Presenters: Jamin Brazil, Co-Founder & CEO, HubUx; Tracy Isacco, VP of Operations, L&E Research; Felicia Rogers, Executive Vice President, Decision Analyst; Joel Rubinson, President, Rubinson Partners; Melanie Courtright, CEO, Insights Association.
Melanie Courtright: Welcome everyone. We have a full agenda today to talk about several aspects of what is top of mind for many of us these days: Reopening Insights. The Insights Association has posted guidelines with recommendations for reopening offices and for conducting in-person qualatative research. I encourage you to check them out on our website. I'm looking forward to discussing these issues today with our distinguished panelists and to have the chance to discuss them with you - we're going to move off into breakout rooms later where we can chat with each other face to face. We'll start today by hearing from Joel Rubinson, head of Rubinson Partners, and a well-known and respected researcher. He's going to be talking to us about COVID-19 changes in marketing research and analytics too. So, with that, off to you, Joel.
Joel Rubinson: Thanks, Melanie. So we all know that COVID-19 has produced cataclysmic changes in marketing and in the economy in general, but my message today is that COVID-19 is also changing marketing research and analytics. It's our opportunity, really, to rethink the way we've been kind of plying our trade. And the next slide. So if we think about it, marketing research and analytics really have always been heavily based on historical relationships, marketing mix modeling is something used by most marketers, the great majority of marketers. And it models historical relationships of marketing activity to sales. We've always been reliant on norms. And we've always looked at year over year comp sales kinds of comparisons. But, now we have this pandemic disruption, and for six months, maybe longer, the past is not going to be prologue. The past really doesn't tell us much about the next 6 to 12 months, so now what do we do? Next slide. So think about it this way, if you think of a time line for 2020, in January up through, maybe, the middle of February, life was normal. The relationships of sales and advertising to each other were normal. And, then, around the middle of February into, maybe, first week in March, there was panic buying. I mean, we all experienced that as consumers. You look at the paper goods aisle and there's nothing there and you say, what's going on here? And, then, in mid to late March, that's when we experienced lockdowns. And, of course, it was hard to get out of the house. It was – the store shelves were depleted. I mean, everything was really quite different. And, of course, one of the really unfortunate aspects of guarding the health of the United States is the economic recession that we're now faced with. I mean, the unemployment rates have just skyrocketed. We went from an incredibly healthy economy to one that is – has all the signs of a recession, although the underlying fundamentals are still strong. So what's going to happen in the future, we're not really sure. But one thing that is sure that I've – that we've seen in the past – in every economic recession, you have a period of what I refer to as reverse causality. That the typical causality is you advertise to drive sales. And more advertising produces more sale at a certain – a elasticity rate. But in an economic recession, people cut back on their advertising. And the reverse causality means that you kind of advertise as much as you can afford, given what's happening to your sales. So when the causality gets reversed, you really have a difficult time believing the historical relationships of advertising to sales, where you've assumed that you knew the direction of causality. So, basically, [AUDIO SKIPS] is broken down. So what do we do about that? Next slide. Well, luckily for us, the alternatives – one of the things to keep in mind is, what are the key questions? Well, a marketer – I talk to a lot of CMOs, and the question's really pretty simple. Should I turn my advertising back on? What's the right message? Should it be a brand message? Should it be more performance oriented? Should it be more about my brand as I would convey my message in normal times or should it be more related to the pandemic? Are there certain segments of consumers that are going to be more responsive to my advertising and more valuable for me to address with, say, programmatic advertising or, generally, addressable marketing. So how are we going to address these questions? Well, there's a technique called multi-touch attribution, or MTA, and then there's also the ability to do test and learn, set up controlled experiments. Now, the reason why I like these tools, especially for this particular time, is because MTA and experiments are relying on forward looking data. So you're not looking back at history. You're running a campaign. You're analyzing the data as it comes in daily. You're summarizing it weekly. And you're using user level data, which is often in the millions of observations, to identify what messages, what ad formats, what types of targeting, and so on are working. And it's a little bit different math. It's not regression like we learned it in college, it's logistic regression. And it's using maximum likelihood methods or it's using machine learning, so it's a little bit different. But the power of it is that you're modeling what's happening now in the current environment with the current marketing tools that you're having. And, of course, whenever you're doing experiments, you can construct an experiment that's specific to the questions you have in mind. So I think these are really the kinds of tools we need to be focusing on for the next 6 to 12 months. And, in fact, we might continue to embrace those tools because they really are better aligned to the digital marketing world and the addressable marketing world that we now live in. Next slide. So think about it as a wake up call. I mean, it's kind of like whenever you have times like this, I like to create projects that I call Project Phoenix. You know, the way the phoenix rose from the – rose from the flames and it reemerged differently and stronger than it had been. So marketing research had been focused traditionally on the question of, how well did my marketing work? And you do trackers and you do attitude and usage studies. You do the script of analytics of those kinds of data. But, really, the more valuable question is how can you make marketing work better? And if you move away from the question we've traditionally focused on with readouts and we move to this question of how we can make marketing more better, think about the three or four or five things you will do differently going forward as you focus on this new question. So, anyway – so that's basically my message for today. One more slide. Just in case you want to reach me, that's my contact information. And I know we're going to have breakout sessions and talk more, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Thanks, everybody.
Melanie Courtright: Thank you, Joel. Any last words of quick wisdom for everyone before we jilt off to our rooms? If there were one thing that you would want people to reconsider, any last piece of advice?
Joel Rubinson: I would say don't be as reliant on history. And don't think that what worked in the past is going to work going forward. This is really your opportunity to become more inventive than you might have had the courage to be otherwise. So take that opportunity.
Melanie Courtright: Yeah. I love that message. That's wonderful. All right. Well, so if you have questions for Joel, again, I hope you'll pop them into the chat box. But, now, we're going to give you an opportunity to go to your room. So what we mean by that is for our next segment, we're going to invite you to participate in a ten minute small group discussion. In just a minute, we will remove all of you into rooms with six to eight other people. Once you get there, you – this window will close. A new window will open, and you will be joined by six to eight other people. Once you get there, you can hit the mute, unmute yourself by either hitting the space bar, clicking on your microphone, or you can hit Alt to A. So you can unmute yourself. And, so, when you're in that session, what we'd like you to do is take a minute to introduce yourself to each other. Meet someone that you haven't meet before. And, then, talk about your reopening plans or your biggest concerns as a professional with reopening. At the end of that time, there will – you'll see a clock running during your session in your room in the upper right hand corner. And at the end of the ten minutes, you'll see a 15 second warning, and then you'll be automatically brought back over into the main room and you'll be on mute again. And, again, the window will close and a new window will pop up. And that might take a couple seconds, so don't worry. The one window will close and a new window will come forward. When you get back, we will ask you to put some of your thoughts into the chat box. So if you want to have nominate someone to take a few notes for your group, that might work too. If you absolutely don't want to participate in this, when we pop you into your room, there's a button at the bottom, I believe it's red, that allows you to leave and go back to the main room. And you can just wait for the main session to restart. But we really hope you'll take this time to meet someone you maybe haven't met before. And, then, also, talk about some things that, maybe, as an association or as an industry we haven't thought about yet. Because we'll be taking notes and using that to inform some of our getting back to work communications and virtual town halls. And, then, on the other side of it, a really great panel with the rest of our panelists really talking about the specifics of reopening facilities, offices, and research that you won't want to miss. So, with that, last point, we don't expect any technical issues. But if you do, for some reason, get bounced out, you can simply rejoin by going back to your original invitation and join – and hitting the invitation link. So, with that, Jenn Cattel will be pushing us into our rooms. And we will see you back in ten minutes.
Melanie Courtright: Welcome back everyone. So a couple of things, thank you for doing that. If you enjoyed it or didn't enjoy it or had feedback, I hope you'll send it to us. We are looking for more ways to get you to actually be able to talk with each other and meet people you've, perhaps, haven't meet before. And we will also be looking for your feedback around exactly what you discussed, if there's anything that you think that the association and the industry needs to be thinking about as we work to get back to work. So we have our speakers coming back into the room. So, now, we're going to move into our panel discussion. And one of the things I heard in my breakout room was that the brands are very much looking to the agencies to give them advice on how to move forward in reopening. They're certainly following things on their end, but they're relying on us to give them great advice and to talk about what we can and cannot do. So that brings us to the panel portion of our conversation. So I'd like to begin by just asking each of you to talk for just a second about what you're seeing from a reopening standpoint. And, Tracy, perhaps we'll start with you, and then move on to Felicia, and then Jamin.
Tracy Isacco: Well, we – everything kind of shut down abruptly. And, so, that kind of got us sitting and thinking and then trying to get back into how we – how this was going to look coming back. Took a bit. It took a bit of planning. So we engaged with an architect who's actually working with companies, how to structure, how the rooms were going to be set up, and things like that. And, then, we decided to poll and survey our panelists, actually. And we did – our kind of phase one of that was we did 1,000 surveys to – in each of our markets. And that's kind of, that was our starting point for how we were going to reopen, how it was going to look, and how we were going to be able to kind of come back into business. We'll be sharing that with everyone at one point.
Melanie Courtright: Great.
Felicia Rogers: So – from Decision Analyst perspective, qualitative is really important part of our business, including in person qualitative. And, so, as Tracy was mentioning, one of the big questions is, when can we go back and do in person qualitative? And, in our experience thus far, we're not really doing much of it yet. Although we're paying really close attention to Tracy's company and all the others that are out there because there seems to be some really great work going on in terms of re-sort of like redesigning the qualitative facilities from a safety perspective. And I was telling Tracy the other day, that really is reassuring to me. And I think it's going to be reassuring to all the clients out there as they start asking, how soon can we go back to something a little more normal in terms of in person work. But, really, from a quantitative perspective, much of the work that we do is online. And, so, that has continued to happen over the past few months, with the exception of some things that have gone on pause. But online research is strong, response rates are strong, the data is continuing to be reliable. One thing that we've noticed and I'm hearing is that B2B work that's done by telephone is still a little bit iffy at this point. Because, as you can imagine, people are not always answering their work phones yet. So some of these things are going to take us a little while, I think, to get back to business as usual on. But [AUDIO SKIPS] have very high hopes, of course, in terms of online research, qualitative and quantitative. And it seems to me, especially being in Texas, a state that is starting to reopen, it seems to me that in person is going to start coming back relatively soon, slowly and carefully.
Melanie Courtright: Perfect. Thank you. Jamin?
Jamin Brazil: So, I mean, I think the go forward is, for us as an industry, is going to be really exciting. I'm hearing a lot from brands, that they can't wait to get back into in person, whether that's internal labs or partner facilities. Having said that, I think the flip side is the companies that are going to do really well are the ones that are ahead of the curve in coming up and defining the best practices around on site research. And, so, that's point number one. The second – so I see that as a big opportunity for us as an industry. And, then, the second thing I want to say is, it used to be the case that, if I wanted to build a relationship with a customer, I had to get on a plane or, at a minimum, a car and visit them. And I usually had to do that several times. What's now happened is it's become acceptable to develop relationships in a digital context. And in a lot of ways, I think that is going to carry forward in this new world. And I think that travel is definitely going to be impacted, of course. But, more specifically, from a positive perspective, with honoring our time. Meaning that we have more time to add value to our customers, whether it's products or the services that we're developing and delivering. So, yeah, I think that the opportunities for making sure you master things, tools like Zoom for creating good experiencing for customers is going to be really important. And I think, going back to the facility point of view, I talked to 12 different facility owners. And all 12 are optimistic. And all 12 believe that digital research will be a big part of their go forward.
Melanie Courtright: That's great. So, Tracy, back to you for a second. Felicia mentioned that you guys – that she was following you with some of the work that you guys are doing. What exactly is L&E doing? Have you done initial groups anywhere? Are you reopening anything? And what does that new facility look like for you?
Tracy Isacco: So the new facility looks – so it starts with safety, right? Safety for our clients, for our staff, and for any respondents that come in. So that was the, kind of the premise of where we started with this. And, then, like I said, we had surveyed our respondents and asked them, what would it take for you to come back in? And social distancing was the number one thing they said, basically. Those are – and then I had mentioned the architect we worked with to try and figure out how it was going to look. So, unfortunately, it's going to look a little different to clients coming in because, one, you're not going to have enough people. Or not enough, but you're not going to have as many people as you're used to having in a room at one point. So all of our rooms are limited, as far as social distancing goes. So we have some rooms in each location that have Plexiglas. And we have some rooms are designated for just a couple of people being able to be in them. So it – that – it's going to look like that, as far as the focus group rooms go. Technology's going to play a big part in it because even the client viewing rooms, you can't have 20 clients back there. So, as Jamin said, the travel piece of this is going to be limited because you're just not going to have as many people in the room at one point. So that's a big piece of it. Just the safety, mask wearing, temperature taken at the front before people come in. We have all of our seats labeled with numbers, so when people come in, they don't just sit wherever they want to sit, it's very specific where they sit, just to keep everyone distanced. And even when they're coming into a focus group room, I kind of thought of it kind of like as an airplane. You seat from – everyone thinks an airplane should seat the back windows to the front. That’s not how it's done, but that's how we're going to have to seat these focus group rooms so people aren't crossing and going past each other. The Plexiglas is really there so people can take their masks off because, as researchers, you need full facial expression. And, let's see, what else are we doing? Hand sanitizers. Our entire facilities are hands free. So we installed all these little foot things with signs that, basically, use your foot, use your elbow, use your back, that type of thing. And hand sanitizer everywhere. Have everything individually wrapped, so there's no more pens everywhere. It looks a little stark in here right now, but it's – this is the way it's going to have to be. Today, actually, we're doing a film. We're videoing so we can show clients and participants what the facility looks like and kind of what the new normal, the new reality that we all live in right now is going to be and going forward. And, really, like I said, safety is the biggest priority that we have in mind. And just so people feel safe.
Melanie Courtright: Well, for all of you, what about new screening? So that's all great, so thank you for that. And I know that you guys also have some things on your website too that people can look through and read and see a lot of other things. But what about additional screening? What does screening look like for in person?
Tracy Isacco: Well, the questions that, basically, are from the CDC. Have you had a fever? Have you been around anybody that has had COVID? Do you know if you have COVID? Obviously, I would hope everyone would say no, and then have them come in. I mean, that's why the temperature at the front. That's on all the screeners. We do talk to the client first and say, these are the ones we want to add to this to make sure that everyone has knowledge of that before they come in and before it's added to the screener. But, yeah, we're adding additional questions to all the screeners as well.
Melanie Courtright: And one more question for you, and then I'll see if the others want to add anything to it, and we'll, maybe, move on. But what did early show rates look like? Or what – how are the participants responding? How do they feel?
Tracy Isacco: So I mentioned this survey that we did in each of our markets. And, surprisingly – and this is before we've shown anybody what we're actually doing, as far as safety goes, 63 percent of participants said they were very likely to come in, which kind of surprised us. And 83 percent said that they were moderately to very likely. So it was actually pretty encouraging. So the first studies, when Governor DeWine in Ohio said we could – these businesses could open May 5th, we had studies going in Cincinnati or Columbus one week, and then Cincinnati. And we had 100 percent show rates in both cities.
Melanie Courtright: Wow.
Tracy Isacco: Yeah. So, I think, the people are wanting to be safe and, like I said, social distance was a big word they kept using. But as long as we can adhere to that and keep people safe, that people want to come in and give their opinions and talk to people, really.
Melanie Courtright: And Lori and Lisa are both asking, any waivers being added to your process, liability releases, anything like that?
Tracy Isacco: We do. We're working with our attorney right now because he wanted to do a really, really long one. And we were like, can we just make this –
Melanie Courtright: – I'll never read.
Tracy Isacco: You never read. Never – and, yeah. We're not trying to get anyone's first born. We just – we want to just acknowledge what the reality is right now. And the reality for us, really, location based, most of our markets are secondary markets. We're in Raleigh, Tampa, Cincinnati, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City. They're not in hot spots. They're not in Chicago or LA or anything like that, so it's really – but we are acknowledging the reality of the liability waivers for respondents.
Melanie Courtright: Jamin, you've been in the chat box a little bit talking about no M&Ms and –
Tracy Isacco: – No putting your fingers in things.
Melanie Courtright: Anything else you want to add to this in thinking about the new facility from, maybe from a tech perspective?
Jamin Brazil: I think it's a – it's – the facilities have been – the context for me is geography bound. And, now, the facility has to be unbound by geography at a digital – so it's all about digital enablement. So as Tracy and other people have said in our group chat earlier, we only have a limited – we now have limited seating. And, so, we've got to figure out how we can create connectivity to the remote viewers, so that they feel like they're in the room. And it's this – and I know this is a little bit off topic, but it's the same sort of general principle. Companies, all of our companies, are having to do the exact same thing. It used to be the case that if, over 80 percent of businesses did not have a remote workforce before COVID. Going forward, it's the majority of businesses will be remote oriented. In fact, I've heard that many of the large research institutes are doing surveys among their employees, wondering how much time they actually need in the office to cowork. And, then, the balance of that time is going to be spent working remote. And, so, the same tools that are being used in those environments, I think, are going to need to be deployed and considered inside of the facilities.
Melanie Courtright: Right. Thank you. Felicia, how about you?
Felicia Rogers: Honestly, I think it's been covered. As long as we're seeing those safety measures being taken, I think respondents will be comfortable. I saw a question about moderators. I can't speak for all the moderators, but I just think all of these activities are going to make people more and more comfortable as time goes by.
Melanie Courtright: It's about instilling confidence. Yes. So the geography question or comment triggered something for me, and I also received an email from Roseanne Luth about this. Just some quick comments about hyper local decision making around these and how different it is by state, by geography. Maybe, Tracy, you talk about that for a second.
Tracy Isacco: Yeah. I mean, that's completely – yeah. That's the world we are all living in. Wherever it's happening right where you are is kind of how you see the world. And, as Jamin said, it doesn't have to be like that because of all the online digital things we can do. And where our offices are, some ways, because they aren't as impacted – I mean, of course, COVID's everywhere right now, so it's not like it doesn't exist. But it's not as densely populated, I guess you could say, in the locations that are opening. The one location we do not have, that is not open out of our 11 is Walnut Creek, and that's in the San Francisco Bay Area. So that's the – it's because of geography.
Melanie Courtright: Well, and, Jamin, California has to be really different right? Than the rest of the states. And it does – and the legislative environment in California also has an impact with the – with the new statements about if you get COVID and you work, it will be presumed that you got it at work and is a work related issue, right?
Jamin Brazil: Yeah. There's a lot that's happening right now in the government, Governor's office relative to legislation on this top – in this time. And it's uncertain as to how things are going to end up in California. But, absolutely, there's going to be a lot more restriction. We're going to have to get to the point where people are signing in for rest – at restaurant attendance and that kind of thing, it just feels a little bit ridiculous. But we'll just kind of have to wait and see and then abide by whatever the law is. But, to Tracy's point, and I think this is really important, as you think about being unbound by geography, now, all of a sudden, the – I call them the triple A markets, that those markets can become a very cost effective way for us to conduct on par research. Because the majority of attendees are going to be remote. By that, attendees, I mean customer clients. And, so, I do think that there is a big opportunity still in front of us as an industry. And I think things like, how much it actually costs, I would be surprised if there isn't an increase in in person fees and clients are happy to pay it because they understand that managing a facility is, it requires a certain amount of square foot now per person that is a lot different economically than it used to be.
Melanie Courtright: Perfect. So let's pivot just a little bit. Joel and Felicia, sort of thinking about post-COVID, we're starting to get back to normal. What do you think might not pivot back to in person? What might stay digital? Why might be permanent changes as a result of the experience we've all just gone through?
Felicia Rogers: All right.
Joel Rubinson: Well, I think the way we work has changed. I mean, we found that, in many cases, working from home works just fine. So just the fundamentals. I mean, everyone here works with – in a business or is – works with teams or supports businesses or whatever. And you have to think about the cultural changes that are going to come about as people work from home, whereas do they go into shifts? I mean, I've heard things like there will be shift workers who will go in a couple of days a week, but – they're trying to manage the load. So I think how we work as teams – I work with some research companies where it is very much like an in person sales culture. It's, like I know some guys that work closely with people who on a plane every week. Every week, they're going across from coast to coast. Well, they haven't been able to do that for a couple of months. And, you know what? They're still selling. And people are still – and the virtual meetings are replacing the in person meetings. So, I mean, I think there's going to be changes in just fundamentally how we go about doing things. And we've discovered just a new way of being. So that's one element to keep in mind.
Melanie Courtright: Yeah. Felicia, how about you?
Felicia Rogers: No, I agree with you, Joel, on the interpersonal kinds of things. We're all getting used to having meetings like this. We can still see each other. We can still interact. But we're not in the same location. And a lot of that holds true for research as well. We've been talking for years, really, about being in the moment without being in the place. So we can still interact with respondents. And this is, again, from a qualitative perspective, we can still have digital groups. We can still do things like virtual ethnography. I think though from an interpersonal perspective, it was interesting, I just took a peak at some new data this morning about shaking hands. And most people are telling us that they are not going to be comfortable shaking hands. This is a Consumer Survey. Not comfortable in the foreseeable future shaking hands. So some of those kind of interactions, I don't want to use the word permanent, but I think they're going to be long lasting. And the way we set up our offices and interact in our offices, same thing holds true. But I also think about marketing and advertising itself. We may see somethings changing just in that world, with more people home all the time. Is it going to become more important to do audio marketing, for example. Are we going to hear more advertising coming through Alexa than we have in the past? And kind of the flip side of that is, what happens to outdoor advertising? What happens to broadcast radio. Both of those rely so heavily on drive time audiences. And it makes me wonder, with fewer people driving, fewer – shorter distances or less frequently, are we going to see a big shift in media? And, obviously, we've talked about advertising messaging. So, I think, from a research perspective, we have methodologies that are tried and true and I think they still all apply. But, again, that mix of in person versus digital, again, I don't want to use the word permanent, but I think we – it's going to be a long time before we go back to anything, if we ever get all the way back to what we would have considered normal three months ago.
Joel Rubinson: And, then, also the share of retail that's going through online.
Felicia Rogers: Yeah.
Joel Rubinson: And I would include the Instacart stuff, where people do grocery shopping for you. We've been using that a lot because we don't – living in the New York area, we don't really want to go to stores any more than we have to. But once you live that way, maybe you don't want to go back. I noticed following stock prices, I noticed Amazon and Netflix's stock prices are going through the roof, even though the Dow is way down, their prices are way up. So I think some of those changes are going to be pretty permanent, how people shop and how they do research and to what extent they're reliant on physical environments. So if any of you do research with shopper insights, it'd be a very fertile area to see changes in the kind of cadence of society.
Jamin Brazil: And piggybacking on Joel's point, this is what's so exciting to me, is we as a people used to spend most of our time physically together. And it was okay to dip my hands in the M&M bowl, so to speak. I didn't do that, but you understand. So the – well, I'm not going to admit to you that I did it – so the point is that we're now forced into environments like this as opposed to in person. And that's creating this comfortability or new sort of normal. And, now, I'm going to start as a – CEOs, executives are going to start understanding consumer journeys in a digital context, whereas they never would have had that personal experience and connection before. And that's where I think – and this will be my last point – us as an industry, as a category, is we fundamentally are the most crafty bunch of people there are anywhere. We figure out how to get stuff done when it's impossible. And, so – yeah, I know, here we go – and, so, this, the point is that this is our time to help enable insights inside of the brands to help them connect to their customers in this new marketing framework.
Melanie Courtright: Yeah. I love that. So let's pivot a little bit and talk about the research tool kit. Knowing all of the things that we've just talked about, all of the things that are going to be long-term, maybe permanent, maybe not, but long-term impacts on how we shop, how we group, how we are, how we think, what our values are, for researchers now, how's our tool kit going to be different, not just in the short-term, but in the long-term? Who wants to go first?
Felicia Rogers: I have to say, I'm not seeing huge changes from what we've done for decades, really. To Jamin's point, we are innovative. We've got tried and true methods, but we are constantly, as an industry, coming up with new ways of getting questions to answer and address our clients’ business needs. And that's really what it's all about at the end of the day, is making sure that whatever methods we're using are getting to – getting at the core of the issue. How are – how are consumers feeling? How are they behaving? How do they think they will behave in the future? At this point, that's a big question that's difficult to answer. But what are attitudes like? Are they going to react to advertising messages of one sort better than they do another sort? So the questions are all very similar. I think our methodologies are also all very much still relevant. Again, if it had to be in person before, maybe it's online now. But it, at the core, we're still using the same kinds of techniques. We're still using analytics that are important to go below the surface and try and tease out what the data are telling us. So, again, I don't – I really am not seeing any changes that I think are going to really shift the way we do things or that are going to be permanent. It's just a matter of thinking about, how do we get to the bottom of what people are feeling and doing and saying? And answer those key questions. Because, really, in my opinion, everything is on the table for a brand or a company right now. Are we positioned the right way? Are we going to market the right way? Are we putting forward the right messages? What does the in store experience look like yesterday, today, and tomorrow? And we've got a tool kit that's perfect to answer those questions.
Tracy Isacco: And just from a – from the standpoint of the [AUDIO SKIPS] has to get things done, essentially. I mean, really, I think it – looking – being consultants to our clients and trying to figure out and be creative like everyone is. And, maybe, you don't have 20 people in the room, maybe you have 10 people online, 10 people in the room. Maybe you're doing a product pick up, then you're going online, then you're having a select group come in. It's you can do things so many different ways and use a variety of methodologies and technology. And it's, after the initial shock, it is kind of exciting now that we're kind of thinking that way again and how can we just make things happen and get things done and give people the insights I need to? Because I think there's so much, so much confusion right now. And this is the time they need answers and help.
Melanie Courtright: I think that's really where I was going, was I agree that our tool kit will stay very much the same. But I think the way we use the tools may – and the percentages of some of the split of work may move. I – and now that qual – all qual facilities are becoming immersed in a bit of digital, digital will probably stick around and become a permanent part of their tool kit for every session. There'll be digital elements. And that was what I've been hearing. Jamin?
Jamin Brazil: Yeah. The – I mean, again, I'm sorry I keep saying the same thing over and over again, but it's all about the packaging of the session. And, so, from a messaging perspective, we have to figure out how we can create a bigger lever of insights for the brands. And the way that they can get bigger adoption is more participation in the research. And that's where the digital framework becomes really important. So the tools are the same, I don't disagree with that point at all. But I think the way that we help educate our clients on how to utilize the tools is what changes. And, so, that's where it's things like hosting lunch and learns at P&G or whatever or agencies, on this particular tool used this way helps increase exposure to these insights. That – those kinds of things, or this methodology is a really good application to get to this, whatever your point is. So I think it's a really good opportunity for us to grab the helm right now and help control the insights function inside of the organizations so that they have the education that they need in order to roll it out. And, then, the last point that I'll make on this is it – market researchers aren't the only ones doing market research now in the – inside of the brands. And, so, we need to really expand our horizon and speak – get the market research speech or speak out of our language so that we're being accessible as an industry to a broader, more cross-disciplinary group of consumers.
Melanie Courtright: That's great. So we have just three minutes left. So sort of a tweet style response to this, if you can, to this and then we'll wrap up. What – if you could offer sort of one piece of advice, what should researchers and brands, what should we be thinking about next? We spent a lot of time focusing on where we are and how we feel today. What kind of foresight things should people be thinking about? What should be the thing they're worried about next? Maybe not worried, but thinking about, planning for.
Joel Rubinson: I mean, I think the – we are at an inflection point in marketing. And, right now, today, the safest thing to do is to pull back your advertising and kind of hunker down and wait and see what happens. There's going to be a day, I don't know if it's going to be next week or two weeks or whatever, but there's going to be a day that's going to come pretty quickly where that will no longer be the safe course of action. Marketers are going to have to figure out how to reboot marketing. And I would say that means we need, not just new quantitative tools, but I think the scripts that you use in facilitating qualitative sessions and so on. I think – really think you have to rethink all of that to – I've never seen so much uncertainty on the part of marketers. I just spoke with the Head of Analytics for one of the large beverage companies, he can't predict a week from now what the advertising budget is going to be. He's got no clue. He's got no clue what the next meeting is going to produce. So, anyway, I just think we have to be – embrace the uncertainty and find ways of helping marketers through that, where I think we get rewarded if we do that well.
Melanie Courtright: And to be ready for that, make sure we stay close to consumers and understand what they're thinking, so that when that time comes, the importance of message testing, like you have a good message ready to go, right?
Joel Rubinson: Yeah. I mean, it's really a reboot of marketing. Around the early 1990s Procter was trumpeting this thing they called point-of-change marketing. It's kind of like when you move into a new house, you get all kinds of – give you like a package of new stuff or when you just have a baby or you buy a dishwasher, I think this is a point of change. But it's one you don't know how to research as well, you know, at the points of change.
Melanie Courtright: Yes. Tracy, Felicia?
Tracy Isacco: I think safety first is going to be in everyone's mind for a long time or at least in the near future, near term for everybody. And being creative and being flexible and trying to really make things happen, regardless of circumstances, is going to be the most important thing.
Melanie Courtright: Right. Felicia?
Felicia Rogers: Yeah. And just very simply, this is our time, at the risk of sounding cheesy. As consumer insights people, as researchers, we do stand in a spot where we can really help brands and companies and our own stakeholders make those decisions that need to be made, whether they're relatively short-term or more forward looking, we can help get those answers from the people who are going to spend the money on their products.
Melanie Courtright: Yes. Great. And, then, Jamin.
Jamin Brazil: And my last point is figure out what your Zoom communication strategy is at an organizational level, thinking about backgrounds, thinking about headsets, whatever sort of way you can make sure that you're punching through in this environment and this media is really important.
Melanie Courtright: Great. Thank you. Thank you everyone. We got to a lot of your questions. So just a quick reminder that we have our next conference coming up June 1st through the 3rd. If you have not registered, it's free to members and there's going to be some really great content. We're going to do more of this networking. You're going to get to know people. We'll even have some entertainment. So it'll be fun. I really hope that you'll join us. I cannot thank each of you enough for joining us and for continuing to give us some of your time. We hope that we're adding value to your business lives and even to your personal lives. So thank you all very much. Have a great rest of the day.