Monday, October 31, 2011

Innovation and Recognition Partner Up in EXPLOR Awards and The Market Research Event

Hewlett-Packard/Qualvu, Microsoft/Blue Ocean, PepsiCo/Sentient Vie For Top Honors on November 8

The single-select question in front of us is this: who will take home the 2011 EXPLOR Award? Will it be Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft or PepsiCo – and their market research partners – as they contend for this prestigious honor in research innovation?

Presented by uSamp™, the EXPLOR Awards is an annual case study competition that honors technical innovation in market research. Case studies not only inform, but they inspire and provide insight into the problem-solving process. The new solutions presented are often a peek into the future. As the tagline states, the award highlights “Innovation in Research.”

The call for nominations was extended through September 12. Innovation leaders from global corporations, research agencies and academia were invited to submit high-impact cases where technology and creativity have merged to advance the research and insight process. A world-class judging team – from noteworthy organizations like General Mills, GfK, NBC Universal and Wharton – selected the top three candidates that will be presented at The Market Research Event (TMRE), November 7 – 9 at The Peabody in Orlando, Florida.

Chuck Miller, who is President, DMS and Chief Research Officer, uSamp, co-founded the EXPLOR Awards in 1999. “The number of submissions grows every year,” said Miller. “The fact that more and more clients are involved in the submission process, working in partnership with providers, is significant. This year uSamp has a record number of case study submissions.”

Last year’s winner, American Water, along with finalists, ANZ National Bank and eBay, showcased innovation in market research through their respective case studies. American Water’s case study, “Tipping the Scales: How a New Research Tool Has Changed American Water’s New Business Development,” was a cutting-edge example of how insights from research can drive performance and new directions for a business.

The EXPLOR ceremony is during the keynote sessions on Tuesday, November 8, at 9:45 am. The presentation also features the NGMR Disruptive Innovator Awards, as the two jointly honor and cast a spotlight on industry innovation. The winning EXPLOR case study will be presented at 10:45 on Tuesday, November 8, in Celebration 12-13.

There is a very congenial atmosphere at the presentation itself, said Miller. “People are excited about sharing tangible details about success, and moving our industry forward.” Past winners and finalists include: Orange Telecom, Frito-Lay, Unilever, IBM, Intel, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Wharton, NBC Universal, UCLA/MIT and Microsoft among others. Past research partner winners and finalists include: Nunwood, Decision Insight, Communispace, Knowledge Networks, Millward Brown and Neurofocus among others.

The NGMR Disruptive Innovator Awards, sponsored by Tom Anderson of Anderson Analytics, will share the presentation stage in partnership with EXPLOR – together creating TMRE Innovation Awards. The Disruptive Innovator Awards recognize companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and made significant contributions to harnessing disruptive innovation – technological, methodological or otherwise – to drive research industry progress. Past winners and finalists include companies such as 3M Corporation, Linkedin and Nielsen Media Research among others – and individuals including AJ Johnson of IPSOS and Sean Conry of Techneos.

Congratulations to all who submitted case studies. Your innovative approach to market research is recognized and appreciated.

This post also appears at uSamp's Blog.

Low level of social media connection and social media spirit for Germany's MR industry

Recently Q –Agentur für Forschung and linkfluence released an inventory of the German market research network. You can access the interactive dataviz here (which is highly recommended).


What can we learn from the results?

Well, first of all we learn, that the internet network of market research in Germany not yet developed and divided into two parts.


First of all there are traditional market research players (left side) that exist on the internet mainly isolated and “for themselves”.

And then there's the networked side of the industry (right side). Here you find blogs and social network presences of agencies or individuals who produce (also) market research related content (including my German blogs Olympiamilano and FOYER for dedicated market research).

The degree of linkage between the two sides is rather weak and limited to a few connection points. Although the market research industry as a whole picks up momentum in the social media world social media agencies and specialized player are very active and much stronger located in social media than "classic market research".

In addition, you can see that the German market research blogosphere is relatively small and personal. While in other communities the content is mainly delivered by bloggers and they discourse on issues play a central role, the market research blogging scene is very “manageable”. You probably won’t find open discussion on market research topics currently in the market research web. It therefore can be considered rather a Web 1.0 experience than Web 2.0. The German market research web is not dominated by user generated content or active exchange, but mostly by news, press releases or articles.

One could assume that the German market researchers have moved to a presence in social networks like Twitter and Facebook. But this is not the case. Here, too, German market researchers are very cautious and reserved. There are only a few active presences and little more intense exchange. #mr-Buzz is limited to a few activists. Public discourse or even public controversies are rare.

Explanations are easily found:
1. Traditional understanding of "secret": news from the fields of techniques, methods, products or results are – from the inside perspective – highly confidential information that cannot be made available to the public under any circumstances
2. As long as the fear of lifting industrial secrets is that large, the exchanged and visible information thus is superficial and unsatisfactory. Exchange doesn’t exist.
3. Open and honest opinions and provocative theses are only very seldom to be found in the German MR-network. One of the main reasons for this is the perceived fear of negative consequences caused by the employer. The dominant opinion that it is not appropriate as an employee of a reputable company or a reputable agency to set up a provocative thesis on the future of market research or even comment this. Finally, you have to stand behind your corporate philosophy
4. Another explanation for the fact that almost nobody actively participates in knowledge sharing across the web 2.0 lies in the fact that they don’t receive any instruction from the management level for this. There is rather the attitude "I can take without giving".

So no wonder that awareness and interest from outside the industry for the subject of market research is sometimes low. This is quite a shame as that here is an opportunity missed to directly interact with clients and customers and to design the role of market research more active.

Social media, networking and market research be on the agenda in Orlando, Florida at The Market Research Event 2011 , hosted by IIRUSA. Looking forward to having interesting chats about this.

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

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chadwick Martin Bailey Launches New Customer Experience Management Software: Pinpoint Suite

Chadwick Martin Bailey is a sponsor of The Market Research Event 2011.

Leveraging over 25 years of customer satisfaction research experience, Pinpoint Suite drives management action and improves performance at every level.

Boston, MA – October 27, 2011 – Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB), a Boston-based custom market research firm, today announced the launch of Pinpoint Suite, a customizable collection of web-based tools to improve the usefulness of customer feedback. Pinpoint Suite integrates with existing customer feedback measurement programs to let managers proactively build and strengthen customer relationships and effectively lead performance improvement in their organizations.

“While companies are spending millions of dollars to measure customer satisfaction, they lack the tools to identify, translate, prioritize, and act on the data they get,” notes Chadwick Martin Bailey, COO T.J. Andre. “CMB found two-thirds of companies report difficulty in translating the data from their customer satisfaction programs into business improvements. Pinpoint Suite fills the gap between the data pipeline and actual insights and business improvements; maximizing existing program investment, and allowing non-analysts to turn data into action.”


“It’s an application based on basic process improvement: identify a critical issue, determine how to fix it, plan and take action, and, finally, measure the result,” continues CMB Senior Consultant, Jeff McKenna. “The simple-to-use reports and tools enable all employees responsible for managing customer experience to go through each of these phases to make informed decisions and set clear plans of action.”

Pinpoint Suite goes beyond traditional customer experience management tools; it engages managers at each level of the organization and is customized to support specific roles within the company. At the executive level, Pinpoint Suite’s enterprise-wide insights and tools help ex­ecutives prioritize decisions, set plans, and allocate resources. For managers, Pinpoint Suite lets them “close the loop” on systemic issues by providing tools that clearly identify problems to fix, list potential solutions, enable a planning mechanism, and track the results of the actions taken. Real time insights let front-line staff identify, understand, and resolve individual service fail­ures as they occur. Pinpoint Suite combines state of the art analytics with customized, highly-usable, and engaging tools to make high-impact business decisions.

Click here for more information

About Chadwick Martin Bailey
Chadwick Martin Bailey is a Boston-based custom market research and consulting firm who works with many of the most successful companies and best known brands in the world to help them acquire, maintain, and grow their customer base. Founded in 1984 by Anne Bailey Berman and Dr. John Martin, the company has corporate headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, serving clients in more than 30 countries around the globe. Chadwick Martin Bailey focuses on using leading-edge research techniques to collect and translate the data into simple, business decision-focused deliverables. www.cmbinfo.com

TMRE International Session Spotlight: South Africa: Consumer Insights in a Multicultural Society: A Yum! South Africa Case Study

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 international sessions new to the event.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register TODAY, October 14 using code TMRE11BLOG, be one of the first 10 to register get a free FlipCam! Also be sure to RSVP for the TMRE Tweetup taking place 11/6 before the event!

Featured Country: South Africa
Featured Speakers: Toni Joubert, Portfolio Manager, Yum! Restaurants Southern Africa
Featured Session:Drawing on recent activities extending the YUM! Portfolio of brands into various regions in South Africa, this session will discuss how to overcome the challenges of gaining insights and marketing across widely differing cultures in one market.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Inspring Action with Market Research


“All of the great and inspiring leaders of the world all think, act, and communicate in the same way which is the exact opposite as everyone else. It’s called… the ‘Golden Circle.’” - Simon Sinek.
This is the ‘Golden Circle.’

We should be able to explain what it is that we do, and how we did it; those things are easy. Answering they why seems to be a bit more difficult. It’s this aspect, the why, however, is the most important aspect to getting your insights, your work, your vision accepted by those you are conducting the research for. And the why is not profit; that is a consequence of everything else.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

A great example of this is Apple as provided by Simon Sinek. Can you image Apple saying: “Here’s a computer. It’s beautiful and easy to use.” Would you want to buy it? Maybe, but it’s not very inspiring, is it? These couple of sentences are working from the outside of the circle to inside. Instead, Apple works from insight the 'Golden Circle' to the outside. For example, they might say: “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo; we believe in thinking differently. They way we challenge the status quo is by making our product beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers.”
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

What does this mean for market researchers?

To inspire action from our research we shouldn’t tell people, leaders, executives, what it is that they should do differently, or what the business could do differently. Instead, they should be inspired by our belief of what the research is telling us. We should find the story, infuse it with
our beliefs, and sell it with inspiration.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

We shouldn’t believe that we do research because it’s needed. We should be doing research because we believe it can make a positive difference for the end-users of our company’s products, services, or ideas. How we do that is with a variety of research techniques that are tailored to
specific needs and specific questions. This is market research.

Not what. Buy why.


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.

See Who's Attending NACCM!

The North American Conference on Customer Management is less than 3 weeks away. The industry's leading companies will be attending - don't get left behind - gain the skills, insights and techniques you need to be more valuable to yourself, your team and your organization.

Take a look at the companies who've already signed on to attend:
1to1 Media, ABS-CBN International, American Cancer Society, ASD Healthcare, Aviva USA, Best Buy, Bi Lo, Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas, Bridgewater Bank, Broward County Aviation, Canadian Blood Services, Cancer Treatment Center of America, Customer Care Coach, Customer Skills LLC, Dell, DSM Chemicals North America Inc., DSW, Dunkin' Brands Inc., EMC, Freeman, GlaxoSmithKline, Harrison Interactive Loyalty, Humana, JetBlue Airways, John Deere Company, Kaplan University, Key Bank, Lighting New York, Marriott Vacation Club International, Metropolitan Health Networks, Microsoft Corporation, National Guardian Life Insurance, National Initiative for Service Excellence, Nationwide Insurance, OC Tanner Company, People Metrics Inc., Premiere Response, Safelite AutoGlass, Sask Central, Sears, Southwest Airlines, Sprint, Strategic Feedback, Symantec, Telerx, Thomas Betts, TJX Companies, TNS, Travelers Insurance, Verizon, Volkswagon of America, West Nassau High School, Woolrich, Inc., and Zappos

Hear from a speaking roster filled with customer service practitioners, as well as industry leading executives sharing stories from the trenches. Keynotes include:

Jasmine Y. Green, Chief Customer Advocate, NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY

Pete Winemiller, Senior Vice President, Guest Relations, NBA'S OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

The "Magic" Behind Great Teamwork: Disney's Approach to People Management, THE DISNEY INSTITUTE

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

Peter Guber, Author, TELL TO WIN - CONNECT, PERSUADE AND TRIUMPH WITH THE HIDDEN POWER OF STORY

Becky Carroll, Author, THE HIDDEN POWER OF YOUR CUSTOMERS, Community Program Manager, VERIZON

Michael Hoffman, Author, CUSTOMER WORTHY

And more, download the conference brochure for the full speaker line-up and session descriptions.

Readers of the Customer's 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog, so join us at NACCM. Register here.

We look forward to welcoming you next month at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando.

The NACCM Event Team

Visit the event website.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/naccmevent
Become a Fan on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/oAOFil

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Consumer Stories Are At Our Fingertips

Today's guest post is contributed by Steve August, Founder and CEO of Revelation, a partner of The Market Research Event 2011.  A pioneer in online qualitative research, Steve is considered a thought leader in the market research industry.  Prior to founding Revelation, Steve served as a principal for research consulting agency KDA Research, where he was responsible for business development and research, helping the company to triple revenue in three years.

Consumer stories are at our fingertips – if we know how to bring them to life…

We are living in a miraculous age. Until recently, researchers had little access to consumer experiences. In the context of people’s lives, two hours in a focus group facility or in a participant’s home represents a very narrow slice of people’s lives. Yet, many of the things we are most interested in understanding occur during the part of people’s lives when researchers cannot be present. This limited access to consumer experience has been a handicap to researchers in fulfilling the basic mission of market research: understanding people to answer business questions.

To borrow a phrase from the 1990’s ‘the paradigm has shifted’. Thanks to the age of social technology – web, mobile, rich media, social software - researchers have unprecedented, sustained access to people’s lives. Geography and time cease to be constraints; consumers all around the world are able to share their stories, the day-to-day experiences: moments of behavior, use, purchase and decision-making.

This shift has tremendous implications for qualitative research. Where once our options were to bring a group of people into a room far removed from their actual behaviors and experiences or spend huge amounts of money and time sending researchers into people’s homes -- now consumer stories are literally at our fingertips – if we know how to bring them to life.

This is where activity-based research comes in. It is an adaptation of methodology to match the interaction model of asynchronous online and mobile research. Activities can be diaries and journals, projective exercises, mini-documentaries, representational photography, personification exercises and a myriad of other possibilities. They can be used to explore behaviors, environments and emotions. Blended together in the right sequence this methodology makes you feel like you are in the room with your consumers, wherever in the world they happen to be.

Want to learn more? Please visit the Revelation booth (116) at TMRE!

Earn a complimentary pass to this year's NACCM event! (Call for Guest Bloggers)

Earn a complimentary All-Access pass to NACCM by serving as a guest-blogger!

As a guest blogger, you’ll have access to NACCM's comprehensive agenda attracting the best in insights from around the world. For the past 9 years, NACCM: the North American Conference on Customer Management has been your most trusted partner for peer-to-peer sharing. Welcome to an all new journey through the personal and professional moments that matter most as told by an all-star cast of storytellers.

By participating as a guest blogger leading up to and at the event, you’ll receive an all access pass for the entire event, taking place November 14-16, 2011 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL. Responsibilities will include attending specifically assigned sessions and blogging live or same day.

In exchange for guest blogging, you will receive an all-access pass to the event – a $3,000+ value. Guest bloggers are responsible for their travel and lodging.

Apply today by sending your name, company, short biography and links to your blog or writing samples if applicable to Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc@iirusa.com.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Qualvu Launches Professional Development Program on Next Generation Market Research

Qualvu Launches Institute of Qualvu (IQ) for Researchers Interested in Enhancing their Value Proposition

Denver, CO – October 18 – As we enter the “consumer age” of empowered buyers who are not afraid to speak up, a new level of customer obsession becomes vital for the success of any business. Consequently, businesses need to move faster and demand real time information and recommendations if they want to keep up with the evolving times. Digital tools have posed new opportunities that can help researchers deliver what today’s business world demands: better, faster, and cheaper insights that inspire more accurate and profitable business decisions. To ease the transition into the digital world of research, Qualvu has launched Institute of Qualvu (IQ), an online program designed to help researchers master everything they need to know about next-generation qualitative research. The complimentary, multi-session program to be kicked off on October 26th, 2011 will engage researchers, showing them exactly how online qualitative research projects work and how they can set them up themselves.

Staying up to speed on the evolving research trends is essential for researchers today, and IQ’s mission is to provide them with the tools to do just that. IQ is targeted at researchers interested in enhancing their value proposition, providing better, faster, and cheaper ways to deliver answers to business questions and digitize their research. Through ten engaging, interactive, and informative sessions, researchers will gain insight on digital qualitative research tools, digital research best practices, and online reporting and analysis.

“Qualvu is as committed to propelling the growth of the qualitative research space through innovation that delivers superior intelligence that drives decision making as it is to elevating the overall value researchers provide to businesses,” said John Williamson, Qualvu Founder & CEO. “We have proudly partnered with dozens of research firms and independent researchers who have recognized the advantage digital tools pose and established solid partnerships that benefit both parties immensely. Ultimately, it is our goal that every business can access key intelligence and recommendations that answer their questions and help them meet their business goals. We believe that IQ provides a compelling opportunity for every researcher to develop their professional skills and master the digital tools that can help them deliver enhanced value to businesses.”

To register for IQ and learn how you can take your research to the next level, click here.

About Qualvu
Qualvu is the future of qualitative research, inspiring business decisions guided by the voice and face of the consumer. Through streamlined video-based technologies, we collect better human intelligence and deliver superior insights that drive decision making. The Qualvu proprietary platform – DESIGN-COLLECT-DELIVER-SHARE – enables multi-language, global research that drives online reports supported by actionable analysis and video highlights. Capturing behavioral and attitudinal feedback from home, work, in-store, and even in-vehicle, Qualvu delivers new levels of human access. Whether via webcams, flip cams, or the Qualvu mobile app, consumers are empowered to share truthfully; and brands are empowered to gain deeper insights, make better decisions, and share key data across the organization at a value that is changing the game. For more information, visit www.qualvu.com.

Storyteller Spotlight Series: Bill Greenwald

In the most recent episode of the 2011 NACCM Storyteller Spotlight Series I had the pleasure of chatting with Bill Greenwald, Director, Performance Coaching and Advisory Practice at Humana, Inc.

Bill will be leading a full day leadership workshop at NACCM this year that will be a deep dive into the well-received 45 minute session he lead in 2010. To learn more about the session, listen to the podcast here.

I left my chat with Bill with one piece of all-important advice for those interested in the foundations of leadership workshop and that is "walk a mile in your customer's shoes." Be it staying a night in the hotel you manage or calling in to a call center, you can't truly connect with the customer experience (good and bad) until you live it.

Readers of the Customer's 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog, so join us at the workshop on Monday, November 14th at NACCM. 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.

The WHY Behind NGMR's Disruptive Innovation Finalist Selection


Where's Mobile, Neuroscience and Social Media Monitoring?

By Marc Dresner, IIR

Yesterday, Tom H. C. Anderson, founder of the online research networking community Next Gen Market Research (NGMR), announced 10 individuals and 15 companies made the finals for the 2nd annual NGMR Disruptive Innovator Awards to be presented at The Market Research Event in Orlando November 8th.

In a mysterious turn, Anderson also reported this year’s awards have been reorganized and will feature three new categories in addition to the “Individual” category, but withheld any further details except to note that NGMR has dropped last year’s “Client” category, effectively putting research agencies in the running against the likes of IBM and Heinz. (I’ll admit I’m intrigued to see how that plays out!)

Finalists were selected by NGMR’s Board of Directors: Jan Fager and Dan Foreman (Europe), Michael Gadd (Canada), Jasper Lim (Asia), Duncan Stuart (Australia and New Zealand) and Tom Anderson and Gordon Morris (North America).

Upon scanning an advance courtesy copy of the list Sunday night, I was delighted to see several old friends and familiar companies, any of which would make a prime candidate for an award whose premise is the productive disruption of research as usual.

But I was also surprised to find that some of the trendier research areas today, such as mobile, neuroscience and Anderson’s own personal favorite, text analytics, were conspicuously underrepresented.

So, I went straight to the source to ferret out what, if anything, the finalists’ selection says about the industry.

It’s worth noting up front that as far as the judges are concerned crowdsourcing remains a definite disruptor.

Three companies on the list offer a crowdsourced type of service: KL Communications, Infosurv and BrainJuicer. Anderson confirmed that the committee was sufficiently impressed by the first two’s take on crowdsourcing to bump them to the finals. As for BrainJuicer, Anderson noted their submission’s emphasis on “twitterbots” also earned them a nod from some of the judges.

As far as mobile goes, Anderson pointed out that Ipsos’ “Real Time Event Research” program has a mobile component. Nonetheless, there weren’t any other mobile standouts.

Anderson explained the mobile short shrift was largely due to the fact that “this year’s mobile submissions weren’t demonstrably different from what we received last year...Keep in mind mobile research has been around for over a decade,” said Anderson.

“Mobile is getting a lot of attention, partly because of the iPhone App bubble and also in polling circles as the number of cellular-only households continues to rise,” he added. “But I think people equate the buzz around mobile with innovation, and from what we’ve seen, there’s simply not anything terribly disruptive happening in this space. That doesn’t mean mobile isn’t an important tool; it’s just not causing an earthquake at this point.”

Regarding neuroscience, Anderson said that from a research perspective, “The field shows promise, but it isn’t fully baked. Clients clearly are interested in it and experimenting with it, but the jury is still out when it comes to results. It’s tough to make a case that neuro-based tools have had a genuinely disruptive impact on how research is conducted…yet. I honestly think neuro has a few years to go before it really shakes things up.”

Last but not least, where were the text analytics providers? Only Radian6 (acquired in March by salesforce.com) made the list. This threw me.

I think it’s safe to say social media monitoring qualifies as “disruptive”. And Anderson is an outspoken text analytics proponent whose own agency, Anderson Analytics, this year introduced a new text analytics DIY software, OdinText.

Anderson conceded he was disappointed with the lack of submissions from text analytics providers, but that there was a valid reason for it. “Of course, I was initially troubled that we weren’t hearing from companies in this space, so I asked around. I thought that perhaps they felt there might be some competitive conflict of interest with me as a judge on the selection committee,” said Anderson.

“It turns out that, yes, that was a factor, but only to the extent that they were guarding their IP pretty jealously from everyone,” said Anderson. “There’s a lot of development activity going on in the text analytics space right now, and it’s very competitive. So at the end of the day, the providers I know and who know me well enough to be frank told me that they were interested, but decided they were better off keeping their cards close to the vest.”

Shifting gears, a review of the finalists in the “Individual Disruptor” category was, for me, like looking at a line-up of the usual suspects, to their credit. Here we have a very solid list of folks who push the innovation envelope, and I don’t envy the judges; narrowing it down to just one will be difficult.

Although the reason/s they were nominated and selected might seem obvious to anyone familiar with the names on this list, I wondered if there were any specific criteria the judges were particularly keen on.

Anderson told me that while not all of the people on the list possess all of these traits, they tend to share the following:

- Early adopters of technology

- A record of contributing intellectual capital and sharing ideas to help move the industry forward in new directions

- Willingness to take controversial and potentially politically incorrect positions that they believe are in the industry’s best interest

- A chronic dissatisfaction with the status quo—whatever it may be

The winners—and the three new award categories—will be announced November 8 at The Market Research Event. Anderson will moderate a panel of the winners directly after the ceremony.

For information or to register, please visit us online at TheMarketResearchEvent.com.

Editor's Note: A list of the individual and company finalists is available on the NGMR blog.

Congratulations to the finalists and good luck!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
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. You can meet him at TMRE 2011 in Orlando this November!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Checking Back in With Google Plus

With news of a new mp3 store circling the web, and the lingering question of brand pages coming back into light, let's take a look at where Google+ is several months down the line from it's introduction.

If you look back at this Ad Age interview from July, you can see that Google+ was in the process of running a beta program for companies, however at this date only a very select few branded pages do exist. This week, Mashable asked some ad agencies to imagine their vision of a Google+ branded page. What do you think of these imagined designs?

Perhaps the more important question is, Will brands even want or need to be on Google+ by the time the brand pages are launched to the public? Is Google+ an effective way to interact with fans?

On October 14th, it was reported that Google was shutting down their "Buzz" service  as Google+ quickly eclipsed it in popularity.  However, there is some question that the network is truly growing fast enough to make it a real competitor in the social space. (For example this listicle in PCWorld explores 5 reasons Google+ may be failing to grow. Even as early as July, reports were citing a drop in traffic after the initial buzz wore off. But, not to get too cynical too fast, the service did see a jump in September that kept the service growing faster than Facebook. (Chart: Google+ Hit 10 Million Users 50 Times Faster Than Facebook - Technology - The Atlantic Wire). This study by Polaris Marketing Research Inc. and its data collection partner SSI also shows that the network will continue to grow.

And maybe it will, maybe a new music store will bring users back to the platform who dropped off after the new-and-shiny wore off, still it doesn't seem like a good sign when even Google's CEO seems to have gotten over the buzz.

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

NACCM Storyteller honored as Customer Champion


1to1media has released the latest list of the 2011 1to1 Customer Champions and unsurprisingly, NACCM speaker Tom Feeney, President and CEO of Safelite AutoGlass has been honored for his commitment to increasing employee engagement to drive customer delight. Read the full report and list of new 1to1 Customer Champions here.

At this year's NACCM, Tom will be presenting  "Creating a Customer-Focused Culture." Learn from this first-hand case study how one company transformed its workplace culture to improve customer satisfaction to an all-time high of 84 percent Net Promoter Scores through a “people first” focus.

On key takeaway of this session will be "A positive outward-facing brand begins from inside the corporate walls. A well-planned and well-executive HR and internal communications strategy can drive customer delight."

To see all of the 1to1 Media Customer Champion award winners on our speaker list, click here, or download our brochure for more detail. Remember, readers of the Customer's 1st blog and save 15% off the standard registration rate at NACCM with code NACCMBlog. Register today!

End of the rise of social media? What about social media research?

Social media is still on the rise. Large networks, especially Facebook, increase not only their reach, most users use the site also more intense the longer they are members. These are findings from a recent research report by Gartner. But the report shows more: 

Gartner surveyed 6.295 people aged 13-74 in eleven different markets between December 2010 and January 2011 .37 percent of respondents - most of them from young target groups - stated that they use their favorite social network more intense than at the beginning of their membership.

However, in some markets there seems to be an end of the rise of social media usage among consumers. Nevertheless, 24 percent said that the intensity of usage has decreased.

The markets where the users are more engaged with social media include, among others, South Korea and Italy, while the users in Brazil and Russia are tending to be less on the social web. The most important argument for reduced use: data protection and privacy.

 
What does this mean for Social Media Research? 

The same as for Social Media Marketing. That's easy enough...
It isn't enough to have a survey or even a poll on Facebook. That's not how it works. We need innovation, we need inspiration. And we need to know the users of social networks annd their behaviour before we can survey than. Actuality is king as well keeping the attention high in order to use the very short attetion span in social networks. That, by the way, is to my point of view one of the most important reasons why gamification is more than a buzzword in recent times. 

So let's get creative, and start by attending The Market Research Event 2011 in Florida, hosted by IIRUSA...


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

Friday, October 21, 2011

TMRE International Session Spotlight: Japan: How To Develop a Concept Across Two Continents in One Day?

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 international sessions new to the event.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register TODAY, October 14 using code TMRE11BLOG, be one of the first 10 to register get a free FlipCam! Also be sure to RSVP for the TMRE Tweetup taking place 11/6 before the event!

Featured Country: Japan
Featured Speakers: Eric Grosgogeat, FocusVision Worldwide and Jorge Calvachi, Amway
Featured Session: Amway needed to quickly and cost-effectively develop a global concept for a new daily skin care supplement. In the past, the team would have travelled to conduct focus groups. Instead, they tried webcam focus groups and were able to conduct focus groups in Asia and the US within a 24 period. This presentation will describe how the webcam qualitative research platform toolbox allowed the team to conduct the same creative exercises they would traditionally use in a facility. The result was a winning global concept for a fraction of the cost and in record time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Learn the Ins and Outs of How Zappos Treats its Customers at NACCM

Want to hear a truly extraordinary customer service story?

Zaz Lamarr meant to return some shoes to Zappos, but her mom passed away and, naturally, she just didn't have time. Zappos arranged to have UPS come pick up the shoes - and then send her flowers:

"When I came home this last time, I had an email from Zappos asking about the shoes, since they hadn't received them. I was just back and ready to deal with that, so I replied that my mom had died, but I'd send the shoes as soon as I could. They emailed back that they had arranged with UPS to pick up the shoes, so I wouldn't have to take the time to do it myself. I was touched. That's going against corporate policy.

Yesterday, when I came home from town, a florist delivery man was just leaving. It was a beautiful arrangement in a basket with white lilies and roses and carnations. Big and lush and fragrant. I opened the card, and it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. I'm a sucker for kindness, and if that wasn't one of the nicest things I've ever had happen to me, I don't know what is."

This is just one of the many, many, many heart-warming, happy, touching, funny Zappos' customer service stories, and the reason why you can't have a conversation about customer service without eventually mentioning (or even opening the conversation) with Zappos.


So how does Zappos do it? What is their secret of great customer service?

The North American Conference on Customer Management (NACCM) is pleased to have Jamie Naughton, Speaker of the House, Chief Culture Ambassador, Zappos.com as one of the keynote speakers, on Tuesday, November 15th, Jamie will present:

Delivering Happiness:
As speaker of the House, Jamie works directly with CEO Tony Hsieh, focusing on the culture for which the company has become known. Her role is essential in creating and driving the architecture of the dynamic culture as well as focusing on culture R&D to ensure Zappos.com always stays relevant to both the employees and their customers. Learn the different ingredients used by Zappos.com to build a long-lasting enduring brand, including the importance of customer service and company culture.

Listen to our podcast with Jamie here for a sneak peek.

Plus, hear professional and personal stories from:
Dunkin' Brands, GfK Customer Loyalty, Dell, The Disney Institute, Hilton Worldwide, Southwest Airlines, Verizon , Humana, Spring, American Cancer Society, JetBlue Airways, Symantec, Best Buy, Kaplan University, Volkswagon America, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Safelite Autoglass, Sears, Customer Care Coach, Mandalay Bay Entertainment, NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, Peoplemetrics, Microsoft Bing, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse,and more!

Download the brochure to see why you can't miss the year's NACCM.

NACCM is less than a month away, register now to secure your spot. Register today as a reader of the Customer's 1st blog and save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog.
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: http://twitter.com/naccmevent
Become a Fan on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/oAOFil

Making Brand Communities Work

What has the potential to be a powerful market-research lab, early-warning system and customer-loyalty builder? I guess the title gave it away.


I was inspired this week when I found an old article posted on Wall Street Journal regarding online communities. The authors remind us of the potentials of insights and the opportunity for strengthening the bond between our brands and the customers we work to satisfy with brand communities. If you remember my last post, I reinforced some of the struggles that market research leadership faces: time and money. Communities can offer insights, at a reasonable price and with a quick turn around:

"At a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing programs, a well-designed brand community can be used to conduct market research with very quick turn-around; generate and test ideas for product innovations; deliver prompt and high-quality service to customers with a problem; strengthen the attachments that existing customers feel toward the brand; and increase good publicity through word-of-mouth."

To get it right, here’s what we can do:


  1. 1. Stop controlling everything. Whether it’s good or bad, let it fly. Having an outlet where the person knows they are being heard is sometimes all they need. Allow the customers to help each other and discuss any negative or positive experiences with the brand

  2. 2. Welcome diversity. Don’t only seek visitors who fit the profile of the brand, rather seek potential customers who may bring a well-rounded outside perspective to the brand. Find people that use the brand differently, at different frequencies, and watch them converse.

  3. 3. Give visitors ways of interacting. Don’t just have the community to garner a relationship between a brand representative and the customer; give the customers a way to communicate with one another (hence the brand “community,” right?). Allowing a customer-run site that has options for personal profiles, pictures, histories, etc. lets people feel that they are a part of something special and create bonds with people that share similar interests.

  4. 4. If you can’t be like the fan sites, at least monitor and support them. So you can’t start your own brand community. If you have a brand that people are passionate about and seek feedback from others via the web, the sites are out there for you to monitor and support. Whether people are getting together to talk about their passion or their disappointments for the brand, the insights are meaningful and worth following.


While the article is aged (2009), I find the content incredibly relevant as many of us are still trying to find our ways in the world of communities.

For more insights of online brand communities, visit The Market Research Event in Orlando!

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.

How Do Trending Topics Pick Up Steam

The Holy Grail of Twitter awareness comes in the form of the 10 Trending Topics that appear on most peoples home profile screen (unless you have it filtered by city in which case your topics are going to be slightly different from the worldwide default).

If you’re looking to use Twitter’s Trending Topics to give your latest campaign a little push, you might be out of luck. These topics reach the eyes of millions of users, but could be one of the hardest clubs to infiltrate in the entire web.

But let’s at least take a look at what gets them started and who is responsible for making them take off.

General Popularity
When you are talking about Trending Topics you are talking about a global (albeit very United States-centric) consciousness. This is not a small community concerned with a single topic, Twitter attracts every type of online user and as such their Tweets are equally as diverse.

Until an algorithm change by Twitter earlier this year you could expect that whatever was a popular thing worth mentioning would be a trending topic; and it would stay that way for a long time. Credit goes to Justin Bieber, who rose from the Internet-celebrity ranks to become a bonifide superstar in the real world. But once he was there you couldn’t scrap the teen heartthrob off Twitter’s sidebar.

With Twitter’s algorithm change the topics are forced to be of recent popularity and topics that have trended before are rarely seen again. But that doesn’t mean that popular culture still doesn’t hold a permanent stake on the trending list.

Popular News Events
With Twitter’s main purpose being an online extensive of real-world conversations it is no surprise that popular news events will naturally become Trending Topics.
And even with Twitter’s demographic statistics, National news stories are still a major concern for all groups. You can bet news to be a constant on the Trending list.

Large Networks
The most curious Trending Topics are the hashtags that seem to spring from nowhere and elicit action from other users; the #CoolestMovieLine and #MyGirlfriendLikesMy type hashtags.

These tags seem to appear naturally and really get people involved in the conversation; a marketers dream come true! But just how do these work?

If you click on any such hashtag and search through the people that are tweeting them on Twitter you can scroll back to the beginning. You can see the first group of people who started using the tags. And more often than not these people will share a lot of similarities; they might show the interest in the same things in their tweets, they will be high volume tweeters, they will have a decent amount of followers, and they will usually be black. But who are these people?

They are huge networks of people that really grabbed hold of Twitter and made it their own. As first adopters interest waned, this group chose it as their new favorite Internet community. They made lots of friends, they participated A LOT. And the Truth or Dare style hashtags were their idea as well. And unless you are part of the group (which could take a lot of time being involved in the Twitter community) you aren’t going to influence their hashtags.

Twitter Celebrity
The question of how to become a Twitter celebrity is often answered with, “Be a real world celebrity first.” Consequentially the question of how to start a Trending Topic can be answered in much the same way, “Be a Twitter celebrity.”

There are countless examples of Twitter accounts with 100,000 and over followers simply starting a trend by asking for their followers to play along. It is that simple.

Frank Anderson is a social media and tech analyst. He also works on email exchange hosting with WebHosting.net.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What do you know about your Twitter followers?

Many companies are trying to break into the Twitter market. Who tweets? When? Who should we follow? Chadwick Martin Bailey recently released the white paper  "10 Quick Facts You Should Know About Consumer Behavior on Twitter."

What were somethings that stood out?
  • -Over 50% of the Twitter users who use it on a frequent basis use it multiple times an hour
  • -Over half of the users on Twitter have only used the platform for a year or less
  • -21% of Twitter users follow brands, and of those, only 36% only follow one or two brands
  • -45% of those who do follow brands have cited that one of the reasons they follow is for discounts
What were the key takeaways you took from the white paper?


Do You Have Customer Experience Assassins?

On October 12th, Dave Fish of Maritz Research presented our webinar "Do You Have Customer Experience Assassins?"

Customer Experience Angels and Assassins. They're out there ...lurking... but who are they and where are they? Organizations measuring customer satisfaction need to know who they are and where they are. Researchers need to understand them. This Web cast explains who they are, where they are and how to manage both when it comes to customer experience measurement.

Hard to please " Assassins" frequently take aim at your brand with unfavorable shots at your products and services while "Angels" consistently evaluate services across industries positively. This Web cast utilizes Maritz Research's CEBenchmarks study which helps identify Angels and Assassins and explores who they are, where they live, and how they can be managed.

In this webinar we learned:

  • How Assassins and Angels differ demographically from the population as a whole
  • What industries suffer from a higher and lower proportion of each
  • What areas of the country are associated with higher or lower customer experience
  • What you can do about Assassins and Angels from both a practitioners and metric strategy standpoint

If you missed the webinar, but are interested in learning more on this topic, visit http://maritzresearch.com/iirwebcast where you can download the recording or slide deck.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Join us for three complimentary webinars on Naming, Voice of the Customer, and Targeting


As part of IIR's ongoing marketing webinar series, we'd like to invite you to join us for for “Choosing a name with confidence using new research techniques” on Thursday, October 27, 2011 from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/381109592
Use priority code MWS0043TwitterBlog when registering

Selecting the right name for your product or service is one of the most important decisions a company can make – yet many traditional naming research studies create more questions than confidence. Can we risk something abstract? Does your category call for a name that is literal? In addition, what does well in brainstorming or qualitative might not pass muster with a broader audience who may be rating a name purely on appeal.
With this webinar, BuzzBack invites you to learn new techniques for naming. Through case studies, we'll demonstrate how you can integrate online qualitative techniques with scores and quantitative metrics to understand:
• what your name communicates and why
• visuals and imagery associated with the name
• emotional reactions elicited
• how memorable your name is
Featured Speaker: Brendan Light, SVP, Research & Development, BuzzBack Market Research

Plus, on Thursday, November 3rd, join IIR and Autonomy for “Understanding the Voice of the Customer: How to Effectively Gather and Leverage Customer Insight from Multiple Channels to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience”

Voice of the Customer is not just about surveys anymore. Customers are interacting with your brand through multiple channels including the website, retail store, contact center and even social media. You have to understand all of these multichannel interactions collectively to develop a complete Voice of the Customer.

Join us on this webcast and learn how you can easily gather and leverage data from all customer touchpoints to deliver a superior multichannel customer experience. Learn how you can easily:

• Collect real-time customer insight across channels
• Discover and act upon emerging customer trends
• Deliver a more personal and targeted customer experience
• Increase customer loyalty and reduce churn

Register here: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/dfkvlnr43efw

Then, on Tues, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM EST join us for ”Targeting: How to Effectively Reach the Unidentified 90% of Your Audience”
Targeting works. There is no question that by aligning content to known segments, marketers can dramatically increase conversion rates and maximize revenue. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of your overall audience is known. So how do you effectively reach the other 90% and boost your marketing revenue exponentially? Data offers a potential solution, but also adds a problem. More data doesn’t mean more insight. In fact, it can lead to more confusion. However, by developing a conceptual understanding of your data, you can use your marketing initiatives to generate truly actionable insights and create smarter segments for greater success.

Find out how to discover high value segments and the best way to optimize against these segments over time to maximize response. Learn how you can efficiently leverage insights from all your marketing channels to transform the effectiveness of your initiatives for the highest return on spend.

Speakers:
Mallika Chakravarti, Subject Matter Expert, Autonomy
Annie Weinberger, VP Marketing
Register here https://cc.readytalk.com/r/va5mqstr90z3

Curt Carlson on Customer Experience: #4: A New Framework for Business Growth through Customer Experience Management.

In this new series of posts, we are joined by guest blogger Curt Carlson, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience Management – TNS North America. Read the full series here.

Hi! This is the last of four posts leading up to the NACCM conference. Over the past three weeks, I’ve talked about how Customer Experience Management (CXM) is challenged as never before: it is not driving improvement in either scores or financials for most companies today; it is not customer-focused; and it is not taking into account how customers make decisions. We now know that a more comprehensive view of measuring Customer Experience is needed. It is not just about measuring overall customer experience and key drivers; we also need to factor in the varied needs (drivers) and states (emotions) of different customers. Doing this creates a vastly improved measurement system. What gets measured gets done, right?

Not so fast. Back in the day, CXM (aka, CSAT) was easy…identify the key drivers, make the case for low-cost process changes and watch the scores go up. What got measured got done because we knew what needed to be done. Now that we’ve tried everything we can think of, we need new ways of managing business performance improvement. Today, we need a Customer Experience Management framework.

A CXM framework requires understanding the customer from three perspectives: Loyalty Relationships, which are essential to accomplishing strategic objectives; Transactional (touch-point) Experiences, which strengthen or weaken those relationships; and Employee Engagement levels, which are ultimately responsible for performance on the first two. Many companies have programs to measure all three. Unfortunately, most of those programs are left in their Marketing, Operations, and HR silos. This means most companies are failing to get the full return on the significant investments they are making in these programs. For example, if Customer Service performance is low in a call center, do you spend behind additional training and monitoring on low performing attributes? The Customer Experience data might suggest that. But if you also knew that the CSRs in this particular center had very low engagement due to lack of trust and empathy from managers, you would make very different decisions. This potential for misallocation of resources is unacceptable in business today. Managing customer experience to drive business performance requires measuring and managing within an integrated CXM framework.

Measuring and managing is good, but still not enough. I’ve seen too many companies use information from their Customer Experience programs to develop and implement action plans only to then cross their fingers until the next measurement cycle. It is absolutely necessary to monitor your company’s implementation of its action plans, your customers’ responses to those actions, and the business performance outcomes that result.

In summary, whether you say “Integrated,” “Connected,” or “Holistic,” it is all about a comprehensive, customer-focused view of needs/drivers and states/emotions within the framework of Measuring customer relationships, transactional experiences, and employee engagement levels; Managing action planning and implementation; and Monitoring the response. We haven’t even touched on brand promise and its relationship to CXM (Authenticity)…or Social Media…or Innovation. Those will have to wait. Enjoy the conference.

I’ll be continuing to post every week at http://tns-us.com/blog/. Hope to see you there. Let me know what you think of the conference by posting your comments below.

If you enjoyed this series, join TNS this November at NACCM for a session on Best-in-class Customer Experience Management.

To learn more about NACCM,
click here. To register, click here. Readers of the Customer's 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Leading Research Against the Clock


To be a leader takes guts. Am I right? It takes having the know-how of maneuvering tricky situations, aligning people and teams, putting trust in people around you…and much more. To be a leader of market research is no different. What I think might be a little different on the client side where I reside, is managing the balance between business needs and expectations, while also managing accurate and strong research methods.

As we know, some of the most impactful and enlightening insights often come with more expensive, more rigorous, and more time-intensive methods. Some business needs command this depth of information, but I’ve found these business questions also need addressing and insights next week…or tomorrow.

To be a leader of market research means facing these business issues, but also fighting for a timeline more appropriate for (correctly) conducting the needed research. We can get answers now, the quick and dirty way, no problem. But, buying a little extra time to answer important questions that arise provides more confidence that the insights are accurate, representative, and meaningful - for the long run. It takes a leader to recognize the balance that needs to exist between gaining insights and gaining the right insights in the right way… assuming quick and dirty crosstabs won’t work in this case. Even more, it takes a leader to voice concerns when an unfeasible timeline is proposed.

We can all be leaders if we focus on meaningful, actionable, and accurate research (but sometimes a little time helps). How do you strike the balance between business needs and research needs? (Feedback is welcome!)

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.

TMRE International Session Spotlight: Mexico: Building New Tools Internally for An Old Problem

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 international sessions new to the event.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register TODAY, October 14 using code TMRE11BLOG, you can save $100 off of the standard registration rate plus the first 10 to register get a free FlipCam! Also be sure to RSVP for the TMRE Tweetup taking place 11/6 before the event!

Featured Country: Mexico
Featured Session: Building New Tools Internally for An Old Problem
Featured Speaker:Emma Piza Bátiz, Market Intelligence Chief, Cuauhtémoc, Moctezuma - Heineken, México & Elizabeth Meléndez Guerrero, Market Intelligence Chief, Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma - Heineken, México
About the session:  Our goal was to emulate a natural situation of consumption by a mega test lab – where the consumer does not perceive being evaluated and we obtain a natural and free from bias. This tool was used to determine the session level of a representative sample of beer in Mexico, this information can not be determined in a traditional test. And it can be applied not only in this industry but also applies to the beverage industry and to determine the size bag of snacks and almost all products of the food and beverage industry in general.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Market Research Leadership at the end of the year 2011…

The year 2011 is drawing to a close. November and December are not only in Germany traditionally fully packed market research months. But there is the TMRE 11 in Orlando, Florida knocking on the door.

That's exactly the right time to think about market research leadership. Almost exactly 2.5 years ago Boston Consulting Group has introduced the Consumer Insight Benchmarking. A study among clients an vendors of market research related services which a lot of interesting stuff.

One of the key findings at the time: market research often isn't able to draw on its full potential, regardless of whether it is called Customer Insight Research or not ;-)

There are four stages of progress, which outlines the process of development of market research in their role of "orders from the internal divisions" to a "source of competitive advantage".

Level 1 is defined as "Traditional Market Research Funcion". The focus here is on the tactical use of market research. Any qualitative and / or quantitative test scenarios fall into this group. Market research here is usually a demand from marketing, always with a specific requirement (eg product or campaign testing). Or, as a CEO is quoted in the study: "The sample-size police in the back room ... Which research is focused on and is not valid rather than provide meaningful business advice."

Level 2 is titled as "Business Contribution Team". The role of market research goes further than in level 1, because here a greater level of cooperation between Market Research and (internal) client has been created. This often leads to a more strategic use of market research services. Recommendations that are strongly related to business processes are kind of output of market research at Level 2. Nevertheless, the insight department (just to use a synonym for market research) only acts if it is asked to support. Synchronization with other information from the past or from other sources does not take place here.

Stage 3 is called "Strategic Insight Organization" and the role of market research is more important than level 1 and 2. Market research is an integral part of critical business processes across marketing and sales and beyond of it. Market researchers are required as part of project teams, regardless of whether it is a market research project or not. Relevance for the divisions is caused by a close cooperation of market research with the relevant project managers. And knowledge of the sales force is growing little by little.

Stage 4 is in very many ways the supreme discipline, which can only work under certain conditions. It is called "Strategic Foresight Organization" and expands the processes from step 3 by a thinking that dissolves the boundaries of individual business units. This means that market research occupies a cross company position, which enables it to attend strategic decisions and support and steer them. This positioning includes extending the focus on – besides the status quo - future trends and predictions.

In 2009 we learned that 90% of companies surveyed are located at Level 1 or Level 2. This matches perfectly what we experience here in Germany. So we try to achieve a constant "up-levelling" for market research leadeship.

The remaining companies are mainly found in stage 3 and only a few companies are on stage 4.
Also quite interesting is the different perception of the terms of the quality of output between those who produce it and those who buys. 73% of the "manufacturers" say that they answer all "so-what?-questions" with their results. If you ask the recipients of the results only 34% agree to this.

How does this look like today? Make sure to attend The Market Research Event 2011 in Orlando, Florida, hosted by IIR USA, to find out…



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

How can you get into the mind of a shopper?

Shoppers today are more educated than ever when they approach the shelf to purchase a product.  Odds are they've been online researching before the purchase, so no longer is the in-store experience the only place to reach the consumer.  So how does a company truly understand what's going on in the shoppers mind when they make their purchase decision?  The new white paper, Leverage Mobile Video to Gain Richer Shopper Insight, from Qualvu, thinks mobile video may be the answer.

And through the use of mobile video, researchers look at these three key elements that will help them decode today's in-store consumer:
  1. 1. The ability to see what the consumer sees
  2. 2. The opportunity for consumers to share insights when convenient
  3. 3. The flexibility to be natural and un-choreographed

Download the new white paper from Qualvu here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

TMRE: The Global Meeting Place for your Market Research Team

In less than one month, more than one thousand market researchers from around the world will take part in The Market Research Event ... the world's top annual conference for insight executives.

The geographical representation will be unprecedented - unite with leaders from USA, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, China, Brazil, India, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Australia, Peru, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Japan, Colombia, Indonesia, Philippines, Guatemala, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, and more!

Space is very limited - less than 100 seats remain! Why are so many researchers joining us this year?
  • - The latest case studies and breakthrough research strategies
  • - Real-life case studies & no commercialization from the platform
  • - The highest percentage of client-side attendees and speakers than any other market research event
  • - The highest caliber Keynotes - including Bestselling authors Sheena Iyengar, Author of The Art of Choosing, Bruce Bueno de Mequita, Author or The Predictioneer's Game and Mark Earls Author of Herd
  • - More choices - with more than 140 sessions, 7 symposia and 9 tracks to choose from you can create the agenda that best meets YOUR needs. Download the brochure for an in-depth look at the options.
The Market Research Event is taking place November 7-9, 2011, in Orlando, Florida. If you mention priority code TMRE11BLOG when you register for the event, you will receive $200 off the standard rate and a Flip Cam when you register before THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14! If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to contact Jennifer Pereira at jpereira@iirusa.com.