Friday, March 30, 2012

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: Are You Listening?

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we're doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity. Share with us in the comments to add your thoughts!

This week, we're looking at listening. Do you know when to listen to customers? Fast Company presented the short video below with CEO of RedStamp Erin Newkirk focusing on the issue.
Many brands are now using Social Media for listening to customers and on that note 1to1media presented "3 Ways That Social Engagement Breeds Customer Loyalty." One example they used is of creating an online community for listening to customer ideas:
"To keep the pressing competition at bay, TurboTax decided in 2004 to launch Inner Circle, an online community and idea exchange, as a way of listening to the company's most loyal customers and to implement their ideas. Through careful monitoring and continuous engagement, the crowdsourcing community has grown to 20,000 members dedicated to finding ways to improve TurboTax's products, and is now the feedback destination where customers come to share ideas and to ask questions."

In an article in Training magazine, Nick Lane, Director, Strategy and Planning, Everything Everywhere wrote of listening to customer feedback on an agent to agent level to improve customer experiences and "Inspire Brilliance".

Lastly, we came across this great interview with Dunkin Brands' CMO John Costello in Forbes where he states on making Dunkin beloved:
"It goes back to basic understanding of the consumer, to listening very hard to their needs and wants."
How are you listening? Like these updates? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.

Audience Measurement Session Spotlight: The Three Screens: Understanding Consumption & Multi-Tasking Patterns

Today’s content is being viewed on more than just television sets. Today’s digital lifestyle allows consumers to capture and share information real time, live, on demand, in home, in store and on the go. To fully capture today’s media consumption habits marketers must consider the three screens – television, computer and mobile device.

Yet, combining behavioral data from TV, internet and mobile sources is fraught with logistical challenges. Join us at The Audience Measurement Event when Jonathan Steuer, Vice President of Audience Research & Measurement at TIVO tackles measurement across the three screens. He will discuss the logistical challenges in conducting multi-screen behavioral research and will present some insights from early three screen research initiatives.

If you'd like more information on The Audience Measurement Event, download the brochure.  When you register to join us May 21-23, 2012, in Chicago and mention code AM12BLOG, you'll receive 15% off the standard rate!

Source: TiVo
Featured Session: The Three Screens: Understanding Consumption & Multi-Tasking Patterns

Featured Speaker:  Jonathan Steuer, VP, Audience Research and Measurement, TIVO

About the Session: Combining behavioral data from TV, Internet and mobile sources is fraught with logistical challenges, but also offers perhaps the only way to truly understand consumers' media usage across all three screens. Jonathan Steuer, VP of Audience Research & Measurement at TiVo, will discuss the logistical challenges in conducting multi-screen behavioral research and will present
some insights from early three-screen research initiatives.

One Mobile Year: Three months of good and bad

Kit Hughes, Managing Director and Head of Strategy for strategic branding studio Look-Listen, recently spoke at The Mobile Marketing Conference. He is living one year not using a personal computer and blogging about it at The following is his summary of the first three months of the project. Read the original post here.

It’s been a mixed bag.
As I talked/ranted/joked during my session at The Mobile Marketing conference yesterday, the past three months have been enlightening. If you were in the audience, you heard me say things like:
  • I’m a mess.
  • Skype sucks.
  • Why am I doing this? Because I’m a masochist.
  • Amazon is a disappointment.
  • A year ago I would have gone to battle for Google Docs but now I won’t give it the time of day.
  • Running a business on an iPad is painful.
  • I spend more money with Zappos because of their app.
For most of you that were not there, let me give some dimension to these comments.

I’m a mess
Well, I am. In the past three months, I’ve been trying to run a fully humming design studio and launch another business using only an iPad and iPhone. This involves more than just email; it involves managing payroll, refining an operating budget, collaborating with remote teams, invoicing, drafting agreements, etc. (See “The Net Net” below for more details)

Skype sucks
Seriously, it does. I used to rely on Skype for hours and hours of seamless communication when I was on a laptop, sometimes spending 4 hours a day on it. I still spend a lot of time on it but it’s an unreliable and unintuitive step-child to the version I used on my laptop. Bad Skype.

Why am I doing this? Because I’m a masochist
This was a joke, which was not received well at 9am. Nick Sheth (from Gap) didn’t warm up the audience enough when he spoke. However, by the time Catherine Roe (from Google) spoke, the audience was putty! You’re welcome Catherine.

Amazon is a disappointment
I hold Amazon to a very high standard and admire the leadership of Jeff Bezos and team for blazing new ground in internet retailing and e-readers. However, Amazon has shown slow leadership in mobile web. I hear chatter about how Amazon is making the site more tablet friendly but it’s a fail: they need an innovative, dedicated tablet site.

A year ago I would have gone to battle for Google Docs…
It’s a shame that the mobile version of Google Docs is as buggy and feature poor as it is. Seriously, there is no reason it can’t be better. They have coded their own operating system after all. Maybe they neglect it because they want people to by an Android device and use Google Docs on that? I’d like to think they’re better than that.

Running a business on an iPad is painful
Apple’s fault? Nope. In fact, I draft agreements in Pages and create proposals in Keynote very easily and iCloud syncs them with both devices. The pain is from the B2B software providers. Even a company I once loved, Freshbooks, disappoints. I plan on pontificating pretty hard on this area in the coming month.

I spend more money with Zappos because of their app
It’s true. They have an elegant app that lets me dig into the purchase process. They’ve given me a very easy way to browse and buy products on my iPhone and iPad, so that’s just what I do.

The Net Net
It’s unfair for me to leave my first three months with sound bites and minimal commentary. I said I was a masochist, not reckless (any funnier?) Seriously though, I am going to spend time over the next several days outlining the experience of the past three months, writing posts around key topics in work and life. Then, I’ll start to review apps and accessories I come in contact with. This will help give more context to the insights and opportunities.

Now, for the big finish: I’ve spent no more than 10 hours on a desktop in the past three months. 10 hours would have been a normal day for me in front of a laptop before this mobile year.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Research Pays – An International View

Today's post comes from Tim Hoskins, VP of Client Relations at Quester. Quester is a sponsor at The Market Research Technology Event 2012. Quester® has over 30 years of experience in uncovering the qualitative insights that are necessary to make businesses successful.  If you'd like to join them this April 30-May 2, 2012, in Las Vegas, NV, register today and mention code MRTECH12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate!

Research Pays – An International View

Source: Logo Resources
It is very likely that Nike will soon recover from their latest sneaker name. In short time you will have to actually search long and hard for the articles and blog posts on the internet. For the time being though, it has become the topic of conversation with others bringing up reminders of other companies who have had the same misfortune (read about the Black and Tan here). We will probably never know how the oversight occurred and personally, I think it may be best if we don’t.

What we can derive from this is that due diligence and research will always pay off in the long run. With the emergence of online qualitative software tools, interviews with your consumers can take place with a click of a button, even though you may be separated by an ocean.

In a study we conducted at Quester, we focused on conducting qualitative discussions with respondents in their natural language in the following countries; United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany and France. In total, 1226 respondents were interviewed around the topic of bottled water and the role that it plays in their lives. The average data collection time period was around one week per country.

For more details on how the interviews were administered, and the cultural nuances of each country, please feel free to download the paper here, or watch/listen to the presentation here.

TMMC Recap: Crowdsourcing The Hottest Topics in Mobile Marketing

Last week at The Mobile Marketing conference we were pleased to host an expert panel featuring Carrie Chitsey, CEO, 3Seventy, Joseph Cox, President, VMBC and Brent Drake, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Best Fit Mobile & Marketing.

Our expects tackled a range of topics that we had gathered ahead here on the blog and on LinkedIn and other social media as well as questions from the audience. Watch a video below for the full session.

Some of the biggest takeaways were as follows:  
What's the most important aspect to any mobile marketing strategy?
Ask "How does this fit in with the rest of my channels?"
Determine other touch points and find how mobile fits into that
Having the correct plan in place first
Have a central point of contact (for separate agency or departments) and utilize data across channels
Before a campaign is executed, figure out how you will use data afterwards

How do you get your company or CMO to see the value of a mobile strategy?
Look at the drop off that occurs for a non-mobile optimized site

Look at the response rate for a targeted, opted-in group (much higher than email), "The Golden Ticket is that opt-in"
How do you move behind the "bright shiny object" aspect of mobile and actually drive the bottom line?
Capture both quantitative and qualitative data about app/mobile use, the numbers and responses will speak for themselves

If I have a limited budget, what should take precedence: apps or mobile site?
A mobile website will see biggest immediate impact, mobile optimized is a good stop-gap, but a true mobile website will be the best investment

What is the biggest game changer in terms of new technology on the horizon?
The tablet
The availability of data for brands to connect with their customers
Augmented reality applications

Is Your Company Meeting Consumer Expectations?

Consumer expectations are changing more rapidly than ever before. Meeting the needs of today's consumers while remaining true to your brand promise is a challenge your organization will soon have to face.

Join Scott Hudler, Vice President - Global Consumer Engagement, Dunkin' Donuts at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, taking place June 6-8, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts as he delivers his keynote presentation: Meeting the Expectations of Your Consumers

In this presentation, Scott will share how Dunkin' Donuts focuses on delivering a consistent and integrated message to the consumer across advertising, marketing, menu, in-store environment and guest service to keep the brand as one of the most beloved brands in America.

Join Scott at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, an event that not only redefines customer centricity, but explains what this means for you, your brand and your business. It will unite diverse industry leaders to share genuine insights and best practices for "Designing an Integrated Experience with Measurable Impact."

In addition to Dunkin' Donuts, hear from the following companies who will be sharing their own real-life stories in customer experience:
AAA NCNU, AARP, American Family Insurance, BMO Financial Group, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Burke, Inc., Citizens Financial Group, Experience Engineering, Feltz & Associates, LLC, Forrester, GfK Custom Research, GfK Customer Research, Hunter Douglas, Inc., Indiana University, Janet LeBlanc & Associates, JoAnna Brandi & Company, Inc., Maritz Research, Porter Airlines, Prophet, REI, Rockwell Automation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, The Hartford, Time Warner Cable and USAA.

Download the brochure to see the full program.

As a reader of our blog we’d like to offer you a 15% off the standard registration rates, use code TCEL12BLOG to save. Visit the webpage to register today

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

Visit the event webpage. Follow us on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How Social Media “Architects” Work with “Detectives” to Build the Human Network

The Market Research Technology Event is teaming up with sponsor KL Communications  to bring you weekly perspectives on the latest in the market research technology world.   The Market Research Technology Event is taking place April 30-May 2, 2012, in Las Vegas, NV.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code MRTECH12BLOG, you'll receive a 15% discount off the standard rate!

How Social Media “Architects” Work with “Detectives” to Build the Human Network

By John Huntsman, Contributing Writer

An interesting perspective described by Brian Solis in his new book, “The End of Business as Usual,” is that all of us who participate in social media are actively working together to architect the next generation of information network; aptly coined by Cisco as the “human network.” The dominance of traditional search engine algorithms is on the decline, quickly being eclipsed by a new way of finding information that relies more on tapping into networks of people, and less on search engine indexes. Instead of manually combing through websites, articles, and databases that search engines point you to, you can connect to informed people (via social media) who can then help guide your discovery process. If there is any indication that things are trending this way, look at Google’s push to make Google+ viable.

From a marketing perspective, there is a big opportunity for brands to act as “architects,” in which they make the information discovery process more effective and efficient for their target market. The key here is to provide quality and relevant information that speeds up the learning process, as opposed to simply providing sales copy that leads people directly to your website. Social consumers are more savvy than traditional consumers, and can spot a salesy approach from a mile away, so a major focus in social media for businesses needs to be on education.

With that said, how do you become effective architects of the human network? It starts with a top-down commitment to social media at your organization. However, once the resources are put in place to support a social media initiative, developing a strategy from that point becomes a little less straight forward. What content is most relevant to information-seeking prospects? Where do prospects typically start when searching for information? Where do they end up? What is the typical “click path” that they follow before they are even ready to interact with a brand? The list of questions goes on.

How do you derive data-driven answers to these questions? Through using social media analysis tools such as Collective Intellect, Radian 6 or Netbase, in conjunction with tools like Klout or Twitalyzer, you can begin to uncover insights that can help you reverse engineer the information discovery click path. This type of research is based on “grounded” or “empirical” approaches, which takes the opposite approach of traditional research. It involves finding clues and opportunities, and letting that data guide the development of insights, instead of starting with a hypothesis that guides the direction.

It’s sometimes apt to think of a social media analyst as a detective. Just think of a classic detective movie where they pin up the various pieces surrounding a case on a cork board, and use strings to show how the different pieces are connected. This is essentially how social media analysts can go about trying to figure out the click path of their target market.

If the social media detectives are able to provide this type of information to the rest of the marketing department, they will essentially be providing the key background for architects to design effective blue prints in the human network. As social media becomes more ingrained in our culture, this architecture is going to become even more critical for awareness and ultimately the conversion of new leads.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Total Customer Experience Takeaways

Wordle: Total Customer Experience LeadersAs we begin looking forward to the 2012 Total Customer Experience Leader's summit, we'll be presenting some of the key takeaways from our 2011 event. Pictured here is a Wordle of our executive summary notes. I've stripped out the two most obvious words"Customer" and "Experience" to drill down a bit more into the heart of our takeaways.

One thing that immediately strikes me: how action-oriented these words are. "Make, create, integrate," and "change" all jump out. That's what we hope for from this event: that our attendees will leave with actionable insights that they can immediately integrate into their existing strategies when they return to the office.

Another big theme: Culture, Ecosystem & Employees. Kerry Bodine's session at last years event focused on this particularly, with the theme summed up in the following sentence "The Customer Experience Ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among your company’s employees, partners, and customers that determines the quality of the experience."

To create a strong Customer Experience Ecosystem, Kerry recommended following these steps:
1. Map it
2. Co-create it
3. Socialize it

Don’t just target segments, go out and talk to people and create personas based on behavioral attitudes.

Did you attend Total Customer Experience Leaders in 2011? What were your key takeaways?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thanks for attending #TMMC, Plus "What's Your Platform?"

First off, we'd like to thank everyone who attended The Mobile Marketing Conference last week and helped to make it such a great experience. As we start to sift through out video footage and notes, expect lots more coverage of the subject right here.

Our partners at 3Seventy have put together a great wrap-up post already, sharing their main takeaways. Check it out here.

One question that came up frequently over the course of our 3 days in Miami was "What platform?" - with attendees occasionally being asked what platform they personally were using. The best thing to do when faced with this question is to look at the data - what does your analytics platform have to say about your visitors and what browser they are using?

For fun, I grabbed the screenshot below showing what platform users of the #TMMC hashtag on twitter were coming from. Behind HootSuite and Tweetdeck, Twitter for iPhone was our mobile winner coming in at 8% of tweets and Echofon (iPhone or iPad only) also picked up 3%. Twitter for Android and Tweetcaster for Android were in use as well and Twitter for BlackBerry was used for less than 1% of tweets.

Visit TheMMConference's Archive on #TMMC Containing 522 Tweets for more stats from the conference;

To continue the discussions well into 2013, we encourage everyone to join the LinkedIn Group. This is a global network of professionals from all industries who share a common goal to track and develop Mobile Marketing trends and developments. Plus, keep up with the latest news by subscribing to updates from us on Facebook or Twitter.

If you are interested in sharing your conference insights here or contributing a guest blog, please contact me, Michelle LeBlanc, at We'd love to have your input!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit provides both B2B and B2C case studies and translating these innovations and insights is a huge part of the value of the conference. Our unique idea gathering wrap-ups between sessions facilitate this translation and were one of our most highly rated features last year.

Here on the blog we're doing a regular series of idea gathering wrap ups, pulling together some of our favorite stories on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity. Share with us in the comments to add your thoughts!

Our absolute favorite story this week came by way of The Chadwick Martin Bailey blog. The author discusses 3 things a company did to leave her feeling even better after a bad situation:
- They responded
- They used manners (thanked me for my business, apologized for the problem, etc.)
- They offered a resolution

Our guest blogger Flavio Martins also had some great insight this week, offering up5 Traits of Great Customer Service. Additionally I came across this white paper by Oracle which showcased Seven Power Lessons for Customer Experience Leaders. Lastly, we kept counting up to customer experience as Entrepreneur offered up "How The 10 Most Trusted Corporate Brands Connect With Their Customers." We'll leave you with the following quote from that piece:
"Though they may not have the biggest sales or market share in their categories, today's most trustworthy brands have created relationships with consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral response."

Like these updates? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.

The Audience Measurement Event Session Spotlight: Leveraging Mobile’s Muscle along Shoppers’ Path to Purchase

With mobile so engrained in consumers lives, it’s completely disrupted how and when brands can connect with consumers. The Audience Measurement Event focuses on understanding and measuring media consumption in social, digital, mobile and traditional media hubs.

It today's The Audience Measurement Event session spotlight, we highlight the session "Leveraging Mobile’s Muscle along Shoppers’ Path to Purchase".  Microsoft and Omnicom Media Group will share the role of mobile in consumer’ purchase paths.  For more information on The Audience Measurement Event taking place May 21-23, 2012, in Chicago, download the brochure here.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code AM12BLOG and receive a 15% discount off the standard rate!

Featured Session: Leveraging Mobile’s Muscle along Shoppers’ Path to Purchase

Featured Speakers: Beth Uyenco, Global Research Director, MICROSOFT
Jo Rigby, Global Research, OMNICOM MEDIA GROUP

About the session: It explores the nuances of how mobile is used in the grocery shopping experience across different mobile access platforms, e.g. smart phones & tablets.

We investigate:
  • • How consumers use mobile devices within the shopping/consumption experience both within and external to the store environment
  • • How the role of mobile changes within the shopping/consumption experience with online versus offline purchases
  • • How consumers interact with advertiser messages (including price promotions, branding and relationship marketing) via mobile

Thursday, March 22, 2012

AAA, Starwood Hotels, Indiana University & more to Share Insight into Customer Experience Design

More and more organizations are viewing customer experience as a strategic priority. As firms strive to establish a competitive advantage through customer experience management, it becomes clear that they must develop a deep understanding of experience management to evolve a solid strategy and approach.

The 2012 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is an event that not only redefines customer centricity, but explains what this means for you, your brand and your business. It will unite diverse industry leaders to share genuine insights and best practices for "Designing an Integrated Experience with a Measurable Impact."

In addition to AAA, see who else will be sharing insights on Customer Experience Design:

• The Academic Research Evidence
Neil Morgan, PetSmart Distinguished Professor of Marketing Chair, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
• Managing the Customer Experience - What it Means and What it Takes to Do it Well
D. Randall Brandt, Vice President, Customer Experience & Loyalty, Maritz Research
Lou Carbone, Founder & CEO, Experience Engineering, Author, Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again
• Redesigning a Guest Experience Feedback Program for Improved Change Management & Enhanced Outcomes
Mathew Valenti, Ph.D., Director, Global Market Research, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Erik Andersen, Vice President, North America, GfK Custom Research

Download the brochure to see the full program here.

As a reader of our blog we’d like to offer you a 15% off the standard registration rates, use code TCEL12BLOG to save. Register today. Visit the webpage to register today.

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

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Become a fan on Facebook.

Using Customer Insights to Increase Your Online Marketing ROI - Complimentary Web Seminar

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

Harnessing the Insight from Big Data to Increase Online Marketing Performance
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 1:00 - 2:00 PM (ET)
• Matt Malden, Vice President, Promote Division, Autonomy, an HP Company

Reserve your Webinar seat now.
Please mention priority code: MWJ0019-BLOG

Successful businesses have harnessed the power of online advertising to attract and convert customers. With increased data and web analytics, marketing has never been held more accountable to deliver traffic, leads and revenue.

While marketers have always dreamed of having access to robust analytics regarding their advertising efforts, they have suddenly found that they are inundated with an overabundance of data that is impossible to manually consume and make actionable. It this web seminar, we will focus on how marketers can manage big data to deliver increased yields on their online marketing campaigns.

• How can you manage and analyze big data to continuously optimize keywords, ads and bids against sophisticated competitors?
• What combination of metrics defines online marketing success for your company and how do you optimize it?
• How do you use sophisticated portfolio-based optimization techniques to make superior budget allocation decisions?

Title: Harnessing the Insight from Big Data to Increase Online Marketing Performance
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET

Please mention priority code: MWJ0019-BLOG

Pretty Little Liars Finale Posts Huge Numbers for Social Media

With the Pretty Little Liars Finale on Monday, ABC Family received their highest rated television show on record. They also saw the most talked about show on social media with the tweet total for the day reaching 1.6 million tweets from 667,000 people. The peak rate of tweets reached 32,000 per minute. The show is the #1 scripted show for women 18-24.  Read more at The Futon Critic.

The Promo for Monday's Pretty Little Liars:

This May at The Audience Measurement Event, Danielle Mullin and Beth Johnson from ABC Family will be on hand to talk about the social culture that Pretty Little Liars has created when they present "Social Media & “Pretty Little Liars”: Connecting Viewers with Your Brand". For more information on the presentation and the rest of the event, download the brochure. If you'd like to join us in Chicago, register today and mention code AM12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Complimentary Web Seminar: Harnessing the Insight from Big Data to Increase Online Marketing Performance

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

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Presenter:  Matt Malden, Vice President, Promote Division, Autonomy, an HP Company

Reserve your Webinar seat here.
Please mention priority code: MWJ0019-BLOG

About the web seminar:
Successful businesses have harnessed the power of online advertising to attract and convert customers. With increased data and web analytics, marketing has never been held more accountable to deliver traffic, leads and revenue.

While marketers have always dreamed of having access to robust analytics regarding their advertising efforts, they have suddenly found that they are inundated with an overabundance of data that is impossible to manually consume and make actionable. It this web seminar, we will focus on how marketers can manage big data to deliver increased yields on their online marketing campaigns.

  • • How can you manage and analyze big data to continuously optimize keywords, ads and bids against sophisticated competitors?
  • • What combination of metrics defines online marketing success for your company and how do you optimize it?
  • • How do you use sophisticated portfolio-based optimization techniques to make superior budget allocation decisions?

Reserve your Webinar seat here.
Please mention priority code: MWJ0019-BLOG

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From QR to AR: Mobile Experience And Engagement at #TMMC

I started off the final afternoon in the Mobile Experience and Engagement track at The Mobile Marketing Conference.

First up, Julie DeWolf spoke about the Sunkist Growers approach to mobile.
 Shaun Quigley: Sunkist's approach to mobile #cpg Btw: the app is dead
When approaching mobile, Sunkist first started out with a app, but found that it wasn't really relevant to the product or worth the effort of maintaining.

Right now they have been seeing success with using both QR code, SMS code and website on packaging and POS promotions to grow engagement with their products. Interestingly, the current trend for their products is that QR codes are seeing more success than SMS calls-to-action.

The main challenge Sunkist Growers faced was creating a mobile presence without the end goal being m-commerce. As a solution, compelling content such as contests or recipes fulfills the brand promise when users reach the website and seasonal specific campaigns (such as for Lent or Lemonade stands for summer) provide tie-ins for specific fruits.

Up next, we heard from Carrie Chitsey, CEO of 3Seventy. Carrie was speaking on Augmented Reality and gave us many interesting current examples such as the eBay classifieds app (pictured here). From this, to real estate to grocery, AR has many uses and is perfect for engaging consumers in-store or on the street.

In an echoing of some of our other presentations, Chitsey reaffirmed the power of mobile for reaching the traveler. Augmented reality can provide an extremely user friendly experience for travelers showing nearby hotels, restaurants or entertainment.

In addition to information, brands such as Guinness who have jumped into the space with entertainment-based AR apps have had the benefit of going viral as it still has the "new and cool" factor and easily generates user-generated content that can be seamlessly shared to social.

More Than Ideas – Crowdsourcing for Insight

The Market Research Technology Event is teaming up with sponsor KL Communications  to bring you weekly perspectives on the latest in the market research technology world.   The Market Research Technology Event is taking place April 30-May 2, 2012, in Las Vegas, NV.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code MRTECH12BLOG, you'll receive a 15% discount off the standard rate!

More Than Ideas – Crowdsourcing for Insight

By Sean Holbert, EVP & Client Relations

During our recent webinar, Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear, Kevin Lonnie and I discussed some new technology and methodologies that are starting to impact research. At the end of our presentation, we polled the audience to see what they were most interested in learning about. Based on the discussion, Crowdsourcing was the top response – so here we go. Let’s talk more about Crowdsourcing in research!

Crowdsourcing, at its core, is a natural extension of research. Jeff Howe coined the term back in 2006, calling crowdsourcing, “an open call to people who are most fit to perform tasks, solve complex problems and contribute with the most relevant and fresh ideas.” Our job as researchers has always been to help organizations solve complex problems and to provide relevant and fresh insights, yet crowdsourcing hasn’t really been embraced by the research community…yet.

Part of the reason is that the most cited examples of crowdsourcing focus only on the “fresh ideas” part of the definition and not as much on problem solving. My Starbucks Idea and iStockphoto are among the most cited crowdsourcing success stories. However, the end game of these programs is generating many new ideas. The ultimate development and success of those ideas lies in someone else’s hands.

Imagine if, after conducting a study on naming a new product, you presented senior management with 20 possible names. You’d be thrown out of the room, not given the clichéd “seat at the table.” So how do we adapt this concept to our goals as researchers?

One solution vs. Many ideas
In order to make crowdsourcing a successful research tool, we need to take advantage of the creative, collaborative, and iterative nature of crowdsourcing, but need to go beyond an ideation session. We need to arrive at a well-developed solution. This means empowering participants to not only share new ideas, but to fine tune those ideas, vote on others’ ideas, and work together to arrive at one solution.

Less is more
This begins by framing the challenge. Just as we do in all of our other research, we need a clearly defined objective before launching a crowdsourcing study. If you present a detailed and structured challenge, you will get fewer unique ideas, but you will get a lot more depth and refinement to those ideas. If you present a broad, loose structure, you will get far more unique ideas, but not the same amount of depth and detail. Both approaches can be useful, depending on your needs, but be sure to keep this in mind as you match your challenge to your primary goal.

Healthy competition
Crowdsourcing is a team effort and adding a competitive element to any team venture is worthwhile. Remember, we aren’t just looking for a lot of ideas, but for one great idea. So there have to be winners and losers along the way. Don’t shy away from that; embrace it. Competition is extremely motivating to your participants and drives them to develop a general idea further. The premise is that not all ideas are created equal – some are better than others and we want the best. So reward the best. Include a leaderboard or a bonus incentive to a small set of “winners.” Make sure you announce your winners to the entire group. Rewarding and recognizing good ideas will lead to great solutions.

These are just a few tips for adapting crowdsourcing into your research world. You can learn more about the process on our CrowdWeaving page at

Shopper Experience & Crashing the Plane, Live at #TMMC

Catherine Roe, Head of Consumer Packaged Goods, Google just spoke at The Mobile Marketing Conference on "Mobile: The Game Changer in Shopper Experience." At Google, Roe has a unique insight into changing consumer behaviors.

Google has found that 93% of mobile searches seek local intent and 89% take action. Mobile and tablet searches spike in the evenings as consumers leave the office or seek entertainment at home, 39% of walk-outs [of a store] are influenced by smartphone usage, and improved online experience will drive that number down.

Roe says of these trends, "Smartphones will prove exceptional at driving new consumer behavior"

She suggested you ask yourself four questions when approaching mobile:
How does mobile change my value proposition?
How should our marketing adapt to mobile?
Is our organization adapting to mobile?
How does mobile change my web presence?

The possibilities of mobile are certainly there and Google sees now as the time that brands really need to be moving forward. When it comes to trying something new, Roe says ""If you don't take risks and "crash the plane" every once in awhile, you're not moving forward." Now you can send a Coke to a stranger across the world from your phone, how will you "crash the plane?"

Mobile ROI & Learnings, Live at #TMMC

Our final day at The Mobile Marketing Conference began with a fascinating and tactical presentation by Nick Sheth, Senior Director, Global Business Development, Gap Inc. Direct.

Sheth got the sleepy crowd energized the crowd with some exciting insights from Gap's mobile experience. 3 standout takeaways included:

"The killer app for iPhone is email."
Half of Gap Inc. emails are opened on a mobile device, Nick made the important point of noting that regardless of what other apps are trendy, the first and last one most people look at is email.

Any email messages a brand is sending out needs to function as well on email as it does on a PC. Links need to go to the correct landing page and content needs to be accessible.

"Users will naturally gravitate to using their browser, that's a trend I can't overstate"
When it comes to apps, they can be great for already loyal customers, but the average user is going to head directly to their browser to visit a company on mobile. Having mobile optimized sites should be the first, most low-hanging fruit to pick when it comes to mobile strategy. For Gap, the data of users visiting their site was incredibly compelling and could not be ignored.

 "SMS is good for a lot of things, telling people about coupons in our stores is not one of them"
Between this comment, and disparaging QR codes for a company that already has bar codes on all of their products, Sheth polarized the audience. The fact is, ROI for retail coupons over SMS is very low for Gap, and there is a big risk of irritating consumers with too many messages. QR codes, similarly, have relatively low response rates. Sheth suggests thinking "Is there anything else in my day that I would spend this much time on for so little?" before tackling these tactics.

Up next, Kit Hughes presented on his "One Mobile Year" project. What better way to experience the mobile user journey than to completely live and work on mobile devices (specifically iPhone and iPad) for one year?

Hughes has been recording his journey and finds that while "Mobile Life" is good thanks to apps and "app-cessories," mobile work is a consistent frustration. Collaboration and business tools are consistently lagging behind, but when we are able to remove that computer from the equation we can move back towards more human, more creative interactions.
Read more about his first three months here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Live at #TMMC: Customer Experience & Brand Experience

The afternoon of the first main conference day at The Mobile Marketing Conference was all about Customer Experience, User Experience and Brand Experience.

After our first session of the afternoon with Darin Wonn which touched on user experience design and building brand love and loyalty through experiences, Kim McNealy, Director, TurboTax Marketing Strategy, Intuit spoke about building the Turbo Tax brand through mobile.

The crowd warms up at Kim McNealy's session
At TurboTax, mobile experiences are allowing frictionless, fun tax prep. For example, a user can download an app and scan their W2 for instant information upload. In an effort to improve the app design, the team eliminated 20 clicks until their was only one click from opening the app til reaching the home screen. Now TurboTax desktop version design is influenced by the simple, streamlined app.
In terms of activation: TurboTax offers experiences like "Shazamable" ads that users can scan to reach the product. On the SMS front, TurboTax found the many users were most concerned with when their refund would arrive. An SMS opt-in to be notified of the IRS accepting the return garnered 70,000 opt-ins in the first week. Overall, the mobile presence is about making what can be a complicated experience easier, and eliminating pain points.

Ronalee Zárate-Bayani, Digital Lead, Brand Experience, Taco Bell Corporation then presented this afternoon on some of the unique strategies Taco Bell has used to connect with consumers via Mobile. Many of their most successful campaigns grew out of natural partnerships with PlayStation or MTV.

For Taco Bell, a successful mobile campaign:
1. Bridges the virtual world with the physical world
2. Intricately linked to brand DNA
3. Integrated into greater holistic experience

Providing relevant content in context for consumers that they wanted to share, such as a game, exclusive video or prize grew engagement for these campaigns, and a consolidated customer experience in a single Taco Bell app helped to simplify. Many of these are the same strategies you would use for any content marketing, but with mobile you can take it to a new level with seamless, personalized experiences.

The Mobile Traveler: Always On and Always Tethered - Live at #TMMC

Our afternoon sessions just started at The Mobile Marketing Conference with competing sessions from Darin Wonn, Product Manager for Mobile Apps, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Melissa Parrish, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research. It was a difficult choice, but I sat in on "The Mobile Traveler: Always On and Always Tethered" in our strategy track.

Darin identified some key points for reaching travelers (or really any customer). They were as follows:

1. Know your goals
It sounds obvious, but first identify what the goal of your app is, and what your business goals for building an app are.

2. Map the customer journey
Intercontinental Hotels Group was designing for a customer that was likely distracted, stressed and using a small screen. iPad may be used for planning ahead, but the traveler on the go is likely using a smartphone

3. Create brand love through unified experience
Be it by providing unique services using mobile technology such as a phone that works as a room key, to offering an easy coupon or discount to guests without the need for printing or additional steps. Mobile can provide a frictionless experience that builds loyalty and brand love.

What is your favorite app as a traveler?

Questions for Darin? Find him on twitter at @DarinWonn

The Future of Persuasion: Live at #TMMC

Our last keynote of the morning was a journey into a sci-fi future with Jason Tester, yet each technological trend he visited was something that we're actually seeing in the world.

We heard about hacks for our lives that can nag us to go to the gym with a vibrating phone, give us coaching on interactions by monitoring phone conversations or pick a place for dinner. Technology we have today could tailor ads as finely as morphing the faces to look more like the viewer.

As Tester put it, mobile is just the interface for how we will access these technologies. To read the full report on the Future of Persuasion, visit the IFTF website here.

How do stories go viral?

Recently, AdAge looked into how content was really shared by users and how it goes viral.  What they found was that it's users sharing links with their social networks that really drive traffic.  With their research, they found that for every Facebook share, there were nine clicks to the story.

They also found that different types of content lead to different clicking behaviors.  The longer a video is when posted, the more likely it is to be shared.  From their research, AdAge believes that content truly goes viral when lots of people share the same link with their networks, not one or two people with huge networks sharing.  What AdAge focuses on is that it's the content that drives people to share.  With longer video, the more inspiring and engaging the content is.  Content driven articles that create and stimulate conversation are what gets shared and go viral.

The Audience Measurement Event, taking place this May 21-23, 2012, in Chicago is focused on understanding and translating consumer media consumption, the event features a robust agenda filled with real world-case studies and new, never before seen content by visionary thinkers and industry pioneers.  Register today and mention code AM12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

What do you think are the keys to going viral?

Live at #TMMC: Strategies to Measuring Mobile Impact on the Bottom Line

Up next at The Mobile Marketing Conference was Thomas Poole, Managing Vice President, Digital Mobile & Emerging Channels, Capital One Financial Corp.

Poole started us off with the fact that one smartphone has more computing power than 100 Atari 800s, modern smartphones are cloud connected "super computers" and we have them with us 24/7.

This mobile connectivity allows for improved customer experiences, one great example of this? Mobile banking check deposits. From having to go to a bank branch, to maybe visiting the bank at the grocery store, to now being able to deposit a check via mobile phone a huge consumer pain point has been solved.

Another good example of improved customer experiences through mobile? The Starbucks app that builds loyalty through integrated rewards. Square Card Case and Shopkick are other good examples of using technology such as geo-location services and gamification to build customer interactions. Foodspotting was another app mentioned as an example of an app that uses the real-life context of users. What all these apps have in common is more data with less friction.

Poole left us with three pieces of advice:
Stay Connected (Use resources, try out apps and devices, read up on trends)
Be Nimble (Employ Agile Methodologies, act like you're in the software business)
Copy Shamelessly (Take advantage of the insights that you see)

Building Brands in the Mobile Medium, Live from #TMMC

Our main conference kicked off this morning with "Building Brands in the Mobile Medium," a session by our conference chair Jeffrey Hayzlett.

Hayzlett began the day by talking on the more general topic of driving change, starting with the story of Kodak and the digital camera and leading to a discussion of ink and printers.

As he said, if you're being asked to show ROI of new technologies, ask "What is the cost of return on ignoring?" The theory being that when approaching mobile, or innovating in general, you'll need to jump in and try some campaigns without waiting for permission or proven results.

With that said, when approaching campaigns, it is important to fulfill on brand promises with your mobile strategy. Looking forward to hearing more about that over the course of the next two days.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Best Practices in Creating Mobile Websites: Live at #TMMC

The afternoon workshop at The Mobile Marketing Conference began with attendees identifying which aspects of mobile web design and development they were interested in. Interestingly, many attendees mentioned that they were relatively new to mobile and looking for a "crash course" from this workshop.

To provide a crash course to you our readers, here are some key takeaways from the session.
First, Stephen lead us through a quick vocabulary lesson, including:
Feature Phone
"Dumb Phone" - basic phone with some apps, but not many features
Smart Phone
Mobile web vs desktop web
OMA: Open Mobile Alliance
WAP: wireless access protocol
WML: Wireless markup language (In WML, sites are decks, a page is a card)
XML: Extensible Markup Language
XHTML/XHTML MP: eXtensible HyperText Markup Language and eXtensible HyperText Markup Language Mobile Protocol
Native Apps
Webkit: Layout engine that powers many mobile browsers

Next, we covered the rise of mobile:
First, the internet made the world a lot smaller by providing socialization, shopping and learning online, but that was still an activity. Mobile presented a shift by placing the internet out in the world. 80% of people use mobile during miscellaneous downtime. Mobile is now layered on top of activities such as waiting, watching TV, or shopping in store.
Technology and mobile are imposing behaviors on culture and society. People are now becoming brands: providing interesting content or experiences. For many around the world, mobile is actually the only connection to the internet. 3.6 Billion people have a smartphone, and by halfway through this year, half of America will have a smartphone. Mobile is now growing faster than any technology in history.

Next, we talked about the difference between mobile web, hybrid apps and native apps.
In a side by side comparison, mobile apps are less portable between platforms, apps are harder to link to from outside, and can face problems with distribution via the app store, mobile web needs less promotion and can be found on search easily, additionally mobile web development costs are usually lower than app development. However, apps do have some aspects where they are stronger. It is easier to have more control over design and functionality and users can usually use offline, if you can overcome the initial barriers to entry, the user experience is generally stronger in an app.
The takeaway: mobile web is more utilitarian and easier to develop. Native apps are better for usability or content delivery.

So say you are looking at mobile web, what browsers are popular? Safari for iPhone, webkit, Opera Mobile (which may work better on older devices), and UC Web are a few.
The platform and device diversity out there had eliminated the ability to present a "pixel perfect" experience. Content wants to move around, and brand presence as we once knew it is disappearing.

With this in mind, Stephen then presented the idea of "mobile first design."
Mobile first design leads to:
A consistent experience across multiple digital touchpoints
"A Beautiful Boilerplate for Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Development" 

He also discussed responsive design, (such as Skeleton, pictured here) which allows for flexible layouts, dynamic images and and media queries to serve the same content over different devices. However, only a small percentage of mobile browsers can run responsive design. (In global brands with a large feature phone audience, this may be a deal breaker.) You need to decide what is the best strategy for you based on your consumers. Look at your web analytics to see what browsers and devices are visiting your site presently.

In the second half of the workshop, Gates discussed more mobile web design basics such as:
Key information about your users to gather (device, context, reason for use, time spent on site, level of interaction), develop personas for these users
How the design will be used - for example, how will the phone or tablet be held, portrait or landscape? Is the navigation easily accessible in this format?
How the site will add value - ultimately this is going to be a deciding factor in the success of a mobile website. Given the use circumstances, what value will it add?

When it comes to strategy, Gates suggests you "forget everything you think you know." Forget the latest hype, tool or technology, ask the hard questions about your business and your development capacity. Don't rely on preconceived notions,  ask your users in context about their usage. Don't convert, create and keep it simple. Put consumer needs first. Finally, don't get stuck on the platform or device, test what you build, and think about having a holistic mobile plan.

When it comes to content, we discussed some basics around the importance of content for mobile and the ways that mobile and social media have redefined the idea of content. Good content is:
Supported (and Factual and Up To Date)
When it comes to the future of content Gates discussed the new "State Aware Experience Design" enabled app from Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). For more on that, visit his blog or the press release.

Lastly, we looked at some examples of good mobile design. Commonalities included: minimal navigation, clear usability with easy-to-read, large icons, and app-like features.

The final takeaways of our afternoon workshop were:
Decide what devices to support
Invest in a content strategy and have a holistic plan
Test and use prototypes
Use state aware user experience design to build customer experiences
Traditional Design and Development techniques still apply (with some vaiations)

Determine user context and goals

For more live coverage from the event, check out the stream on twitter at #TMMC. Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at 

Developing Brand Building Apps to Last at #TMMC

We kicked off the morning workshop at the Mobile Marketing conference by discussing the app spectrum: from information to info-tainment to entertainment. Rick Gardinier & Shaun Quigley of Brunner started off with a very important point:
Apps aren't for marketing, they're for people...who expect value.
Any app development initiative needs to fall somewhere on that value spectrum.

So, given that information, you've found your value and now you're ready to jump in and build an app. Do you build it yourself, do you partner/license, or do you use a vendor? Do you build an app or a mobile website?

Take a step back and look at the total mobile experience as well as your customer insight to answer these questions. What are the mobile searches that are being performed for your product? Customer service inquiries, location-based searches? What types of devices are they using? It's important to gather this level of research before jumping in and this information can inform mobile development choices.

Our first chunk of the morning workshop ended with a great mnemonic: Mind the G.A.P.:
What is your Goal, what are the business requirements?
Who is your Audience? Advertisers, stakeholders, competition and end users can all be members of your audience.
Lastly, what is your Platform? IPhone, IPad, Android, RIM, Windows and Web can add up to 6 separate projects. Educate your stakeholders about what this means and what platform(s) you will be targeting. A cross-platform app can cost in the neighborhood of $90,000, vs $30,000 for a single platform.

Picking a Mobile Partner is like Playing Poker

As The Mobile Marketing Conference kicks off this week, we'll be featuring thoughts from some of our speakers, partners and attendees. This post is by Carrie Chitsey, CEO, 3Seventy.

Over the last four years of being in the mobile business, I’ve seen a lot of mobile companies come and go. Someone every day says, “Have you heard of “XYZ Company”?” There is a ton of money being invested in mobile technology and it’s very hard for a brand to know “who to go to the dance with”. Being an avid poker player I’ve come to realize that “picking a mobile partner is like playing poker”.

So I started to put myself in the shoes of our clients, prospects and folks we talk to on a daily basis. Several things have become very clear about brands that are looking to get into mobile:
1. They are in “research” mode and know what they’ve read or seen from competitors.
2. Someone has sold them or “tried” on whatever silohed solution they are selling.
3. A mobile strategy is rare and brand managers are usually tasked with a “mobile campaign”.
4. The database they are trying to build is really an afterthought and not a primary focus.
5. And if they’ve tried mobile before, they now know what they want this time, have goals and want a good partner, not just a technology.

We love the second time folks; they know a good mobile partner when they see one. These are great marriages.
So how does mobile strategy remind me of poker? It’s easy.

• Picking your table is key, if you end up or stay too long at a bad table, you lose all your money. Same is true with mobile, if you pick a bad partner, not only will you be unsuccessful, it leaves a bad taste.

• It’s ok to switch tables if you know you sat down to a bad table. If you aren’t seeing performance, technology is not what it cracked up to be and you aren’t getting mobile strategy and results….. move, time is of the essence in mobile you can’t wait 12 months to get a good mobile partner.

• The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy that wins the most money. Mobile is test and learn, not everything you do is going to be a huge success. Test, learn and repeat the good stuff. You need to build a foundation for success, anyone can win one jackpot but try hitting multiple.

• Don’t play games you don’t understand even if you see others winning by luck. There will always be something new and shiny in mobile. Innovation is good, but you have to learn the basics first. Going from not doing anything mobile to moving straight to an iPhone or Augmented Reality application is not a good move.

• Learn by playing the game, reading and theory are great but nothing replaces actual experience. Get going, time is now, pick a great mobile partner and throw in some chips, you don’t have to go “all-in”.

Friday, March 16, 2012

This Week In Customer Experience: 'Grats and Gripes

As we quickly gain on the next Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in June, we'd like to occasionally share with you some of our favorite links of the week on customer experience, customer experience design, and overall customer-centricity.

This week on the blog, we introduced our new guest blogger Flavio Martins, who shared his excitement for the upcoming Total Customer Experience Leader's Summit.

Elsewhere, 1to1media  taught us that "Customer Experience Isn't the Only Thing; It's Everything" when discussing the winners of the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards. One of the companies honored was The Oklahoma City Thunder:
"By building a customer-centric organization from the ground up, The Oklahoma City Thunder, has been able to build one-to-one relationships with each of its season ticketholders and elevate the fan experience at every game. The organization continuously educates, evaluates, and congratulates its employees on proactively enhancing the overall customer experience."
We spoke with Pete Winemiller, Senior Vice President, Guest Relations of the Oklahoma City Thunder for our Storyteller Spotlight podcast series, check out some of his thoughts on customer experience in the podcast here.

It must be awards season, as this week also saw The Stevie Awards honoring various achievements in customer experience, browse the winners here.

Meanwhile, The Huffington Post has opened a "Gripe Line" to gather customer experience complaints. It will be interesting to see what stories, good and bad, follow.

What customer experience news did you notice this week? Share with us in the comments. 

Like these updates? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.

The Audience Measurement Event Session Spotlight: Pretty Little Liars”: Connecting Viewers with Your Brand

People are already watching TV while chatting with friends in their social spheres. Co-viewership is today’s reality. With this, marketers everywhere are seeking new ways to measure and understand cross-media consumption and how to optimize their marketing mix.

In today's The Audience Measurement Event's session spotlight, we highlight the presentation Social Media & “Pretty Little Liars”: Connecting Viewers with Your Brand. Hear how ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” show embraced co-viewership, connecting their brand with audiences in social, mobile and digital.  If you'd like to join Danielle Mullin and Beth Johnson, ABC Family at The Audience Measurement Event this May 21-23, 2012 in Chicago, as a reader of this blog when you register and mention code AM12BLOG, you'll receive a discount of 15% off the standard rate!

Image Source: ABC Family
Featured Session: Social Media & “Pretty Little Liars”: Connecting Viewers with Your Brand

Featured Speakers: Danielle Mullin, Vice President Marketing, & Beth Johnson, Vice President, Digital Media, ABC Family

About the Session: ABC Family's Danielle Mullin and Beth Johnson present an overview on how the network launched its hit series "Pretty Little Liars" by engaging Millennial viewers through innovative social media tactics. From and mobile texting campaigns, to Facebook and Twitter, social media helped create one-on-one relationships for fans - allowing them to feel connected and contribute their voice on everything from storyline to what clothes the characters are wearing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mobile Starts Monday + This Week's News

We're off to The Mobile Marketing Conference soon, where we'll be providing coverage of some of the most exciting sessions, interviewing mobile marketing experts, and live tweeting. Follow the stream next week at #TMMC on twitter for immediate updates from the event, or stay tuned to this space for session write ups and photos from the event.

Attending the event? RSVP on Lanyrd, LinkedIn, or Facebook and start connecting with other attendees now.

But before we fly off to Miami, let's take a look at what happened this week. ClickZ published a fascinating article about the "tendency to retrofit mobile into an existing marketing strategy." Entitled, "The Problem With Mobile Marketing?" author Derek Harding really hit the nail on the head, noting:
"Email and web are well established online channels in use for over a decade. Though much has changed in that time and there are areas where email in particular is less well utilized than it should be, they are mediums and they are well understood as such. Social meanwhile is the new kid on the block. In many ways little more than the latest shiny evolution of web-based services. Still and all, social is being well served. There are a wide range of specialist providers creating tools and services to support marketers and more media experts offering advice than any one person can reasonably keep with.

Mobile though is another beast entirely. The breadth of capabilities of mobile devices and the range of purposes to which owners put their devices is both astounding and daunting. When a marketer speaks of mobile marketing they could be speaking about location-based services, SMS, email on a phone, apps, or mobile web pages."
Ultimately understanding the many faucets that fall under the "mobile" umbrella and tailoring a strategy that is customized for whichever of those you choose to use is going to be the key to mobile marketing. "Mobile" is not just email or web marketing, but on a phone.

A good example of this? Millennial Media released a report this week identifying three trends as being the most influential for mobile marketers: local, video, and mass market reach. For any company to successfully participate in any of these trends, you'll need a specialized strategy. Local and mass market in particular sit at opposite ends of the mobile spectrum.

Whatever way you go, this interesting MediaPost blog included some sound advice from Chris Silva of Altimeter “A mobile strategy should not focus on demonstrating the means -- mobile platforms -- but on meeting the end needs of customers.”

With that in mind, many are still figuring out social customer experiences. Amex seems to have the medium mastered though, debuting their new "AmEx Sync" platform. AdAge asked "What If the Real 'Winner' of SXSW Was AmEx?" this week, exploring the new offering and it's predominance over Austin.

 Many other companies are busy trying to adopt the new Facebook Timeline format for their pages before the March 30th deadline so as to continue to offer a seamless Facebook experience for their customers. Techcrunch reported that 8 million Of the 37 million+ pages on Facebook already upgraded within 10 days of the Timeline becoming available, saying:
"There are some concerns about the removed ability to set a custom promotional app as a default landing page, but those are offset by eagerness for pinned posts, bigger photos, and more presentation flexibility."
Will that continue to be the case after all pages are forced to change on the 30th? Only 8 of the top 20 pages have migrated, many page owners have invested significant time (and money) in the old format and it's not certain that fans will become more engaged with the new. Have you switched over yet, what do you like or dislike about the change?

Like these updates? You can also follow us on Twitter or on Facebook for conference updates and industry insider news all week long.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Who can you meet a The Market Research Technology Event?

There are certain people who, when they speak, people listen. The Market Research Technology Event brings you those voices - to share their market research and technology insights and experiences first hand with you. You'll have the opportunity to hear  Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President, Marketing Strategy & Insights, Coca-Cola,  Dr. A.K. Pradeep, President & CEO, Neurofocus, Christopher Frank & Paul Magnone, Co-Authors, Drinking from the Firehouse, and Paul Navratil, Ph.D., Manager - Visualization Software, Texas Advanced Computing Center, among others. Join us in Las Vegas this April 30-May 2, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.  For more information on these industry leaders sessions and the rest of the event, download the brochure here.

Who has already registered to hear from these industry leaders?

Abbott Laboratories * Accenture Management Consulting * ACS Xerox Company * Airline Reporting Corporation * American Cancer Society * American Express * Anderson Analytics * Animation Dynamics Inc * ARCO * Automobile Club of Southern California * Bain & Co * Bayer HealthCare * Bellomy Research * BP Products North America Inc * BrainJuicer Group * Brand360 * Brown Brothers Harriman & Co * Burke * C+R Research * Caesars Entertainment * Campbell Soup Company * Chadwick Martin Bailey * Chrysler Group * Coca Cola Company * Colgate Palmolive Company * Confirmit * Connected * Consumer Truth * Convergys Corporation * Decision Analyst * Del Monte * Doyle Research * Dub * Duke University * EEDAR * Facebook * Foiled Inc * Forrester Research * Gadd Research Inc * Georillas Location Based Marketing * GlaxoSmithKline * Gongos Research * Google * GreenBook * Hewlett Packard * Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield * Hilton Hotels Corporation * Honda R&D Americas * IBM * InCrowd LLC * Infosurv Inc. * Institute for the Future * Intel Corporation * Intuit * KL Communications * Klout * KS&R * Lieberman Research Worldwide * Maritz * Market Strategies International * Marketing Analysts * Marriott International * MeadWestVaco * MERCASID * MetLife * * Monster * Morpace Inc. * Motista * MSW Research Inc * National Rural Electric Cooperative Association * Neurofocus, Inc. * Nokia * Nortstat * Opennet * Paradigm Sample Perception Research Services * Peretrutova Planet S.A. * Principal Financial Group * Procter & Gamble Company * Prophet Brand Strategy * Qualvu * QuestBack * Radius Global Market Research * RapLeaf Resource Systems Group Inc. * Retargeter * San Diego Gas & Electric * Simstore International * Socratic Technologies * Spych Market Analytics * SSI * Strategence * TDS Telecom * Texas Advanced Computing Center * The Nielsen Company * Travelers Insurance * Vision Critical * Wharton Business School * Wizards of the Coast * Zynga

As a valued reader of The Market Research Event Blog, we’d like to offer you an exclusive discount of 15% off the standard rate when you register and mention code MRTECH12BLOG! If you have any questions about the event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira at  or visit the webpage.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MR Gets Dissed at the 84th Academy Awards!

The Market Research Technology Event is teaming up with sponsor KL Communications  to bring you weekly perspectives on the latest in the market research technology world.   The Market Research Technology Event is taking place April 30-May 2, 2012, in Las Vegas, NV.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code MRTECH12BLOG, you'll receive a 15% discount off the standard rate!

MR Gets Dissed at the 84th Academy Awards!
By Kevin Lonnie, President and CEO

All in all, the 84th Academy Awards were largely forgettable. Billy Crystal, we love you, but it’s time to give that gig to someone born after 1950.

In the midst of this blandness, they set up a skit based on the idea of a 1939 Focus Group for “The Wizard of Oz.” The piece was done by Christopher Guest and his troupe of actors. I have to say I’m a big fan of Christopher Guest, his acting troupe and cult films. “Best in Show” remains one of my all time favorites.

But as I watched the piece, which had some funny moments (especially Fred Willard’s love of Flying Monkeys), I was thinking to myself “What was the writer/director’s intent?” And basically, it was to slam the idea of common folk aiding the creative process. Personally, I felt that MR had been dissed.  Watch the Christopher Guest Focus Group Skit (Hey we got dissed, but this troupe is always funny!)

And it goes back to what I would call “creative elitism.” The idea that creative integrity belongs to the artists and certainly not the common folks. Besides, what does the public know about creativity?

Gosh, why would we want to ask people what they thought of the movie? Could it be the fact they’re the ones who pay to see them? It’s nice to set yourself above the fray and strike out on behalf of creative vision, but no one in Hollywood actually believes that crap. That industry is ruled by the dollar as much as any CPG or service company. You ask for the public’s input because you want to put out a product that people will actually want to see.

Well, I thought to myself, Kevin you’re being too parochial. Most folks probably didn’t take it that way, but looking at the Twitter feed told me that I was not alone:

jokes about focus groups. way to connect to rest of America, Hollywood.

Focus group skit horrible – basically saying average viewers are idiots

I think the thesis is imagine if they focus grouped The Wizard of Oz, it would be terrible. That is a pretty hacky observation.

And I’m not even a fan of focus groups. I think their time has come and gone with the digital age, but the condescending tone of this skit is what annoyed me.

But to put everyone into context, I believe constructive criticism is an art. It’s not a matter of turning over artistic direction but you can certainly explore whether the product speaks to you. Musicians have always tested new material in their acts, gauging what songs are resonating with their fans.

And with movies, one of the more famous uses of market research was for the Michael Douglass-Glen Close Movie “Fatal Attraction.” Joseph Farrell (who was honored during the awards as one of the greats who passed away) was a pioneer in using MR to help fine-tune a movie. The original ending of “Fatal Attraction” left audiences feeling empty. They wanted Glenn Close’s character to ultimately pay for her acts. So the ending was redone (Ms. Close’s character gets shot by the besieged wife) and the film debuted to critical and commercial success.

My point is that no one is above public opinion. An artist who is shunned by the public is a legend only in his/her own mind.

That doesn’t take MR off the hook. We have to be every bit as creative in extracting viewer insights so we don’t run roughshod over the artist’s intent but rather discover areas that are not working. Heck, this is why theatrical plays premiere in Peoria and not on Broadway. It gives the writers’ an opportunity to work out the kinks.

A century ago Henry Ford famously said this about the public’s ability to guide him: “If I asked the public what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” And Steve Jobs was a modern day Henry Ford on the value he placed on MR (basically zero). Mr. Jobs felt the public couldn’t articulate their need for something they haven’t seen.

Is it possible for MR to help create the next big thing? Can they actually help ensure the success of the next blockbuster?

I think the new interactive tools of MR are a game changer. Instead of looking at consumers as passive respondents, they become participants. And a participant can certainly be part of the creative process.

Besides it’s simply bad karma to put yourself above the paying public.

I’ve always admired this quote by the great comedian Jack Benny. When Mr. Benny was asked late in his career how he had managed to be relevant with the public for over 50 years, he replied. “When I started out in vaudeville, the other comics talked about playing down to the audience, so I thought I would play up to mine.”

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