consumers.  We decided to focus on respondents as our primary source of insights and ideas to develop the platform, since our main goal was to have a comprehensive understanding of drivers and motivations that keep people engaged when performing online activities.
We have proven that user experience is fundamental and the quality of the data we get back is a direct result of the experience respondents have – as more engaged and happy they are, better quality and richer insights and expressions they give us back in exchange.
I think the audience can benefit, as we have benefited, if they embrace the usage of gamification techniques, combined with social and mobile technologies, to create engaging dialogues and ongoing conversations with consumers, as well as for creating better experiences for respondents when taking surveys.
RM: It can be easy to bemoan the state of market research today.  Instead of us talking about what you’re against in the traditional MR space, I’d love to hear about what you’re for – what you stand for – in the MRMW space.  What makes this something you’re willing to stand up for?
AR: I stand up for the need of quick changes in the MRMW space.  I am talking about changes not just to learn new techniques or technologies, but changes that require market researchers to step outside of their own ideology and pre-defined framework.  I’m talking about the most challenging type of changes people can face: the adaptive ones which require the ability to develop self-transforming minds.
As an industry, in order to change, though, I believe we need to develop a whole new set of individual and team capabilities. In our company for example, in order to innovate and create our new products and solutions, we put together a multicultural and multifunctional team of people from other industries with different skills and background – from journalism to marketing, communications, technology and market research.
As Stan Sthanunathan (Vice President, Knowledge & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company) said:  “We all must accept one truth in life: Change is not optional, but acting or not acting is a choice we make…We either act or we will become irrelevant and maybe even perish” .
RM: What do you think that the current market research world is afraid of when it comes to innovating on research in the mobile world?  What enabled you to get over the fears and innovate?  What motivated you?
AR: I think one of the main barriers for innovation on research in the mobile world is the resistance to change and to accept the new reality we are facing as an industry.  Change is necessary because the world around us is changing dramatically, in a pace that we can’t control.
In our case, innovation is part of our company core values and we have always believed that deep changes would happen in this industry. Thus being frighten by innovation has not being an issue for us, but a motivation.  Just to give you some examples, we started developing research games in 2003, with the launch of a virtual baby room where we interviewed pregnant women while they played with objects, colors and room decoration. In 2004 we launched one of the first (if not the first) MROC for a large cable TV channel in LATAM. In 2006 we launched a gamified panel community portal to better engage with our panel members (they could play trivia games, rate products and brands, participate in competitions, discussion forums and post questions to the community). In 2007 we built a 3D world using Second Life technology to emulate product testing and discussion groups in a virtual world. In 2008 we hired a PhD in cyber culture to lead the development of online communities and gamification experiments in Brazil.  I could continue mentioning several other initiatives that we have developed and that are considered very innovative and pioneer for our industry, not just in Latin America, but globally.  But I will wait to share more at the MRMW. Can’t wait till then!
RM: I look forward to hearing more.  See you next week, Adriana.

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