Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teens and Social Media: Where are they going?

Facebook has been the go-to social media site of the past eight years. But recent research shows from Microsoft Research shows that teens are gravitating from Facebook and using social media with apps specially made for SmartPhones is their new destination.  Tumblr, Twitter and text messaging is the popular destination now of those who turn 13.  But studies show that they're still using Facebook and 93% do have accounts.  The article at the LA Times also mentions that three out of every four moms who went online in March did visit Facebook.

At The Market Research Event 2012, we'll have a track dedicated to social media listening looking at how you can listen to you audience online.  As the younger generation has so fully integrated technology into their lives, brands should discover how teens are communicating their brands online.  For more on TMRE 2012, download the brochure here. As a reader of this blog, save $500 off the standard rate when you register before June 5 and mention code TMRE12BLOG!

What what does this mean for the social media giant and it's next few years? Do you think that the younger generation gravitating away from the site has to do with it's personalization and and a view of invasion of privacy from their parents?  What does this mean for the future of Facebook?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Speaker Spotlight: Kim Noltemy, Boston Symphony Orchestra

In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be featuring some of our fantastic speakers here on the blog.

Kim Noltemy, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Boston Symphony Orchestra will be presenting "Integrating Management Decisions into the Customer Experience" at 3:45pm on Friday, June 8th at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit.

In her session, you'll cover:
How to best integrate and leverage our customer touch points.
What measurements to use, and what is an acceptable return on investment.
How to effectively use technology, design, branding, and training to ensure a successful and meaningful interaction with customers.

Plus, find out how the Boston Symphony Orchestra uses unique and cost effective ideas to engage the customer throughout the entire process.

Mass Cultural Council: The Art of Participation
For a taste of Noltemy's presentation, download this eBook "The Art of Participation: Shared Lessons in Audience Engagement" from the Mass Cultural Council. In it, Noltemy is quoted as saying:
“You don’t get the results unless you pull it all together to create a real presence in the digital world.”
 It is this sort of holistic thinking that we're looking forward to at the 2012 Total Customer Experience Leader's Summit.

Time is running out, but you can still join us in Boston. Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL12BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Build your Market Research Community with The Market Research Event 2012!

Last year, The Market Research Event brought together over 175 Speakers, over 140 Best in Class Sessions,speakers from more than 17 countries challenging every participant to be enlightened on the state of market research. Speakers challenged attendees to bring value to the insights they presented with their market research data and to have an innovative mindset.

We at TMRE Challenge You to Join the Community:

TMRE gives you a number of ways to meet fellow researchers and network before and during our November Event!

You can start now by joining our online Communities and networking today!:
Join over 5500 market research members from around the world on LinkedIn: The Market Research Event
Over 1400 followers have followed us on @TMRE's Twitter
We have 200+ Fans on The Market Research Event's Faceook Page.
Head over to the TMRE TV Channel on YouTube to gather insights collected at past TMRE events!

Also, when you register to join us this fall in Boca Raton, you'll have eight networking breaks to meet with 1,200 attendees, an exclusive corporate match making program, a mentor program for new attendees and our pre-event networking tool.  Learn more about The Market Research Event 2012. If you'd like to join us in Boca, register today and save $500 off the standard price when you and mention code TMRE12BLOG.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: Happily Ever After

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.

Customer Service InfographicHere 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.

The infographic pictured here, recently published by Bolt Insurance, is a great illustration of some of our recent points here on the blog. If you click through and scroll to the suggestions at the end you'll see that improving your company culture, offering loyalty rewards and listening to your customers online and through surveys are the main keys to keeping customers happy. We couldn't agree more.

Via: Bolt Insurance

This post on The Huffington Post speaks to the company culture aspect of loyalty building, saying "In many cases, empowering employees to resolve customer issues will save you time and effort down the road. Employees should also feel confident that they have the backing of management, so that they can enforce company policies quickly and efficiently without the issue escalating."

Elsewhere in customer loyalty news: Beth Hirschhorn, EVP of global brand, marketing and communication, and a member of MetLife’s executive group spoke with Forbes about Metlife's customer-centric initiative. She is quoted as saying "for us the objective is to focus as much on existing customers as it is about obtaining new customers."

The Harvard Business Review blog hosted a piece on "Three Myths about What Customers Want" that delves into the myths companies may believe about building loyalty and customer relationships. Key takeaways? Don't underestimate the power of discounts and focus on your brand's core values.

For an interesting look at how *not* to do customer service, click through to this piece from The Guardian. Yes, it is important to be listening online, but call centers or store associate availability by phone are still an important piece of the picture.

So what are you doing to remain "happily ever after" with your customers? Like any relationship, it takes work.

We're looking forward to delving into the topic more at the Total Customer Experience Leader's Summit which is now less than two weeks away. There's still time to join us: register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL12BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Early Bird Savings for The World's Top Market Research Event, Plus Get the Event Preview

We invite you to join us at The Market Research Event 2012, taking place November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. It is the trusted event brand for developing the career market researchers from transactional partners to transformational leaders.

We're operating in real time and so we must move from insights to foresight. Forget about safe questions and obvious answers. Researchers today are empowered and expected to take risk and drive innovation, while also demonstrating ROI. The new value proposition calls for uncovering real insights that will create new value.

Download the event preview.

The Market Research Event 2012 is your source of information, skill enhancement and partnership development to ensure you succeed in this new environment.

In just 3 days and 1 travel spend you gain access to:
136 sessions, 8 keynotes, 17 BRIC/European perspectives, 150+ client-side speakers, 8 interactive sessions, 9 concurrent main conference tracks and 7 concurrent pre-conference symposia

The Market Research Event covers all the topics you need to know now:
Completely New Content Areas For 2012:
  • - Social Media Listening 
  • - Mobile & Technology 
  • - Trends: With a Special Hispanic/Millennial Focus 
  • - Consultative Skills Development 
  • - Strategy & Futuring 
  • - Data Analysis & BIG Data 
  • - Collaboration in Action: Industry Roundtables & Interactive Work Groups

Returning Themes – With all new, never before seen presentations for 2012:
  • - Ad & Media Research 
  • - Shopper Insights 
  • - Business to Business Research 
  • - Global Research 
  • - Insights Leadership & Transformation 
  • - Brand Insights: Letting the Brand Tell the Story 
  • - Insight Driven Innovation 
  • - The New MR Toolkit

The Market Research Event isn't just a conference - it's a life changing experience that promises results. Stay tuned as we reveal the 2012 full agenda. Sign up here to receive the latest updates.

Join us as we help transforming insight partners into strategic consultative leaders. Register today and save $500 off the standard rate. Mention code TMRE12BLOG. If you have any questions about this year’s event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.

Speaker Spotlight: Chuck Feltz, Author, Never by Chance

In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit we're going to be featuring some of the speakers.

One of our keynotes, "Never By Chance: How Leaders Align Intentional Customer Experience to Accelerate Strategy" with Chuck Feltz, CEO, Managing Partner, FELT Z & ASSOCIATES, LLC and Author, Never by Chance: Aligning People and Strategy Through Intentional Leadership will focus on what is clearly a recurring subject here on the blog: how leaders can develop an internal culture that encourages great customer experiences.

Far too many organizations leave too much to chance by failing to intentionally align people and strategy from the top down. This session will show you how to increase your organization’s relevance by creating an intentional customer experience that aligns your organization from the top down and leaves nothing to chance.

For a great sneak peek of this session, check out this interview with  Chuck Feltz on the Peter McClellan Radio Show discussing strategy.

One key takeaway  "The thing is to make sure employees understand what the endgame is." How are you aligning your culture to your vision statement? One place to start: by joining us at The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit this June in Boston.

Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL12BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

Friday, May 18, 2012

TMRE TV: Alicia Rankin, NFL

At The Market Research Event 2011, Marc Dresner sat down with many of the industry's leading researchers to discuss their strive for the best insights in addition to how they work with fellow researchers to find the insights they are striving for better research and insights.  This is TMRE TV.

This week, we're featuring our interview with Alicia Rankin, Head of Research and Fan Insights, NFL.  The research department at the NFL  works with every department in the NFL along with the 32 clubs to develop the best fan experience possible.  They do their research with the fan in mind, with the goal to make the NFL experience the best possible.

Watch Alicia's interview here:




In Alicia's interview, she encourages researchers to understand the business they're doing research for as best they can then bring actionable insights to teams that fit their customer database.  What is one of the best initiatives you've seen come from actionable insight you've presented to your product teams?

The Market Research Event 2012 will take place November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton. We're in the final stages of production! To stay up to date on the latest news and information on the event, sign up for updates. Also, register now to save $500 off the standard rate! Be sure to mention code TMRE12Blog.

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: Let's Get Social

image source Microsoft Dynamics Community via Business2Community

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.

When discussing holistic customer experience, you can't ignore the power of social media in today's world. A recent American Express study found that "The 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer also found that consumers who have used social media for service wield the greatest amount of influence. They tell significantly more people about their service experiences, and say they’d spend 21% more with companies who deliver great service – compared to 13% on average."

But it's not just because you fear a consumer badmouthing your company that you need to get social. As marketing consultant and trainer J-P De Clerck recently wrote on conversionation.net "Customer experiences are about touchpoints and touchpoints are by definition social. Guess what is a key focus in 2012? Indeed, social."

Business2Community illustrated the importance of Social CRM Apps this week with the above image and by saying: "If conversation between a sales rep and his or her client has moved to the world of social media, the sales rep must be equipped with the proper technology to best interact with and understand the customer."

Former Total Customer Experience Leader's speaker Becky Carrol wrote about the topic on her blog earlier this year, citing Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker as an inspiration and saying "Social media, by contrast, provides not only the opportunity for an instant response but also for a personal response."

So what can we take away? Don't go social because you fear the customer response, go social because it is a way to make a personal connection with today's connected customer. For social CRM, it may be a way to close the sale or keep a customer loyal. For a contact center it may be the way to turn an unhappy customer into an evangelist or a VOC text analytics program could use social to measure sentiment. Are you social? How? Share with us in the comments!

Total Customer Experience Leaders is social: You can follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for industry news all week long.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

News Round-Up: On Measurement

Source: ComScore via Ad Age
In the graph above, shown on AdAge Digital we find that YouTube views are falling.  But how can this be? After all "60 hours of video are uploaded every minute." Well, it looks like in an effort to monetize the service further, YouTube is becoming more channel driven and changing it's metrics away from views. "On March 15, YouTube altered its recommendation system to make the time spent with a video or channel a stronger indicator than a click in determining which videos to surface to a user," says Ad Age. It's no competition for Hulu yet in terms of long-form viewing, but perhaps HBO's decision to air their new programs on YouTube could be a foreshadowing of growth in this area.

So, YouTube is moving away from clicks and towards engagement. How else are we measuring our new media?

A post on Ad Age says of Web Video "You still have a large subset of the ad-buying population that is either overwhelmed by the data itself or don't think it's measurable. People do not have [video] built into their media-mix models, and I think some still don't believe there is a [gross rating point]-equivalent number they can get to. A number of different providers have been pushing GRPs, but most of the media-buying population has not been educated yet on how to plan around them. "

Social Media Today says "We are currently in the third iteration of social media, and adoption is quickly becoming more measurement-focused," noting that "An Altimeter Group report found that 70% of businesses believed social media could meet business objectives, but only 43% had a formalized strategy for how social would meet their specific business goals."

Shared on the Community 2.0 LinkedIn group was the following Infographic: User Activity on Social Networks via Web100 blog. (In keeping with our last post from Millennial Mega Mashup, we see that 26 – 44 year olds make up 50%+ of Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn & Pinterest users.) Time spent and unique users are the two key elements tracked for these stats.

A recent BIA/Kelsey U.S. Social Media Advertising Forecast predicts social ad revenues climbing from $3.8 billion to $9.8 billion citing "improvement in ad unit performance" as one of the reasons for the growth.

One of the easiest ways to see success with this social media ad spending is on the local front. As Forbes pointed out "The numbers also explain why local merchants keep coming back to the daily deal model, despite its numerous drawbacks." The mixing of social and mobile drive sales directly to stores in a very measurable manner.

The key take-aways here? Measure what matters to you (conversion rates, referrals, engagement? Find what matches your overall strategy.) Go beyond clicks to a deeper level of engagement. Play to the strengths of the medium.

What are you measuring in social media?

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What to look for next week at The Audience Measurement

As we prepare for The Audience Measurement Event next week, let's take a look at some of the great articles which highlight the experience next week in Chicago.

Facebook will be on hand to present "Measuring Paid, Earned, and Social: From Reach to ROI". Speaker Fred Leach joined Audience Measurement Speaker Joel Rubenson for a pre-event conversation  looking at marketers can best use Facebook and some of the best ways to measure success.  View the blog post here.  Fred will be speaking on Monday, May 21 at 1:30PM.

Joel Rubenson also spoke with Catherine Roe of Google, who discussed the digital measurement and usage for many CPG companies.  Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.  Catherine Roe will be speaking Wednesday, May 23 at 11:15AM.

Deb Roy, Director, Cognitive Machines Group, MIT MEDIA LABS & Co-Founder & CEO, Bluefin Labs, will be presenting "Closing the Gap between Social Media & Mass Communication" on Tuesday, May 22 at 8:30AM.  He'll be looking at the connection that can be formed between television and social outlets.  View the blog post here.

TiVo will look at a similar topic when they present "The Three Screens: Understanding Consumption & Multi-Tasking Patterns" on Monday, May 21 at 4:00PM. Jonathan Steuer, TIVO, will look at how to combine information on how to collect and analyze from more than just the television. Read more about his presentation here.

Beth Uyenco of Microsoft and Jo Rigby of Omnicom Media Group will be on hand to present "Leveraging Mobile's Muscle along Shoppers' Path to Purchase" analyzing how consumers use their mobile phones on their path to purchase. You can see this presentation on Monday, May 21 at 1:15PM. For more about this presentation, see the blog post here.

These are just a few of the many presentations you can look forward to at The Audience Measurement Event taking place next week, May 21-23, 2012, in Chicago, IL.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us, mention code AM12BLOG and receive 15% off the standard rate.  If you have any questions about the event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.

Hear from BMO Financial, Dunkin' Donuts, Prophet & More at Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit

There are certain people who, when they speak, people listen. The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit brings you these voices - to share their customer experiences insights with you. Get the rare opportunity to hear from cross-industry leaders under one roof, at one time.

• Kelly Harper, Director, Brand & Customer Experience, BMO Financial Group shares how delivering great customer experiences begins with embedding customer experiences within your organization and fostering a customer-focused culture.

• Chuck Felts, CEO, Managing Partner, Feltz & Associates explores how you can increase your company's relevance by creating an intentional customer experiences that aligns your organization from the top down.

• Peter Dixon, Senior Partner, Creative Director, Prophet defines the need to create and manage a clear customer experience in your organization.

• Scott Hudler, Vice President - Global Consumer Engagement, Dunkin' Donuts discusses how the 60+ year-old brand has transformed the way it meets the needs of today's consumer by remaining true to its brand promise.

• Plus 5 additional keynotes from: Burke Inc., Experience Engineering & Maritz Research, Porter Airlines, Starwood Hotels & GfK Custom Research and USAA.

Download the conference brochure for the full agenda and session descriptions.

Your colleagues and competitors have already signed up - will you?

See who's already registered to attend:
1to1 Magazine, AAA, AAA Arizona, AARP, American Family Insurance, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Brandtrust, Bridgewater Bank, Chadwick Martin Bailey, Citizens Bank, Crystal Flash Energy, CUNA Mutual Group, CVS Caremark, Desjardins General Insurance, eBay, Expedia, Forrester Research, Hunter Douglas, Indiana University, Inflexxion, Janet LeBlanc & Associates, JoAnna Brandi & Co, KS&R, Leadership Learning Systems, Lenze Americans Corp. , Liberty Mutual Insurance, Loyalty Research Center, Medical Packaging Inc. , Morpace Inc. , Nationwide Insurance, OptumHealth, OtterBox, REI , Rockwell Automation, SAS Institute, The Chamberlain Group, The Hartford, Time Warner Cable, TNS, Travelers Insurance, TXU Energy, Verint, Vistaprint, Wright Express Corp., Yandex

Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL12BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. 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: https://www.facebook.com/TotalCustomer

Monday, May 14, 2012

Introducing uSamp’s Mobile Market Research and Polling Application

Mobile marketing is fast becoming the solution of choice for researchers and marketing professionals looking for instant, onsite feedback. With uSamp Mobile Solutions you can conduct research that gauges customer experience — at the time that it is happening — providing you with relevant insights and validated, actionable data. Additionally, uSamp Mobile Solutions provides you with the tools you need to:

Conduct mobile diary studies – Understand how people use your product, brand or service by asking them to share their experience while they do it in real time

Stimulate brand engagement – Understand which consumer segments scan QR codes, the source and location of these scans, and use the resulting data to help you develop and deploy more effective marketing campaigns

Conduct surveys with the added bonus of geo-validation – Ask questions anytime, anywhere, and ensure that every answer is valid. Request a photo or video along with feedback for higher quality results

Measure ad awareness and exposure – Embed images and videos to test ad concepts. Ask respondents to recall an advertisement upon check-in to a location. Track respondents, inviting them to take a survey if they have passed by a location that exposes them to a specific ad or outdoor board.

Get instant feedback after an event – Learn what worked and what didn't during a sponsored event. Use the QR code on the back of a concert or movie ticket, launch a survey following a trade show or in-store product demo.

Click here for more information.

About uSamp: uSamp, the Answer Network, is a premier provider of technology and survey respondents used to obtain consumer and business insights. uSamp's solutions and SaaS platform transforms the way companies gain intelligence to make better, faster decisions about their products and services by tapping into uSamp's 8 million global panel of survey respondents. Through uSamp's proprietary technologies for self-serve survey authoring, self-survey sampling, and private-label panel management, companies have on-demand access to millions of profiled survey respondents. uSamp is based in Los Angeles, with five offices throughout the United States, Europe and India. uSamp ranked #11 in the 2011 Forbes America's Most Promising Company List. For more information please visit www.usamp.com

Friday, May 11, 2012

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience News: "Holistic"

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.

One of the biggest terms that we keep seeing as we perform research for the event in June is "holistic." Organizations are increasingly interested in customer experience, but without a holistic solution that covers all aspects of customer experience, it will be difficult to increase long-term customer loyalty.

This recent post on "The Customer Experience Disconnect" highlights some of this data:
The Temkin Group found an "abundance of CX ambition and activity," with most companies employing a customer experience executive (six out of 10 companies), launching significant customer experience activities, and having a staff of six to eight full-time employees focused on customer experience and 28 percent employ more than 20 people in this area. However, the survey found that despite having these customer experience components in place, only 7 percent are "very strong" at customer experience today and 35 percent of companies are in the lowest stage of customer experience maturity. And 59 percent of the respondents state that their company's goal is to become the industry leader in customer experience within three years.

This week, let's look at some expert views on building a holistic customer experience program:

In this Fast Company 30 second MBA video, Motorola Solutions CTO Paul Steinberg explains how to solve problems before users know they have them. As he says "it's not about delivering quick fixes. It's really about delivering a holistic solution to a problem."


1to1media also wrote on "Taking a Holistic Approach to Building Customer Loyalty" this week, saying [customer experience] "initiatives tend to be owned by different departments, often siloed and disconnected from one another.

To realize the full potential of their loyalty endeavors, companies should link them to create one holistic program." One tip that they recommend: Using data to centralize loyalty efforts.

In this post on "Why Brands Need to Go Post-Mobile" Jonathan Gardner, Director of Communications, Vibrant recommends "thinking broadly about consumer perceptions of your product, and communicating about them in a holistic way." The impact of new technology can't be ignored, and it may even be a way to make messaging more holistic. As this piece says, "technology forces businesses to deal with the experiences of their customers."

Forbes also recommends that product marketers "make testing a key phase in their product life cycle." This could apply to anyone interested in the holistic experience: do a small roll-out, test and learn and listen. And ideally, be nimble enough to change.

Of course, as we covered before: creating a customer centric culture from the inside out is also part of the transformation. What would you recommend to those looking to unify their customer experience management for a more holistic view?

Share with us at Total Customer Experience Leader's summit this June in Boston, or Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook to share with the TCEL family.

Mobile & Social Insights from #MegaMashup

In case you missed it, some of the Mobile Marketing Conference team headed back to Miami this week for the Millennial Mega Mashup event. Focused on understanding the mindset of the millennial, there was obviously a lot of talk about Mobile technology.

Some highlights and key takeaways from the event were:

Instagram has already passed the Web verb test. You know something is sticking around when you can use it as a verb, and the kids are into "instagramming." Part of the "new-stalgia" trend, Instagram provides millennials with the ability to be nostalgic for a moment that never even truly existed.

Shazam! Social TV is here to stay. Rick Liebling, Creative Culturalist, Young & Rubicam spoke about the many ways brands can use new social apps to create a seamless advertising experience. A viewer may look away from the screen during a commercial, but they will be turning their eyes to their phones and using apps like GetGlue and Shazam you can incorporate this trend into your advertising strategy. Read a post by Rick on this topic on Mashable here.

The panel of older Millennials expressed a love hate relationship with technology, meanwhile the younger millennials in the live focus group called Facebook "boring" (despite not being legally old enough to use it!)

We also heard about ways that businesses are using social media to recruit Millennials and learned that "Generation Innovation" is putting aside traditional education and paths to success, saying you can now "Google how to be a CEO."

To read full event coverage visit megamashup.tumblr.com

 

Be Enlightened with The Market Research Event 2012!

Last year, The Market Research Event brought together over 175 Speakers, over 140 Best in Class Sessions,speakers from more than 17 countries challenging every participant to be enlightened on the state of market research. Speakers challenged attendees to bring value to the insights they presented with their market research data and to have an innovative mindset.

We at TMRE Challenge You to Be Enlightened:



This year, to continue all researchers that attend to be enlightened, Daniel Kahneman, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Professor of Public Affairs Emeritus, Princeton University, Nobel Prize in Economics, Best-Selling Author, Thinking, Fast and Slow will be joining us to present "Marvels and Flaws of Intuitive Thinking."  In this presentation, he will be focusing on the two modes of thinking: fast and slow.  While we are are aware of most of our decisions in the slow mode, the fast mode of thinking guides the majority of our days.  He is most well known for his contributions, with his late colleague Amos Tversky, to the psychology of judgment and decision making, which inspired the development of behavioral economics in general.

For more information on The Market Research Event 2012, sign up for email updates.  The Market Research Event will take place November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you'd like to register to join us today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save $500 when you register before June 8! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Creating Your Own Customer Experience Measurement Program

Customer experience design is one of the most powerful accelerants of business strategy a leader has. It provides one of the most compelling answers to the question: do we matter to our customers? And yet, far too many organizations leave too much on the table by failing to intentionally align people and strategy from the top down to ensure this happens.

At the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit you will learn how to increase your organization's relevance by creating an intentional customer experience that aligns your organization from the top down.


Featured Session: Summiting the Customer Experience Measurement - Anne-Marie Davidson, Senior Marketing Research Analyst, REI
Like many retailers, REI faces the challenge of becoming a more customer-centric organization, one that connects all aspects of the customer's experience. For the last two years, REI has been developing a comprehensive customer measurement program, building from a blueprint, and including management interviews, qualitative and quantitative research, action planning, linkage and goal-setting. This presentation will describe that journey and provide attendees with a process for developing their own customer experience measurement program.


Download the brochure to see the full program.

Joining Anne-Marie at the event is an impressive line-up of customer experience professionals sharing their own real-life stories.
Hear from:
AAA NCNU, AARP, American Family Insurance, BMO Financial Group, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Burke, Inc., Citizens Financial Group, Dunkin' Donuts, Experience Engineering, Feltz & Associates, LLC, Forrester, GfK Custom Research, GfK Customer Research, Hunter Douglas, Indiana University, Janet LeBlanc & Associates, JoAnna Brandi & Company, Inc., Maritz Research, Porter Airlines, Prophet, Rockwell Automation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, The Hartford, Time Warner Cable and USAA.

Register as a reader of our blog with code TCEL12BLOG to save 15% off the standard registration rates. Visit the webpage to register today.

We look forward to seeing you this June 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

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Who can you meet at The Audience Measurement Event this month?

With less than two weeks until The Audience Measurement Event, time is running out for you to register and reserve your spot at this high-caliber knowledge exchange. Focused on the business value AND actionability of understanding and translating consumer media consumption - The Audience Measurement Event is 100% practical in every way.    It will take place this May 21-23, 2012 in Chicago, IL.  If you'd like to join us, register today and mention code AM12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate!

Who has already signed up to join us? Companies signed on to attend include:
A&E Television Networks * Acxiom * Arbitron * Ball State University * BET Networks * Bluefin Labs * Bowers & Wilkins * Bravo Media * Chadwick Martin Bailey * Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement * ConAgra Foods * Discovery Communications * Facebook * Foresight ROI * GfK MRI * GFK-Knowledge Networks * Golden Gate University * Google * Hearst Magazines * Innerscope Research * InsightExpress * Intel Corporation * Intuit * JetBlue * Kimberly Clark Corporation * Kraft Foods Inc * Management Science Associates * MediaNet * MindShare * Momentum Japan * Moveo * National Football League * NBC Universal * Omnicrom Research Group * Pandora * Publix Super Markets Inc * Razorfish * Rubinson Partners * Sanofi Aventis * Scripps Network * Spark Communication * Sprout * Starcom Mediavest * SymphonyIRI * The Allant Group * The Modellers * The Nielsen Company * TideWatch * Time Warner Cable * TiVo * Traffic Audit Bureau * Turner Broadcasting System * Univision * Wall Street Journal

Visit the webpage to find out more about The Audience Measurement Event.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Customer Experience in Action: JetBlue, Doing It Right.

In this era of the more empowered customer, it seems we hear a lot of negative stories about customer experiences, but there are some companies out there that are taking customer feedback and truly rising to the challenge, providing a customer experience that delivers on brand promises on all levels, from digital to in-person.

Personally, working for one of the largest providers of trade conferences, expositions, and  networking experiences in America, I spend a lot of time traveling to different conferences. On my most recent trip I was sitting in the airport with a little time to kill and working on the upcoming Total Customer Experience Leader's event, and I couldn't help but think that my airline on that day, JetBlue, really has customer experience down to a science.

First, booking your trip and getting to the airport: JetBlue has a newly relaunched iPhone app (pictured above, right) and mobile website that provides both an easy way to book your flight and pertinent information for the day of your travel. The app provides local weather information, baggage policy, options for sending a friend directions for airport pickup or even help with looking up a local car service. You can even browse the DIRECTV® offerings for your flight within the app. Now, there is one thing that's missing here, mobile check-in ability, but overall it is a brilliant application that left me feeling delighted with the small touches.


Regarding the new mobile developments, Michael Stromer, vice president of customer connections at JetBlue, Forrest Hills, NY was quoted in this article as saying “The initial mission behind JetBlue is to bring humanity back to air travel, and we are trying to do that with these initiatives.”

Indeed, the brand has done a good job at maintaining this "human" touch off-line as well. When I sat in the airport lounge at JFK's Terminal 5 to grab a snack, I was pleasantly surprised by a personal-feeling note (pictured left) from management OTG on the menu about their dedication to customer experience.

The trend continues at the gate as well, with clear signage showing flight status and destination weather. Ample seating and plenty of places to plug in complete the experience.

But perhaps it's not how they are at their best that is telling of a company's approach to customer experience, but instead how they react when faced with a challenge. Luckily or unluckily, I had the chance to experience that as well on this particular trip. As we were waiting at the gate, an announcement was made that the plane we had been assigned for the flight did not have functioning DIRECTV® service. This was a disappointment to some travelers for sure, but by the next morning I had an email in my inbox from JetBlue apologizing for the incident and rewarding me with a loyalty credit. The email read:
"We‘re sorry that DIRECTV® service didn’t work during your flight—we know this is one of the many reasons our customers choose to fly with JetBlue. Please accept our sincere apologies and this flight credit for the inconvenience you recently experienced with us."
I couldn't help but think that this is how the "empowered customer" is expecting to be treated. Acknowledgement and an apology like that actually left me feeling better about the trip then if I had taken a neutral, expected flight.

Have you had lived through any customer experience success stories lately? E-mail me at mleblanc@iirusa.com if you'd like to publish one here as a guest blog.

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

Friday, May 4, 2012

Digital News Roundup: What's New? What's Next?

One of our favorite pastimes around here is keeping an ear our for trends happening in the digital and social space. Inspired by our recent learnings at The Mobile Marketing conference and always eager to know what else is out there, let's use this space to browse and share together throughout the year.

In the mobile space, Marketing Profs shared some findings from Sensis and White Horse (pictured left) on Hispanic use of mobile for "showrooming"


In fact, Mobile continues to grow with many audiences leading to innovative uses worldwide. This Springwise post highlights "Korea’s Waffle platform, which enables businesses to offer free internet access to customers who like them on Facebook." as well as a WiFi portal that rewards responsible dog walkers. It may sound silly, but it is further evidence of a trend away from "the web" being a destination towards the internet being always all around us.

This piece in Forbes claimed "We will never have Web 3.0, because the Web’s dead." warning that web giants will "will have all the money in the world to try and adapt to the shift to mobile but history suggests they won’t be able to successfully do it."

Weather they will be successful is still up in the air, but they certainly seem to be making a go of it. Chief Facebook Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently stated “Mobile is a key area of growth for Facebook,” and new mobile search ad improvements recently announced for Google.

Facebook is deeply embedded in other trends right now as well. Most recently, a trend towards bridging online and offline for retailers. One Brazilian retailer is displaying "likes" in real-time and other stores are allowing users to give away free gift cards to friends in exchange for Facebook attention. Additionally, the impact of their recent decision to purchase Instagram has yet to be fully understood, but chances are it will pay off.

Meanwhile we would be remiss not to mention that the other social network, LinkedIn, is having a bit of a moment right now. The site "rose to the highest price since its market debut after reporting first-quarter sales and profit that beat analysts' estimates amid a jump in membership" and purchased SlideShare as well. Given this news, it doesn't appear that any of our current web giants are going to be out for the count anytime soon, but we'll be curious to see how these trends play out.

Have you noticed any digital marketing trends lately, share with us in the comments!


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

Idea Gathering: Customer Experience Starts with You

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.

This week, we chatted with TCEL speaker Janet LeBlanc, President, JANET LEBLANC + ASSOCIATES about creating a customer-centric culture. On that note, let's look at some of the ways to develop that culture and the effects that doing so can have.

This post on the Experience Required™ blog suggested that the The CEO’s role in changing culture starts with taking three steps: #1. Be visible.
#2. Give feedback regularly.
#3. Demonstrate quick wins.

This piece on "The Rateocracy" (which calls back to last week's focus on the more empowered customer) advises: "The CEO of the future will need to work harder to align the corporation, its employees, and stakeholders around a shared vision."

Forbes recently posted "Why the Megalomaniac in the Corner Office Isn't Doing Your Company Any Favors" discussing this topic as well. The article cites "(Lack of) Open Culture" as a major downfall for organizations and posits "a way to run a better business is by enabling a wealth of executives to make business critical decisions and empowering them to act and react around the globe."

CMS wire agrees, writing "Almost every company across America says the same hackneyed cliche: Our people are our strongest asset. Almost every company in America is not doing what's necessary to make their employees believe that their employers actually believe this."

Based on all of these sources it's clear: customer experience starts at home. Look at your employee's experiences and the culture they are working in and think "How does this align with our customer experience strategy?"

Have you ever made an effort to change corporate culture from within? Share your successes and challenges in our comments section.

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

Thursday, May 3, 2012

#TMRTE 2012: Dancing with Ourselves

connectedthefilm.com
When a friend suggested I create a Twitter account in 2008, I resisted.  In fact, I said, “Steve, I like you a lot but I don’t give a flip what you had for breakfast, so nope.”  He laughed and patiently said, “Open an account today and I’ll introduce you to 12 incredible people you will never meet.”  I did.  He did.  And he was right.  Until I reached 4000 followers.

This morning at The Market Research Technology Event, filmmaker Tiffany Shlain elevated the discussion regarding the digital lifestyle to declare that we’re entering a state of digital connectedness never before seen.  Her premise is that this will create a “DaVinci style Brain Synthesis” that raises human existence to higher levels of thoughtfulness, inclusiveness and even quality.   Her film Connected: an autoblogography about love, death and technology provoked a question from the audience about how there would ever be another world war in this state of global connectedness.  Good question.

This brings me back around to Steve’s breakfast.  Shlain has done a masterful job of harnessing the best of the web, bringing together disparate audiences to co-create content and give us an optimistic point of view regarding the state of humanity and what the future promises.  The problem is that most of what crosses my radar in social media is Foursquare check-ins, random observations, overt hocking of products by and for brands and yes, what people had for lunch.    All of this makes me wonder if the “river of news” when used for market research observations is really just a narcissist’s playground.  Maybe it's not so much that we are connecting with each other, as it is each of us simultaneously talking about ourselves to no one.  Maybe we are all dancing with ourselves.

Lenny Murphy (Greenbook.com) disagrees with me.  He believes the social media market is self monitoring and that those who are narcissistic are “weeded out.”  When Lenny speaks, I listen.  And I agree with him to a point and this made me think harder.  While it’s largely true that a lack of interaction (or being a complete tool) will eject you from a group, that group still does not have the power to shut me up on Twitter or close my account on Facebook.  There’s nothing to stop the one sided conversations – think about the guy walking around with the Bluetooth in the airport who looks like he’s talking to himself – that’s my perception of much of the content we’re analyzing.

That said… what’s brilliant about Shlain’s work is that while she crowdsourced the raw input but applied an expert interpretation to the massive amount of input.  It’s called film editing.  As Market Researchers we are all editors, sifting through imposing amounts of information to find insight and meaning.   So, how to find what’s useful from social media?  Market Researchers tend to look for the big implication, the most broadly appealing idea, the strongest driver, etc.  We think big.  Another way to think about editing is to think small.  Consider for a moment that 90% of what comes into view via social media is total garbage.  How do you find the 10% that inspires, provokes and informs?  How do you find the bit that doesn’t fit?

A week after I joined Twitter in 2008 I wanted to use it for research.  This was before mobile research tools were well developed and I just wanted to experiment to better experience this new toy for myself.  I partnered with C&R Research to develop a tool called Twitter Slicing.  We created a Twitter handle for me (which was really an early form of bot – my first virtual me) and recruited 300 people who joined Twitter and agreed only to tweet with me for one week on their mobile device.  We sent out the same tweet ten times a day: “Are you chewing gum right now, if not, why not?”  (company not named but this experience is shared with client permission).  After 5 days we had 15,000 responses to one question.  Coding with both traditional methods and text analysis suggested that 90% of the responses were pure crap.  “I didn’t feel like it.”  “I didn’t have any gum.” “I’m not answering this question again so shut up.”  But there were a few responses regarding reluctance to share gum with others, gum stuck to the paper, and noisy wrappers.  These were the nuggets we'd typically call insights.  But instead of huge findings, they were actually more like grains of sand.  It’s the type of stuff that makes you say, “huh?”  And that inspires innovation.

As Shlain suggested that editing is interpreting raw material with a point of view.  Good editors parse through piles of chaff to find a germ of truth and present it in a compelling, engaging way.   This is what truly excellent Market Researchers do.  They find the grain of sand and that make business partners say "wow."


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Today's guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk's Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from TMRTE in next week in Las Vegas, April 30-May 2, 2012.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#TMRTE 2012: Game Boy Surgeons


You too can be a Game Boy Surgeon at Flashgames247.com

I have a client who manufactures surgical instruments.  They’re keeping a keen eye on the next generation of physicians – those who grew up gaming.  What they’re finding is that these kids, steeped in the gaming dynamic and skilled in hand-eye coordination required to manipulate small objects on a screen will make excellent surgeons of the future.  This will be our first generation of Game Boy Surgeons.

I’m attending The Market Research Technology Event and have to admit that listening to Jane McGonigal from the Institute of the Future talk about gaming was startling.   One frightening fact she revealed is that the hours spent on Call of Duty could create 4 Wikipedias (the entire thing) each month.   That seems like productivity down the drain.   At the same time we’ve heard earlier that response rates to research are declining due to lack of engagement and that mobile research suffers from this to even a greater extent.

So, net, I’m very interested in gaming dynamics and how this can create market research of the future.  Game creators thus far have lucked into our field, creating massive amounts of information as an afterthought and then scraping value from it.  McGonigal called this “summoning data out of thin air.”   She also shared an example of a university project that used gaming to capture photographs that could then be arrayed into a 3D representation of a place.  Think Google Earth captured by you, me and the guy next to you and compiled.  This intentional game creation unleashed an “army of data collectors” where participation becomes results.  This is in line with where I think market research needs to go.

One of the strongest emotions evoked by gaming is a sense of creativity.  Participants are absorbed into a vast, imaginary context and asked to make decisions that determine the outcomes.  The result is “Eustress” or positive stress when opting into a challenge.

What if instead of asking consumers if they would buy a product, we asked them to create the next generation product?   This is actual co-creation, something we’ve kicked around for years without much success outside applications in qualitative or MROCs.   What if creativity were rewarded much like Prediction Markets?   That way instead of betting on given ideas, new items were created by the respondents.  Maybe this is a melding of prediction markets, evolutionary algorithms and gaming in a way that energizes participants.   If we achieve this maybe we won’t be talking about lack of respondent cooperation and poor engagement but how crazy it is that consumers are paying us to play our game.  In gaming, they would call this an “epic win.”

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Today's guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk's Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from TMRTE in next week in Las Vegas, April 30-May 2, 2012.


#TMRTE 2012: Humans 2.0


On Twitter, I am a dog.   I bark, run, chase my tail, whatever it takes to act out the persona of @Mollythewinedog, spokedog for Styring Vineyards, my husband’s winery.

As a human and market researcher, I’m attending The Market Research Technology Event and spent today thinking deeply about virtuality and personas.   BrainJuicer demonstrated an entity (for lack of a better term) that takes the idea of personas to an entirely different level, creating human entities compiled from real world data associations.  Called Digividuals, these are more than avatars with people behind them, like my dog.  Digividuals are composites of data, scraped from the web and triggered by a minimal amount of seed information.   This is fascinating to me because it’s more credible as a life form than most personas on Twitter run by actual humans.  And, because it’s based in reality, it is more “grounded to the earth,” says John Kearnon, Founder of BrainJuicer.

I like this because each Digividual represents thousands or millions of people just like them and continues to grow and evolve via associations that are dynamic.   People are constantly changing – so are Digividuals.  Ultimately, if these entities are compiled from their environment, I should be able to introduce something new – a new product, a new advertisement, a new retail concept to this environment, and see if this component associates with the Digividual.  How many Digividuals in the cyber space in which they live “adopt” the new product?  Virtual Living potentially provides us with a new way to assess product concepts that is more behaviorally based but simulated so faster and less expensive than testing in RL (Real Life).  In fact, I’d like to unleash some Digividuals in a Virtual Store and see what happens!

Speaking of RL, there was a fascinating panel discussion on Non Traditional Market Research which quickly congealed around the notion of real time data collection and targeting real time messages in the moment.  Allusions to Minority Report were made, as this is the easiest frame of reference for the concept.  And there was a call for companies to mirror Pepsico in appointing a Technology Marketing Officer to truly exploit this idea of messages in the moment.  On the one hand, this is a great idea.  We can deploy timely information when it is actually relevant, like where the nearest Pepsi machine is when the temperature reaches 94 degrees as it is right now in Vegas.  But how do brands create resonance?

This is the difference between Technology Marketing Officer and a Brand Champion or CMO.   Products are becoming less differentiated in many categories and rely on Brand resonance to urge consumers choose their product over others.  If messages are reduced to timely information, creating resonance will be a challenge.  So, for now, this is a great way to exploit the equity of a strong brand but it probably isn’t yet fertile ground for building resonance or marketing new ideas that require more than the attention span of a dog to form an enduring connection.
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Today's guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk's Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from TMRTE in next week in Las Vegas, April 30-May 2, 2012.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

#TMRTE Live: Top Tweets from Day 1!

Today was the first main day of The Market Research Technology Event 2012 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas! Here are a few of the top tweets and insights from the day:


















Thanks for following us today on The Market Research Event Blog! We encourage you to join in on the conversation on the last day of The Market Research Technology Event at #TMRTE!

Podcast: Janet LeBlanc on Creating a Customer-Centric Culture

Janet LeBlanc, President, JANET LEBLANC + ASSOCIATES will be speaking on Creating a Customer-Centric Culture at our upcoming Total Customer Experience Leader's Summit.

I caught up with her last week to record a quick podcast where we discussed the growing priority of creating a customer centric culture and some steps an organization can take to identify and change their culture.

 On trying to create a customer-centric culture Janet says "it's one of the most challenging transformational change initiatives for any senior executive to undertake." However, there are some concrete steps you can take to get there. The first being, define what culture your organization currently operates within.

For more on the process and the types of culture you may currently be operating under, listen to the podcast here. 

If you'd like to hear more from Janet LeBlanc, join us at the Total Customer Experience Leader's Summit this June in Boston. 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. 

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

#TMRTE 2012: Who’s Your Superman?

Not the shirt worn by Dr. Pradeep
Today, The Market Research Technology Event kicked off with a keynote from Dr. A.K. Pradeep from Neurofocus Inc..  First, let me say that he caught my eye at the coffee station before the presentation not because of his super intelligence but because of his rock ‘n roll shirt.  Seriously, this shirt could be worn by John Taylor from Duran Duran and I mean that in a good way.  It was a righteous shirt.

You take a risk when you wear a shirt like that.  You better pay it off – and he did.    He engaged the audience on the topic of engagement – clever man.  He shared many useful observations about engagement, social media and retail.  He also mentioned Apple and Steve Jobs at least four times.  This was interesting to me because one of his tips included associating yourself and your brand with Apple, which I would say he did very, very well.

This made me think a little harder about Apple and its impact on digital design and product design overall.  Certainly the strides Apple has made in visual intuitiveness are undeniable.  And, the contributions made to the elegance of functional products are well appreciated, even by me.  But do we all want to look like Apple?  Dr. Pradeep essentially said if you don’t have “candy colored buttons” and swipe finger activation you’re out of the game.   I take issue with that.  In fact I like to call it the Tyranny of Apple and it’s the death of creativity.

I think the useful role for Apple (if you are not Apple) is as a nemesis.  A nemesis is not an enemy but a worthy opponent who makes us all strive harder.  Think about Batman.   His nemesis is not the Joker.  It’s Superman.   Superman can fly, leap tall, run fast.  Batman must apply innovation to develop tools to keep up with Superman and often fights evil in his own way.  He doesn’t say, “I need to be like Superman.”  It’s not possible, really, so he creates his own path.

Dr.  Pradeep also said that “what they (Apple) do seeps into everything.”  That’s right and that’s a good thing.  We should be inspired by Apple and use it to set new standards for achieving intuitive survey designs.  We should not be limited by Apple and assume that there is only one way to achieve intuitiveness.   This point is not to be like Apple but to be visually intuitive in user interfaces and elegant in our product design solutions -- to succeed in our own way.   Like Batman striving to surpass Superman, the more we think of Apple as a bar set high, the more our creative solutions will help our businesses thrive.

#TMRTE 2012: The Parasite Paradigm

Colony of Digital Organisms
from Michigan State University
Years ago I saw a demonstration by a professor who had developed a digital organism.  I’m not talking about those little robots you carry in your pocket and feed when they whine, but a totally digital life form.  He created a visualization of it for us but the digital life form was embedded in a hard drive so it didn’t really have a visual essence of its own.  To be “alive” it conformed to the rules defining life – it ate, slept, reproduced and ultimately died leaving offspring to carry on.  In fact, as the demonstration was “live” we were able to see population growth in real time.

This came to mind as I watched today’s Mobile Research presentations at The Market Research Technology Event in Las Vegas.   Several presenters highlighted the fragmented nature of the mobile platform, the distracted nature of the mobile survey taker, and the general lack of engagement of people taking a survey while mobile.  I imagine myself trying to answer survey questions while walking in a crowded airport.  There is no way this would go well for me.

One speaker mentioned that a key challenge of mobile research is the number of mobile platforms and the challenge to the developers of survey tools and apps.  And he said we were waiting for it to “settle down.”   This was preceded by a presentation on engagement – how consumers are not engaged in survey taking or most of what brands publish in social media.   In fact, it was noted that engagement levels erode over time.  For example, consumers were originally much more engaged in online surveys than they are now.  Attention spans tend to wane as familiarity with an experience wears on.

At this point my own attention span waned and I began to think about films.   It seems that we have a popular group of male actors, Ben Stiller for example, who appear in film after film.  But in each film they have a different girlfriend, a female actor we’ve never seen before.  And we never see her again in any other film.  Why is that?  Well, I’d suggest that the attention span for the female characters is short and as a film going public, we’re on to the next fresh face.

It’s the same with digital devices.  We replace them well before they wear out.  We upgrade for the next performance enhancement, screen size or cool interface.  It’s the next fresh face.  This probably explains the lack of enduring engagement in technology based research tools.  It’s cool and engaging for a while but then our interest wanes and engagement declines.  This pattern is predictable, so waiting for mobile platforms to “settle down” so we can design widgets, programs or apps that will work on a finite set of devices seems unlikely to be effective.   And we must continuously raise the bar on engaging survey content as this is a moving target too.

What if we created research tools that acted more like organisms – more specifically a parasites?  It would detect the type of host (digital device and consumer preferences) and adapt to attach accordingly.  It would read the individual and adapt to be the perfect interface for that person, altering visual dynamics, language, time of day approached, length of the survey, etc.    It could know how many surveys you’ve taken and what type so that it varies your content to engage.   I truly believe that adaptive design is the only way to keep up with unpredictable change.   That’s because things will never settle down, so riding with the waves of change is the only way to go.