Friday, July 29, 2011

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: Consumer Insight as a Source of Corporate Advantage

Leading up to The Market Research Event, we'll profile the keynotes, tracks and themes at the 2011 event.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at the exciting keynote sessions.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register using code TMRE11BLOG, you can save $400 off of the standard registration rate!  This rate is only available until August 19, 2011.

Featured Session:  Consumer Insight as a Source of Corporate Advantage

Featured Speaker: Mary Egan, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Strategy, Starbucks Coffee Company

About the session: In this engaging keynote session, Mary will discuss how Starbucks is using consumer insight to drive corporate strategy for both organic and inorganic growth. As SVP of Global Corporate Strategy, Mary is accountable for developing the strategic framework for the global business with a consumer centric lens, identifying opportunities to deliver the greatest value to the enterprise, and driving cross-functional and multi-business initiatives. In addition, Mary works to develop retail and channel strategies that directly support the future vision of Starbucks.

  • • Applying research to drive Enterprise Strategy
  • • Research to shape M&A
  • • Research to fuel profitable growth in retail

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chicago School Board Flunks Research 101

Screener Imparts Lesson: What Not to Do

By Marc Dresner, IIR

This week’s rant may or may not be brought to you courtesy of the Chicago Board of Education. We don’t know...

Few things irritate me more than being subjected to a poorly designed survey. Sadly, I didn’t qualify, or this post would probably be much longer.

Instead, the screener will have to do, and I’m sure you’ll agree it speaks volumes about the instrument that likely followed, not to mention the irresponsible knuckleheads who created it.

Before I rip into the Chicago Board of Education as promised in the title of this post, I’m obliged to note that I’ve been unable to determine that CPS is beyond a doubt the party responsible for the survey in question, although I suspect as much.

When I actually managed to get a live human being on the phone, my queries at the city, county and even the state level were predictably met with either confusion and/or belligerence, and I was invariably sent on a snipe hunt. E.g., “What you need to do is call so-and-so in our public affairs department at this dead-end number. They’ll do a much better job of frustrating you.”

But more often than not I just left messages—lots of messages—that went unanswered.

What I can tell you is that someone purporting to represent CPS called me two weeks ago and asked me to participate in a survey, to which I agreed and was subsequently barred after TWICE submitting to a ham-handed screener.

Why, oh why, didn’t I just lie? At least that way I might’ve gotten past the screener and to the bottom of this mystery.

I knew something fishy was afoot when my caller ID could not identify the source, except to tell me that this was an Illinois call with an 800 prefix.

Curiosity got the better of me. Upon answering the phone, I was greeted with an IVR screener and a vague invitation along the lines of: “We are conducting a brief survey for Chicago Public Schools. Would you please take a moment to answer some questions? If ‘yes,’ please say ‘yes’ or press one. If ‘no,’ please say ‘no’ or press two.” (In Spanish: To proceed in Spanish, press three.)

My sense of civic responsibility prompted me to say “yes,” at which point the fun began.

“I’m sorry, but I didn’t understand you. Please say ‘yes’ or press one to proceed.” (At this stage, they dropped the “no” option, presumably because “no” is typically expressed by the respondent hanging up the phone.)

So I pressed one. “Thank you for participating. We will now ask you a series of questions. Are you a Cook County resident? Please say ‘yes’ or press one to proceed.”

I said yes. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t understand you. Please say ‘yes’ or press one to proceed.”

I pressed one. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t understand you. Please say ‘yes’ or press one to proceed.”

I pressed one, again. “I’m sorry, but I cannot complete your request. Please hang up and try back later.”

(Of everything, that last message led me to believe that the survey was the genuine article because I’ve heard it time and again in my dealings with our local government.)

So—apologies for the acronym, as this is a family-friendly research industry blog—but WTF?!? My request? Try back later?!?You called me.

Not two minutes later, the phone rang again!

Now they had my complete attention, and you bet I picked up. This time, I made it past the Cook County resident question to the following: “Do you reside in the City of Chicago? Please say ‘yes’ or press one to proceed.” I pressed one.

“Are you the parent of a child who currently attends public school in Chicago? Please say ‘yes’ or press one to proceed.”

I said no—even though it wasn’t an option on the menu—and was then asked if I was the grandparent of a child who currently attends public school in Chicago. Nope.

“We’re sorry, but you do not qualify for this survey. Thank you.” Click.

How rude! The only thing worse would’ve been for them to substitute a four-letter expletive that rhymes with “thank” before hanging up on me.

As a childless blogger and taxpayer, I was shocked by this unceremonious rejection. So I dialed the number on my caller ID to vent my outrage. But as you might’ve already guessed, the number I dialed did not accept inbound calls.

I spent the next 15 minutes fuming, stroking my phone like a loaded gun and praying for them to call back. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

Technical difficulties aside, this was a frightening screener for several reasons, not the least of which was the sheer stupidity of its design.

Why bother asking me if I live in Cook County when what you really want to know is if I live in Chicago? You can’t live in Chicago without living in Cook County, so the first question is moot.

Moreover, why not just tell me upfront that you are conducting a survey among parents and grandparents of children who currently attend public school in Chicago? It would’ve spared me the trouble of taking the screener in the first place.

And who exactly is the “we” in “We are conducting a survey for Chicago Public Schools”? The sponsor might be implied, but never actually identified itself.

Nor did the sponsor provide a phone number or URL so that a respondent might verify that this is a legitimate source before answering questions about a relatively sensitive topic: a person’s child or grandchild.

And then there’s the matter of the mysterious caller ID. If you’re calling on behalf of CPS, this should be clear on the caller ID so that I know immediately who the source is, and so that I don’t ignore the call because I don’t recognize the source, which may not only have a deleterious effect on the response rate, but also probably introduces a response bias: What sort of person in this day and age answers a phone call at home from an unfamiliar and borderline suspicious source? (Yes, I am aware that I now fall into this category.)

Maybe I’m too sensitive, but as someone long affiliated with the research industry who cares about its viability, respondent abuse agitates me. They don’t grow on trees.

The technical glitches, the bumbling, amateurish design, the inadvertent or perhaps even deliberate concealment of the sponsor, and the abrupt kiss-off at the end not only aggravated me; it all worried me.

The telephone is still a staple modality for academic and government survey research. This screener in my opinion is a weapon of mass destruction. It erodes people’s trust in survey research, which for telephone is already abysmal thanks to telemarketers, suggers and push pollsters.

But what really chafes me is that I’m confident that this folly was in all likelihood sponsored by my local government—which means my tax dollars paid for it—on behalf of our public schools.

Anyone who has lived here and has dealt with the city would probably agree that this screener screams Chicago. Cumbersome, confounding and with a callous disregard for people’s time and feelings, it’s got all of the hallmarks that endear us Chicagoans to our bureaucrats and politicians.

It’s just so irresponsible. And can you image how flawed and potentially misleading the results will be? I shudder to think what they’ll do with them.

The next time you hear some high-fallutin' ivory tower type bash commercial research, please let me know. I’ll gladly pay for a one-way bus ticket to the windy city, where the weather isn’t the only thing that blows.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Total Customer Experience Leaders Speaker Spotlight: John Cushman of AT&T

In the weeks leading up to the 2011 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be hearing from some of the speakers.

Today we have an interview with John M. Cushman of AT&T. John will be presenting "Creating a Customer Centric Culture" on Oct. 4th 2011 at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. This session will highlight the myriad of reasons why creating a customer centric culture is essential to businesses of all sizes today. Attendees will be provided with a behind the scenes view of how AT&T is blending people processes and new technologies like social media, to improve its own B2B Customer experiences. Tips on ways to link various touch points in the LEARN-BUY-GET-USE-PAY-SERVICE Customer Continuum will be shared. Learn how to:
• Create a Customer Centric Culture
• Identify areas of opportunity
• Track ROI and measure success

To learn more about the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, download the brochure here.

In our interview, Cushman said "what keeps me challenged is the rate of change." Hear more about the changing customer experience world, by listening to the podcast here.

To hear more from and network with customer experience leaders, join us this October in Phoenix, AZ for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. Register for the event here. Please use priority code TCEL11BLOG when registering.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Market Research Leadership - Where's the beef?

About the author: Christian Dössel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA\ and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye's new media and online research approaches.

Recent research shows that market research is increasingly affected by a positioning problem.

For example the current Green Book Research Industry Trends Report mentions the fact that the proportion of those who describe the importance of market research as declining, has increased within six months by 20 percentage points.

Only every second expert assigns a rising or at least constant importance to market research. All in all it seems that perception of the relevance of market research suffers.

The reasons for this development are manifold. In addition to external factors such as the financial and economic crisis there are also some internal factors to be identified.

In general declining relevance is a consequence of lacking clear added values. That's valid for brands as well as for companies, and this is also true for market research. On the one hand this can be explained by the constantly increasing number of competitors for market research. Boundaries towards other players such as consultancies, advertising or strategy agencies become fluid. On the other hand, fueled by the increasing importance of the internet, technological service providers play an increasingly important role.

One of the most striking examples for this is the rise of online research communities. Different to for example a representative CATI-survey an online community project is not naturally located in the area of market research competence. It often happens that the marketing itself, supported by IT and technology department / supplier, puts on such projects. Consequently classical market research role models and thought patterns are questioned.

Requirements concerning market research therefore are constantly changing. It becomes increasingly difficult for the industry to keep up with the pace of developments and to find the right positioning.

Someone who has accepted this challenge is IIR USA, the organizers of this year's "The Market Research Event 2011" in November in Orlando. This conference has it all, a first glance at the program (which you get only when you specify name and e-mail address) is sufficient piece of evidence for that.

From my point of view the combination of diverse and interesting topics makes the TMRE 2011 very attractive. Nine different tracks - from "Market Research & Leadership Insights" and "New Tools & Breakthrough Methodology" to "ROI & Measurement" show the full spectrum of recent challenges and how one can deal with these new approaches, innovations and ideas.

While promising "connecting to the best insights from around the world" the TMRE helps in positioning market research and to re-strength, win back or even expand relevance.

And this is something where we all can benefit and gain a lot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adventures in Location-Based Marketing

It feels like I have been stuck in constant "so cool!" mode lately when it comes to all the new location-based apps and programs that are being released. Lead by pioneer Foursquare, which recently announced that it could boast of 10,000,000 members, new location-based services are popping up all over.

Pictured: Happiness on Foursquare. Part of this amazing infographic.


I participated in #CMGRchat recently via our @Community20 twitter account wherein the topic of discussion was "how to take your online community offline" and location-based services seem like one way to get moving towards that goal. With that in mind, I decided to take a look at some recent developments in location-based technologies.

Some, like the very promising Sonar app, actually build on top of Foursquare to help bring connections to real life. Sonar allows you to connect in real time with those that are nearby based on social media connections or mutual interests. (I'd love to see this particular app put to use at an upcoming #SocialC20 event as it becomes more developed).

Another interesting development is the integration of location-based data with photography. Starting with applications like Color and Instagram a host of possibilities has opened up regarding how photography can be shared. This week I came across two such examples. One, Instaprint, is a photobooth that combines Instagram with a localized hashtag to print Polaroid-like photos. Talk about taking the online offline, this is a perfect example of a fun, ice-breaking activity for a meet-up. Another example is this case study of the Great Wolf Lodge chain of waterpark resorts.The resorts use RFID wristbands to allow visitors to share vacation photos directly to their Facebook walls. This struck me as a really innovative way to create instant brand evangelists.

One more trend I have noticed is that of location-based technology blending with social games. The U.S. premiere of Shadow Cities seems to be setting the game up to become the next "Angry Birds"-style must-have application. (And in fact, Angry Birds itself is set to launch location-based options according to this Mashable op-ed on Location-Based Gaming .) Using GPS and augmented reality, these applications have the ability to fundamentally change the way we interact with the world around us. How cool is that?

What location based applications have you been checking out lately? Where do you see this technology heading? Share with us in the comments, or let me know on twitter @Community20.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com.

Storyteller Spotlight Series: Jamie Naughton of Zappos!

At Zappos!, customer service has no time limit. In fact, the record for longest customer care call currently stands at 8 hours and 23 minutes!

I had the pleasure recently of speaking with Jamie Naughton, Speaker of the House at Zappos for the first of our 2011 NACCM Storyteller Spotlight Series. Jamie shared with me some of the secrets that keep her motivated, and the story of the 7+ hour customer call. To hear more, listen to the podcast here.



Jamie will be presenting "Delivering Happiness" at
the 9th annual NACCM event. As Speaker of the House at Zappos, Jamie works directly with CEO Tony Hsieh, focusing on the culture for which the company has become known. Learn the different ingredients used by Zappos.com to build a long-lasting enduring brand, including the importance of customer service and company culture. Jamie's one key takeaway: How to Deliver Happiness through Service! Learn more about her session and the NACCM event by downloading the brochure here.

Readers of the Customer's 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog. Register here.

Stay in touch with NACCM, follow us on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook or join our LinkedIn Community for event updates, discounts and industry news and information.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Online access panels, natural communities and online research communities – what, when and why?!?

About the author: Christian Dössel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA\ and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye's new media and online research approaches.


Online, Social Media Monitoring, Research Communities … It has been a long time ago since market research was affected by that huge amount and speed of change. Not only in order to marketing their own services, but also to face the challenges new words, phrases, tools, brands and so on have been established.

No wonder that confusion sometimes is still quite large.

One approach that became a popular representative of new methods in a short time is the approach of online research communities, also known as Market Research Online Communities (MROCs).

There are different definitions of Online Research Communities, but they all have a common base: "An Online Research Community is a platform that is used exclusively to generate a deep understanding of needs, attitudes and the reality of life of specific target groups."

So we don't talk about access panels with a focus on quantitative research and we don't talk about natural communities full of customers' conversation, like brand communities, Facebook pages or topic related community sites.

But of course these sources can help us finding and recruiting the right participants for an appropriate Online Research Community.

But we have to make sure to keep advantages and disadvantages in mind:
For example people from Online Access Panels are used to the internet, but they are probably not used to community tools and have a lack of willingness to participate over a longer period of time.

On the other hand people from a natural community like a branded site or a Facebook page have rich experience with a specific topic as well as with the community tools but maybe they don't want to participate in market research. And sometimes, especially if you are not the owner of the natural community, it might be difficult to talk to the community members.

We will learn more about research communities at The Market Research Event 2011 in November. If you look at the program you will see that IIR USA has planned a whole track for this topic. It will be interesting to follow the "Social Media & Communities" track on Monday.

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: The Art of Choosing

Leading up to The Market Research Event, we'll profile the keynotes, tracks and themes at the 2011 event.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at the exciting keynote sessions.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register using code TMRE11BLOG, you can save $400 off of the standard registration rate!  This rate is only available until August 19, 2011.

Featured Session: The Art of Choosing


Featured Speaker: Sheena Iyengar, Author, The Art of Choosing


About the presentation: A world renowned expert on the subject of choice, she says that choice can provide a sense of freedom and control that is essential to our well-being. It is the most powerful tool we have to shape our lives, to go from who we are today to who we want to be tomorrow. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding and poor practice of choice often undermines its many benefits and leaves us frustrated, overwhelmed and unhappy.

In her critically acclaimed book The Art of Choosing, called “refreshingly thought-provoking” by The New York Times and “a page-turning narrative that blends academic rigor with a pop culture sensibility” by The Boston Globe, Sheena shines a bright light on the many different facets of choice, exposing it in all its mystery, complexity and compelling beauty. The Art of Choosing is “provocative rather than prescriptive” (The Wall Street Journal), raising questions that many of us have never asked ourselves but should. Sheena’s inter-disciplinary research on how and why we choose, and what we need to do to choose better, has surprising and profound implications for our personal and professional lives. Her insights are invaluable to executives looking to improve strategy, leadership and customer relations.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chad Estes of Vitrue on Optimizing Conversations on Facebook to Increase Your Social ROI


In association with Vitrue, The Institute for International Research invites you to join us for a one hour complimentary Web Seminar.

How to Optimize Conversations on Facebook to Increase Your Social ROI
Featuring Chad Estes, Vice President, Client Services, Vitrue
Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT

Reserve your Webinar seat now.

Most brands & businesses are already on Facebook and have been managing their page(s) in a variety of ways, some effective and some not so much. In this discussion we'll review topics that will help business optimize their visibility in the home page news feed, ensure the conversations they start are as relevant as possible to their overall fan-base and their responses are timely and cut through the clutter. Mastering your social conversations on Facebook can be a lot of hard work, but with the right approach and the right technology it doesn't have to be as difficult as you might think.

During this webinar, Chad will discuss:
  • News feed optimization
  • Relevant messaging powered by social segmentation
  • Efficient response management
Register Now. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

About Chad Estes:
Chad Estes is Vitrue's VP of Client Services. Chad brings over 13 years of experience in managing strategic client relationships and designing cutting-edge online solutions. He has a strong passion for exceeding client expectations and firmly believes it's Virtrue's people that sets them apart from the competition. Having joined Vitrue in 2007, in a product management role, he now leads the Strategic Services, Account Management and Customer Support departments to provide industry-leading service to its clients.

About Vitrue:
Vitrue is a leading social media publishing software provider that provides marketers of all kinds - Fortune 1,000 brands, agencies and small businesses - with the tools they need to harness the power of social media. Our solutions combine a comprehensive social media platform with turnkey products that drives customer acquisition and brand awareness - while at the same time engaging stakeholders, fostering collaboration, building brand loyalty and providing customer service.

About IIR:
The Institute for International Research (IIR) is the world's largest conference company and has been the leader in the provision of business information for over 25 years. IIR produces over 5,000 events annually through its network of offices in over 35 countries.

Looking at Social CRM

Is Social Customer Relationship Management or "Social CRM" the "next big thing" in the social media world? The concept is nothing new, (when it comes to brands, what is social media good for if not building and strengthening relationships with customers?) but the best way to find, mine and integrate social media data for CRM is still being debated.

Back in February of 2011, #SocialC20 speaker Michael Tchong of Ubercool explored social CRM in this article wherein he cited the following statistic "26% of respondents said they currently integrate their customers’ social networking information with their existing CRM data, with 72% planning to integrate social networking information into their existing CRM system."

Is your company part of that 26%? Do you think that number has grown since the article was written? With traditional CRM companies like Salesforce embracing the integration of social media data it seems likely.

Today I came across this article on CRM Buyer about the likely effect of Google+ on the social CRM world. I was particularly intrigued by the following quote:

"That's because CRM is still seen at its elemental level as an IT function, and data in social media is still seen just as data -- as in, data to be extracted, processed, filed and used at a later date. It's very easy to remove data from the conversation, and thus the context; doing so minimizes the value of the data and represents a missed opportunity."

Is it possible to find and use that data, while still remaining social and engaged? Or does the very act of seeing social conversations as a source of data for a company get in the way of maintaining an effective social media presence or encouraging a thriving online community? There must be room for both. As the article later went on to say, it's a matter of finding a CRM software for monitoring conversations, but relying on a human to know how to use and react to the data.
"The human's role will be to shoot for customer satisfaction, build customer knowledge, and boost the brand of the business; the technology can then collect data as a useful by-product of what the human's trying to do."

If you're interested in learning more about the Social CRM world, consider joining IIR for the Social Media CRM Symposium at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. You can view ongoing coverage of the conference as details develop on the Customer's 1st blog here or by following @TotalCustomer on twitter.

Game Changer

Today, our guest post comes from Peter Gold, the CEO of Veraquest. His broad range of research experience lends itself particularly well to the world of omnibus research where clients tend to have an extremely diverse set of needs. Peter’s background as a practice leader has enabled him to develop a business model that is rich in client-centric benefits while simultaneously being very cost-effective. Peter earned a BSBA from the University of Florida and holds an MBA from Boston College.  His company, VeraQuest is a Sponsor at this year's The Market Research Event.

Game Changer

Stating the obvious, social media has transformed the way we interact with our world. No longer can media take days or weeks to reflect and report on a certain event or person. No way would that be permissible. In the new millenium, we expect our news immediately, concisely and visually. In the United States, about 6 in 10 online adults are searching the Internet every single day for news and information (and another 15% are checking the Internet weekly). That means 60% of all online adults can’t wait even a day to consume the information they feel they need.

For personal (non-work use), social media has become nearly transcendent in the lives of online adults.


  • Almost 2 in 3 online adults access social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace weekly or more often; and 46% access these sites every day. This is nearing the rate at which people use email… According to our data, 78% of online adults are emailing their friends and family on an at least a weekly basis; and 49% are doing so every day.
  • Approximately 1 in 3 online adults access blogs on a weekly basis (and about 1 in 5 daily). This beats the 11% of online adults who shop online every day.
  • About 1 in 5 online adults use Twitter at least once per week (and about 1 in 10 use Twitter daily).



At work, social media isn’t nearly as transformative, but still its presence cannot be dismissed. We have found recently that for work purposes on a weekly basis, about 1 in 4 online adults use social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook; 15% access blogs; and 13% use Twitter.

Our expectation is that these figures will only continue to grow. And, we will keep you apprised as we track these data to see if our hypothesis is correct and whether Americans’ use of social media continues to evolve.

Next week, we will discuss whether the introduction and use of social media has had a positive or negative impact on our world. But before you get a look at that data, what’s your perspective?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who Is Registered to Attend The Market Research Event 2011?

See Which of Your Fellow Market Researchers Have Already Registered!

Hundreds of your colleagues have already signed up to attend the "World's Top MR Event". TMRE 2011 takes place this November 7-9, 2011, in Orlando, Florida.  Who is attending?  Senior research, insights and marketing executives from:

20  20 Technology, 3M, 3Play Media, AARP Member Services, Accusoft Pegasus, Acosta Sales & Marketing, Adobe Systems, Affinnova, AIP Corporation, Altria Client Services, AMD, American Cancer Society, Inc, Amway, Analytic Partners, Annik Technology Services, Answers & Insights Market Research, Aon Hewitt, Applica Consumer Products Inc, ARPO Research Consultants, AT&T Mobility, Authentic Response, Barilla America Inc, Bavarian Inn Lodge, BBDO, Bellomy Research, Benenson Strategy Group, BET, Birdsong Gregory, Blizzard, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blueocean Market Intelligence, Borderless Access, BP, BrainJuicer, Burke Inc, Bush Brothers & Company, BuzzBack Market Research, C + R Research, C&C Market Research, Cablevision Systems, Cambiar, Canadian Tire Corporation, Career education corporation, Cargill, Carhartt Inc, CBS Interactive, Center for Strategy Research, Chadwick Martin Bailey, Cint USA Inc, Citizens Bank, Civicom Inc, Clarabridge, CMI, Coleman, Comedy Central, Communispace, Confirmit, Constant Contact, Consumer Insights Group LLC, Corporate Research Intl, Cranbrook Search Consultants, CRG Global Inc, Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, CVS Caremark, D L Ryan Companies Inc, Daniel Swarovski Corp. AG, Dean Foods, Decipher Inc, Decision Analyst Inc, Del Monte, Dell, Delta Hotels & Resorts, Directions Research Inc, Disney Canada, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Dominos Pizza, Dunkin Brands Incorporated, E Tabs, eCGlobalPanel, Egg Strategy, Emotion Mining Company Inc, EmPower Research, EmSense Corporation, Experian, Fieldwork, Focus Coast to Coast, Focus Forward LLC, FocusVision Worldwide, Foiled Cupcakes, Ford Motor Company, Foremost Insurance, Forrester Research, Frankenmuth River Place Shops, Frito-Lay, Gazelle Global Research Services, Genentech, GGeorgia Pacific, GFK Custom Research North America, Global Market Research Group, Globalpark Inc, GMI Global Market Insite Inc, Gongos Research, Google, Greenfield Online, GutCheck, Habits and Habitats, Hallmark Cards Inc, Hamilton Beach Brands, Harris Interactive, Heineken Mexico, Hershey Company, Hewlett Packard, Hylands, Ideas to Go, IFC & Sundance Channels, Illume, Illumination Research, iModerate, In4mation Insights, Infosurv Inc, infosurv, inc, InfoTools, Insight Evolution LLC, Insight Marketing Systems, Insight Research Group, InsightExpress, Insights In Marketing, InsightsNow Inc, Intel, Intuit, InVivo BVA USA, Ipsos, ISA Corporation-Interviewing Service of America, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Kalsec, Kalsec Inc, Kao Brands Company, Kellogg Canada, Kellogg Company, Kimberly Clark, KL Communications Inc, Kohler Co, Koslow Marketing Insight, L & E Research, Laureate Education Inc, Liberty Mutual, Lightspeed Online Research, Lightspeed Research, Limra International, Lufthansa Technik AG,  Luth Research LLC, MARC Research, Maritz Research, Market Decisions Corporation, Marketing In Focus, Marketing Systems Group, MarketSight LLC, MarketTools Inc, MarketVision Research, Marriott International Inc, Mars Food Europe, Mars Petcare US, McCormick & Company Inc, McGraw Hill Education, Mckee Food Corporation, Meijer, Microsoft, Microsoft Support Services, Millward Brown, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Inc, Mindwave Research Inc, Mktg Inc, Morgan Search, MRSI, MSW Research Inc, Nationwide, Nationwide Financial, Neiman Marcus, Nestle Purina, Nestle USA, Netquest, Neurofocus, NFL, Nokia, Nordstrom Inc, Olson Research Group Inc, Omnicell, Opinion Access Corporation, Opinionology, Paradigm Sample, Pepsi Co India, Performance Research, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Procter & Gamble Company, Psyma International Inc, Publix Super Markets Inc, Pureprofile, Quest, Quick Test Heakin, Radius Global Market Research, Recyclebank, Research Now, Rodale, Rosetta Stone, Ruth McNeil & Associates, Sachs Insights, Sam's Club, SAW Insight, Schlesinger Associates, Scotia Bank, Scripps Networks, Sears Holdings, Seek Research, Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop, Shelter Insurance Group, Shire, SIS International Research, SJR Group, SKIM Analytical, SmartRevenue, Smith Arnold Partners, Smith-Dahmer Associates, Southern California Gas Co, Spike, St John & Partners, StandPoint, Staples Inc, Starbucks Coffee Company, Sterling Brands, StrategyOne, Survey Sampling International, SurveyGizmo, SurveyWriter Inc, Swarovski, Swift Prepaid Solutions Inc, Swiss Life AG, Symrise, Synergy Business Consultancy, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, TELUS Communications, Texas Instruments, The Clorox Company, The Dial Corporation, The Family Room/Just Kid Inc, The Modellers, The Olinger Group, The Pert Group, The Walt Disney Company, Thoroughbred Opinion Research, Thoroughbred Research Group, Time Warner Cable, Tivo, TNS, Toyota Financial Services, Tragon Corporation, Umongous LLC, United Sample Incorporated, Universal Studios, Universidad Catolica San Pablo, University Of Texas Arlington, uSamp, USPS, VeraQuest Research, Visa, Vision Critical, Visteon Corporation, Vodafone, W5, Wolverine World Wide, Yahoo!, Yum! Restaurants International

For more information on this year's event, download the brochure here.  As a reader of the TMRE Blog, you'll save $400 when you register using code TMRE10BLOG.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Total Customer Experience Leaders Speaker Spotlight: David Blair of Rockwell Automation


In the weeks leading up to the 2011 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be hearing from some of the speakers.

Today we have an interview with David Blair, Director, Customer Experience of Rockwell Automation. David will be chairing the 2011 event, which takes place Oct 3-5, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ. To learn more about the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, download the brochure here.

TCEL: Tell us about a project you are working on or recently completed that you are proud of?

DB: We’ve just completed a new event-based survey that allows us to get feedback on our PROJECT business. The survey is very different from our annual customer survey in that it focuses on the individual project – from proposal through design through start-up. The goal is to both ensure a successful project, and get actionable feedback on our performance.

TCEL: What do you think is the key to a successful Customer Experience program?

DB: Senior Management support. Improving customer experience can’t be done from the bottom up. Moving the needle takes hard work and real commitment. And that comes by senior management talking about customer experience, defining performance goals, linking performance to compensation, prioritizing customer experience expenditures, and taking a personal interest in improvement projects.

TCEL: What inspired you to get in the field? What keeps you motivated?

DB: Motivation is easy. In our company, the Customer Experience Office is not just the messenger for conveying customer feedback - we’re also responsible for driving improvements. So knowing the next customer survey is right around the corner, and I’ll be the one walking through results with the CEO, I’m constantly motivated to drive feedback into actions that will improve our Customer Experience scores. I got into the field primarily because it allowed me to leverage my diverse background (sales, marketing, quality, product development) and interpersonal skills to make some real differences.

TCEL: What is one thing you’re excited about for this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit?

DB: Meeting peers. In our field, we rarely get a chance to share our approaches, successes and failures with peers. Books and consultants are helpful, but there’s really no substitute for an in-depth understanding of how other companies approach customer experience. There’s no one right way, and the approaches vary widely. My goal is to gather ideas that will form the basis for a strategy that elevates our own program to the next level, and likewise I hope I can offer ideas to help others advance.

TCEL: What is one question you are looking to get answered at this year’s Summit?

DB: My question: How do you keep the vitality in your customer experience program? It strikes me that no matter how good the research is, and how well it’s presented, the enthusiasm naturally diminishes over time.

TCEL: What books or websites are you currently reading?

DB: At the risk of offending authors out there, I’ve found the number of good books around B2B customer experience to be very limited. So I welcome hearing what others have found. I’m currently reading a book called “Wired and Dangerous” by Chip Bell. The book is very helpful in understanding the impact of the internet and social media on service providers. But it goes beyond that to discuss the general psychology behind customer service loyalty. So far I’d definitely recommend it.

TCEL: Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us!

To hear more from and network with customer experience leaders, join us this October in Phoenix, AZ for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. Register for the event here. Please use priority code TCEL11BLOG when registering.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Social CRM... for B2B?

Are you working in the B2B world and wondering if there is any room for B2B in the social media space?

Social Media isn't just a place for B2C companies to announce promotions or sales or address customer concerns. In fact, it can be an excellent platform for B2B companies to create dialog and form engaging human connections with potential prospects, as well as track industry trends and position themselves as a thought leader in the space.

Check out this recent post on Fast Company for "6 ways B2B companies can take advantage of Twitter" as a starting point.

For more in-depth information on this topic, join us this October at the Social Media CRM
Symposium at the The Total Customer Experience Leaders (TCEL) summit. TCEL is about integrating the voice of the customer into disparate pieces of customer research data within B2B. Our Symposium Day will help you learn how to better manage your customer experience by linking social media research to financial value. To learn more about the event, download the brochure here.

A New Market for Country Fans



Surveys conducted by MRI and independent research by the CMA may have changed the game for the Country Music Industry. Breaking down everything from a country music fans income, education, social media experience, and the car that they choose to drive; researchers have found a way to connect to fans of all ages. “A further breakdown shows that 48 percent of those who like country music are male and 52 percent are female. The age brackets are interesting, as 13 percent are in the 18-24 age range; 17 percent, 25-34; 18 percent, 35-44; 20 percent, 45-54; and 16 percent each in the 44-64 and 65-plus. Twenty-six percent are singles who have never married.” These statistics help the industry see who their audience is, and more importantly who they’re selling their products to.

“One in two people with an income of $100,000-plus are country fans and one in three people who have professional or managerial jobs are country fans. One in four of the people who live in the top five DMA's are country fans. Again, Fuson pointed out that this opens a lot of doors because there is a whole new market where country fans live.” These new demographics will help to expand sales in areas that were not necessarily considered before, not because they weren’t accessible, but because they weren’t aware there was a market for their products.

One of the greatest things about Social Media is that you can track your productivity instantly, and today social media and music festivals go hand in hand. The Country Music Industry will also benefit from this because it’s an easy way for them to connect directly with their fans. “Perhaps the most surprising thing about the research, based on CMA surveys of some 25,000 people, is that country fans are slightly more likely than the general population to be active Facebook users.”

The data from the survey will also help save time and allow the industry to tailor their campaigns to their consumers interests. Even just knowing the simple fact of what kind of car a fan drives could lead to partnerships with that specific car company. The information they received is invaluable, and is sure to expand their market for years to come.

Friday, July 15, 2011

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: An Anthropological Presentation of the Use of Mobile Tech & Digital Media in Everyday Life

Leading up to The Market Research Event, we'll profile the keynotes, tracks and themes at the 2011 event.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at the exciting keynote sessions.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register using code TMRE11BLOG, you can save $600 off of the standard registration rate!  This rate is only available through today, July 15, 2011.

Featured Session:  An Anthropological Presentation of the Use of Mobile Tech  Digital Media in Everyday Life

Featured Keynote Speaker: Mimi Ito, Professor in Residence, Department of Anthropology and Department
of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine

About the session: Mimi Ito is an international expert on how people use mobile technologies and new digital media in their everyday lives. A cultural anthropologist of technology use, she also is a leading authority on how social network technologies are shaping society. Dr. Ito has been named the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning. Created in 2009 from an endowment fund originally established by the MacArthur Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley, the digital media and learning initiative aims to determine how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Be Happy, Use Social Media

Today, our guest post comes from Peter Gold, the CEO of Veraquest. His broad range of research experience lends itself particularly well to the world of omnibus research where clients tend to have an extremely diverse set of needs. Peter’s background as a practice leader has enabled him to develop a business model that is rich in client-centric benefits while simultaneously being very cost-effective. Peter earned a BSBA from the University of Florida and holds an MBA from Boston College.  His company, VeraQuest is a Sponsor at this year's The Market Research Event.

Be Happy, Use Social Media

Last week, we spoke about the use of social media and how it has pervaded the lives of online adults in the United States. But today we would like to reflect on whether the now-unavoidable presence of social media has had a positive or negative impact on our world.

In general, Americans tend to lean (and this lean is only ever-so-slight) to the positive when thinking about the impact of social media.

  • 46% of online adults (only a plurality) believe that the impact of social media has been generally positive. But, the vast majority of this group is in the “somewhat” positive camp.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 online adults feel there has been no real impact by the introduction of social media to our world, which frankly I find hard to believe.
  • About 1 in 3 feel the impact has been negative.
When thinking about social media, its greatest impact seems to lie in changing our collective intellect… in improving our ability to absorb and reflect on information, causing us to become better thinkers, communicators, and citizens. But this change may have come at a price as emotionally and physically we seem to have lost a step, feeling more anxious and stressed and less physically active, due to our use of social
media.

Specifically according to our data, most online adults feel that social media has caused us to become more:
  • ►Connected to one another (81%)
  • Informed about the world around us (77%)
  • Willing to try new things (75%)
  • Willing to take risks (67%)
  • Creative (66%)
  • Adaptable to new situations (63%)
  • Self-confident (62%)
  • Effective communicators (61%)
  • Professionally successful (61%)
  • Effective critical thinkers (52%)
  • Thoughtful to the needs of others unlike us (52%)
  • However at the same time, many online adults agree that social media has caused us to become:
  • More isolated (49%)
  • More anxious or stressed (62%)
  • Less physically active (75%) and healthy (57%)
All that said, here is my favorite slice of the data: almost 2 in 3 online adults (64%) say that social media has made us happier – and what’s better than that?

And therein lies the riddle of social media. It has caused us to become more connected, yet more isolated; more cerebral, yet less physically fit; and happier yet more anxious.

Tell us – how often do you use social media? And how do you feel it has changed you personally and the way you interact with the world?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Microsoft guarantees accountability from its customer facing resources

Join Tim Berry, Director, Customer & Partner Experience, US - Enterprise Partner Group, Microsoft at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, taking place October 3-5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona for his much anticipated keynote presentation:

Steps to Driving Action on the Front Line in a B2B Environment

This session will focus on how to create an end to end process that can be used as a foundation for accountabilities for your front line customer facing resources.
Key learnings will be shared on the following areas:
• Leveraging Senior Leadership to set the correct tone for the discussion
• Integrating the feedback into future account plans
• Holding your teams accountable

In addition to Microsoft the following companies will also share their inside stories on Measurement & ROI, Data Performance, Operational Metrics and Social Media CRM.
AT&T, Kelley Blue Book, CVS Caremark, Verizon, AAA Northern California, Rockwell Automation, J.D. Power & Associates, Maritz Research, CPI Card Group, Customer Experience Partners, Customer Bliss, EMC, Forrester, Expedia, Allstate Financial, Peppers & Rogers Group, Pfizer, FedEx Corporation, GE Healthcare and more. Download the brochure to see the full program.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit will enable you to effectively measure, align and communicate your customer strategy to ensure business relevance. Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL11BLOG by July 22, 2011 & save $300 off the standard & onsite rate.

We look forward to seeing you this October in Phoenix!
The Total Customer Experience Leaders Event Team
Visit the event webpage.
Follow us on Twitter.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Last chance to save $600 on the world’s biggest and best Market Research Event

Join Anne Mulcahy, Former CEO of the Xerox Corporation at The Market Research Event for her much anticipated Keynote Presentation: Leading a Transformation: The Role of Leadership & Insights.

One of the most admired leaders of her generation, Anne Mulcahy has been widely credited with transforming Xerox Corporation, where she served as CEO for nearly a decade.

On a practical, day-in, day-out level, what can leaders do to navigate sweeping change in their organizations? What are some of the blind spots that can be avoided, and how? It is often said that communication is critical, but there is seemingly little advice about what you should say - especially at those pivotal, difficult moments.

During her Keynote Presentation, Anne Mulcahy will offer insights on the lessons learned over the decade she led the remarkable transformation at Xerox and the critical role of listening to your customer.

The Market Research Event is the world's most comprehensive market research event - bring you more speakers, more topics, more global perspectives and more client-side representation than any other MR conference. For more on this year’s Program and Presenters, download the brochure.

This week is your last chance to register by July 15 to Save $600 off the standard & onsite rate to join us for the biggest and best event yet. Mention priority code TMRE11BLOG. If you have any questions about TMRE 2011, feel free to contact Jennifer Pereira at jpereira@iirusa.com.

Do you follow @TMRE on Twitter? We’re close to the 1000th follower mark, and that person receives a $50 AmEx gift card! Follow us today for your chance to win!

Friday, July 8, 2011

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: Leading a Transformation: The Role of Leadership & Insights

Leading up to The Market Research Event, we'll profile the keynotes, tracks and themes at the 2011 event.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at the exciting keynote sessions.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register using code TMRE11BLOG, you can save $600 off of the standard registration rate!  This rate is only available until July 15, 2011.

Featured Session: Leading a Transformation: The Role of Leadership & Insights

Featured Keynote: Anne Mulcahy, Former CEO, Xerox Corporation

About the presentation:
One of the most admired leaders of her generation, Anne Mulcahy has been widely credited with transforming Xerox Corporation, where she served as CEO for nearly a decade. On a practical, day-in, day-out level, what can leaders do to navigate sweeping change in their organizations? What are some of the blind spots that can be avoided, and how? It is often said that communication is critical, but there is seemingly little advice about what you should say—especially at those pivotal, difficult moments. Anne Mulcahy offers insights on the lessons she learned over the decade she led the remarkable transformation at Xerox and the critical role of listening to your customer.

Looking to connect with Customer Experience Leaders?


NEW FOR 2011! Attendees of this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit will have access to our new, exclusive networking platform Crowdvine.

Meet your fellow attendees, set up meetings and create your own custom agenda all before the event. You can find the community at http://totalcustomer.crowdvine.com/

Want in on the community? Join us at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit this October in Phoenix, AZ. Use code TCEL11BLOG and register for the conference here.