Tuesday - June 10th, 2014
Concurrent Sessions F

Big Data, Little Data, New Data

It goes without saying that we are in an era of rapid change. The evidence is all around us and affects every aspect of our lives.  For the marketing research industry, technological change and the explosion of data availability from a myriad of sources has fundamentally altered the nature of our business.  We are no longer simply suppliers and interpreters of scarce survey research information, but are instead…what?  The necessary posing of this question (let alone the answer) has led to considerable hand-wringing and anxiety within our industry and threatens to shake our confidence in ourselves.  However, it is clearly evident that we are in the midst of a transformative process offering potential to take our industry to a new level and enhance our value to our clients, to the economy and to society generally.

This presentation takes a holistic look at our industry and proposes a number of routes to enhancing our relevance and value by meeting the challenges of today’s dynamic marketplace.  Consideration is given to big data integration, establishing a new role for survey research and embracing digital opportunities in a thoughtful, balanced manner. Our relevance as an industry will largely hinge on our ability to be predictive and make sense of the ocean of information that threatens to inundate our clients.

Margot Acton


Senior Vice President, Brand & Communications Lead, TNS Canada

  • Joined TNS Canada in 1989; 20+ years experience
  • Specialist in brand and communication research, segmentation, portfolio management and complex market measurement
  • Managed segmentation research for Canada’s leading clients assisting with the development of strategies to build and strengthen large brands
  • Senior lead for creative testing, finished ad testing, strategic brand positioning, portfolio management and in-market brand communications tracking
  • Led new method for Digital Media Measurement and Audience based digital segment targeting, focusing on the impacts of digital media strategies on brands and the synergy between digital media with social and traditional media
  • Recent work with Kraft, Mondelez, Unilever, McCain, Danone, Canada Post, Toyota, Mercedes and Ford
  • Regularly presents and facilitates cross-functional workshops with senior client teams and agency partners