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Smartees @ Insites

June 21, 2011

Last thurday I visited the SMARTEES event at Insites Consulting head office in Belgium. This market research agency is helping me with my Master thesis with relevant insights and the execution of my fieldwork. It was a nice day to be at their office, since Insites just won two MOAwards in the Netherlands the day before!
This day they organized a new edition of their SMARTEES event, where they invite marketers and researchers to their office and present inspiring cases and learnings. During and in-between these sessions, there is room for reflection and discussion. For me it was nice to experience Insites from up close and to get an even better idea of what they do and stand for. Here are some learnings I’d like to share: 


Upon my arrival (I missed the first session), Tom De Ruyck was giving a vivid presentation about Gamification and ‘functional play’. This is a concept worth looking into because it can be applied to… well practically anything as I learned! Ever had the urge to beat your car’s navigation system, to prove it wrong just by arriving a few minutes before it had scheduled? Monitoring your Facebook account to see how many ‘likes’ your latest post has? Collecting foursquare badges? See, you are also hooked..
Relating gamification to research communities and co-creation; it can make the difference in keeping participants motivated and inspired even after the first weeks. If done adequately, it can boost efforts and lift the quality of the discussion. The main insight: everybody likes to be challenged. (More info about gamification) (Read Tom’s views on co-creation)


Another interesting presentation was given by Thomas Troch, who illustrated the development and launch of Yelo (see Dutch intro video below). Yelo is an app from Telenet  (the largest provider of broadband cable services in Belgium) which allows users to watch live television and video-on-demand when and how they prefer. Thomas explained how potential users where involved in co-creating Yelo and how this helped Telenet get up close and personal with these users. Interaction and feedback were very important in keeping the conversation active.

The Future of Online Research

Another inspiring presentation was given by prof. Niels Schillewaert, about the future of online research. To me, especially his way of presenting was nice to experience. He related all the main topics back to movies, making his talk very accessible and easy to follow. When you think about your favorite movies, for example, you most often like or dislike them because of the theme and the context in which you watched them. The same principle goes for market research, Niels argues, which should have an engaging and inspiring context in order to make an impact. For me, another key insight from his presentation was the theory on deprivation. As soon as you deprive people from what is there, they start noticing the real value. This can be used to make people aware of their behavior and their habits.

Niels also showed a video the website TheFunTheory.Com. They believe the only way to change people’s behavior is by making it fun to do. Watch this video:

Final thoughts…

During the workshops I took a peek around the room to find out what people were attending. I noticed there was a great diversity in background and industry sectors. There were marketeers and researchers from e.g. a gas company, a publishing firm, a multinational food company, an advertising company and a consumer’s association. All these people were interested in learning more about co-creation and online communities, that is promising!

Another important detail: throughout the different sessions we were well taken care off with nice conversations, drinks and fresh food. All this together made the day an engaging learning experience  for me!

Below you can watch the presentations from the SMARTEES’ workshops. Use your imagination, because it is mostly visual 😉

Here  you can read Insites’ blogpost about the event!

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