March 18, 2024 / Thought Leadership

Speaker Spotlight: Scott Madden at the Quirk’s Event Dallas

Scott Madden, Senior Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, recently took the stage as a speaker at the Quirk’s Event Dallas. Partnering with Relative Insight, his session, titled “Run insights programs, not projects to really make an impact,” revealed Connelly Partners’ approach to running continuous insights programs across diverse online platforms. This approach empowers his team to consistently obtain significant insights for clients and prospects.

Beyond his speaking duties, Scott attended various sessions across the 2-day annual conference, which drew hundreds of brand-side market researchers, CRM specialists and CMOs. Those sessions provided fresh perspectives and insights into the world of customer understanding. Here are his key takeaways from the event: 


  1. Although AI is as oversaturated as Taylor Swift these days, the reality is that we are still in the infancy stage of this world-changer. Our industry continues to evolve at an incredibly fast clip, and AI allows the creative and strategic thinkers of our industry to utilize the immense processing power and intelligent organizing of data to give even more context to fuel even better human-authored storytelling – whether it’s personas, ethnographies, or actual brand content. I truly believe the capabilities of AI are soon to spark a creative Renaissance in our industry. 
  2. Market researchers are creating better and more cost-effective tools and methodologies for concept testing which place far more importance on unconscious, emotional responses to ideas rather than rational-based, ask-and-answer measures. Too many of our industry’s best ideas have never advanced to production reality due to the artificial dynamics that too often misguide concept testing measures.
  3. A fascinating report from a recent Visa consumer survey revealed that the uncertainty in our lives (economic, geopolitical, health, job security, etc.), which is often reinforced by the 24/7 news content populating our feeds, is not going away and has become our “new normal.” Brands that empathize with this reality in their comms, especially via CX, will garner greater affinity with their audiences.
  4. From that same Visa survey, global trust in institutions, such as government, media, etc., continues its decline. It is surprising to learn that the U.S. gen population, with 46% having strong distrust, is not even close to the highest distrust level globally. But, the loss of trust in institutions is being offset by the corporate leaders of the best brands in the world. In December 2023, the Drucker Institute published its annual report on the best-managed companies in the world, taking into account not only market growth and product innovation but also customer and employee satisfaction. Microsoft took top honors last year. But as Peter Drucker, thought by many to be the father of modern corporate management, maintains: today’s businesses should benefit investors AND society.