Friday, October 30, 2009

NACCM 2009 Kicks off on Monday!

We hope that you'll be joining us next week in sunny Phoenix for the 2009 NACCM Customer 1st event. We'll be LIVE on-site as we blog, Tweet and record all that NACCM has to offer.

Follow us right here for our coverage of the conference. Also, be sure to follow along on Twitter and join in the conversation with #NACCM.

Check below for a glimpse of what's in store for us next week.

Take a look at all we have to offer:

• 40+ insightful presenters focused on delivering real world case studies showcasing new innovative approaches for delivering customer-centricity.
• 7 Exciting new keynote sessions: fresh sources of motivation and inspiration to help you make an impact. Keynote themes include Authentic Leadership, CCO Perspectives, WOW Experiences, Customer Trends, Human Factors, Customer Service and more!
• More networking activities than ever - including a Mexican Fiesta Dinner, Wild West Party and dinners with peers around the resort to ensure you're making the right connections and getting the right face-time with your industry counterparts.
• New Programs added to ensure your investment delivers the value you need and expect... including the ROA (Return on Attendance) tool, event mentorship program, post-event executive summary and participant key takeaways report.

• Outdoor sessions and activities bringing the insights and knowledge sharing into an open-air environment.

• Event Concierge offering personalized attention aimed at helping you with all your planning needs.

• All New Tracks & Summits, the value of 5 conferences for the price of one: Customer-Centric Social Media, Next Generation Loyalty & Retention Strategies, Strategic Leadership & Customer-Centric Culture, Organizational & Operational Excellence, Innovating the Customer Experience

Plus - Connect, Engage and Learn from your is a list of companies who've already signed on to attend:

Affinion Loyalty Group
ALSAC St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Arizona Public Service
Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Blueocean Market Intelligence
BrightSight Group
Burke Inc.
CACI International Inc.
Canadian Blood Services
CIGNA Healthcare
Comcast Corporation
Compassion Canada
Conway Freight
Customers Rock!
Data Development Worldwide
Dell Inc.
Enumclaw Insurance Group
First Data Merchant Services
GFK Custom Research
Hallmark Insights
Helzberg Diamonds
Hewlett Packard Company
Home Nursing Agency
Homestead Technologies
Intel Corporation
Intercontinental Hotels Group
JetBlue Airways
LaCrosse Footwear Inc.
Lexis Nexis
Marriott International
Mastercard Worldwide Medallia Inc.
NCO Group
Norwegian Cruise Line
OnCURE Medical Corp.
Powerhouse Consulting
Predictive Consulting Group Inc.
Quest Diagnostics
Research In Motion
San Diego Gas Electric
Scottsdale Insurance Company
Sensory Logic
Sony Electronics
Southern California Edison
Southwest Airlines
The Disney Institute
The Forum Corporation
The Hartford
Thomson Reuters
Towerbank International
Ubercool LLC
Union Bank & Trust Co.
Union Bank of California
United States Olympic Committee
Verizon Wireless
Walk the Walk
Wyndham Hotel Group
YMCA of the USA

Wired: Organized Chaos: Viral Marketing, Meet Social Media

We encourage you to check out Curtis Silver's piece in Wired magazine in which he discusses the evolution of viral marketing and how it met with social media. Silver writes, viral marketing — the technique of wrangling word-of-mouth to create a buzz around your product or idea — has been a powerful tool since the first caveman started the first rumor. Spreading the word person to person is the stuff of Avon dreams — and Bernie Madoff nightmares. And it requires the confidence to lose control of the message by setting it adrift. He discusses 2002's BMW short film series, The Hire and how Mystery Science Theater 3000 played an integral part in the latter stages of "traditional" viral marketing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What if we only offered online customer service?

I came across this interesting thread on the UK Business Labs Forum in which a business owner was thinking about switching their online and phone service for customer service to strictly online only, eliminating the phone element. Many customers though still feel the need to physically speak to representatives on the phone right off the bat and when things aren't being explained well online through instant messaging. Do you think this is a wise decision to remove phone service from their customer service initiatives?

Announcement from The Market Research Event: TMRE 2009 Wrap-Up

Below is an excerpt from our LinkedIn announcement sent today. If you've not already joined us on LinkedIn, we encourage you to do so!


We’d like to thank all of you at The Market Research Event LinkedIn group who followed us last week at the conference. In case you weren’t able to make it to Las Vegas, we’d like to share with you some of the most popular sessions from our blog:

TMRE Keynote Session – Yes! Proven Ways for Market Researchers to Become More Persuasive

Web 2.0 & Community Research Symposium: More for Less: Leveraging Research Communities to Maximize Your Budget

TMRE 2009: Decision Pathway Modeling: Understanding How Your Customers Get To Yes

TMRE Keynote Session: Why quality doesn't matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research

Creating "Delicious" Research

For all of the sessions covered at TMRE, visit our blog:

Would you like to be more involved in TMRE 2010? Feel free to contact Krista Vazquez, Conference Director, for more information about speaking, Jon Saxe, Business Development Manager, at for Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities, Anastasia Ioannou, Senior Marketing Manager, at for Media or Marketing Partnership Opportunities; and Kim Rivielle, Managing Director, for strategic partnerships and new ideas.

Registration is now open for the 2010 The Market Research Event. You can register here and use priority code TMRE2010LINK. Keep up with the latest information on TMRE 2010 right here at the TMRE LinkedIn group, or on Twitter @TMRE.

** ** **
We’d also like to invite you to a web seminar we have coming up:
Unlock a Better Business Strategy with Text Analytics
Start Date/Time: Thu, Nov 19, 2009 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

With SPSS text analytics, you can read documents, blogs, wikis, tweets, e-mails, call center notes, surveys and other free form text – and turn the insight you gain into a true strategic asset. We’ll show you how to use text analytics with social media and other Web 2.0 sites to understand trends, and what your customers want, and how they’ll behave. We’ll demonstrate using text analytics in modeling to make your models better, and how to use automatic translation from more than 30 languages to make sense of your global customer base.
Featured Speaker
Jane Hendricks, Product Marketing Manager, SPSS, an IBM Company

Mention priority code MWS0026BLOG when registering:

The Market Research Event Team

NASDAQ Goes Social

I came across this article in WebProNews that discusses that the world's largest exchange company has launched a social networking community called "NASDAQ Community". The aim of this group, according to NASDAQ EVP John Jacobs, is to promote market transparency and investor education among people in the financial sector with shared interests.

Members of the community are able to create profiles, ask questions on discussion boards and rate and review stocks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Free Web Seminar - Unlock a Better Business Strategy with Text Analytics

Start Date/Time: Thu, Nov 19, 2009 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

With SPSS text analytics, you can read documents, blogs, wikis, tweets, e-mails, call center notes, surveys and other free form text – and turn the insight you gain into a true strategic asset. We’ll show you how to use text analytics with social media and other Web 2.0 sites to understand trends, and what your customers want, and how they’ll behave. We’ll demonstrate using text analytics in modeling to make your models better, and how to use automatic translation from more than 30 languages to make sense of your global customer base.

Your customers are talking about you, and you can gain a genuine advantage by knowing what they are saying. Attend this webinar and learn how you can “listen in” – and act on the information to gain a competitive edge.

This webinar will show how to:
- Use text analytics to make sense of any text, including Web 2.0 sources such as social networking sites
- Use the information to get a better understanding of your customers, your products, and your competitors.
- Make sense of free-form text resources, and act on the insight you gain
- Unlock predictive secrets from text sources, and combine that information with structured data to build powerful predictive
models that can inform decision making.

Featured Speaker
Jane Hendricks, Product Marketing Manager, SPSS, an IBM Company

Mention priority code MWS0026BLOG when registering:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Improve Customer Service -- Or Else

Ed Wallace of writes that Baby boomers aren't just reducing their debt and watching their spending, they are also re-evaluating the types of products they would buy in the future -- everything from luxury cars to their homes. Wallace warns, "Attention CEOs: Now, more than ever you can't afford to let sloppiness, misinformation, or poor service cost you any more customers."

Wallace continues, because it is becoming harder than ever to separate customers from their dollars, customer care and the buying experience are more important than ever. The problem is that, at least if my experiences this year are anything to go by, that experience is so unrewarding that I, and many other consumers, may keep right on sitting on our wallets.

How are you serving your baby boomer customer base? Have you made any changes to your customer service strategy in order to retain and earn new customers within this demographic?

Warning: Improve Customer Service -- Or Else

Google adds social media activity to search results reports today that Google has launched Social Search facility that enables users to discover publicly available web content from their social circle online.

Currently still in its experimental stage, when using Social Search users will sometimes see a special set of "Results from people in your social circle" towards the bottom of the results page.

These social results include relevant websites, blogs, status updates, and other publicly-available content from users’ online friends and contacts.

As a social networking user, will this help you find relevant content online? Or, are you able to find said content easily on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube?

Google adds social media activity to search results

TMRE 2009: Get Stimulated: Innovating Through Challenging Times

Get Stimulated: Innovating Through Challenging Times
Andrew Pek, Author, Stimulated!

Andrew Pek presented in the "Proof" track at last week's 2009 TMRE, and looked at how people could become more creative in the work that they did. He focused on three ways to get stimulated, focusing on The Vibe, The Value and The Verb. We've got to work on better exploiting the brain in order to be more creative and innovative at work. Creativity is essentially a survival skill.

When audience members were asked about their best moments of creativity took place, they responded in the shower, while sleeping, driving, or even at conferences.

The Vibe, one of the core parts becoming creative, is all about managing your energy. Innovation is a vibe, and relies on tuning and turning your thoughts and feelings into a creative energy. Being aware of your thoughts and feelings is key to having a good vibe.

The Verb is to act, pair ideas with your actions. Pursuing ideas is the key to successful innovation. A great way to do this is to pair random words together. What do you need to come up with a creative idea for? One audience member suggested a new flavor of beer. Te audience then came together to think of different flavors of potato chips. This can introduce new flavors that one had previously never thought of.

And finally, Pek looked at Value. What impact do your new innovations have on your company and society?

Monday, October 26, 2009

7 Tips to Improving Customer Service

I came across this post on that highlights 7 tips for offering "better" customer service. Every company plans on offering better customer service but it's time to actually buckle down and go through with it. Here are the 7 tips the post includes:

1. Offer online chat - customers want to be able to chat immediately especially if they are having a technical glitch or problem

2. Use Twitter - Comcast and Southwest Airlines are just a few examples of great companies that are being proactive and not reactive to customer complaints by using twitter

3. Have a FAQ section - this can reduce a lot of calls to customer service by simply having a webpage with dedicated answers

4. Include a search function - make your website more friendly by allowing consumers to search for specifics

5. Post contact info on every page - don't make it difficult for customers to get in contact with you

6. Increase response time to emails - make sure to answer all emails at least within 24 hours

7. Ask how you can improve customer service - constantly ask what are more ways to improve your service

Real-Time Search Results for Twitter

In the past couple of months we have seen major events unfold and witnessed Facebook and Twitter become real-time news reporters. According to this article in the NY Times, there has been talks of search engines like OneRiot, Collecta and Topsy trying to incorporate twitter in real-time search results, but recently Microsoft and Google have reached separate agreements to include tweets into their search engines.

One question that the article raises is how will these real-time results produce a cash flow for twitter? Analysts mention that this might not be an easy task, and twitter's chief executive has already mentioned that it is not the primary focus of the agreements made.

One things for sure, twitter has definitely become a force to be reckoned with and it's great to see Google and Microsoft recognize this and want to include it into their search results.

Customers 1st 2009 Podcasts: A Conversation with Dan Hill, Author, Emotionomics

As we get gear up for the 2009 NACCM: Customers 1st Event this year, we're going to be interviewing and getting to know the speakers and sponsors who will bring their perspectives on customer service to you. We recently sat down with Dan Hill, author of Emotionomics. He will be participating in the keynote speech, “Saving Customer Ryan: The Power of Emotion Brand Equity” at this year's conference. Download the NACCM:Customers 1st Brochure to find out more about the program this year.

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Dan Hill is the President of Sensory Logic, Inc., founded in 1998 as a scientific consumer insights firm that specializes in gauging both verbal and nonverbal, subconscious reactions to advertising, store environments, and product design, packaging and presentation. He has also provides executive coaching for sales force training relating to interpersonal communication skills.

Dan will be presenting the keynote speech “Saving Customer Ryan: The Power of Emotional Brand Equity” at this year’s NACCM: Customers 1st Conference this November 2-5 at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak in Phoenix, Arizona.

What is a company’s emotional equity and how can this affect consumer perceptions?
Dan: Well, we often talk about equity from an advertising perspective, and what they often mean is the awareness of the brand. That you’re aware of a brand, and you find it relevant. What I think it means when you get to customer service, what’s the experience you’ve had with a brand, is it meaningful, is it distinct and above all is it positive and it’s emotional because our emotions drive our decision making process and reflect the memories that we’ve had, and that’s why they’re so powerful and drive customer perceptions. If you have a positive feeling, it’s relent, it can drive you back toward the brand.

How important is it to customer service to be able to read what your customers are feeling when they are doing business with you?
Dan: It’s crucial because the breakthroughs in brain science confirm that people are largely emotional decision makers, the emotional part of the brain sends about 10x as many signals as the rational brain and vice versa, so everybody feels before they think, and the important thing about customer service is you’re in the moment, you’re interacting with another human being, it’s probably the single most emotional moment in the business world, and if you can engender positive feelings, and read as you’re creating those vibes with the other person, that’s really when you’re going to build brand equity.

How can being able to read facial expressions of candidates help during the hiring process?
Dan: Well, we all know that these days, people don’t disclose much in references, and obviously the person doing the interview is going to put on their best face possible, and the important thing you need to know is once you hire the person, and they are at the crucial touch point where brand equity is built so much, you really want someone was a good brand ambassador. Someone who has an agreeable personality, and I really think you can pick that up in an interview. Much more in just the words, after all in a stressful situation, it’s really a chance to get past the lip services. There are studies that show 55% of crucial communication is through the face and only 7% through the words. Reading someone’s temperament, seeing how they handle the stress of the interview, seeing how positive they can be and stay away from the negatives, those same qualities will be very valuable in someone who’s helping a customer.

Can you tell us a little about what you’ll be presenting at this year’s NACCM: Customers 1st?
Dan: [I will ]Probably two or three things most of all. One is to try to introduce people to the importance of the emotional element in people’s decision making process. As I said breakthroughs in brain science have confirmed that people are overwhelmingly emotional decision makers. That’s one part. The other part is indeed about hiring. We are linking how people emote and how they feel to their core personality. That’s how someone over time reveals themselves. And the third point will be specific practical applications to what the customer experience and customer service situation is and how you can make it better.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Google and Facebook to join music distribution

According to the New York Times, Google and Facebook are teaming up with some of the music labels in order to make music easier to learn about music types, as well as find and sample music from different musicians. Google's initiative to team up with Capitol Records is expected to be announced next Wednesday. The different sites will not actually host the media, but will create partnerships with other sites such as iLike to stream the media.

What do you think? This is the first time we've seen the music industry join forces with someone on the internet to publicize their artists on the internet. I believe that by creating communities where artists are readily available for the public to hear will only increase the number of CDs purchased by buyers.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

H1N1 Swine Flu Social Media Tools Provided by CDC reports that The CDC partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(HHS)to create social media tools that provide easy to access information about the ongoing H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic. Widgets, mobile information, online videos and other tools help keep important H1N1 Flu information flowing.

For links to these potentially life saving networks, please click here.

H1N1 Swine Flu Social Media Tools Provided by CDC

Rating the Carriers: Customer Service Showdown

Laptop magazine recently released their own study about the quality of customer service among cell phone carriers within the USA. They found that overall, T-Mobile offered the best customer service based on customer service within the store, web, phone and overall satisfaction.

Do you agree?

Rating the Carriers: Customer Service Showdown

TMRE 2009 - Interview with Communispace CEO Diane Hessan

We were able to catch Diane Hessan, CEO of Communispace, and ask her some questions about some of Communispace’s new research initiatives and what lies ahead for market researchers of tomorrow. Take a couple of minutes to view the video below. Enjoy!

Research communities can be as Communities can be easy on the purse strings

For the first time this year, Gongos Research decided to raffle away a handbag that this year's TMRE. They wanted to create something that showed who they were as a company and that aligned with their presentation with Domino's Pizza. So with the motto of "Research communities can be easy on the purse strings when you know how to leverage and be creative with them," they gave away a Burberry handbag. Susan Scarlet, the director of marketing and public relations at Gongos Research, said this was the perfect raffle prize to match the Gongos brand and their presentation with Domino's Pizza. The lucky winner of the raffle was Debbie Lunsford, of The Coca Cola Company, pictured in the middle, along with Susan Scarlet (left) and Christi Walters (right), both of Gongos Research.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TMRE General Session: Why quality doesn't matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research

Why quality doesn't matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research
Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President , Marketing Strategy & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company

Stan is presented us with two vital slides. As different people have different styles, and he doesn’t want to offend anyone.

Vital slide #1: Why quality doesn’t matter. You must think about the future. If you don’t have quality, don’t come to the party. This is the reason why quality should matter, but it shouldn’t be the only thing.

Vital Slide #2: It’s beyond quality. What’s the next frontier? This slide could be considered less offensive than the first.

85% of research leaders indicated that they are either ”Neutral of dissatisfied with the impact of marketing research in their company. How can we take respondent engagement to the next level?

Is only debate getting us in the way we focusing on urgent versus important. We probably spend a disproportioninate amount of time on the urgent as opposed to the important. There is hope for the industry going forward, the question is is innovation happening at the pace its suppose to happen?

It’s about helping the company to change shape. Not following the change as quickly as possible. Leaders create change. Followers follow change. Our role as leaders and market researchers is to light the way, and show a beacon of hope for what can change in the future. End user expectations bring value to the table.

Expectations are changing quite dramatically. Going forward, we must put money behind research, innovation, and technology changes that accelerate change. We need to think about how we can bring dramatic changes to the world of our research? How can we use technology to do so?

What’s blocking our way for innovation?
We can’t agree on the definition of insight in the industry.
We don’t ‘know what we don’t know, and we don’t know how to know what we don’t know.

What will our final frontier look like?
The speaker can’t predict the future, but Facebook will become the insight provider for the world. There are 300 million individual users, each have given an extensive amount of personal detail. So we can get a great understanding of human conditions. It’s the best source in the world for information on the human behavior. What is your loyal fan base thinking about your product? What do they do, when do they enjoy coke; all can be found if used Facebook correctly. They’re consumers who love your brand.

Here’s what a company needs from clients and research agencies.
-creative problem solvers,
-Story tellers
-Disruptive thinker
-Act before the change comes to shape change
-Imagine the world where date becomes a commodity
-Agencies are rewarded for business results delivered.

Focus on: outcomes, inspiring change and creating the future

Keynote Session – Innovation & Growth: Cultivating the Game Changers

Presenter: Ram Charam, Author of Leadership in Times of Economic Uncertainty & Co-Author The Game Changers

Here are a few takeaways from his informative presentation.

Ram Charam begins his keynote session by asking the question “Why do 90% of accountants not turn into CFOs? Most accountants can’t make the linkage to the outside business and do not see the connections. There are many CFOs who do not have an accounting degree, but they are able to see the bigger picture.

Innovation is different from invention. Invention is the generation of an idea. Innovation, though, is conversion of an idea into money making. That is the viewpoint of a CEO.

Innovators must follow business acumen
1. Will this idea engage more revenues or acceleration of revenues
2. Will it accelerate profit margin and growth margin
3. Will it enhance the brand

How do you convert insights into revenue into margins? Ram Charam takes a look at the iPod which has no new technology in it. Brands also need people to view and see their social responsibility.

TMRE Keynote Session 2009: Lessons from the White House from Joel Benenson

Lessons from the White House: Stories From Obama’s Lead Pollster & Strategist
Joel Benenson, Lead Pollster & Senior Strategist, The Obama Administration

What does a politics pollster know about market research’s issues? While looking at the agenda, he saw a session doing with inspired performance, and it’s contending with a session on online communities, as well as building a teen brand, and finally one about leveraging knowledge to prepare for and outwit the competitors. For nearly a century that campaign teams have understood political marketing and how it combines with brand marketing.

In a world of politics, they’re driving by a world that corporate don’t embrace, and they have one measure of success that’s determined on one day. They win or lose. And they’re driving by competition, and they face competitors.

YouTube didn’t exist when Bill Clinton left office, and now consumers can post a video about whoever they want whenever the want. George Allen’s senate race campaign was crippled by a handheld camera taken by an intern in his party. 27million people watch a speech by Obama in February of 2007. This technology creates turbulence that’s new.

-Risk takers
-Challenge convention thinking
-Embracing heated debates to get to the right strategy

If you’re a pollster and want to have an impact in the debates, you must be there to tell them where the numbers are coming from and why. What are their underlying attitudes that make them determine why voters are voting for a certain politician.

There would not have been a campaign if Obama wasn’t willing to challenge the conventional thinking of the time. In politics you’re never as smart as you look when you win, and you’re never as dumb as you look when you lose. You have to be willing to take the loses, and continue to be daring to keep winning.

Beninson realized that any democrat would be change from Bush. They had to make it so that the only way there was change would be if Barack Obama was the change. They set out to define Clinton’s experience as irrelevant.

What they wanted to do to define change with Obama as the answer . They could gain more quickly and convince voters that they represented change, than trying to convince with democrats that they could compete with Hillary on experience. This set up a template. They defined a change that they could believe in. People were hungry in America, and they wanted to end partisan conflicts, and they wanted a president that they could believe in. A speech in November 2007 in Iowa set up a situation where the candidates had to give a speech. There were no teleprompters, they made an ad of this speech, this message shared the campaign where Obama wanted to create a unified America. Next in South Carolina, and they were holding back.

They took this ad and put it in front of focus groups for African Americans in South America, then it lead to the backing of Obama by African Americans in South Carolina. Campaigns are all about the delegates. The delegate gain is very complex. They have to go down to the congressional districts. Strategy for the Obama campaign was to build up a delegate lead for Obama. On February 5, 2009, the critical day in California, they’d be targeting specific congressional districts. On February 18, 2009, there was a caucus in Idaho. In the last week, they had to decide where to send Obama? They took the risk and sent Obama to Idaho on February 1. There were 14,000 people lined up to see Obama speak at the Boise State arena. They focused their efforts in Idaho. Clinton got a predictive win in California, and she did win, but by marginally less. They neutralized Clinton’s gains in California with Obama’s huge gain in Idaho.

From this, Beninson stated that it’s not about knowing who your customers are, you must understand who your valuable consumers are. You should spend your dollars on them so that profitability is high when they spend their dollars.

The public wanted someone who was strong and steady in the crisis, so when John McCain wanted to cancel the debate the week the stock market crashed, Obama wanted to continue on with the debate because the commander and chief must be able to multitask.

So today, where are we? Obama won by 50% in the popular vote, which hadn’t been done in a long time. Today, Obama’s approval ratings are high, as well as confidence, which is important. He’s also dealing with education, health care and energy.

Parallels between polling and market research client on marketing side: if you’re a researcher on a client side, how can you be more strategic player. Maybe you’re asking yourself the wrong questions.

Clients with strategic research partners should wonder why they aren’t hiring them. How does your organization react when someone comes up with an out of the box solution. What kind of constraints are you placing on thoughts and ideas? You have to breakthrough unfamiliarity. Take a leap, do something different. How many risks have you taken with the data you have in front of you.

Have you let science restrict your creativity? Vendors sell things to people, strategic partners bring something to the table that no one else can. Do you need to reevaluate what you’re addressing your services as?

TMRE General Session: Toyota: Continuous Improvement Through Research

Toyota: Continuous Improvement Through Research
Steven Sturm, Group Vice President, Americas Strategic Research & Planning and Corporate Communications, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

Toyota runs their business according to the Toyota Way which relies on two principles:
-Continuous improvement
-respect for people

Toyota entered the US car market over 50 years ago. Their first car, Toyopet Crown, failed; it did not meet the quality or expectations of the US customer. This became the stimulus to meet more of the Americans needs

Toyota is the #1 brand in the US, and Lexus is the #1 luxury brand. Toyota is expecting affluent homes to grow over the next few years.

Lexus: best car and best ownership experience. So they then determined they’d sell Lexuses in their own dealer networks, and they would treated each customer as if they were a guest in their own home. Of 1,600 dealers that applied to be Lexus dealers at the beginning, only 80 were selected.

The #1 selling luxury brand in the US is the Lexus RX.

Toyota’s Concept of Sustainability
Core of what Toyota does is to have respect for people and the environment. They’ve capitalized on this with the Toyota Prius.

It has two power sources: gas engine and electric motor. A computer chooses which to use for maximum use, and the batter never needs recharged because it’s automatically recharged when the car breaks. It went on sale in 1997, and was not a success. They began using a family demo program. They did real road testing and got feedback directly from the customer. This also created buzz. Families felt that they were participating in a breakthrough, and also were getting attention.

People needed to be educated on how the Prius worked, as the technology for the car was unknown. Early adopters began to get their information about the Prius online. It was launched in 2000, and they exceeded their sales expectations from that year on. Media coverage, partnerships, and government incentives to purchase the car have since followed.

NACCM Customers 1st Conference in 2 Weeks – Plus – Enjoy Complimentary White Paper and NYT Article Download

We’re excited to be heading to NACCM Customers 1st in just 2 weeks, November 2-5 in Phoenix, AZ. Hundreds of executives will be assembling to explore next steps to re-focus and rebuild in 2010 using customer-centricity as their key catalyst for business growth.

B2B and B2C Professionals from these outstanding companies will be present to exchange new ideas and strategies in areas of loyalty, customer-centric innovation, operational excellence, culture, the customer experience and strategic leadership:

AAA Arizona, Affinion Loyalty Group, Alliance Global Services, ALSAC/ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Family Insurance, Arizona Public Service, Availity LLC, Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Bridgewater Bank, BrightSight Group, Burke Inc, Cablevision Systems Corporation, CACI International Inc
Carolina Biological Supply Company, CIGNA Healthcare, Cogeco Cable, Comcast Corporation, Compassion Canada, Conway Freight, Customers Rock!, CVS Caremark, Data Development Worldwide, Dell, ELCA Board of Pensions, Enumclaw Insurance Group, First Data Merchant Services, Freeman, Georgia Pacific, GFK, GlaxoSmithKline, Helzberg Diamonds, Hewlett Packard Company, Home Nursing Agency, Homestead Technologies, HSN, Intel Corporation, JC Penney Company, JetBlue Airways, LaCrosse Footwear, Landscape Forms, Level 3 Communications, LexisNexis, Martins Point Health Care, Methodist Hospital, NCO Group Inc, Nokia Inc, Norwegian Cruise Line, OnCURE Medical Corp, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Powerhouse Consulting, Pyramid, Quest Diagnostics, Regence, Results Companies, Rice University, RIM, San Diego Gas Electric, Sanofi Aventis, Sara Lee, Scotiabank, Scottsdale Insurance Company, SDN Communications, Sensory Logic, Setar, Sony Electronics, Southern California Edison, Southwest Airlines,, Tell Us About Us, TELUS, Thomson Reuters, Tobyhanna Army Depot, Towerbank International, Travelers, Travelocity, Ubercool LLC, Union Bank & Trust Co, Union Bank of California, United States Olympic Committee, Verizon Wireless, Wyndham Hotel Group, YMCA of the USA,

• Event Page:
• Brochure:
• Registration:

Want to network with customer-minded professionals from these companies? You can, register today and remember, as a member of our LinkedIn group, you’ll receive an exclusive 20% discount off your registration.

NY Times Article:
In a recent study by the Journal of Consumer Research and referenced in a NY Times article "No Fury Like a Customer Mistreated" - found that keeping your customer happy is now more critical than ever. It will take a lot to win over customers who are unhappy with the service they receive, not to mention the rippled effect of damage that can be inflicted through negative emails, blog postings, tweets and word-of-mouth comments if not handled well.

Do you feel 100% confident that your company is doing everything it can to keep its customers happy, provide exceptional service and communicate true value?

New York Times Article, "No Fury Like a Customer Mistreated" :

We'd also like to direct to you a complimentary white paper from Forum. This piece, "Creating a Positive Organizational Climate in a Negative Economic One: Improving Organizational Climate to Transform Performance" by Tom Atkinson, Ph.D. and Henry Frechette, Ph.D. identifies six dimensions of climate3 that influence the work environment and employee motivation.

Read More:

See you in Phoenix!


CIA to start spying on social media?

Don Reisinger of reports Tuesday that the CIA may start spying on social media conversations. Reisinger writes, visible Technologies, a company that monitors online social activity and packages the findings for clients, has forged a "strategic partnership" with In-Q-Tel, the CIA's not-for-profit investment arm, to give the organization insight into social media.

For more information about these companies and about their partnerships with the CIA, please visit Reisinger's original article here.

TMRE Day 1 in pictures

The TMRE crew had a chance to take pictures throught the day. Check out some of the sessions we jumped in on:

TMRE Conference Chair: Trend Surfing: Creating Waves of Change

Trend Surfing: Creating Waves of Change
Kelley Styring, Principal, Insight Farm, Event Chairwoman

DSC01122 by you.

How can we grow market research? There’s a dimension missing in market research, and sometimes when you damage something you learn. Kelley’s been creating intense personal experience that’s changed the lense through which she looks at the industry. Last year, Styring presented about what people carry around in their car. Cars are now a habitat, and to do this study, she spent 30 days in a car traveling around to find out more.

She embrased a the idea that bias can contaminate one's work. When she lived the experience, she understood more of what the consumers were talking about.

Things are happening very quickly on the technology and social network side, and it’s very important to understand what’s going on. Styring is now looking at Twitter.

How does one slice all of the information you can gather on Twitter? In market research, you don’t really know what you’re looking for. You’ve got # signs some are using in Twitter (#TMRE for this conference!), which can be empirical learning, as well as theoretical panels. You can learn about anything. All of this information is collected then graphic and descriptive analysis reveal innovation and insight opportunities. Embrace your inner bias.

TMRE 2009: Decision Pathway Modeling: Understanding How Your Customers Get To Yes

Decision Pathway Modeling: Understanding How Your Customers Get To Yes
Mike Mabey, CMI
Anne Hale, Pfizer, Inc.

For Pharma, key metrics are adoption (will a physician prescribe this product), patient adherence and compliance, intent to fill and prescribe, brand perception and brand loyalty. Many drugs will go off patent, and the patients will still want to continue takig the name brand product.
Decision pathway modeling is structural equation modeling at the practice level.
The structural model, using It combines factor analysis and regression analysis, shows new strategy. It shows how constructs interrelate, such as quality service price value satisfaction and loyalty. What strategies can you put together to make the best product?

Key steps to pathway modeling:
1. Identify brand/business objectives – entire team must be on same page for results
2. Build a hypothesized brand model – they started small to find out “the big idea,” created a hypnotized patient model: ad awareness, condition awareness, information seeking, symptom severity, impact on activities, diagnosed with co-morbid condition, pill burden, length of relationship with physician – these lead to the intent to consult with a doctor (which is not the end point, jus the first step)
3. Drafting the survey – critical, best price is validated multi-item scales
4. Data Collection and Model Building – sample should match business objectives
5. Model interpretation and result read-out – larger than the path coefficient, the stronger the relationship

The only way they could increase the intent to prescribe, they had to go back to the inquiries from the patients.

Advantages of DPM
• Can be used on a wade rage of models
• Allows brand teams to leverage existing knowledge in drafting the hypothesized models
• Caputured indirect effects
• Permits simple or complex models

DPM can –
-Maps your customers entire journey, from the beginning to the end how you can influence customer behaviors
-Helps your prioritize resources,
- Revels impact on key marketing elements
-Help you understand the impact of early events in the decision pathway impact on eventual actions and outcomes

TMRE 2009: Measuring and Improving the Long-term Impact from Marketing

Measuring and Improving the Long-term Impact from Marketingfor Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Rick Abens, Conagra Foods

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the value to the companies see on the P&L of measuring marketing efforts over time. Conagra Foods was trying to link marketing to P&L. CLV is a forward looking metric, it’s value is measured starting now until the end of the customers lifetime.

What’s the value have for teh entire supply chain for ConAgra foods? Their goals is to measure and improve marketing and drive long-term customer value and loyalty.

The mew Marketing Accountability Standards Board invited many individuals to join in the conversation including finance, marketing, researchers and academics. It was founded to help increase that status of marketing in the boardroom.

Key issues for packaged goods companies
-How do we drive long-term growth with marketing?
-How do we develop customer acquisition and retention marketing strategies that are impactful?
-How do we match the right offers of the most responsive customers?

Standard marketing mix modeling output: total volume and subdivide it into the volumes that are driven into trade, promotion, advertising and baseline.

If you look at the baseline as a function of long-term marketing, you can begin understanding it.

Sources of growth: acquire new customers, retain more customers or increase purchasing size. Many customers are flat lining, new customers equal lost customers and retained customers, includes Healthy Choice, and Maxwell.

-Marketing is not about getting the next incremental sale, it’s more about getting new customers and making them loyal to your brand.
-Understand whether or not your strategies are working.
-Back to targeting, more aggressive media happening every day in the household. Cut some advertising and target the right people. Television is very important.

Creating "Delicious" Research

Carol Fitzgerald of BuzzBack and Amelia Strobel of Kraft gave their story of "Exploring Dimensions of Delicious with Kraft Foods" in the Explor Awards track this afternoon.

The project developed in order to build a corporate theme for Kraft. They wanted to develop a company positioning around the idea of: "make today delicious."

They wanted to know how they could communicate delicious and whether or not there was an emotional connection to a theme that tied closely to food.

They used a variety of techniques offered by Buzzback and found that delicious is: warm, intimate, and highly positive. They have extended "delicious" throughout their organization and are now sponsoring "Make a Delicious Difference Week" working with two organizations: Feeding America and Save the Children.

Please view the video because every view helps feed the hungry....

April Bell

Explor Awards at TMRE 2009: Running the Olympics Reseach Marathon: An innovative measurement of Multi-Platform Audiences

Media Mix Measurement at the Olympics
Horst Stipp, NBC Universal
David Tice, Knowledge Networks, Inc.

Beijing Summer Olympics Summer 2008 was presented on five cable networks and two broadcast channels. The 2008 Olympics were also on mobile and the internet. There are 52 million unique viewers on the internet and 6.5 million users on mobile. For television, there was 16.4 HH rating.

Advertising and broadcasting rights are very expensive, and it was important that NBC be successful with the Olympics financially. There is no “currency-based” solution to meet NBCU’s needs of measuring the number of end users across the platforms. They wanted have hard numbers in order to sell sponsorship beyond a currency value. There was no definite measurement to capture all of the different platforms viewer numbers in one single source. This was the challenge to NBC, so they turned to the Knowledge Network’s Multimedia Mentor single source methodology as the foundation to measure this.

NBC Universal set out to record numbers on the daily Olympics cumulative watchers, to-date Olympic cumulative, projected total Olympic cumulative, times spent watching the Olympic games, and more.

This system was tested during the NBA in the Finals in June 2008 in preparation for the games later that summer. NBC wanted their sample to consist of 500 Olympic media consumers for each of the 17 days. Interviewed for 23 hours, then went on and compiled them.

All goals for collecting information on the Olympics viewers met or exceeded all goals: 605 people a day, a consumption rate of 33%, Olympic media use rate of 81%, interview length was 16 minutes, and delivered report to NBC on time every day.

How did this help NBC? They saw how media was immediately used. They also saw how people used media out of home, and after the games, they used it as a benchmark for establishing audience duplication across media. NBC Universal also used brand and category specific assessments for Olympic media sponsors and usages.

What they saw: 99% of all people watch Olympics on NBC Networks. Nearly everyone watch the games on TV. Those online or on mobile did not give up on television, they still watch the games on television.

So, now NBC Universal is looking to the 2010 Vancouver Olumpics. Their challenge for this year is getting younger audience to watch the Olympics. Through this tracking, they now know that younger new media users watched more Olympics on TV. The information on media platforms heightened their Olympics.\

TMRE Keynote 2009: Crowdsourcing: Unleashing the Power of Crowds to Unveil Rich Insights

Crowdsourcing: Unleashing the Power of Crowds to Unveil Rich Insights
Jeff Howe, Author, Crowdsourcing

In 2005, Jeff Howe sent a story about MySpace to the Village Voice. MySpace had created a culture with musicians, which lead Jeff Howe to follow the Warped Tour to write a column for Wired Magazine. The Tour is about the music, but features a carnival culture. The Warped Tour kids engaged in amazing creativity throughout a summer tour of 30 bands traveling and playing in a different city every day. They published poetry, web design, paintings. None of the kids defined themselves as one certain thing like "musician" or "artist". The technology was not the story on the tour, it was what they could do with the technology. Their emphasis was on the products and the processes and how they released their creativity.

When Howe wrote this article, the public's obsession for user generated content was immense, but he realized that people were missing was the larger tectonic shift, which were the underlying dynamics of different shapes and sizes and reality. Howe needed something that would capture not just the media, but all industries. He wanted to find a way to outsource to the crowd. The column, Crowdsoucing, was first published in June 2006. It came into use first with technology, but then branched out. There was a fundamental shift beneath the surface between consumers and producers.

Crowdsourcing was not a strategy designed by academics, instead it was an accident. Two friends came together and created a shirt design business, the designs were voted on by the Internet users. This way, you don’t have to be a designer to be a part of the system, but just like designs. Threadless came about this way. You have to give users tasks that take less than a minute to accomplish. They started this business because they loved people and wanted to share it with other users. It’s a global community, and the shirts are sold to individuals around the world.

A key to Threadless was they get free marketing. Via street teams, users posting images of their shirts, in addition to personal designs from the users. They also see what consumers want. They have an “I’d Buy It” box. They know which shirts will sell. They’ve never had overstock or sold out due to this function.

Another example: stock photos. This is a photo that’s already been commissioned by a person to take, then same photo over and over again for promotional purposes. The creator opened his own site where he uploaded his stock photos, and let others download them as long as they uploaded their own. This popular service exceeded what he could pay to. Bruce charged people to post images, and others began to realize the the value. You could download a picture for $300 or $.25. The model worked. Today it's known as Getty Images.

The Cardinal Rule of Crowdsoucing is: Ask not what your community can do for you – Ask what You Can Do For Your Community.

One member of the audience posed the question "How can businesses build their own communities to create these items?" Howe responded communities came together because they were being offered something, the crowd was being offered something. For example, if you are a grocery store, give the community a way to see if you have things in stock, give them specific coupons that apply to your users, etc.

Using Neuroscience for Marketing Research

Mark Potts of MindShare and Dr. Andrew Pradeep of NeuroFocus gave an excellent presentation about the process of using neuroscience for marketing research in their workshop presentation titled: Neurological Testing Reveals the Truth of Audience Engagement.

Here are the basics:

Respondents are recruited based on research objectives (as in traditional studies).

Respondents wear a "full cap" on their head with 64 sensors attached. These collect data 2000 times every second. This coupled with eye-tracking is the "data collection" methodology.

Consumers can't tell us everything they're sensing. For example, a consumer may look very closely at something on a grocery store aisle that grabs attention but the subconscious areas of the brain don't "tell" the conscious what they think, feel, etc. But it can, however, be measured through brain activity.

3 metrics are measured directly at the brain.
1) Attention: what are you paying attention to....this is based on the science behind ADD/ADHD clinical diagnosis
2) Emotion: how are you emotionally engaged ....this is based on the science behind mania & phobia clinical diagnosis
3) Memory Retention: what is it that you're experiencing that activates your memory....this is based on the science behind Alzheimer's

As with all new technological tools in research, this is not a catch all approach but 3 of the areas where it can be used is when trying to measure:
1. Purchase Intent
2. Novelty
3. Awareness

You can learn more about it by watching one of NeuroFocus' scientists here:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TMRE Session - Knocking Down Silos to Drive Innovation Momentum

Mike Maddock, Maddock Douglas
Javier Flaim, Maddock Douglas

Mike Maddock begins by stating "You can;t read the label, when you are sitting inside the jar" which many employees find themselves inside. It is important to understand that we all have different perspectives and see things differently. That is why it is important to not throw away ideas.

In the innovation process, Maddock Douglas has a Global Expert Network (GEN) of 6,000 innovators that they can look to for external ideas and innovation. It is not necessary though to have a GEN in order to have external ideas, as long as you are looking outside of the box. The speakers then moved on to an interactive session called the "toothpick" test where attendees had to remove toothpicks from a board in order to create squares. The purpose of the test was to see if anyone asked helped and no one did. The reason why they didn't ask for help was because before the test Mike mentioned to everyone that they are smart and didn't need help. This proves that by motivating employees and keeping their spirits up, much more can be done.

TMRE Session – Managing Knowledge: Maximizing Returns

Luke Allen, MD, Nunwood
Katrina Rochowski, Orange

Luke Allen began by explaining that there are 4 key pillars in insights systems

- Creation of the knowledge
- Identify what is relevant to you when making key decisions
- Distribution
- Measurement

Katrina then explained that 3 different areas feed into insights which are: competitive intelligence, research teams, and strategic insights. They used the agreed approach which included:

- Getting signoff to see if certains things were ok to do from a business standpoint
- Getting technical signoff with IT to make sure that requirements fit with IT roadmaps and infrastructure
- Ensuring the final solution will actually work

The first phase was to figure out requirements of what was needed which included content, IT specifications, and website usability to name a few. The 2nd phase was implementation, which meant developing software to map out the requirements needed. The 3rd and last phase was the launch, which made sure everyone was able to use it easily and maximized exposure.

TMRE General Session – Cohabitation: Rethinking the Client/ Consultant Relationship

Tina Brogdon, Psyma International
Laura Bernier, Kraft Foods

When working with a client and a vendor, it’s important to understand roles. Client brings a deep, rich understanding of the brand. The supplier helps keep the project objected throughout the whole process. A partner helps to keep things on an organized timetable. The vendor needs to dig deep and figure out what has to come out from the research.

Laura was in charge of conducting the ethnography and so she was responsible in choosing a team. There were participants with a wide role of functions. The team was divided by market and industry so that they would have a clearer understanding on the research. Having a cross-functional team was vital in collecting the right information.

When the field work happens, make sure to debrief after each session. The reason behind this is to hear the stories because everyone has a different role in the process. Igniting the spark with teams is crucial because at times they can be working for 12 hours so snacks will be important in keeping staff motivated.


- The vendor needs to learn the history & business in a short period of time
- Tight timelines
- Communicating across a large team can be difficult and time consuming
- Senior management is involved
- Objectives and consumer targets cannot change during research
- Projects can be long

Usually clients fall in the trap that we are the consumers, but we are not. Make sure to remove these biases.

Here’s a brief clip from the presentation below.

Don't Forget to Visit the Booths at TMRE 2009

There's a lot going on in addition to the many workshop presentations at TMRE 2009.

Several exhibitors are showing their stuff in between sessions and during the cocktail reception coming up this afternoon.

Here are just a few of the "tried and true" exhibitors. Make sure you stop by and check out their booths--many are offering an opportunity for goodies in exchange for your business card!

And here's a glimpse of a few of those taking advantage of networking opportunities while you're here.

Keynote Session – How Consumer & Market Insights Steers Company Strategy & Innovation

Presenter: Joan Lewis, Global Consumer & Market Knowledge Officer, The Proctor & Gamble Company

Lewis starts off her presentation by mentioning that P&G has done a lot of work on trying to get natural ingredients products on shelves. P&G has spent a lot of time to figure out what products would be beneficial for consumers and what really matters to them in different countries. Because of this P&G has created products such as the natural ingredients in dog and cat food which has saved many animals with enzyme problems just to name one.

P&G doesn’t always get it right all the time because some products fail. P&G is able to innovate through their Global Growth Strategy:

“Touching and Improving More Consumers’ Live in More Parts of the World…More Completely”

Consumer and market knowledge helps drive company strategy, innovation, and competitive advantage. This has sparked P&G to hold over 15,000 research studies per year and spends over $350 million each year on consumer research. P&G also spends a lot of time connecting with consumers across 80 countries and has about 5 million consumers with whom they do resaerch.

Joan Lewis gives us an example of a case study with Pampers and UNICEF. Moms and dads want to help infants around the world but feel like they are helpless. Realizing this, Pampers launched the “1 pack = 1 vaccine” campaign where tetanus vaccines are giving to underprivileged children around the world. The purpose of the campaign is to eradicate the disease by 2015.

The 2nd case study is about Olay Pro-X. A pretty large contingent of women are interested in skincare, they are interested to spend money and time on research, and are interested in products that actually work. P&G was faced with the challenge of make it shine in order to convey their benefits of working better than $350 priced prescription medications. The packaging of Pro-X and the work done before the product hit shelves added to its credibility at $40-$50 an item. Even though there was skepticism of the product, it has been the largest launch in Olay history. Olay was able to provide consumers with a product that is valuable to them.

The 3rd case study is about Secret Clinical Strength. There was a small group of women who struggled with heavy sweating and a team listened to their problems. These women had a need that P&G could help improve on and deliver a valuable product to them. P&G had the challenge of creating a great quality product and delivering messaging to reach this target. The product has won many product awards and has received many accolades which have made it a huge success in store shelves.

Joan Lewis closes with a quote from P&G CEO, "Our Purpose inspires us. Our Values Unite us. And all our innovation capabilities and culutre focus us on making small but meaningful differences every day..for the consumers who have ALWAYS been P&G's boss and our inspiration."

TMRE Keynote Presentation from Joan Lewis, P&G Officer, Global CMK

Joan Lewis' keynote presentation was great! As a researcher who strives to present complex insights in a very simple way, I appreciated her storytelling ability. She drew the audience in through three well-articulated case studies on: Pampers, Olay ProX, Secret Clinical. She described how meaningful consumer insights helped them develop and execute a very clear message and full advertising campaign.

The Pampers UNICEF case study she described resulted in this one message: 1 pack = 1 vaccine. You can see the result of this campaign here. Believe me, the video is worth the 1 minute watch time. I want to buy Pampers, and I don't need them!

And in typical P&G fashion, she concluded with a very simple, meaningful, clear message about their company belief: "We believe consumer passion brings innovation and competitive advantage."

And with a quote from their President and CEO, Bob McDonald, "Our purpose inspires us. Our values unite us. And all our innovation capabilities and culture focus us on making small but meaningful differences...every day...for the consumers who have ALWAYS been P&G's boss and our inspiration."

Thank you for your inspiration, P&G CMK April Bell

TMRE 2009 Keynote: Martin Lindstrom: Buyology

Buyology: The Truth & Lies About Why We Buy
Martin Lindstrom, Author Buyology

Martin Lindstrom starts out by pointing out many of the irrational things we do. From taking the second magazine when purchasing one and that there is no 4th floor in the hotels here in Las Vegas. Studies show that 8 out of 10 new products fail. Until the age of 65, Americans watch 2,000,000 hours of commercials.

One of our fundamental problems is that our non-consciousness brain is making many 85% of our irrational decisions. Lindstrom is going to spend his keynote presentation discussing neuroscience. He took the concept of peoples buying behaviors and combined it with a scientific technique that looked at what people are really thinking about when they’re buying products. This is called the SST methodology.

We have various regions in the brain that can tell us what’s going on. Neuroscience tells you what goes on, not necessarily why it goes on. For this experiment, they used to methods to measure what was going on in the brain. If you look at a brain from a different angle, you’ll get different results, this is why two methods were combined. They took the show “Quizmania” and asked people around their world if they liked it. The general response was that they didn’t like it. After a brain scan, they found out that what they really thought. They looked at other shows brain scans response, like American Idol, and found out that people really liked the show. Then they looked to distribute the show worldwide.

Lindstrom also looked at why people smoke. They looked into the craving spot of the brain. Countries across the world have banned their advertising on television, in movies and on the radio. So they’ve had to find alternative ways to promote their products. They’ve started promotion in other ways, such as Marlboro and their promotion of race cars, designs of the race tracks, and a barcode on the racecar.
Lindstrom is now looking at Coca Cola, which much of the world can recognize from simply their glass bottle. After showing a promotion, Lindstrom points that rituals are created with brands. He points out Apple iPods, McDonalds . If you build a powerful brand, you don’t even need a logo.

Lindstrom then took four different brands and test their smells. A branded smell activates the same areas of the brain that a brand logo does. Kids have an amazing ability to smell different bands and identify them. Non-conscious handshakes sell the signal of a weak person. We automatically assume that, and it may not be true. Less than 1% of brands today don’t have a powerful brand. We should not forget the power of sounds, casinos installed speakers that projected the coin machines into casinos to increase those gambling.

The non-conscious mind makes decisions for us in many cases. As marketers, we need to find a way to get around this. We must understand what goes on in the human mind.

TMRE Keynote Session – Yes! Proven Ways for Market Researchers to Become More Persuasive

Presenter: Dr. Noah Goldstein, Professor, UCLA Anderson School of Management and Co-Author of Yes!

The session first opened up with opening remarks from the managing Director of The Market Research Event, Kim Rivielle. Kim mentioned that this event first started off 15 years ago and it has grown into a very industry encompassing event since then.

“We are here to exchange stories…sometimes best practices and sometimes worst practices.”

After her opening remarks Kim introduced the Conference Chairwoman, Kelly Styring, who is a principal at Insight Farm. She went on to officially introduce this morning’s featured speaker Dr. Noah Goldstein.

Dr. Noah Goldstein begins his presentation by stating that attendees will learn how to better persuade messaging through many scientific ways. Dr. Noah gives an example of how Tony Little recently saw much more success by changing this statement “Operators are standing by, please call now” to “If operators are busy, please call again”. The first statement leaves an impression that operators are just standing by twittering, not paying attention, and cleaning their fingernails as opposed to the second statement which leaves the impression that operators are taking phone call after phone call trying to answer questions and fill orders.

The second example explained how some studies show that up to 75% of hotel guests re-use their towels at least once if they see signs like this around the hotel. In the study, there were two different signs showed at the hotel. One sign mentioned “Help save the environment by re-using towels” and the second sign mentioned “75% of people are re-using towels”. We always heard the term follow the herd but there is a strong persuasion figure in similarity. If people see similar people re-using towels in their room then there is a strong chance that they will also follow suit,

The best communicators recognize when they are not the best communicators. How do they do this? Testimonials are key!

What is optimal is to get other people to do the persuading for you, but there are many times that you will have to do it yourself. When you don’t know people though, people question whether or not they can trust someone or believe what they say. Progressive for example, gives you quotes from their insurance company as well as many other companies. At times they do have the best quote but at other times they do not. Since implementing this innovation, Progressive has done fairly well contrary to popular belief.

“To immediately gain credibility in the eye of your audience, argue against your self interest.” (E.g mention a weakness in your case)

Common mistakes people often make is to:

- follow positive information with a negative qualifier, occasionally negating that positive information. Small weaknesses should be mentioned before your strongest qualifier in order to make up for it.
- focus on what the audience stands to gain from the opportunity they present. Companies should tell the people they are trying to persuade what they stand to lose if they don’t take the opportunity they present.

Gifts and favors are most powerful when they are:

- significant and meaningful
- personalized
- unexpected

The Future of Retail by Herb Sorensen

If you missed Herb Sorensen's presentation on on Retailing: The Return to Personal Selling, you should check out his book and blog. No one doubted his passion for the subject as he walked us through the "history of retail" before giving us his take on the "future of retail." "The need for efficiencies" he claims, is the reason the retailer/consumer relationship has evolved to where it is today. "It has always been about efficiencies and where we are today is simply because of this."

The following quote summarized his point: "One hundred years ago retailers ran their stores by watching their customers closely. Somewhere during the last hundred years, spread sheets, slotting allowances, and quarterly performane replaced the basic principles of the business." Norm Myhr, Group Vice President Sales and Promotion and Marketing, Fred Meyer.

He mentioned P&G's early "Soap Opera Ad" and Sears "Wish Book Catalogs" as examples of how we began getting consumer's attention outside of the store when it became difficult to do so inside the store.

And now, "everyone is realizing the system of communicating to consumers 'outside of the store' is not working due to the fragmentation we have" {due to MTV, facebook, etc.}

Statistics he cited include:
In 95, 3 commercials reached 80% of women 18-49
In 2000, it took 92 commercials to do the job

He concluded with how he sees the future of retail, titled: the "Amazonification" of Retail. "Because Amazon gets it, that the selling is always about the closing... Amazon understood that they had to 'close the sale fast.'" And now, "the real battle in retailing is between Wal-Mart and Amazon." So, how will we get personal selling back in the store? By "pulling the internet into the store," he claims.

Also, other tips he gave for "closing the sale" in the store included:
1. Provide only a few "Top Seller" tags in the aisle
2. Brand call out tags on packaging: "Shoppers #1 Choice"
3. To make it clear, you can only do that with 1 or 2 items

I think I'll buy the book. April

Live from The Market Research Event: The Skinny on Marketing Research at Facebook

We're live this week at The Market Research Event 2009 and we invite you to follow along with us via our blog and Twitter. Among our great presentations this year, we'd like to share one with you that's specific to social media, written by our guest blogger, April Bell.

The Skinny on Marketing Research at Facebook

Well, I am here for my first session at The Market Research Event in Las Vegas. What a great first session to blog about: Facebook. Meg Sloan, research lead at Facebook and Brant Cruz of Chadwick Martin Bailey shared a little glimpse of what life inside Facebook is like.

Currently, Facebook has 300 million users worldwide and at least 1/2 of their users go to the site daily! Wow! How do they do it? Here's a tidbit....

Their guiding principles include:
New School
Synthesis & Story-telling

Meg also gave us insight into how they view their small marketing research team:
1. Try our best to act like the rest of the org
2. Radical focus on the roadmap and prioritization
3. Making sure we all are doing things we feel strong at each day (staying motivated)
4. Supporting each other/sharing information/work etc.
5. Be nimble and use our resources and relationships to their fullest.

And last but not least: Ruthless Prioritization as well as Have Fun and create an awesome workplace. Their Q3 planning meeting involved pedicures--sign me up!

You can see more about life inside the marketing research team at Facebook. Check out this video about "life at facebook." Oh, and by the way, they currently have a marketing research position open for anyone who is interested...

I'm now a little more motivated to spend time on my facebook page...

Sustainable Packaging Trends: Consumer Perspectives and Product Opportunities

Ecological issues are undoubtedly firmly in the mainstream of society with over 75% of consumers stating that protecting the environment is important to them. However, there is a pronounced attitude / behavior gap with around 25% of consumers not acting on their beliefs by buying environmentally-friendly products. Click here to find out more.


Datamonitor is pleased to present its new report that makes extensive use of Datamonitor's proprietary consumer survey data, along with leading secondary data, to explore the issues related to sustainable packaging and its importance to various stakeholders. Use this report to re-visit the core role of packaging and explore the current and future importance of sustainability."

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words or Researchers

Among all our great coverage, here on our blog, our twitter feed, and our shared twitter discussion, and LinkedIn group, we've also been sharing great moments during the conference through our Flickr group. Here's a look at our photos as the conference kicks into gear. If you're in attendance, have a camera and are taking candid shots, be sure to join the group and share your photos. Participation is always welcome!

Updated: Symposia Session – Looking Under the Hood of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Nestle and BuzzBack Market Research Study

Speaker: Brendan Light, BuzzBack Market Research

Brendan states some research conducted in conjunction with Nestle that helps answer some of these “fuzzy” questions.

• Does the effort resonate with consumers?
• Do we know how to communicate to consumers?
• Do consumers believe it?
• Which efforts work globally which works better locally?

The research was done across 3 markets: USA, UK, and Germany.
A big concern that came from the results is that more than 2/3 of people are disappointed with how companies are conducting business.

How should companies act in terms of CSR issues? It should be seen as voluntary for these companies, but just because it is voluntary now it doesn’t mean that in 20 years these CSR issues won’t be regulated in the future. The definition of CSR should not come from the marketers, but it should come from the consumers so it is important to have conversations with them.

Consumers in Germany view being a good employer as a big issue for CSR, whereas consumers in the USA think more externally and view broader issues as important CSR issues. BuzzBack used their patented eCollage system which allowed consumers and all respondents to pick images for analysis.

From the analysis, we learned that consumers are aware of CSR but their buying decision is not affected by CSR.

Brendan was able to share with us some insights from his presentation. Check out the clip below.


For those of you not at TMRE 2009, you can view the recent archived webinar recently presented by Buzzback that looks at this presentation.