11 Nov 2010

Journey to the Center of EXPLOR

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Well, it’s been a journey — eleven years to be precise. That’s the first time Digital Research was nominated for the EXPLOR Award, when it was first conferred by the University of Wisconsin. EXPLOR has changed ownership since then, first to the AMA and now IIR — and we followed along from owner to owner, from conference to conference. As a company dedicated to providing fresh perspectives in marketing research, we are continually drawn to this award that celebrates innovation in our industry.

At that inaugural EXPLOR Award event, DRI and its client partner, Ziff-Davis Media, received kudos for our ability to evaluate print ads via the Internet. Comparing that methodology to today’s standards is a little like pitting Atari against Halo III. How times have changed! But look at where we’ve gone in just a short decade! The industry has moved from online research as novelty to online research as necessity.

In 2003 we again were nominated, this time with our client partner, Hannaford Bros. Co, for the creation and management of their proprietary shopper panel. This panel enabled them to connect with and gain insights from their customer base like never before. But once again, we found ourselves a bridesmaid instead of a bride — honored as a finalist, but missing the elusive win.

Last night, as our intrepid team stepped up to the podium to discuss our case study and then later when announced as the WINNER of the EXPLOR Award, nothing could have been sweeter. First, we were given the trust and freedom to stretch our creative muscle and design research that was specific and impactful. This allowed us to make a profound positive impact on our client partner — the Holy Grail of what we aim to achieve as researchers. Next, we were able to present this case study to a panel of our peers — others whose expertise and opinion we respect. And finally, we received accolades from the industry for what I’ve known all along — that by bringing together smart people who care deeply about their clients, and letting them break technological barriers — that amazing things can happen. We are so proud!

Just as the techniques of online research have changed over these eleven years — so has the role of technology within our industry. EXPLOR was initially founded as a way to highlight those researchers who used technology, and it celebrated the creation of the technology itself. Today, this award focuses not so much on the what — but on the why and result of that effort — reflecting more deeply on innovation and leadership.

In listening to the sessions at TMRE this year, it is clear that we are advancing to a new era of enlightenment with regard to technology – one from being simply enamored with what the technology can do, to one of enabler and connector — enabling us to do a better job of connecting with our clients, our consumers, our issues. So, it’s not in having just the capability that we win, but in knowing what will best serve the need. We’re adding the human element back into research innovation and design. And for that we won the EXPLOR Award. Yes, very sweet indeed.

Jane Mount
Executive Vice President

One Response to Journey to the Center of EXPLOR
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lanna Lee Maheux, Digital Research. Digital Research said: DRI announced as WINNER of the 2010 EXPLOR Award for Innovation in Research http://fb.me/zbPF83WI […]

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