ESOMAR 2023 (September 2023)

2 Minutes Read

Taking place in ESOMAR’s home city of Amsterdam, the 2023 Congress featured insights teams, providers, agencies, and platforms prepared to discuss key developments in our industry and enjoy the events put on by the ESOMAR team.

The conference theme, 'Supercharge', reflected the growing influence of accelerating technology in market research, aligning with the work of Evolved.

It was a refreshing opportunity to experience global industry connections after the COVID-19 pandemic!

With 282 speaking proposals from 47 countries, the ESOMAR team must have faced the daunting challenge of curating a three-day program covering diverse topics such as people and sustainability, empathy, challenging stereotypes, and the emerging role of generative AI.

Thorsten Fehr from the European Space Agency (ESA) opened the conference, sharing ESA's work and projects, such as the GOEC Gravity mission and the Aeolus Wind mission - highlighting sense of curiosity and cosmic humility, serving as a reminder that everything we do takes place in a pale blue dot in a random corner of the galaxy.



Socially conscious research and innovative methodologies were a prominent theme referencing how we connect with one another. Catherine Wertz discussed evaluating advertising taglines using dating app interfaces, demonstrating modern methodological approaches. The rebrand of Uncle Ben's to Ben's Originals, and presentations about sustainability across the project lifecycle were also noteworthy.

This year’s winner of The Research Effectiveness Award explored 'owning inspiration' at Pinterest, using a mixed-methods approach to define and quantify inspiration in a commercially relevant way, emphasising curiosity and ‘supercharging’ in their research.

I was privileged to be on stage representing Evolved Thinking to accept 2nd place in The Global Research Effectiveness Awards with our partner Judo Bank. The award was for our work together on employee engagement research. This project linked employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) data with psychographic profiling, financial performance, and leaver status to uncover the importance of employee physical energy in driving customer NPS and financial performance. The findings have implications for leave policies, hybrid working, and employee well-being.



The conference also highlighted the impact of generative AI on the research industry. Market research industry research presented by ESOMAR showed that the data analytics subsector officially surpassed the conventional research sector in 2022, presenting both opportunities and challenges for all of us in research.

Another challenge discussed at the conference was identifying and removing fake responses to surveys generated by botfarms using generative AI. iResTech presented solutions, including manual and automated approaches. On a more positive note, Young ESOMAR Society nominees discussed AI's analytical capabilities, including auto-coding and persona creation from multifaceted datasets, topics highly related to the technology and conversational AI focus of HumanListening



The HumanListening team partnered with ESOMAR to deploy feedback conversations with attendees where they discussed their core findings and inspirations to EVE. This conversational approach offers an engaging alternative to traditional surveys because it allowed participants to share thoughts freely, creating rich qualitative datasets.

EVE featured in feedback conversations with attendees and at the HumanListening stall.

It was also part of the Research Effectiveness awards and presented by platform partner Luma Research, exploring strategic brand management during challenging times.

In summary, the ESOMAR Annual Congress provided a crucial platform for researchers to connect, share best practices, and learn from each other amid rapid changes in the insights industry and the world at large. It was a great pleasure to attend and represent Evolved.


Picture of Ben Griffiths

Ben Griffiths

Ben is a Research Consultant with the Evolved Group, where he has worked on a range of CX, EX, brand, and advertising projects primarily in the financial services, health, education, and not-for-profit sectors.