Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from Customers 1st!

We're taking some time off from our coverage of customer experience and service to celebrate the season with our loved ones. We want to sincerely thank you for your readership, your comments and your participation. We look forward to returning to the world of customer experience management in 2013!

Looking back, here is our top Customers 1st post from 2012:

This Week In Customer Experience: "Experience" as Marketing Buzzword

What was your favorite topic covered in 2012?

We wish you Happy Holidays! 

The Customers 1st Team
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TotalCustomer
Become a fan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TotalCustomer

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Look Back at TMRE: Ingredients for Success when using MROCs

In the upcoming weeks, we'll be featuring insights from The Market Research Event 2012 attendees. 

In today's update, Dave Gustafson shares his notes on Day 1 Track 2 Social Media Listening Track, "It’s More than Just Buzz: How to Leverage Social MR and SM Listening to Gain Insights" with Caroline Klompmaker, Global Insights Business Lead, Burt’s Bees Div of Clorox.

Caroline defined the Burt’s Bees MROC as “a marketing formula of influencers and passionate fans.” At Burt’s Bees, they try to be creative – e.g., they host public events for bloggers, they have developed a MROC from their opt-in e-mail list (“The Hive”), etc.

She defined social media as Internet-based tools and platforms that provide enhanced interactions. She suggested it is important with MROCs to emphasize active participation and collaboration. In addition, from an interpretation standpoint, there is a need to understand biases/skews with social data, and the need for a structured approach in order to gain insights (because there is so much data/information).

Engagement with their online community occurs via a variety of approaches -- discussion forums, highly-visual surveys, highlights and clicks, photo sharing, digital journals and collages. Caroline noted “it is all about keeping the community active and engaged.”

Relative to traditional research, there are some definite pros/benefits from social media listening: large sample, timeliness/immediacy, ease/access to information, and cost effectiveness.

However, there are also cons/things to be aware of when using results from social-based approaches: skewed sample (digital), the information is publicly-shared, and the “group think” phenomenon.

Caroline’ advice/ingredients for success when using MROCs include the following suggestions:
1) ensure the insights fit within your research plan,
2) cultivate an internal knowledge base of social and its applications,
3) seek a champion/nurture internal support,
4) be cognizant of the MROC terms/specifications (e.g., size, frequency of interactions, etc.),
and 5) leverage vendor support.

As Marketers, how can we put social market research and social media listening into the appropriate context? How does your MROC compare?


Dave Gustafson is a career market researcher based in the Philadelphia area. In addition to owning and running his own boutique market research firm, he is the Chief Advisor at Spych Market Analytics, LLC. Dave can be reached at dave@SpychResearch.com

Wish to submit your insights for inclusion in this series? Email submissions to Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc@iirusa.com 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Look Back: Top Content of 2012

We're about to step away from the keyboard for a bit here at the Digital Impact Blog to have an unmediated holiday season. I'm not sure that I agree that "Google [is] Making Us Stupid," but taking time away from normal activities has been shown repeatedly to increase creativity. Most recently, researchers at the University of Kansas and University of Utah tell us all to go take a hike.

In the meantime, December is the time for year end best-of lists and reflection. As our official "look back," here are our top 5 posts from 2012. Browse through and see what you may have missed during a busy year, and as always, let us know what you think!

Our number one most popular post in 2012 was the announcement of our webinar with Jeffrey Hayzlett,"Driving Change with Mobile Marketing Strategies." If you missed it, catch the recorded webinar here.

Also popular from our coverage of The Mobile Marketing Conference was "What's your Digital IQ?" featuring 5 digital brand predictions for 2012.

Rounding up the list are: a feature on Gilt Groupe, our "Community Manager Appreciation Day" post and the recap of our Mobile Marketing expert panel featuring Carrie Chitsey, CEO, 3Seventy, Joseph Cox, President, VMBC and Brent Drake, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Best Fit Mobile & Marketing.

What were your favorite posts from this year?

To submit guest posts or content ideas for 2013, you can contact me, Michelle LeBlanc, at meblanc@iirusa.com

Happy holidays from the Digital Impact Blog team!

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing.

Optimizing Communications with a Message Simulator

Today's blog post comes from Dr. David Forbes, Ph.D., of Forbes Consulting, an exhibitor at The Market Research Event 2012.

Developing optimal communications is a challenging topic that we at Forbes Consulting pursue relentlessly. Think for a moment – what if you could predict the market impact of communicating specific brand benefits or positioning elements and choose between them for optimal market impact? The Forbes Message Impact Simulator allows you to do just that. It allows you to experiment with levels of prominence of a single benefit, or with various combinations of benefits – and observe the effect on your brand’s appeal and resulting estimated brand volume.

The simulator below starts with the base scenario – current performance on all product attributes as well as current reach (a measure of the breadth of your brand’s connection with a population of interest), frequency (a measure of the depth of your brand’s connection with a population) and volume. By changing the strength of your brand’s functional and/or emotional equities in the simulator, you can immediately see the impact. The FCG Message Impact Simulator lets a user comprehensively evaluate the impact of alternative communication platforms, and choose the one with the strongest potential.
click to enlarge



For more information on Forbes Consulting please visit http://www.forbesconsulting.com/

Facebook & Nationwide Share How to Unlock Critical Insight for Your Business from Social Media

As another year comes to an end, many of us are looking back through the year reflecting on our business, our customers and the future. It's no secret that customer engagement is evolving, the question is how we, as customer-centric professionals, are addressing these changes and updating our strategies.

Today, phone communication accounts for about 6,000 connections per day, online live chat a little over 400 and social media, an astounding 1,100,000 connections per day.*

Are you listening and observing your customers through the social medium?

Your opportunity to tie in VOC data across touch points is exponential. Today's total customer experience strategy moves from "asking" to listening and observing customer actions and behaviors to achieve the holy grail of a 360 degree customer understanding.

Featuring Leaders in Social Media:

Valuing Customer Input and Feedback
Jasmine Green, Vice President, Chief Customer Advocate, Nationwide

Often referred to as "Listener in Chief", Nationwide's Jasmine Green will discuss her role in facilitating customer dialogue through the power of listening. She will talk about what it means to be a 'Listener in Chief' and the value that active listening adds to cultivating positive customer relationships. Explore how VOC data and design principles can be used to engineer experiences across your organization. She will also describe the opportunity that social media lends to actively listen to customers and proactively engage them through these mediums. Finally, she will discuss the benefits of recognizing and admitting mistakes that result in the potential to fracture otherwise positive relationships and the art of apologizing for error through action and results.

The New Collision of Measurement and Customer Insights
Sean Bruich, Head of Measurement Platforms & Standards, Facebook

As the leading place that consumers connect with friends, engage with brands, and share their experiences, Facebook represents nearly a quarter of all time spent online and bridges the digital divide between web, mobile and offline experiences. Through creating an understanding of these linkages between online and offline experiences, new technology platforms are enabling unprecedented opportunities to instrument, measure and analyze consumer behaviors, and thus create huge leaps in consumer experiences from creating powerful marketing programs to optimizing consumer products or experiences. Here, we describe some of the ways that these platforms have unlocked crucial insights into consumers, and how those insights were translated into action.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is bringing together cross-industry customer professionals from American Express, CVS Caremark, Eli Lilly, JetBlue Airways, Safelite AutoGlass, Toyota and more to share their customer journey. If you are serious about measuring and improving customer experience, you need a forum to meet fellow professionals and share best practices - and that's what this conference is about.

Visit our website and download the brochure for the full speaker list and session details.

We invite you to the 2013 summit to Craft Your Insights-Rich Customer Story - From Transparency to Trust. As a reader of this blog, we’d like to offer you a 15% discount off the standard registration rates, use code TCEL13BLOG.


We hope to see you in April in Boston.
The Total Customer Experience Leaders Event Team

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TotalCustomer
Become a fan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TotalCustomer


* From Social Media and the Customer Experience

Monday, December 17, 2012

Reminder: Winning the Brand Share Battle Webinar

With TMRE 2012 behind us, we’d like to remind you that the learning doesn’t end with our annual event. IIR USA and The Market Research Event would like to invite you to participate in our on-going Insights Webinar Series, your resource for insights on the cutting edge.

We're pleased to present one more upcoming webinar in the 2012 series, Winning the Brand Share Battle Tuesday, December 18, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET Presented by Kirsten Zapiec, Senior Vice President, TNS

Traditional research methodologies are fundamentally flawed. The industry relies on incomplete models that fail to reflect what people actually do, and fail therefore to give marketers a true understanding of what is happening to their brands – where the growth opportunities lie and when a brand is at risk.

To provide marketers with clear direction for profitable brand growth, research must better reflect how people make decisions. It must acknowledge that human beings are often indecisive, inconsistent and their spending patterns shift constantly for many reasons.

Using real examples from a global TNS study, The Commitment Economy, Kirsten Zapiec, Senior Vice President at TNS, will show you how to identify the biggest growth opportunities for your brand. They will reveal the three main marketing levers that prevent companies from taking advantage of these growth opportunities – and the best ways to deal with each of them.

Register for this webinar here.

This webinar is sponsored by: TNS
TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviors and at titudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

All of our Insights web seminars are available after the live event for on-demand learning, view past insights webinars here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Special Offer from Google Consumer Surveys

TMRE is pleased to share the following offering from 2012 sponsor Google:

Google Consumer Surveys is a fast, accurate and affordable way to do market research online. Gather insights, track trends, and model consumption behavior in near real-time. Google automatically analyzes responses, providing the data through a simple online interface within 36 hours.

Try Google Consumer Surveys now with a $75 coupon off of your first survey: http://www.google.com/insights/consumersurveys/offer/tmre

Next Week: Winning the Brand Share Battle - Complimentary Web Seminar

In association with TNS, The Institute for International Research invites you to join us for a one hour complimentary Web Seminar. This webinar is part of the 2012 Insights Webinar Series: Your resource for insights on the cutting edge.

Winning the Brand Share Battle
Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (ET)
Presenter:
• Kirsten Zapiec, Senior Vice President, TNS

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3qpxf2cfysqj
Please mention priority code: MWJ0022BLOG

Traditional research methodologies are fundamentally flawed. The industry relies on incomplete models that fail to reflect what people actually do, and fail therefore to give marketers a true understanding of what is happening to their brands - where the growth opportunities lie and when a brand is at risk.

To provide marketers with clear direction for profitable brand growth, research must better reflect how people make decisions. It must acknowledge that human beings are often indecisive, inconsistent and their spending patterns shift constantly for many reasons.

Using real examples from a global TNS study, The Commitment Economy, Kirsten Zapiec, Senior Vice President at TNS, will show you how to identify the biggest growth opportunities for your brand. They will reveal the three main marketing levers that prevent companies from taking advantage of these growth opportunities - and the best ways to deal with each of them.

Register Now: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3qpxf2cfysqj
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

This webinar is sponsored by: TNS

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Look Back at TMRE: Staying Relevant with Today’s Consumersn

In the upcoming weeks, we'll be featuring insights from The Market Research Event 2012 attendees. In today's update, Dave Gustafson shares his notes on Day 1 Track 1: Trends Track: Using Metaphor Elicitation to Capture the Mood of the Nation with Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett.

Brief: Staying Relevant with Today’s Consumers

Stephen suggested there are six meta types of consumers (based on a driving metaphor):
1) Arrivers,
2) Engineers (plan methodically),
3) Lonely Travelers (feel handcuffed),
4) Easy Riders (middle of the road; non materialistic),
5) Dismayed Mechanics (need a jump start; something is missing in their life), and
6) Defensive Drivers (need help/assistance; live pay check to pay check).

He emphasized the need to increase comfort with what a brand stands for, with a focus on participation, motivation, resonance and relevance. He cited several examples of different approaches companies currently use to increase comfort:
• Panera – creating comfort through quality
• Zappos – comfort through customer experience
• Fidelity – comfort through road to financial future
• Kellogg’s/Frosted Flakes – comfort through rituals/nostalgia
• Jet Blue – comfort via amenities

How do today’s brands stay relevant with today’s consumers?
How can we keep our customers engaged?

This leaves us with some interesting questions marketers need to ask themselves:
1) What meta type(s) does my brand serve?
2) Where does my brand fit on the “road to comfort”?

Dave Gustafson is a career market researcher based in the Philadelphia area. In addition to owning and running his own boutique market research firm, he is the Chief Advisor at Spych Market Analytics, LLC. Dave can be reached at dave@SpychResearch.com

Wish to submit your insights for inclusion in this series? Email submissions to Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc@iirusa.com 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Emotional Mind

Today's blog post comes from Dr. David Forbes, Ph.D., of Forbes Consulting, an exhibitor at The Market Research Event 2012.

Why do consumers “really” think and act as they do?

We have long known that the deep seated emotional centers of the human mind generate the most powerful motivational forces driving consumer behavior. Traditional market research, however, has historically only accessed the conscious intellectual layers of the consumer mind. The desire to learn about the emotions that “really” control behavior are largely unfulfilled.


Two barriers confront the market researchers in this quest. First, consumers are often unaware consciously of these deep-seated emotional forces.

As St. Augustine wrote in the thirteenth century, “I cannot grasp all that I am.” His insight remains true of consumers today. Consumers today are no more able to grasp the motivations that arise from emotional centers of the brain that work below the level of consciousness than St. Augustine was; in the language of pop psychology, consumers are “out of touch” with their feelings on the issues important to marketers.

Second, consumers are often unwilling to share their emotions with market research professionals, even when they are able to consciously access and articulate their emotions. Rare is the respondent who is willing to share reasons for behavior that might make them seem frivolous or irrational.

So where does this leave market research in its quest for “real reasons” behind consumers’ behavior?

The news actually is good. The conscious mind is far from irrelevant – it remains an important driver of attitudes and behavior, and traditional market research continues to excel at researching the conscious mind. For the first time, neuropsychologists have documented the activity in those areas of the brain responsible for our emotions. Employing techniques from perceptual and cognitive science, clinical market researchers have begun to leverage the insights from neuropsychology to devise methods for “talking” to these emotional centers of the brain.

Our proprietary Forbes MindSight® technique is a good example of how the latest insights about the brain can help market researchers acquire the once elusive emotional reasons for behavior – to get new data about “real” reasons that they have never gotten before. Consumers may remain unaware of their emotions or unable to share their emotions with us, but technologies such as MindSight® are overcoming these barriers.

Why do people really think and act the way they do? We are revealing motivations that they themselves may not know. Results from MindSight® research suggest that surprises are in store – for marketers and market researchers, and even for consumers themselves!

For more information on Forbes Consulting please visit http://www.forbesconsulting.com/

Nate Silver Shares His Insights into Reliable Forecasting & Data-Based Predictions

Last month, Nate Silver, Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com and Author, The Signal and The Noise,  made history as he used innovative analyses of political polling to predict the winner of the presidential election.

And now we welcome him to the speaker faculty of The Future of Consumer Intelligence.


As Nate has proven, it's not about looking to see what happened, it's about predicting what will happen in the future. It's about delivering foresight, not just insight. It's about connecting ideas to data to culture to the future of your business and this, is the real data revolution.

Nate Silver
Nate will share insights into data-based predictions that underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling and hurricane watches to the stock market and even the war on terror.

That means it's important to ask - what kind of predictions can we trust? What methods do the most reliable forecasters use? What sorts of things can be predicted - and what can't? 

Nate will take us on a tour of modern prediction science, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty and good results.

Win a Meet & Greet with Nate Silver

Register today and secure your spot to hear from Nate at The Future of Consumer Intelligence. Plus, the first 25 people to register will be invited to attend an exclusive meet and greet with Nate Silver!


Exclusive Early Bird Savings for The Future of Consumer Intelligence EventRegister by December 21st & Save $700 off the standard & onsite rate


The Future of Consumer Intelligence unites the industry's most forward-thinking leaders to share insights, tools and skills needed to translate behavioral information into business opportunity. Hear best practices from: FedEx, General Motors, Harrah's Entertainment, Intel, Logitech, Mastercard, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and more.

The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2013 is still in development - stay tuned in the next few weeks as we reveal the full agenda.

Registration Information: 


Phone: 888.670.8200


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Customer Experience Experts Podcast: Scott Swift

Scott Swift,
Vice President, Customer Information,
Hunter Douglas, Inc
In anticipation of our 2013 event, I recently spoke to Scott Swift, Vice President, Customer Information, Hunter Douglas, Inc. about his involvement and experience with the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit.

We discussed upcoming trends in the customer experience space, and the huge importance of knowing what your customer experience or voice of the customer program goal is.

 Listen to the podcast here to learn more.

Want to be involved in more discussions like this? 
Visit our newly launched "Interact" page on our event website to have your say. 

Or, join Scott Swift as he chairs the 2013 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. As a reader of this blog, we’d like to offer you a 15% discount off the standard registration rates, use code TCEL13BLOG.

Visit our website to download the 2013 brochure, learn more about the event, or register.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She is the voice behind the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Nate Silver Shares His Insights into Reliable Forecasting & Data-Based Predictions


Last month, Nate Silver, Founder, FiveThirtyEight.com and Author, The Signal and The Noise,  made history as he used innovative analyses of political polling to predict the winner of the presidential election.

And now we welcome him to the speaker faculty of The Future of Consumer Intelligence.


As Nate has proven, it's not about looking to see what happened, it's about predicting what will happen in the future. It's about delivering foresight, not just insight. It's about connecting ideas to data to culture to the future of your business and this, is the real data revolution.

Nate Silver
Nate will share insights into data-based predictions that underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling and hurricane watches to the stock market and even the war on terror.

That means it's important to ask - what kind of predictions can we trust? What methods do the most reliable forecasters use? What sorts of things can be predicted - and what can't? 

Nate will take us on a tour of modern prediction science, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty and good results.

Win a Meet & Greet with Nate Silver

Register today and secure your spot to hear from Nate at The Future of Consumer Intelligence. Plus, the first 25 people to register will be invited to attend an exclusive meet and greet with Nate Silver!


Exclusive Early Bird Savings for The Future of Consumer Intelligence EventRegister by December 21st & Save $700 off the standard & onsite rate


The Future of Consumer Intelligence unites the industry's most forward-thinking leaders to share insights, tools and skills needed to translate behavioral information into business opportunity. Hear best practices from: FedEx, General Motors, Harrah's Entertainment, Intel, Logitech, Mastercard, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and more.

The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2013 is still in development - stay tuned in the next few weeks as we reveal the full agenda.

Registration Information: 


Phone: 888.670.8200


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reminder: Insights Webinar Today!

Erin Barber, Vice President, C+R Research recently wrote of The Market Research Event 2012:
"Not only did we hear about big data — the hottest of “hot” topics — we also heard about mobile, eye tracking, neuroscience, visual storytelling, “infotainment,” social media listening, online communities, Millennials, and much more."
Now, IIR USA and The Market Research Event is pleased to bring C+R Research to our online "stage" as part of the on-going Insights Webinar Series, your resource for insights on the cutting edge.

Join us today, Wednesday, December 5, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET for "Falling Dow + Rising Tao: What the Quest for Balance Means for Your Brand," Presented by Erin Barber, Vice President, C+R Research and Mary McIlrath, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, C+R Research

Register here. 

Nowadays, there's a focus on the Millennial generation and understanding what makes them tick. However, we've uncovered what's relevant and present across all generations, including Millennials. Hard economic times have shifted the way most consumers prioritize the pieces of their lives and the way they select brands to help them walk their chosen path. Balance is not a new concept but cultural changes have forced many to reconsider how they can achieve it. In this research, we delved into multi-generational consumers' lives to get a holistic understanding of what they're doing and how they feel about their lives on a daily basis. We uncovered what brands are currently helping them and what your brand could do to help consumers reach their goals.

Using a multi-pronged approach - in-depth online discussions, mobile and video ethnography, online chats, and online surveys - we captured the latest balancing act and what it means for your brand. In this webinar, learn how you can:

Help sustain your consumer's household ecosystem
Keep your consumer’s eye on the big picture
Shift the focus to progress, not perfection
Win by understanding the new family team
Trade in the currency of time

Hope you can join the session and share your questions and thoughts during the Q & A period.

Best,
The TMRE Team

Connect with us:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tmre
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marketresearchevent 

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dynamics of Permissability in Food and Beverage

Today's blog post comes from Dr. David Forbes, Ph.D., of Forbes Consulting, an exhibitor at The Market Research Event 2012.
 Consumers everywhere are exposed to a constant preoccupation with health and nutrition. Packaged, processed food and beverage products are often criticized because they represent a departure from “simple, natural whole foods” that are the archetype of healthy eating. At the same time, consumers are attracted to the convenience benefits, as well as the tastes and textures of today’s food and beverage products.

To resolve the conflicts between an aspiration to eat healthy while taking advantage of the vast range of highly desirable packaged food and beverage products, consumers create what may be called “permission structures.” Permission structures are lines of reasoning about products, and about people, that reduce the potential for values conflict between packaged food consumption and a desire for healthy eating lifestyles.

Our research has led us to identify four categories of permission structures, each of which operates in a range of situations to support consumers’ decisions to use packaged foods and beverages:

  • Nutrition-Based Permission: tied to the ingredients of the product itself
  • Situational Permission: linked to consumer lifestyle constraints or requirements
  • Emotional Permission: tied to psychological benefits of a product
  • “Not Me” Permission: involving denial of responsibility for the consumption decision

These permission structures may operate separately or in combination whenever a consumer chooses to consume a packaged food or beverage that could pose a values conflict for the consumer – including situations where moms and dads make purchases, mindful of their responsibilities to be “good parents.”

Nutrition-based permission structure is created when the consumer focuses on the individual highly symbolic ingredient, and shapes an attitude toward a product based on this ingredient. In psychological terms the consumer “takes the part for the whole,” and reacts to the product overall on the basis of the ingredient.
  • “Good” ingredients often attain positive status because they are linked to the “simple, natural, whole” food archetype of nutrition such as:
  • “It’s OK because it has low/no _______ [salt, high fructose corn syrup, calories].”
  • “It’s OK because it has/is made from _______ [organic fruit, whole grains].”
Situational permission structures are the way consumers tell themselves “I’m doing the best I can.” In this case, meeting the basic need of sustenance – vs. going hungry or staying thirsty – takes priority over the quality of the sustenance.
Two types are common:
  • Rush Permission: “I won’t have time to eat otherwise.”
  • Conflict-Avoidance Permission: “My child/teen/husband will at least eat something.”
Emotional permission structures are created whenever the act of eating or drinking moves outside of the functional goal of sustenance. When the emotional benefits of sensory pleasure take precedence over the act of eating or drinking, the rules of nutrition are temporarily suspended.
These are often seen in:
  • Reward Permission: “You’ve done _______, so you can have a _______.”
  • Indulgence Permission: “Oh what the heck… live a little.”
“Not me” permission is created when the circumstances of the purchase or consumption allow the adult decision-maker to deny responsibility for the consumption decision – creating a situation where the values system is not in operation. Two types are noted:
  • Not For Me: “I wouldn’t buy these except that my children love them.”
  • Radar Eating: Perhaps the most psychologically intriguing permission structure is typically created when a snack is in bite-sized form. This snack is often accessed in a container, which has more than one portion. The container is opened and the consumer eats pieces from the container while engaged in another activity (e.g., watching television). The consumer proceeds to eat most or all of the container and is then “surprised” to find that he/she has done so. In order to be subject to “radar eating” permission, a snack typically requires eating characteristics that make consumption truly automatic:
    • Crunch (signals time for another piece when sound disappears)
    • Good mouth clearance of flavor (prevents satiation)
    • “I can’t believe I ate the whole bag!”
Understanding the psychological permission structures can help marketers appreciate the decisions consumers make to consume food and beverage products. This improved understanding can prove invaluable to marketers who seek to sell their products based upon a deeper understanding of how the consumer makes choices.


For more information on Forbes Consulting please visit http://www.forbesconsulting.com/

Monday, December 3, 2012

Unveiling the 2013 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit

You may have noticed some changes here on the blog lately. We've updated our design to provide a better experience for you, our readers, in anticipation of the launch of the 2013 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is more than a conference, it's a call to action for all leaders charged with and committed to strengthening and advancing their organization with a sound customer plan.

2013 will unite customer-focused professionals across industries, cultures and departments to deliver an unparalleled facilitation of provocation, collaboration and communication of higher level thinking around the alignment of customer strategy with business relevant aspirations. Download the brochure for the full agenda.

The opportunity for capturing data across touchpoints is exponential. Linking data driven behavior to business results, designing next generation customer experiences and measuring the impact of your customer programs is the difference between great and greater.

Customer Experience Design - Explore how VOC data and design principles can be used to engineer experiences across your organization.

Strategy - Interpret, analyze and evaluate your customer strategy to ensure business relevance

Measurement & Feedback - Drive change and optimize your sales force by measuring customer feedback through the entire customer journey.

Alignment - Integrate and leverage your customer touchpoints - measurement & ROI, linkage, VOC, social media, technology, design principles, operational metrics and senior leadership.

We proudly announce all new keynote presentations from leading B2B and B2C companies:
• Jasmine Green, Vice President, Chief Customer Advocate, NATIONWIDE
• Thomas Feeney, President & CEO, SAFELITE AUTOGLASS
• Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, THE WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
• Sean Bruich, Head of Measurement Platforms & Standards, FACEBOOK
• D. Randall Brandt, Ph.D., SVP, Customer Experience Management, MARITZ RESEARCH
• Chris Frank, Vice President, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Author, DRINKING FROM THE FIRE HOSE
• Ken Erickson, Ph.D., CEO & Cultural Anthropologist, PACIFIC ETHNOGRAPHY COMPANY
• Andres Nicholls, Partner, PROPHET

Visit our website and download the brochure for the full speaker list and session details.

Your success lies in your ability to know your customer, to value your customer and and all their unique experiences. We invite you to the 2013 summit to Craft Your Insights-Rich Customer Story - From Transparency to Trust.

As a reader of this blog, we’d like to offer you a 15% off the standard registration rates, use code TCEL13BLOG to save. Visit the webpage to register today.

We look forward to seeing you next April in Boston!
The Total Customer Experience Leaders Event Team

Stay in touch:
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TotalCustomer
Become a fan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TotalCustomer

Why are businesses still hesitant to adopt mobile?

Last March at the Mobile Marketing Conference, we heard from leaders in a variety of industries; healthcare, travel, and retail to name a few. In June 2012, Mashable reported that the restaurant industry was leading in mobile adoption.

"DudaMobile [found that] restaurants and food services from pizzerias and bakeries to food trucks take 28% of the total percentage of small to medium-sized businesses that have a mobile-friendly site.
This category is far more advanced than other industries looking to reach out to smartphone users, including professional services such as locksmiths and attorneys (16%), health and wellness including spas and salons (10%), travel and tourism such as hotels (8%) and automobile/transportation (6%). Retailer was number six on the list (5%) for small to medium-sized businesses."
Given the frequently local nature of mobile search, it makes sense for restaurants to immediately see the benefit of mobile adoption. Yet these numbers still seem extremely low across the board given that "there are now more than 1 billion smartphones in use worldwide." Are companies not feeling the pressure to innovate on mobile?

This morning, in an article about the legality of cab-hailing apps like Uber, Daniel Sperling, a professor of civil engineering and environmental science and policy at the University of California, Davis, and director of its Institute of Transportation Studies was quoted as saying:
“Transportation has been one of the least innovative sectors in our society...When I look at these new mobility companies coming, where they’re using information and communication technology, at a very high level it’s long overdue and should be embraced with open arms.”
From my point of view, yes, it is long overdue, and not just amongst transportation, but across industries. So why is mobile adoption amongst businesses so slow in coming? We've seen time and again the value of mobile across industries: why are businesses still so hesitant to adopt mobile?

Vote in this poll to share your thoughts:




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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I feel like an infant and other final thoughts from this year's The Market Research Event


I try not to take notes at conferences.   That’s because I find that I rarely look back at them.  And when I do, they make little sense as they are generally snatches of information, witty quotes without attribution and nonsense such as this year’s winner: “I feel like an infant.”  I have no idea why I wrote that down.  I usually try to write down my own ideas, inspired by the presentations, so that I have a useful array of output for my time spent.

Nice try.  Now that two weeks has passed since the IIR’s The Market Research Event, I scanned the little notebook they gave me that proved irresistible during the event and here are a few final noteworthy snippets of stuff I wrote down about presentations.  Along with some points out of context that could be humorous if you know me well.

First, the presentation by Amy Burgdorf, Director of Market Research and Insights for Carhartt was wonderful because it immersed the attendees in a culture they clearly have no basis for understanding at all:  People who work with their hands.   Let’s face it, the most work I did with my hands this week was picking last week’s manicure from my nails.  But back to Amy.  Her key point was how immersion with real people on-the-job was invaluable to helping create a brand based in authenticity that is now emerging in popularity as a “lifestyle brand.”  When asked if they would focus more on the majority of their customers who were clearly not working construction or farms, she said they wouldn’t stray from their blue collar roots for opportunistic sales.  Go Amy!! This was followed by a lovely, unbridled question from the audience that I can’t remember but demonstrated a total lack of awareness of the brand and inattention to the presentation.  It was the laugh of the day but Burgdorf handled it well, saving as much face as possible for the person asking.   Well done.

I also had the pleasure to see Eric Lum, Vice President Strategic Marketing for Columbia Records/Sony Music present his views on music as “the currency of attention” for television advertising.  This was fascinating to me as I pondered what our currency of attention should be for market research surveys or engagements with consumers.  How do we incentivize respondents to participate and stick with us.  All you have to do is play a cool indie song and I’ll watch your ad… more than once.  It does work.  So, what's next for us?

What’s our next step as an industry?  I don’t know but if you believe keynote Bob Johansen, Fellow at the Institute for the Future, it’s probably something to do with games and information floating in the air right in front of you.   A fascinating talk but you know what they say about futurists.  They can say anything they want because the future never really comes.  And for every trend there is a countertrend they forgot to mention.   I imagine a future where the air around me is filled with digital garbage much like my smart phone is now.  Sorting through this is the business opportunity of the future.  But that’s not a sexy keynote, so Nevermind (thanks Nirvana).

I heard that David Boyle, Senior Vice President of Consumer Insight for EMI gave an incredible speech to an audience of a dozen.   I was sorry to hear about the low turnout and particularly sorry to have missed it because I heard it was so good.   I also missed William Leach from Brainjuicer, a Pepsico Alum because people were smashed into the room and spilling out into the hallway.  Both of these are worth perusing on the IIR’s website if you get a chance.

I dropped in on Mark Brooks, Vice President Consumer and Market Intelligence, with L’Oreal as he described “L’Oreality.”  This is an interesting concept because every company creates its own reality from the myths of the past and beliefs of the current organization.   He discussed internal competitiveness that demanded “resiliency” as the key attribute for success and that the conflict, rather than avoided was fostered because “the greatest things happen through conflict.”  That’s not for everyone, particularly not for your average market researcher.  This tells me that you have to be pretty exceptional to rise at L’Oreal and this was underscored by one of his final comments.  “A lot of people didn’t make it in this transformation (to a new way of doing business),” he said with a soft smile, “but that was completely up to them.”  Bravo, Mark!

Dani Vanzant, Manager Customer Experience Programs and Satisfaction for Southwest Airlines, demonstrated how you could squeeze one measure so hard it actually came to life.  I’m talking about NPS (net promoter score) which became a darling of the survey world about a decade ago and has struggled to remain relevant in a sea of new, complex ideas.   Dani built a compelling case for the relevance of NPS by partnering  with sharp software to make it “easy, accessible, actionable and flexible” – in other words, relevant, in every slice and even sliver of her organization.   She also uses continuous system user surveys to make the system “agile” – under continuous revision, so NPS can not only measure but also  motivate and transform an organization.  Powerful stuff.

It was fun to see Sandra Kelly from 3M in the front row for Ryan Lein, Director of Category Management and Consumer Insight for Hanes Brands presentation on DIY.   That’s because Sandra has been on the cutting edge of internalizing DIY for insights for the past 5 years.  She shocked the IIR audience in San Francisco a few years back by showing price per study that were about one zero short of the average bid.   Ryan took that saber and drive it through the heart of qualitative by suggesting that small, iterative surveys could replace much of the typical qualitative we do today in preparation for final qualifying quantitative measurement of new ideas.     This coupled with his ideas around DIY and Insight Led Selling made for a fresh and compelling discussion.   From the company who gave us the tagless t-shirt, we do expect big things and Ryan delivered.

Finally, I wrapped up my immersion in The Market Research Event with Michelle Adams, Marketing Brainology Inc, and also a Pepsico Alum, presenting a study from POPAI.  Michelle is an incredible speaker who engaged the audience while revealing emotional drivers behind the shopping experience.  In her own words, “It all boils down to choice but it’s not always conscious.”  In fact, her data builds a pretty compelling case that it’s rarely conscious when we make choices at the shelf.  That made me wonder about other choices, like deciding who to marry and raise children with… how conscious is that choice?  If you believe the Old Spice bottle, not very, because they’re saying if our Dads didn’t wear it we wouldn’t be here.   While Michelle showed video of a shopper wearing neuroscience headgear and eye tracking goggles while shopping a shelf, I wondered if I could talk women into doing this at a bar and peruse men.  What areas of the brain would alight? While they were looking at what?  And what would the objects of scrutiny be thinking about these women and their accessories?  What if the shampoo bottles were looking back at you, what would they say?  I suppose my mind did wander a bit but she always brought me back to the content with questions from the audience, promising Denny’s gift cards for good answers.  And she got a few.    

You’ll notice I’ve not mentioned most of the keynotes.  These were well-attended and high quality as you’d expect.  What is often overlooked are the stellar breakouts.  With 3 days, 9 tracks each day and more than 50 presentations, it’s not possible to absorb everything this event has to offer.  Maybe in the future, the information will all float in front of me and I’ll use my emotions to choose which data to watch and absorb.  But for now, I’ll just come again next year and hunt up the good stuff for myself.  Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Survey vs. Social: How Does it Stack Up?

This post comes from TMRE Platinum Sponsor Maritz and is cross-posted from the Maritz Sound Check blog.


Last week, 16 people from Maritz Research attended The Market Research Event in Boca Raton, Florida. There were great networking opportunities among colleagues, vendors, clients and even competitors and also opportunities to share ideas. Maritz Research was the platinum sponsor for the conference and also gave three presentations. As always, Randy Brandt’s presentation (he blogged to preview it before the conference) was well received and provided hard evidence of something most already suspected. How does traditional survey research stack up to social media? You can see more details of the study in his deck, but here’s a video sharing the highlights.


 

Visit the Maritz Sound Check blog for more insights.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Validity in Assessing Ad Communication & Impact Under The Radar

Today's blog post comes from Dr. David Forbes, Ph.D. & Judith Retensky Forbes Consulting, an exhibitor at The Market Research Event 2012.



Typically, good advertising has to come in “under the radar” – that is, be persuasive in ways that are subtle – appealing to emotions and deep-rooted psychological motivations. One type of research that attempts to measure these reactions is the communication check.

Communication check research typically takes place when advertisers have reached a fairly specific vision about an upcoming ad campaign. The “check” is used to gain a preliminary look at how the ad will “work” – what messages it will convey and how those messages will be received.

However, respondents are often unable to give accurate reports about their reactions to advertising since the important communications usually take place below the conscious intellectual level, and the kinds of impact good advertising can create are precisely those that respondents don’t want to acknowledge. Given these constraints, how should researchers proceed? Following the 6 steps in the communication check process can help to accurately measure reactions and optimize the campaign.

Step 1: Use Developed Stimuli

Stimuli for advertising communication research should be as fully developed as possible. Although showing the ad at any stage (sketch, storyboard, etc.) works, well-developed executions will deliver the underlying strategy in a way that can come in “under the radar,” just like a real ad.

The more stimuli look and feel like finished advertising, the greater validity in the findings.

Step 2: Design a Method for Deeper Thoughts

In-depth interviews (IDIs) have been the traditional approach since they allow researchers to explore the full sequence of one’s individual thoughts and feelings, without distraction or “contamination” from others. Recently, however, Forbes has employed a rapid exposure image-driven exercise (MindSight®) in a focus group setting to circumvent rational thought and get to deeper motivational content – the “paydirt” of successful advertising communication.

Step 3: Expose Stimuli Just Once

The consumer who is exposed to an ad once will process it in a way that reflects the impact of all elements of the advertising – imagery, tonality, and text that mimics what would exist in a real-world viewing. In contrast, repeat exposure creates a different balance of impact between these elements and changes the path of mental processing.

Step 4: Listen First

It is essential to learn precisely what the mental state of the respondent is after exposure to the advertising. Specific questions from the researcher too soon can be distracting – taking the respondent’s mind off the track it was on after viewing the ad. The best approach is to simply let the respondent start talking. The respondent may talk about the advertising message right away, about a salient image, or something else entirely…but whatever the content, this is the first impact the stimulus had.

Step 5: Probe on Perception, Cognition and Emotion

Once an interview moves from unaided to aided probing, it is important to help the respondent accurately reconstruct spontaneous lines of thought. Probes of unaided material should be constructed to “fill out” the three areas where psychology tells us that valid content exists. These areas are:

• Perception – what was seen or heard
• Cognition – ideas triggered by the perception
• Emotion – feeling states triggered by the cognition

Step 6: Round Out the Discussion

 It is almost always necessary to conclude an advertising communication check with direct, aided probes in areas where no spontaneous feedback occurred. The recommended approach is to follow the natural processing sequence (perception, cognition, and then emotion) to reconstruct real reactions.

WHEN IN THE REAL WORLD 

Although these steps maximize the validity of learnings in a communication check, the real world always comes into play where schedules and budgets act as constraints. Despite this, preserving the essence of the steps (summarized below) is critical to understanding the full impact of an ad campaign.
• Minimize respondent “imagination” work
• Gather unaided responses wherever possible
• Make deeper levels of reaction the primary focus

For more information on Forbes Consulting please visit http://www.forbesconsulting.com/

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Poll: Does your organization have a customer-centric culture?

Back in January of 2009, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh wrote on the Zappos company blog:

"We believe that your company’s culture and your company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin. The brand may lag the culture at first, but eventually it will catch up.

Your culture is your brand."


And we've written here frequently about the importance of a customer centric culture within the company to building a great customer experience program (including speaking with Jamie Naughton of Zappos about it in 2011). Now we want to know, is your organization there yet? Or is there still work to be done?

Vote in this LinkedIn poll to tell us your thoughts:




Our Total Customer Experience Leaders LinkedIn group is a great place to connect with the community and network with over 1,000 of your peers. Join us there today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Join our Complimentary Insights Webinar Series

With TMRE 2012 behind us, we’d like to remind you that the learning doesn’t end with our annual event. IIR USA and The Market Research Event would like to invite you to participate in our on-going Insights Webinar Series, your resource for insights on the cutting edge.

Please join us for these upcoming webinars, or view all of our offerings here.

Falling Dow + Rising Tao: What the Quest for Balance Means for Your Brand,
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Presented by Erin Barber, Vice President, C+R Research and Mary McIlrath, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, C+R Research

Register here.

Nowadays, there's a focus on the Millennial generation and understanding what makes them tick. However, we've uncovered what's relevant and present across all generations, including Millennials. Hard economic times have shifted the way most consumers prioritize the pieces of their lives and the way they select brands to help them walk their chosen path. Balance is not a new concept but cultural changes have forced many to reconsider how they can achieve it. In this research, we delved into multi-generational consumers' lives to get a holistic understanding of what they're doing and how they feel about their lives on a daily basis. We uncovered what brands are currently helping them and what your brand could do to help consumers reach their goals.

Understanding the Voice of the Customer: How to Effectively Gather and Leverage Customer Insight from Multiple Channels to Enhance the Customer Experience,
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Presented by Dan Burke, Vice President eBusiness, Autonomy, a HP Company

Register here.

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 multi-channel interactions collectively to develop a complete Voice of the Customer.
Join us during this webinar and learn how you can easily gather and leverage data from all customer touchpoints to deliver a superior multi-channel customer experience.

Winning the Brand Share Battle,
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Presented by Kirsten Zapiec, Senior Vice President, TNS

Register here.

Traditional research methodologies are fundamentally flawed. The industry relies on incomplete models that fail to reflect what people actually do, and fail therefore to give marketers a true understanding of what is happening to their brands – where the growth opportunities lie and when a brand is at risk.
To provide marketers with clear direction for profitable brand growth, research must better reflect how people make decisions. It must acknowledge that human beings are often indecisive, inconsistent and their spending patterns shift constantly for many reasons.
Using real examples from a global TNS study, The Commitment Economy, Kirsten Zapiec, Senior Vice President at TNS, will show you how to identify the biggest growth opportunities for your brand. They will reveal the three main marketing levers that prevent companies from taking advantage of these growth opportunities – and the best ways to deal with each of them

Best,
The TMRE Team

Connect with us:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tmre
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marketresearchevent

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to Work – A Good Business Strategy?

As the world gets increasingly mobile new challenges are arising both for the marketing department, as well as throughout a business enterprise. 

Today, we're pleased to feature a guest post that explores the big BYOD question that is currently challenging employers. (If you'd like to submit a guest post to our blog, email Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc [at] iirusa.com)
Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

The policy of Bring Your Own Device or BYOD has become a pressing issue on businesses and enterprises adopting mobile solutions for their operations; it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.

Adopting a BYOD work policy definitely has its merits. In an increasingly post-PC era people are becoming more and more reliant on their smartphones and tablets for their daily tasks and activities – work included. Allowing people to connect to the company network and do their jobs on their own devices introduces more channels for employees to be productive.

For companies with people doing fieldwork, it can be a means for a truly mobile and connected workforce without the need to spend for additional (expensive) hardware. On the other hand, BYOD can also lead to more distractions and the diversion of a worker’s attention away from doing the job at hand. There is, of course, the very real risk of these devices becoming tools to spread viruses, malware, or open security breaches and data theft on the company network.

So what is the attitude of companies towards BYOD these days?

According to the second annual Consumerization IT survey from InformationWeek Fifty-six percent of companies now consider themselves proactive or accepting of consumer technology. Here is an infographic that neatly summarizes their report:


Source: http://visual.ly/byod-enterprise

It’s a strategic solution moving at a rapid pace. Within the enterprise, employees now enjoy using their own personal devices in offices and executives look at how efficient the movement is with more productivity gains by the process. More companies are now encouraging employees to use their own devices for work-related tasks on a completely voluntary basis. This is shifting the enterprise management process that is traditionally based on IT developing devices and managing what devices workers use. Accordingly, major changes are necessary to prepare company IT departments and enterprise networks to support the arrival of BYOD, especially in enhancing the privacy and security of data.

However, this may pose as a challenge for tech support teams as they have to become more responsive and capable of handling a diverse range of mobile devices and operating systems that will surely be used on a BYOD model.

BYOD challenges aside, companies are still willing to go with the trend. It’s a very simple business strategy that delivers operational benefits. BYOD is for the benefit of employees and businesses alike. With its rampant growth, it’s set to increase its value accordingly.

With the consumerization of enterprise mobility, employees are now bringing their own devices to access company resources. It’s an inevitable revolution happening right now. Statistics reliably show how BYOD in enterprise is an effective strategy that can be overcome with the rapid development of technology we have today.

About The Author
Jimmy Wentz is a budding freelance tech writer, gadget and gaming enthusiast, and social media junkie. He writes regularly about O2 and the latest news in the tech, gaming, and the social media world.
Connect with Jimmy on Google+ and Twitter.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

TMRE 2012: Storytelling, Creating a Research Brand, and Beer

Today's post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media mave

Well folks, we've made it to the end of another TMRE! I hope you all had a great time and took away some great learnings from the conference, I know I did. Two key themes I noticed today in the keynotes and breakout sessions: storytelling and actionable take-aways.

Without further ado, here’s the recap from the third and final day of TMRE:

One of the key themes of the conference, storytelling, was showcased to full effect by the first keynote speaker, Jonah Sachs, author of Winning the Story Wars and Co-Founder and Creative Director at Free Range Studios. Sachs feels we’re headed into a “digitoral” era - oral tradition by way of digital communication and connection. In this new era of storytelling, it will be important for brands to be able to easily and clearly describe what values the brand is aligned with…not just the features your product has...and market research can clearly help in that discovery process.

Keeping with the theme of storytelling, the first session I attended was PepsiCo’s Sara Bergson presenting “The Art of Storytelling: Getting Traction and Action.” Bergson highlighted the issue that pretty much every TMRE attendee has: how do you get your ideas across in the current business climate of short attention spans, constant interruptions, and increased complexity?

Bergson shared some great, actionable ideas about reporting the data by way of storytelling; stories can simplify complexity. Utilizing the traditional story structure (set the scene ->begin the journey->encounter obstacle->deliver resolution) Bergson creates a 1-page storyline and ghost decks (5 minute presentation, 10 minute, 30 minute and so on) at the beginning of a project which helps to create structure for the research delivery. She also brought up a theme I heard throughout the day – branding your research projects with a name, a logo, a template. This is inspiring to the research team and helps brand the department internally.

Key takeaway: “You can make ‘big thump decks’ and ‘little thump decks,’ but can you get your ideas across in one page?”


Next up was a session co-presented by Katy Mogul of Logitech and Jason Kramer of VitalFindings: “Bringing Research to Life Through Collaborative, Engaging, And Inspiring Work Sessions.” As you can tell from the title, this session focused on utilizing workshops to really bring the research to life for your internal clients: marketing, engineering/R&D, senior executives, and so on.  Kramer highlighted that workshops can unlock that highest level of learning: read, analyze, SYNTHESIZE. The session focused on using workshops during different phases of the project lifecycle: before research begins, between research phases, and after research is complete. Mogul then shared several case studies of how Logitech used workshops for product ideation and engaging R&D.

Key takeaway: Workshops can be utilized throughout the research process to engage your internal clients and go ‘beyond the PowerPoint.’

Genius moves by the presenters? Bringing the persona boards and staging them throughout the room, and providing a laminated deck of workshop cards with instructions as to how to run each type of workshop they discussed.


Finally, it was time to listen in on Florence Guesnet of Heineken’s presentation on “The Toughness of Soft Skills.” If the title is a bit vague, here’s the gist – the presentation was about building and branding the market research department within a large organization (240 total brands!).  Guesnet’s challenge was “applying marketing to the market research function, something we [researchers] are amazingly lousy at.”

She created a research brand within the company by clearly defining their key foci (foresight, intelligence, excellence, impactful talent), their selling line: “We Know, We Share, We Inspire,” and by building awareness throughout the company with impactful imagery, creative reporting, and relevant take-aways. Throughout the presentation, Guesnet brought the focus back to the internal customer, and highlighting that it’s “not good enough to be right,” you also have to address System 1 and System 2, and be able to deliver “what’s in it for them [senior management].”

Key takeaway: Treat the market research function as a brand and don’t be modest about it. Keep the relevance of research at the forefront, and pay major attention to execution (video, print, etc.).

Best quote of the day: "A consumer insight is to marketing what yeast is to beer!"

Day 3 finished up with a great keynote by Robert Kozinets, Professor of Marketing at York University and author of Netnography. For more information on the day’s final keynote ,other sessions that I didn't cover, and overall event chatter, don’t forget to follow the hashtag #TMRE on Twitter.

It’s been my pleasure to provide blog updates and tweets throughout the conference – thanks to TMRE for the opportunity. Please don’t hesitate to connect up on Twitter, LinkedIn, and at my blog. Safe travels everyone!

___________
More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie leads the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the”Voice of the Customer” inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TMRE 2012: Superextenders+CrossFit+System 1 Thinking=Full Brain

Today's post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven.

Based on the positive feedback regarding the rundown-of-sessions blog format, I kept the same format for today-enjoy the recap:

Nothing like starting off Day 2 of TMRE with a Nobel Prize winner!

The first keynote of the day was Daniel Kahneman, Professor Emeritus at Princeton, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow.  Kahneman outlined System 1 and System 2 thinking, why confidence in our intuition may not be accurate, and why we shouldn't take others’ confidence at face value, but rather examine whether they have the experience and skill to back up that confidence.  The #TMRE Twitter stream came alive with applications Kahneman’s observations have to market research – including questions as to how can we tailor research to invoke System 1 or 2 responses?

The second keynote of the morning was Ron Williams, co-author of The Value Path. Williams focused on embedding innovation in everyday business, rather than focusing on changing the business model. Williams asked a key question: “How can you and your clients continue to innovate (sustain value creation over time) if you can't predict what the customer of tomorrow will value, in an ever expanding choice space?”

Williams shared highlights of companies who do well in ever-changing marketplaces (“Superextenders”) and those who struggle (“Ultrafades”) with case studies that included GAP, Blockbuster, Amazon and Nokia. What do Superextenders do well? Among other things, look for new dimensions of value rather than focusing on new product features, and they don’t fall into the “commodity trap” where everyone has the same value narrative. This leads to companies aggressively inventing around incremental features and functions.


Heading into sessions this morning, one that caught my eye was “Shattering the Proverbial Glass Ceiling,” a panel discussion led by Kristin Luck of Decipher, with panelists Karen Morgan of Morgan Search, Kelley Peters of Post Foods, and Melva Benoit of Fox Broadcasting.  Luck introduced the session by quoting some statistics from a recent study from Women in Research, such as the fact that only 16% of firms on the Honomichl list are led by women. A heartening finding from the study? Neither females nor males feel they are being discriminated against in the industry. What advice did the panel have for women looking to get ahead in the industry? Identify a mentor who can be a champion for you, find a niche within the industry (i.e. kids + television for Benoit), and hone your negotiation skills whether you’re asking for a better title or an increase in salary.  



Data visualization continues to be a hot topic, and it was standing room only in the “Data Visualization and Deployment Techniques that Bring Research to Life” session co-presented by Rajit Chakravarty of BP and Lisa Gudding of GfK.  Gudding spoke about data visualization living at the intersection of art, science, and communication, and provided some salient examples of easy, inexpensive ways to work more data visualization into your reports and deliverables. The session wrapped up with an eye-catching segmentation case study by Chakravarty of BP that included logos, customized visualization templates, a branded web portal, and workshops with their marketing executives to immerse them in the segments.  BP employed creative visualizations from comic book style storyboards to dashboard-like overviews of the segments.


Stepping way outside my comfort zone, I decided to head to the “Lessons Learned from Reebok/CrossFit Facebook Fans” session.  I don’t do CrossFit (but aspire to!) and we don’t do Facebook research, but I certainly took away some interesting nuggets of insight.  The premise:  Reebok was interested in researching fans of their Reebok CrossFit Facebook page and their overall Reebok Facebook Page. Why? Reebok strives to be the brand for fitness and wants to be authentic and supporting of the CrossFit community, without crossing the line into over-commercialization. Working with iModerate (COO Jen Drolet co-presented), fans of both pages were interviewed and the findings are helping Reebok to enhance their relationship with CrossFit, drive cross-over traffic to the corporate page, and strengthen their engagement with their fans.

Two fantastic keynotes rounded out the day – Robert J. Atencio of Pfizer and Bob Johansen of the Institute for the Future  - and kept everyone’s rapt attention until the cocktail hour began.  For more information on the day’s final keynotes ,other sessions that I didn’t cover, and overall event chatter, don’t forget to follow the hashtag #TMRE on Twitter.

Stay tuned for news and notes from the final day of TMRE tomorrow!

___________
More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the”Voice of the Customer” inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.