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To me the first day at CASRO seemed a little like overkill. A succession of excellent speakers, spearheaded by the truly inspiring Jeffrey Hayzlett (“Think Big Act Bigger”) fed us the mantra ‘adapt or die’. We were reminded of the remorseless march of technology and invited to adopt any new idea that would keep us in touch with the modern consumer. Their needs are, apparently, primarily built upon personal, instant gratification that should not be left to wait for one unnecessary moment. Although, I thought that the best story of the day was the pizza company replacing its ‘promise’ of delivery within 30 minutes by offering a better product that might take longer to deliver.

Regardless, we were authoritatively informed that the clients who were going to succeed in the future were those who demand speed of response. They simply cannot afford to hang around in today’s competitive world, where social media can spread the (bad?) news faster than lightning strikes!

Then the following thought occurred to me. Are these the same clients that have decided to delay payments to their suppliers until 90 days – or even 120 days? What happened to the American way of payment in 30 days so prevalent 10 years ago? That seems to have disappeared along with a number of other financial niceties, swept away by the recession. What caused that near catastrophic disaster? Was it computer systems that introduced better and faster methods of trading that no-one actually understood? There certainly exists a theory to that effect.

But, of course, we could never make the same mistake as we integrate big data into our instant marketing research predictive models. Or could we? 

Council of American Survey Research Organisations

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