Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Communicating Research "ROI"

When asked about ROI for research I am conducting, I respond: “If you’re investing in information… isn’t that the return?”

As a researcher, I often ponder how I can communicate the value of the insights I’m providing, or going to provide. But the concept of time and information is often trumped by that of cost. In my researcher-oriented mind, ROI does not happen overnight; sometimes it doesn’t happen next period, or next quarter, either. In some cases, you won’t even know if there is ROI.

Think about Gen Y and Millennial research that many companies, I presume, are investing in. Do we conduct this research to capture a younger dollar, or to understand their behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions now to predict how they will change our businesses in the future? You see, the problem isn’t so much ROI. Instead, the problem is that some research is not viewed as a strategy-building tool. Some people see research as a means to an end – to solve an immediate problem. There are times when market research needs to be done today (or yesterday) to understand what is happening in the market – to shed light on something unforeseeable. And that (in some cases) is okay. The ROI, in that case, should be fairly straight-forward – provide the information needed to prevent [insert business problem here] from [a: continuing; or b: happening again] and BAM! There’s your return.

ROI in market research is complicated. Sometimes, proving your research was “worth the money” (I think all new information is “worth the money,” but I might be biased) is not only necessary, but mandatory. In that case, there are a few ways you can spin this:
  1. 1. Did you know have this information before? Even if it’s not the answer they are/were looking for, you are probably providing information that was lurking in the category of “unknown.” In that case, new knowledge is worth every penny.
  2. 2. No new insight is still meaningful. For you analysts out there – even if your test doesn’t return a difference between groups, or it feels like you don’t have anything to report – that is a finding!
  3. 3. Can it help build strategy? I’m using my consumer insight experience here, but if I can learn even the slightest amount of information about a segment, a market, or a store, I can provide someone information that will help them make a strategic decision.
  4. 4. “Return” is in the eye of the beholder. Use with caution.
The main premise behind market research is to protect the bottom line. We are providing information to help key stakeholders make decisions that are likely to effect the business. Isn’t that a return in itself? Maybe. Maybe not. You’ll learn a whole lot more about ROI and measurement when you attend The Market Research Event this November in Orlando, Florida!

Garrett McGuire (@GJMcGuire) is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, "The Journal of a mAD Man," that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

Monday, August 29, 2011

TDI3: Technology Driven Intelligence, Insights & Implications - Call for Presenters Now Open

CALL FOR PRESENTERS:
TDI3 - Technology Driven Intelligence, Insights & Implications
May, 2012 | Las Vegas, NV
Call 646.895.7335 or email Conference Director Slevyn@iirusa.com 
Submission Deadline : FRIDAY, September 30, 2011
________________________________________
INDUSTRY ALERT: OFFICIAL CALL FOR PRESENTERS

The Institute for International Research (IIR) presents: Technology Driven Intelligence, Insights & Implications TDI3
Date: May, 2012

Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than Friday, September 30, 2011 to Stacy Levyn, Conference Producer at slevyn@iirusa.com or 646.895.7335.

About the Event: From fragmentation to integration, data convergence is changing the landscape of business today. Primary research methodologies are no longer sufficient. A 360 degree perspective is required to fully grasp all of the data and tools that are being used, creatively and effectively, to better understand consumer behavior. It's more than Technology Driven Market Research; it's a holistic synthesis of intelligence, insights & implications.

Event Focus & Key Themes 2 Symposia's:
  • • Mobile Research & Technologies
  • • Research Innovation
High-level Keynotes:
  • • Storytelling
  • • Cultivating Insights from Numbers
  • • Data Visualization
  • • Social Media
  • • Leadership & Strategy
3 Concurrent Tracks:
  • • Intelligence
  • • Insights
  • • Implications
The Audience Managers, director level and above in Market Research, Innovation, Technology, Marketing, Analytics, Consumer Insights, Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Social Media, Data Mining, Text Analytics and CRM.

Speakers receive FREE admission to the conference as well as any pre-conference activity such as workshops or symposium.

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities If you are interested in sponsorship or exhibit opportunities please contact Jon Saxe, Business Development Manager at jsaxe@iirusa.com or 646.895.7467.

Interested in Becoming a Media Partner or Featured Event Blogger? Contact Kacey Anderson, Marketing Manager, at kanderson@iirusa.com.

Call for Presenters: For consideration, please email slevyn@iirusa.com with the following information by Friday, September 30, 2011.
  • • Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
  • • Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
  • • Talk title
  • • The main theme you plan to address
  • • Summary of the presentation (3-5 sentences)
  • • Please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
  • • What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key “take-aways”)
  • • Previous conference experience
  • • Short bio
Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Finding the "Goldilocks Zone" for Sucess on Facebook

On Tuesday, August 23rd I had the pleasure of sitting on on our webinar "How to Optimize Conversations on Facebook to Increase Your Social ROI" featuring Chad Estes, Vice President, Client Services at Vitrue.



If there is one real takeaway I learned from this webinar it is that there is no magical "right" answer for "When is the best time and day to post to your fans on Facebook?" In fact, as shown in the two slides below the optimal time to post can vary widely depending on what sort of brand you're representing.





The best way to find your optimal time and day? Try out different options, monitor responses, and see what works. What is "just right" for one brand may be all wrong for another.



Other takeaways from the presentation included:

  • Be wary of using automated publishers, Facebook has begun grouping posts by source and even subject, so using a publisher like Hootsuite may cause some posts to be missed.
  • A mix of deals or specials, exclusive content, conversational and informal content, and key events and announcements will provide maximum appeal for your audience
  • Attention spans are limited: Keep posts short and sweet, and include an image if possible!
  • Consider targeting your posts for greater impact
Sound interesting? You can view a recording of the presentation here.



If you enjoyed this content, consider joining us for the following upcoming webinars:



From Fragmentation to Integration: Understanding Customers at 360°

Chetan Saiya, Executive Director, Global MRM Sales, SAS



Thursday, September 1st, 2011, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT



Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/czmaqtw0y7x2



Today's marketing leaders have to be plugged in to sales, service, technology and every other division that interacts with consumers. Media fragmentation, accelerated product life cycles, widespread globalization, and punitive regulatory constraints have made the CMO's job very challenging. Traditional marketing practices are no longer effective in delivering a holistic experience for your customers OR significant ROI for your bottom line. A 360 degree perspective is required to fully grasp all of the data and tools that are being used, creatively and effectively, to better understand and communicate with your customers.



Fortunately, Internet based collaborative technologies and marketing analytics enable a convergence of data that paints an entirely new picture - one you can act on intelligently to move from fragmentation to integration. Find out how to leverage new strategies to overcome these challenges.



Join us to gain a deeper understanding of how to create a consistent, personalized experience for your customers. We'll discuss:

· Leveraging customer insights

· Marketing interoperability

· Right offer, right channel



The Future of Email: 2011 Trend Watch

Tuesday, August 30 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern Time

Nello Franco, SVP of Customer Success, Lyris, Inc.

Jennifer M. Cook, Director of Communications & Community, Lyris, Inc.



Are your email marketing approaches hot...or not? As an email marketer, you know the pressure you are under to stay abreast of and leverage best practices so that you can deliver results to your organization. From the ongoing blitz of social media to the ever-growing impact of mobile devices, the opportunities are limitless. Yet, where should you invest?



Take an hour and learn from the experts at Lyris. Nello Franco, SVP of Customer Success and Jennifer Cook, Director of Communications and Community will reveal to you the Top Trends to Take On in 2011. They will show you what's working for companies like you and how to leverage the trends for greater success in the second half of the year.



Top trends this webinar will cover include:

● Shopper Marketing

● Social currency: How to monetize social spend

● The impact of the Millennial generation

● How gaming is changing the landscape

● Disruptive innovation



As a special bonus, attendees will receive a free copy of The Future of Email: 2011 Trend Watch Guide, as a follow up to the webinar presentation. This downloadable how-to guide is designed to help improve your email marketing results immediately.



Register for this webinar: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/e5sby7ijbl22

Why Your Idea is Worth Nothing, and How to Create Growth Plans that Work

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



Why Your Idea is Worth Nothing, and How to Create Growth Plans that Work

Tony Ulwick, Founder & CEO, Strategyn

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT



Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/jd94qyn32jpu



You just had what you thought to be a great idea, but the reality is less than one idea in a million is actually worth anything. Fewer than that are worth a lot. Why? To start, most ideas are generated in markets that are not worthy of investment - they are either too small or not under-served. But more importantly, most ideas address one or two customer needs, not dozens, and therefore fail to provide customers with significant new value. When customers cannot find solutions that help them get a job done significantly better, they simply continue to buy the products and services they are used to using.



In this webinar, Tony Ulwick, the author of "What Customers Want" and founder of Strategyn, will provide you with more insight into why most ideas are worth nothing and a framework for overcoming this challenge. These insights will be useful for any organization who is trying to accelerate its growth through innovation.



What you will learn:

• Why most ideas don't succeed in the marketplace

• A customer-centric framework for creating ideas that customers will embrace

• A method for creating a growth plan that will accelerate your company's growth



Who will benefit from this webinar:

Executives who need to accelerate their growth and have not achieved their growth goals.



About Tony Ulwick:

Tony Ulwick is an inventor, entrepreneur and a thought leader in the field of strategy and innovation. As an inventor, Tony has spent 20 years creating Outcome-Driven Innovation, a powerful innovation process that has a success rate of 86 percent - that is 5 times the industry average. He holds 4 issued and 6 pending patents that explain how he reinvented this complex process.



As an entrepreneur, Tony is the founder and CEO of Strategyn Consulting and the co-founder and managing director of Strategyn Equity Partners. His work has generated billions of dollars in revenue growth for companies such as Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, Colgate-Palmolive and others. The focus of his businesses is to help companies accelerate growth through sound strategy and innovation.



As a thought leader, Tony has won the best business idea award from Harvard Business Review. he has authored the best selling book, "What Customers Want." His articles, which have been published in the Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, are cited in hundreds of publications. His counter-intuitive views have challenged the way academics and executives think about strategy and building a culture of innovation.

Why Your Idea is Worth Nothing, and How to Create Growth Plans that Work

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

Why Your Idea is Worth Nothing, and How to Create Growth Plans that Work
Tony Ulwick, Founder & CEO, Strategyn
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/jd94qyn32jpu

You just had what you thought to be a great idea, but the reality is less than one idea in a million is actually worth anything. Fewer than that are worth a lot. Why? To start, most ideas are generated in markets that are not worthy of investment - they are either too small or not under-served. But more importantly, most ideas address one or two customer needs, not dozens, and therefore fail to provide customers with significant new value. When customers cannot find solutions that help them get a job done significantly better, they simply continue to buy the products and services they are used to using.

In this webinar, Tony Ulwick, the author of "What Customers Want" and founder of Strategyn, will provide you with more insight into why most ideas are worth nothing and a framework for overcoming this challenge. These insights will be useful for any organization who is trying to accelerate its growth through innovation.

What you will learn:
• Why most ideas don't succeed in the marketplace
• A customer-centric framework for creating ideas that customers will embrace
• A method for creating a growth plan that will accelerate your company's growth

Who will benefit from this webinar:
Executives who need to accelerate their growth and have not achieved their growth goals.

About Tony Ulwick:
Tony Ulwick is an inventor, entrepreneur and a thought leader in the field of strategy and innovation. As an inventor, Tony has spent 20 years creating Outcome-Driven Innovation, a powerful innovation process that has a success rate of 86 percent - that is 5 times the industry average. He holds 4 issued and 6 pending patents that explain how he reinvented this complex process.

As an entrepreneur, Tony is the founder and CEO of Strategyn Consulting and the co-founder and managing director of Strategyn Equity Partners. His work has generated billions of dollars in revenue growth for companies such as Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, Colgate-Palmolive and others. The focus of his businesses is to help companies accelerate growth through sound strategy and innovation.

As a thought leader, Tony has won the best business idea award from Harvard Business Review. he has authored the best selling book, "What Customers Want." His articles, which have been published in the Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, are cited in hundreds of publications. His counter-intuitive views have challenged the way academics and executives think about strategy and building a culture of innovation.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The fastest growing segment in marketing?

As I recently mentioned, we'll be exploring more about mobile in a series of upcoming posts.
(In the last segment, I looked at the way mobile is changing the retail landscape.) I was pleased then to come across the following quote:

"Mobile spend will surpass email and social media – this year."
In this blog on Forbes, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Shar VanBoskirk reports that

"Mobile has the steepest growth curve in our study; spend in mobile ads and search will pass that in email marketing or social media this year. Email actually paces at a healthy 10% compound annual growth rate over the next 10 years. But the rapid adoption of tablets and their associated new and pricey ad formats will bolster mobile marketing investment."
More interesting stats come by way of Jumptap. Including the following:
"Mobile users in their 50s continue to click on more ads than any other age group. Meanwhile, we saw an 11% uplift in CTR for 14-17 year-olds, which may be related to increased device use during summer vacation."
and
"Since we launched the MobileSTAT in May, we’ve seen a steady rise in click-through rates for incomes of all levels, and those at higher income levels continue to click more."
It seems that mobile is on the rise everywhere you look, with more and more users clicking through on mobile ads on all operating systems. What are your predictions for the world of Mobile Marketing?

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

TMRE Keynote Spotlight:The Global Consumer

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 $300 off of the standard registration rate!  This rate expires Friday,  September 16, 2011.

Featured Presentation: The Global Consumer

Featured Presenter: Dan Salzman, Vice President, Consumer & Market Insights, Hewlett Packard

About the session: New technology and communication platforms are creating a common set of real time experiences for consumers around the world. These experiences are driving attitudes and behaviors that are much more homogenous across cultures that are historically very different. Creating insights about the consumer that recognize global commonalities while capturing local differences is critical for companies who want to be truly successful in the future. Session will highlight HPs approach to global insights.
  • • Learnings on global commonalities and differences in the consumer market 
  • • How to do global research that captures global commonalities and local differences 
  • • Hitting the mark in communicating global insights (what to show to whom)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Looking for New Ways to Revolutionize your Customer Experience?

Are you looking for the next must attend conference for customer-focused research and insights professionals?



The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit
is an event you cannot afford to miss.



It's the ONLY comprehensive forum for B2B and service oriented B2C leaders to come together for a high level exchange around the latest issues that matter most. This is an event about measuring feedback from your customers, operationalizing and optimizing it and making sure your program remains business relevant.





Here are some sessions we thought you might be interested in:



Measuring and Monitoring Employee Engagement to Drive Client Loyalty



- Paula Harris, Director, Client & Member Research, CVS Caremark



- Barbara Barelka, Manager, Client Research, CVS Caremark



Turning Today's Chatter into Tomorrow's Insight - Successfully Integrating Multiple VOC Sources



- David Ensing, Vice President, VOC Integration, Maritz Research



Listen, Measure & Act! Building an Operational VOC Plan Across Every Touch Point



- Jim Bampos, VP of Customer Quality, EMC



Unlocking the Holy Grail of Market Research - Digging Deeper into the Tacit Knowledge of the Consumer through Text Analytics



- David Howlett, Senior Director, Consumer Insights & Strategy, J.D. Powers & Associates



Linking Your Customer Segmentation with Customer Loyalty



- Ron Noll, Manager, Segment Analytics and Customer Loyalty, GE Healthcare



Social Media & Traditional Research: What Are We Leaving on the Table?



- Randall Brandt, Ph.D., VP, Customer Experience & Loyalty, Maritz Research



Customer Chatter: Measuring Word of Mouth Effects in Loyalty



- Fred Thompson, Contributing Editor, Colloquy



And those are just a sample of the 25+ sessions we have to offer.



Download the brochure for the complete agenda.



The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit will enable you to effectively measure, align and communicate your customer strategy to ensure business relevance.



Please use priority code TCEL11BLOG when registering. Register here.



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: http://twitter.com/TotalCustomer

Already registered? Join us on crowdvine: http://totalcustomer.crowdvine.com/



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Colors of cars, what do they tell you?

If you are in the automotive research then you know what I’m talking about. In nearly every study we have done for the automotive industry, at a certain stage the question about colors play an important role. Sometimes it’s the question about the dominant color of a car in the local market, sometimes it is about to decide which color a car scribble should have as stimulus material for group discussion (or should not have). And sometimes you want to know if a given car color represents mass taste.

In a world of deep depth of information about a huge range of topic you will need to mix the sources of knowledge. It is indeed important to know your category before starting a research. Sometimes you are lucky and you will find the information you need.Let’s have a look at this piece of information.

Let’s have a look at this piece of information.
Source: Kraftfahrzeugbundesamt, Germany
Accordingly, the 1980s in Germany, red was 22% of new registrations, more than any other. A similar proportion (21.6%) was gray it was followed by white with 20.6% ¬and blue with 15.7%.

Since then, Germany has become colorless. Just 6.8 % of new registrations in 2010 were still red. Thus, the red cars have quickly become less important. Even with green, it went down (from 5.5 to 1.4%), also with blue (15.7 to 10.5%) and the other colors (10.6 to 6.9%) as brown or orange.

Big winners are the black colored cars. In 1986, only every 25th car was black (4.0%). Today, however, black is regarded as noble and almost one third (30.4%) of all cars is painted black. Only in silver / gray, there are more cars (32.6%).

Is that all the numbers could tell you?

Source: Kraftfahrzeugbundesamt,Germany
If you – like me – like accurateness and precision the answer is No! Our philosophy is to go that extra mile to deliver better results.

You can see some kind of color fashion over the years. And it would be interesting to map the socio-demographic change against these numbers.But most important is the fact that every brand (and even every model) has its own hypecycle. In 2010 it is very hard to find a non-black Jaguar, Porsche or Jeep, because all brands have a proportion of black cars registered in this year of more than 50%.

And be careful to think that every silver / gray car is premium. Smart has a proportion of 58.4% for this color. This is a good example of how putting together different sources of knowledge from existing information about the market helps you produce better research results. Let’s see what we will learn about the topic of "mixing information" at the The Market Research Event 2011 in November in Orlando, Florida, hosted by IIR USA.

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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

TMRE Awards Offer Research Innovation Barometer

Part Two: EXPLOR Case Studies Showcase Real-World Innovation Excellence
By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

Last week, I posted the first of two interviews with the respective sponsors of what I like to call The Market Research Event’s “innovation barometer”: The EXPLOR and Disruptive Innovator Awards.
My first interview featured Tom Anderson, architect of the second annual Disruptive Innovator Awards and founder of Next Gen Market Research (NGMR), an online community and professional networking group for market researchers with nearly 13,000 members.

This week, I’m pleased to take you inside the prestigious and venerable EXPLOR Award competition, courtesy of my friend, Chuck Miller, chief research officer at uSamp, and co-founder/president of DMS (acquired by uSamp in June 2010 from AOL).

Q: Please tell us briefly about EXPLOR.
The EXPLOR Awards started over a decade ago to highlight the best uses of online research, which at that time was in its infancy. As for its name, it represents the desire for our industry to embrace change and exploration, and it originally stood for Exemplary Performance and Leadership in Online Research.

Over the years as online research gained traction, we broadened the focus of the award to showcase ALL innovation in research—technological or otherwise. Since doing so we’ve received even more interesting case study submissions each year, which makes this a really fun process! Winners and finalists have included many marquee brands and Fortune 50 companies. And in recent years we’ve had strong representation globally too. The best part of EXPLOR is its focus on tangible, practical applications that a client and a provider have implemented with successful results.

Q: Last year’s finalists each provided compelling case studies, but there can be only one winner. What ultimately set the 2010 winner, American Water, apart?
You’re right, Marc. Last year we had a really nice variety of finalists with great clients submitting. The American Water application was an awesome example of what EXPLOR embodies. It stood out because of its sophistication and scale—the aggregation and analysis of 40+ data sources that drove strategic direction and business development at their company. The work of the American Water, Digital Research and ThinkVine teams fundamentally changed the way this 7000-plus-employee company pursued business. The application was so valuable that the American Water CEO gave a demo of the tool at their annual investor conference. It was a great demonstration of the power of research-driven insight.

Q: What surprised you the most about the submissions, in general, that you received for last year’s competition? Why?
Honestly at this point in EXPLOR’s history, it takes a lot to surprise me. Year after year we’ve had great, innovative submissions demonstrating all types of organizations are embracing change. I guess one thing that continually impresses me is the wide variety of submissions we receive, and the variety of organizations submitting them.

Q: What themes/trends in research do you predict will be most prominently represented in this year’s submissions? Conversely, what do you expect to see less of this year?
I think we all know the key areas of industry interest these days are social media, mobile, and biometrics—lots of innovation there. I’d expect to see submissions in those areas, but again, the differentiator will be how those were used to create business impact. Even when the tool is sexy, that isn’t enough. The Organizational Relevance criterion of the award is always the tie breaker.

As for what’s run its course, I’d say we’ve highlighted plenty of large, multi-national measurement programs over the years. It will take something really compelling to “wow” the judges. But you never know, there might be something out there we haven’t seen before. I hope so!

Q: What advice do you have for prospective entrants this year?
The submissions that standout are those that demonstrate creativity and innovation. We always have a nice mix of judges—some new to EXPLOR judging (generally past award winners) and some that have judged for many years. It helps to have the consistency of the latter group, folks that can say “been there, done that.” And the new judges bring fresh perspective to the review process. I’d say something we always welcome is sophisticated analytics. Submissions that dig deep into insight delivery get the attention of our judges, most of whom are seasoned researchers and excellent practitioners.

The landmines to avoid are submissions that have a weak case study attached and/or those that look like pure capabilities pitches from a provider. We get those every year, the worst of which don’t even make it to the judges. So, the best advice I can give is to bring us your cool innovations that have helped an end-client see or do something totally new. The bigger the business impact, the better!

Editor’s note: For those of you who pride yourselves on fresh thinking, nominations for the EXPLOR Award are open through August 31, so don’t delay.

The winner will be announced and honored at The Market Research Event in Orlando, November 7-9.
For more information or to submit a nomination for EXPLOR, please visit www.iirusa.com/research/tmre-awards.

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.

The Future of Marketing? Looking at Mobile

The recent $12.5-billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility by tech giant Google has the marketing world buzzing about the future of mobile. By purchasing the means of production, Google is cementing itself firmly as a mobile player well beyond the former implications of Android (even putting itself in competition with some of it's Android-running mobile partners.







So why is Mobile the next big thing? As reported by Memeburn:



"The overall growth of mobile over the next two years is predicted to be the most pronounced in the US, which will represent 28 percent of the global market, and Western Europe, which will account for 25 percent.



77 percent of the global population uses mobile phones and with current expansion rates, web access by people on the move — via laptops and smart mobile devices — is likely to exceed web access from desktop computers within the next four years."
We'll be exploring more about mobile in a series of upcoming posts.



Reason 1. Shopping To-Go

A recent report by comScore reported that "14 Million Americans Scanned QR Codes on their Mobile Phones in June 2011." With users scanning codes from printed materials and product packaging, suddenly both the marketing and advertising experience and the user experience have been expanded. While many are scanning codes from home, and likely experiencing marketing materials as a result, the report showed that "39.4 percent [of users scanned a code] from a retail store and 24.5 percent did so from a grocery store." Clearly users are interacting with QR codes as part of their shopping experience.



Taking that further, retailers can now also allow in-store comparison shopping via mobile apps. This could be a positive feature for brick-and-mortar stores, such as with the Best Buy Mobile app, or it could turn shoppers towards online shopping. For example, the new Amazon mobile app for students "Amazon Student" allows for in-store comparison shopping. According to Mobile Beat "Students standing in a bookstore can look at their syllabus, scan a book’s barcode with the iPhone or iPod touch camera, and determine whether the bookstore is ripping them off."



Clearly mobile is changing the in-store experience. Will you be using apps or QR codes to connect your online community to in-person experiences? What other mobile technology is being developed in this field? Share with us in the comments, and stay tuned for future explorations of mobile marketing.



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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Captivate your Customers through Storytelling at NACCM this November

"Attracting a new customer costs 5 times as much as keeping an existing one." Source: Lee Resource Inc.



When budgets are tight, how do you ensure your customers don't take their business elsewhere? It's time to start Captivating your Customers, and NACCM: North American Conference on Customer Management in Walt Disney World will help you do just that this November!



Captivate your customers through STORYTELLING

Peter Guber, Chairman & CEO, MANDALAY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP and Author, Tell to Win – Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

Success is often won by creating compelling stories that have the power to move partners, shareholders, customers, and employees to action. You will learn directly from Peter on how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal. Click here for a full list of keynotes.



Captivate your customers through LOYALTY

Mike Sachs, General Manager, CRM & Owner Loyalty, VOLKSWAGEN of AMERICA

Learn VW’s philosophy on loyalty, how it is evolving and the initiatives the CRM team are spearheading to drive cross-functional accountability for loyalty from marketing and Operations, through Retail and After Sales. Click here for the full-day Loyalty Summit.



Captivate your customers through SOCIAL MEDIA

Becky Carroll, Author, The Hidden Power of Your Customers, Community Program Manager, VERIZON

Social technologies are changing not only customer expectations but customer behavior. Your business should be using social media to attract new customers as well as engaging existing customers. Becky will share effective ways to utilize social media to achieve your customer relationship goals – and grow your business. Click here for all of our 'next practice' talks.



Captivate your customers through EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE

Jamie Naughton, Speaker of the House, Chief Culture Ambassador, ZAPPOS.COM

The story behind Zappos’ success lies behind two empowering words: Deliver Happiness. Learn the different ingredients used by Zappos.com to build a long-lasting enduring brand, including the importance of customer service and company culture. Click here for all talks on sharpening core competencies.



And many more… Download the brochure to learn more about this year’s program.



Or better yet, register now and see for yourself why NACCM has been the most trusted partner for peer-to-peer sharing for the past 9 years. Readers of the Customer's 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog. Register here.



We look forward to welcoming you this November 14-16 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando.



The NACCM Event Team

Visit the event website

Follow us on Twitter

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Friday, August 19, 2011

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: The Trend Report: Clusters of Innovation

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 expires TODAY,  August 19, 2011.

Featured Presentation: The Trend Report: Clusters of Innovation

Featured Presenter: Jeremy Gutsche, Founder of Trendhunter.com, Author of Exploiting Chaos

About the session: Attracting more than 200,000,000 views, TrendHunter.com is the #1 trend-spotting site in the world -- the largest, most influential, most updated collection of cutting edge ideas available anywhere. (It attracts roughly fifteen times more page views than its competitors). Its founder, Jeremy Gutsche, relentlessly tracks and finds The Next Big Thing -- that valuable but elusive commodity -- for a global audience that generates millions of views a month. Gutsche is a creative, globe-roaming individual with a broad appeal that stretches from The Economist, which uses him as a source, to MTV, which places him at"the forefront of cool."

Leveraging the world's largest database of micro-trends, Gutsche filters through the most viral innovations in the world, creating 'Clusters of Inspiration' Companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo and eBay, have bought and used this research. In this talk, Gutsche walks you through clusters of inspiration and teaches you how to create their own.

Now Streaming Sports: Will Facebook Revolutionize The Way We Watch?

Do you "Like" Soccer? Budweiser UK is betting that you will, introducing the first live streaming sporting event to be broadcast on Facebook today with the FA Cup match between Ascot United and Wembley FC.



According to this post on The Sociable "'Ascot United has a capacity ground of just 1,150 people, so live streaming the game to potentially millions of Facebook users will be a real boost to the club.' Mick Harrison, Ascot United chairman stated"



The live stream will likely be a boost for sponsor Budweiser as well as fans click "Like" to access the stream. Streaming video isn't a new development for Facebook. Studios such as Universal and Warner Brothers have been playing with the idea of allowing video rental through Facebook pages since this past spring, with "The Big Lebowski" to mark the latest addition. However, the FA Cup match will be the first example of a live sporting event streamed in this manner.



Will you be tuning in? Have you ever streamed video content on Facebook before? Do you think this development will change fans expectations for Facebook pages?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Neuromarketing is Revolutionizing the Market Research Industry

Did you know the subconscious portion of our brains actually makes as much as 95% of our daily decisions, without us even being aware of it. Our senses flood our brains with 11 million bits of information a second, but our conscious minds can only process 40 bits a second.

What does this mean for retail marketing? If you learn what the brain loves, what it looks for, and what it avoids, you can create products and packaging, marketing materials, and store and aisle designs that attract the subconscious - that 'iceberg' inside our heads that lies submerged below the much smaller surface of our consciousness. Find out at The Market Research Event as Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO of Neurofocus, Inc. details the Seven Dimensions for Shopper Marketing Success.

Dr. Pradeep was the highest rated speaker among over 100 presenters at the 2011 Shopper Insights in Action Conference where he received rave reviews. Download the TMRE Brochure find out more about his presentation and to see the full program plus receive a copy of the 2010 TMRE Executive Summary.  The Market Research Event 2011 will be taking place November 7-9, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  Friday, August 19, is the last day to register and save $400.  Mention priority code TMRE11BLOG.  With over 1200 market researchers from at least 17 countries, you won't want to miss this one of a kind event!

Social Media and Communities

The key to shaping perceptions of brands, products, or services comes from an intimate understanding of consumers’ experiences and preferences in their natural settings. As new media transitioned to social media, consumers began forming communities to discuss these very aspects of their lives. As market researchers, we now have the ability to not only tap these communities to hear what the consumers of our brands are saying, but we also have the ability to form these communities.

At one time, conversation between a consumer and a brand was limited, if not nearly impossible. With social media and online brand communities, conversation is not only possible, but also instantaneous. Consumers now expect to be heard and they know we’re listening.

Market and brand researchers now have the ability to track online conversations. As not all campaigns are designed to increase sales, conversation tracking has become a part of many business’s tracking strategies. For research initiatives, we can pose specific questions to gain the feedback from the consumers closest to our brands. By understanding these perceptions, marketers can act much more quickly than ever before to responding to the needs of consumers.

There are other benefits to social media and online brand communities. I truly believe that consumers are much more comfortable typing their opinions, attitudes, and beliefs about a brand than they are in interviews and focus groups. Without a researcher present, or at least in person, consumers seem to be more candid in their responses – providing rich and meaningful data for researchers about their brands.

For more information about social media and communities, join us in Orlando at The Market Research Event in November where experts will discuss the new opportunities of these resources.

Garrett McGuire is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, "The Journal of mAD Man," that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Diaries - the right method for the right purpose

Diaries have traditionally taken a major role in the qualitative research and have their place in the modern canon of methods. They offer an authentic view in consumers' everyday life and give room for participants' creative self-expression. More and more they are used as a kind of pre-task ahead of qualitative methods, used to stimulate participants to deal with the research subject in the run-up and to gather initial findings for the design of the survey situation (e.g. design of the discussion room, fine-tuning of the guideline ...).

Photo by Josh DiMauro
Technological progress and the opportunities it creates for market research have particular impact on this method. Several years ago the method of keeping diaries had to be carried out as paper-and-pencil. Over the past years it has diversified and now offers plenty of different varieties.

In addition to the traditional paper-and-pencil method, participants are increasingly encouraged to keep mobile or online diaries.

So when to use what?

Rules of thumb are a little flat. Neither is paper-and-pencil completely out of fashion nor is it necessary to go all the way mobile. As so often, it depends...

Depending on the research objectives, different methods for using diaries are useful and others are not.
When it comes to mobile usage of diaries, because notes about emotions and activities on the go should be recorded, flexibility and simplicity is important. On these dimensions paper-and-pencil executions as well mobile diaries offer more benefits than online, because both smart-phone and offline diary can be carried around easily and flexible.

In specific settings, for example where drawings of the participants are important, or where own handwriting is essential, because deeper reflection is necessary, there is no alternative to paper-pencil notes. In particular, the online and mobile versions are somewhat limited when it comes to expressing the own creativity. The technological development indeed evolves rapidly. But currently internet technology is not equal to creative possibilities of offline diaries yet.


A huge advantage of online diaries is the possible integration of audio-visual elements such as photos, videos and audio files. These elements can serve as a support of the written word. Furthermore it is much easier to process participants' input via online, no shipping, transcription or scanning needed. And the researchers themselves are able to follow the process in real time and so are able to give feedback on specific aspects while participants are keeping their notes.

Nevertheless it is quite important to be clear about the question in which environments the records will be used. For the implementation of workshop formats creatively-made paper-pencil diaries are significantly better suitable than mobile diaries. Online diaries are constantly improving, mainly because videos deliver unique insights into the reality of life and emotions of the participants.

The Market Research Event 2011 is November in Orlando, Florida, hosted by IIR USA, deals with the topics Online Research and Mobile Research (among others). I'm curious what they will tell us about diaries.

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.

The Art of Storytelling in a Data Driven World

Are you leveraging your customer research by linking and aligning it with key organizational issues? At The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit you will learn how to integrate storytelling into your numerical analysis to truly understand (and maintain) your customer experience.

Hear inside stories on Measurement & ROI, Data Performance, Operational Metrics and Social Media CRM from customer experience, loyalty, research and insights executives at: 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, Microsoft Corporation, and more. Download the brochure to see the full program.

Interested to know who else will be there?
Check out this impressive list of companies already signed on to attend:
AAA // AAA Arizona // AIG American General // Allstate Financial // AT&T Investment Management Corp // Blueocean Market Intelligence // Burke Inc. // CPI Card Group // Customer Bliss // Customer Experience Partners // CVS Caremark // Diebold, Inc. // EMC Innovation Network // Expedia // Farmers Insurance Group // Fedex Corporation // Forrester // GE Healthcare // Harrahs // Intel // JD Powers & Associates // Kelley Blue Book // Maritz Research // Martins Point Health Care // McDonald's Corporation // Microsoft Corporation // Peppers & Rogers Group // Petra Consulting Group // Pfizer // Rockwell Automation // Sam's Club // Sara Lee // SPSI // Strategic Horizons Llp // SuperValu Inc. // Synovate // The Story Factor // Universal American Corporation // University of Georgia - Terry College of Business // UPS // Wright Express Corp.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit will enable you to effectively measure, align and communicate your customer strategy to ensure business relevance. Register by Friday, August 19 to Save $200 off the standard & onsite rate. Please use priority code TCEL11BLOG when registering.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Facebook and the power of 4 Billion "Things"

Today on Mashable we got another great infographic about social media marketing.

The graph pulled together many YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Location Based Service stats for a compelling look at the growing world of social.



One interesting stat: The price increase of Facebook ads during the first half of 2011 was 70%. How can they justify such a stunning increase? The answer can be found easily elsewhere in the chart, with 750 million Facebook users and 4 billion things being shared on Facebook each day, the service holds a solid position as a social media marketing mainstay. Try and find a brand that doesn't want their product to be amongst those things with a direct line to those 750 million users.



However, many brands are looking to pages and the news feed as the answer to Facebook marketing, not ads. Back in May, Allfacebook.com reported on a study of paid Facebook advertising versus news feed content amongst 320 graduate and undergraduate students. The study "found that college-age students have “positive feelings” about business pages on Facebook but consider banner ads and sponsored posts to be intrusions."



Is your brand using the news feed to connect with customers? Buying facebook ads? Share with us in the comments on why or why not?



Looking to learn more about news feed optimization? Join us for a complimentary Web Seminar: How to Optimize Conversations on Facebook to Increase Your Social ROI on Tuesday, August 23 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern Time featuring Chad Estes, Vice President, Client Services at Vitrue. Register for the webinar here. I'll be liveblogging the webinar on twitter for @community20 at hashtag #SocialROI.



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



Is neuromarketing more precise than focus groups?

Source: Fast Company
A. K. Pradeep, CEO and Founder of NeuroFocus, and TMRE 2011 Keynote Speaker, claims that everyone loves their Apple iPad not because of the luxury of the product, but instead because Apple scientifically designed and built it so that customers would like it.  According to a recent article at Fast Company, Apple is not the only company using neuromarketnig to get inside consumers heads and figure out what makes them desire products. Citi, Google, HP, Paypal and Microsoft are just a few of the companies using ECG scanners to measure brain activity of consumers when their products are being marketed.

 This new portable device designed by NeuroFocus is one of a kind: The skullcap-size device sports dozens of sensors that rest on a subject's head like a crown of thorns. It covers the entire area of the brain, he explains, so it can comprehensively capture synaptic waves; but unlike previous models, it doesn't require messy gel.


Pradeep goes on to claim in the article that he believes this type of market research is both more cost effective and precise than the traditional focus group: While Gallup must poll roughly a thousand people to achieve a 4% margin of error, NeuroFocus tests just two dozen subjects for its corporate clients--and even that is a sample size larger than those deployed by leading academic neuroscience labs.


A.K. Pradeep will be presenting Seven Dimensions For Shopper Marketing Success at TMRE 2011 this year.  Join Pradeep plus over 1200 market researcher to discuss this topic, among others, at the world's largest research event.

Do you agree?  Do you see neuromarketing as more cost effective and precise than traditional market research methods?  Do you see it outpacing them in the near future?

Storyteller Spotlight Series: Michael R. Hoffman of Client x Client

In the most recent episode of the 2011 NACCM Storyteller Spotlight Series I had the pleasure of chatting with Michael R. Hoffman, Author of Customer Worthy, and founder and partner at Client x Client. In his work at Client x Client Hoffman has learned that innovative customer service comes from a place of trying to make every experience a customer has an exceptional, memorable moment.

For Michael, great customer experience begin simply enough with the golden rule of ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ When you can gather enough information about a customer to discover what would make an experience extraordinary for them, everyone will profit. Explaining this, he said “because we have all this customer intelligence technology…we can then leverage our knowledge to anticipate where customers are going to go or where they should go and try to ensure that the customer meets their objective and our business meets our objective and that those two are aligned.”

Ultimately he has one piece of all-important customer advice for those looking to solve customer problems or develop new products and that is “Think like a customer.”

To hear more about this philosophy, listen to the full interview here.

Michael will be presenting one of our keynote addresses “It’s 2012, Are You Customer Worthy?” on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Florida. As he said in our interview, “in five years I look at the customer experience and think that it will be dramatically different then it is today…customers are coming up with the newest latest ideas, they’re showing companies how they want to do business, how they want to buy and shop, and often in ways that the companies didn’t anticipate.”

In this session learn how customers are voting with their feet, their clicks and their wallets. In 2011 customers took over brands, messaging and even countries. 2012 demands companies be customer worthy at every contact through every process – or else. To succeed companies must marry corporate objectives to customer expectations and continuously be customer worthy in every interaction. Be prepared to hear some best & worst examples and walk away with new tools.

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.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Mobile Marketing Conference: Call for Presenters

The Mobile Marketing Conference

Event Date: March 19-21, 2012

Location: Miami, FL



Submit a proposal to speak at the top industry event for mobile marketing.



Your Opportunity

Production has begun for the groundbreaking new event - The Mobile Marketing Conference (TMMC). A top destination for marketers, digital experts, strategists and mobile evangelists, TMMC reveals extraordinary ideas about leveraging the mobile medium to build brand awareness, consumer engagement and increased profits. The TMMC experience will empower you to connect more meaningfully with consumers through this "always on" medium. TMMC will be chaired by Jeff Hayzlett, Former CMO of Kodak and Author of The Mirror Test.



The Mobile Marketing Conference: Capturing Share of Mind, Catalyzing Transactions & Proving ROI



We are actively recruiting speakers to bring The Mobile Marketing Conference to life in 2012. The submission deadline is Wednesday, August 24, 2011. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis so early submission is encouraged.



Added Bonus: All speakers will receive complimentary admission to the entire event (a $3,000+ value) and a discount code for 20% off standard rates to pass along to colleagues and contacts.



This call for presenters is limited to client side companies. If you are a vendor, consultant or solutions provider and wish to get involved, please see special notice below.

TOPIC AREAS

We are looking for best in class presentations around mobile strategy, user experience & engagement and what’s next. Specifically we are seeking case studies demonstrating the following key initiatives:

Maximizing Brand Impact in the Mobile Space

Using the Mobile Medium to Build Awareness & Engagement

Developing Brand Appropriate Short & Long Term Mobile Strategies

Translating Mobile Strategy at the Regional Level for Global Programs

Harnessing the Amplifier Effect: Integrating Mobile Into Your Overall Marketing Strategy

Triggering Desired Customer Actions Through Mobile

Extending Engagement Through Push Notification

Extending Your Loyalty Programs Through Mobile

Using Mobile to Drive Awareness of & Participation in Social & Digital Campaigns

Mobile Usage Insights: Emerging Patterns of Consumer Behavior

Capitalizing on Augmented Reality to Deliver Truly Personalized Mobile Experience

Generating Operational Efficiencies with Mobile

Allocating Your Mobile Spend

Understanding the Opportunities with LBS

Engaging Customers at the Point of Experience to Capture Real Time Feedback



Please do not feel limited by the list above. We are happy to consider topics not listed here that you feel would add value and be appropriate.



Formats include

1. Case study presentation (30 - 45 minutes long)

2. Interactive ideation and brainstorming sessions to engage the audience in discussion (30 - 45 minutes long)

3. Panel with 3 – 4 people debating/discussing a particular topic (30 - 45 minutes long)



Speaker Benefits

Speakers enjoy many benefits of presenting at IIR’s leading conferences including:

• Advance the purpose and value of mobile marketing

• Position their company as a pioneer in mobile marketing

• Reinforce their own position as a leader

• Share results of an exciting project

• Network with other industry leaders and participate in high-level discussions

• Access to IIR’s private online community exclusively for speakers



Submission Guidelines & Deadline

For consideration, please e-mail Krista Vazquez at kvazquez@iirusa.com with the following information by Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)

• Contact information including address, phone and e-mail

• Title of presentation

• Brief overview of the presentation (1 short paragraph plus 2 bullets that illustrate audience takeaways): Please note: if your proposal is selected, portions of this description will be printed in the brochure and used online to promote your participation

• Brief speaker biography



SPECIAL NOTICE TO VENDORS, CONSULTANTS & SOLUTION PROVIDERS

Whether you are looking to build awareness, demo an exciting new technology, generate new business or strengthen existing relationships – a presence at The Mobile Marketing Conference will help you achieve your goals. Be at the right place at the right time. A limited number of sessions on the program are reserved for our event sponsors. Solution providers who wish to become part of the program should contact Melissa Ashley at mashley@iirusa.com.



Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.



Thank you for your interest in The Mobile Marketing Conference.



Krista Vazquez

Conference Director &

Director, Special Projects

IIR



kvazquez@iirusa.com

646-895-7336

708 3rd Ave, 4th Floor NYC 10017

Friday, August 12, 2011

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: The Predictioneer’s Game

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 Predictioneer’s Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future

Featured Speaker:  Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Silver Professor of Politics, New York University; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Consultant to CIA

About the session:  Since the 1970s, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has been making amazingly precise and accurate forecasts of future events in politics, government, and business. Working with the State Department, CIA, and the Defense Department Bruce predicts how the leaders involved in making decisions will act over time, based on their own self interest, their predilections, and given their relative influence on any particular issue. He uses complex computer algorithms, along with a deep understanding of the players in the geopolitical game, to predict outcomes. Bruce was recently profiled in a cover story in the New York Times Magazine. He is also the subject of a recent History Channel program entitled, The Next Nostradamus.

Forward Focus Friday: An Interview with Cassandra Lin

Reposted from The Front End of Innovation blog in support of the 2011 Future Trends conference. Future Trends 2011 will feature a full day summit focusing on social media, technology, mobile and gaming trends on Tuesday October 4th entitled "THE NEW SOCIAL CURRENCY: Engage in the Relationship Economy." To learn more about Future Trends, visit the website here.

What do the letters T.G.I.F. mean to you? To young innovator and 2011 Future Trends Keynote Speaker Cassandra Lin, they stand for Turn Grease Into Fuel, a project she created that takes a step towards waste-free communities. The TGIF project encourages restaurants to donate used cooking grease to be turned into fuel for needy families, is currently working with 104 restaurants and has provided the equivalent of $32,000 worth of energy thus far.

Cassandra joined me recently for the second episode of our 2011 Forward Focus Podcast Series to discuss the project and her other visions for the future. To listen to the podcast, click here.

Cassandra is an Award Winning Community Problem Solver, U.S. delegate at the UNEP Children & Youth Conference, and Creator of Project TGIF. This October she will be presenting "Collaborating Youth to Change the World" at the 2011 Future Trends conference. To learn more, download the brochure here. Register here.

Want to learn more about the TGIF project? Check out their official YouTube video below.


Stay in touch with Future Trends, join our LinkedIn Community, follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for updates on the conference, discounts and industry news.

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

New webinar series unveils the future of email, ROI of social conversations and more

The Institute for International Research invites you to join us for the following complimentary Web Seminars:



How to Optimize Conversations on Facebook to Increase Your Social ROI

Tuesday, August 23 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern Time

Chad Estes, Vice President, Client Services, Vitrue



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 businesses optimize their visibility in the hope page news feeds, ensure the conversations they start 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

● And more...



Register for this webinar.



The Future of Email: 2011 Trend Watch

Tuesday, August 30 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern Time

Nello Franco, SVP of Customer Success, Lyris, Inc.

Jennifer M. Cook, Director of Communications & Community, Lyris, Inc.



Are your email marketing approaches hot...or not? As an email marketer, you know the pressure you are under to stay abreast of and leverage best practices so that you can deliver results to your organization. From the ongoing blitz of social media to the ever-growing impact of mobile devices, the opportunities are limitless. Yet, where should you invest?



Take an hour and learn from the experts at Lyris. Nello Franco, SVP of Customer Success and Jennifer Cook, Director of Communications and Community will reveal to you the Top Trends to Take On in 2011. They will show you what's working for companies like you and how to leverage the trends for greater success in the second half of the year.



Top trends this webinar will cover include:

● Shopper Marketing

● Social currency: How to monetize social spend

● The impact of the Millennial generation

● How gaming is changing the landscape

● Disruptive innovation



As a special bonus, attendees will receive a free copy of The Future of Email: 2011 Trend Watch Guide, as a follow up to the webinar presentation. This downloadable how-to guide is designed to help improve your email marketing results immediately.



Register for this webinar
.



CMO Survival Guide - 5 Best Practices

Thursday, September 1st 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern Time

Chetan Saiya, Executive Director, Global MRM Sales, SAS



Media fragmentation, accelerated product life cycles, widespread globalization, and punitive regulatory constraints have made the CMOs job very challenging. Traditional marketing practices are no longer effective. Fortunately, Internet based collaborative technologies and marketing analytics can be leveraged to overcome these challenges. This webinar describes 5 best practices that leading CMOs and their marketing organizations have used to deliver better return on marketing investment.



Register for this webinar.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Awards Showcase Research Industry Innovation

Part One: Disrupting Research-As-Usual By Marc Dresner, IIR USA 

It’s that time of year again, research fans!

The Market Research Event (TMRE) has officially issued a call for nominations for two distinct awards honoring innovation in research:

The EXPLOR Award, sponsored by uSamp, recognizes breakthrough innovation in technology as applied to market research through a real-world case study competition.

 • The Disruptive Innovator Award, sponsored by Next Gen Market Research (NGMR), recognizes companies and individuals that have demonstrated leadership as change agents and made significant contributions toward harnessing disruptive innovation to drive research industry progress.

That both awards celebrate innovation in an industry/profession with a relatively conservative legacy says quite a bit not only about the times in which we now work and live, but how far we’ve come so fast.

So much has changed in just the last decade, and I’m particularly excited to see what comes out of this year’s pool of nominations, because these awards are in some respects innovation barometers.

Hoping for an early read, I asked the respective sponsors of each award to answer a few questions for us. 

This post features responses from Tom Anderson, founder of NGMR, an online community and professional networking group for market researchers with more than 12,000 members centered on exploring innovative, emerging research technologies and techniques.

 Anderson is also founder and managing partner of Anderson Analytics LLC, a full-service market research consultancy specializing in combining advanced analytics and traditional methodologies with data and text mining.

For those who don’t know him as I do, Anderson is a bit of a maverick with a passion for bucking convention, so it’s not surprising that NGMR’s award—now in its second year—focuses on innovation as a disruptive force for positive change…

 Q: What’s the Disruptive Innovator Award all about?
 A: Times are changing. So the concept is to celebrate and encourage what I like to call “next generation” thinking in research. We want to recognize innovation that challenges the status quo and pushes boundaries beyond “traditional” market research—hence the title “Disruptive Innovation”—and to also use this award to welcome new members into the research industry, which has historically been a pretty exclusive and conservative club. This includes methodologies and techniques from other, less traditional fields like data mining, text analytics, Web and social media analytics—really any potential knowledge stream or insight source that can help marketers and business people make better decisions in today’s world. So in a sense, the award was created to broaden how we define consumer/market research in order to keep pace with the times.

Q: What set the 2010 winners apart from the rest of the entrants?
 A: Last year was our first year out, so the ferocity of the competition caught us a bit off guard. In order to make the difficult decision of picking the winners, we decided to look beyond just how innovative someone was, and to focus on the second component of the award: disruption.

For example, on the client side, 3M won based on how they had leveraged DIY; not because the specific methodology used was that innovative, but rather their innovativeness in applying it to their organization. If the same model were to be adopted by other clients, it could have a really disruptive impact on our industry.

On the agency side, our second winner, Communispace, which really pioneered the use of online communities for research, had already taken a significant portion of research spending and encouraged many across the industry to look at how we engaged respondents and fans of products and brands differently.

Last year we also had two winners in the individual recognition category—Sean Conry of Technoes and AJ Johnson of Ipsos—who won not only because their methodology was interesting (mobile GPS data and visualization, etc.), but also because their collaboration focused on experimenting by combining various methodologies and software in novel ways.

Q: What surprised you the most about the submissions, in general, that you received for last year’s competition? Why? 
 A: I was surprised by the quality and quantity of nominations we received in just our first year out. That confirmed to me that the research industry is very much focused on and excited about change and attuned to the spirit of Next Gen Market Research.

That said, while we did receive a couple of nominations from companies that are outside traditional research—RapLeaf, for instance—I was surprised that there weren’t more of them. I think we could do a better job of attracting different types of providers with different perspectives and maybe less orthodox solutions.

Q: What themes/trends in research do you predict will be most prominently represented in this year’s submissions? And conversely, what do you expect to see less of this year?
 A: I hope and expect to see more nominations from disciplines like text analytics—a personal favorite—and various types of data mining from CRM to Web analytics. I would also imagine there may be some nominations from neuroscience and eye tracking, too.

But I would really love to see submissions from companies that don’t even view themselves as research firms. Marketing, advertising and PR firms, for instance, are all rushing to leverage various text, campaign and influence tracking technologies and they’re building their own methodologies around them as needed.

I would emphasize that we consider the basic methodological soundness of every technique and technology quite seriously in our deliberations. That’s a key strength in having such a diverse brain trust of expertise and experience on the NGMR Board.

Q: What advice do you have for prospective entrants this year?
A: Some nominations submitted last year were quite lengthy. You should be able to state why you are eligible for the NGMR Disruptive Innovator Award in one page or less (though you may also submit accompanying videos or charts if needed).

If we receive a 10-page document, and it’s not clear on the first page why this individual or organization deserves the award, chances are high that they will not make the first round of cuts.

Don’t worry, if we need more information to make a determination, we will ask you for it. I only wish that we could give out more awards. This is a very exciting time for anyone involved in analytics. I wish all of this year’s entrants good luck!

 Editor's note: For those of you who pride yourselves on shaking things up for the greater good, nominations for the NGMR Disruptive Innovator are open through August 31, so don’t delay.

For more information on how to submit a nomination, please visit www.tomhcanderson.com/2011-ngmr-innovation-awards. Winners will be announced and honored at The Market Research Event in Orlando, November 7-9, 2001.

And be sure to check in for part two of this segment, when my friend, Chuck Miller of uSamp, takes us on an EXPLORation of the industry’s foremost innovation case study competition!

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.