Thursday, August 30, 2012

President Barack Obama: Redditor?!

President Obama's "verification" that he was on Reddit. Note the Reddit insignia on the cover of his laptop. (Source: imgr)

While the last presidential election prompted the initial utilization of YouTube and Facebook to connect with voters, President Barack Obama decided to take another step toward Internet prominence this week by engaging in an AMA, or Ask Me Anything post I am Barack Obama, President of the United States – AMAin the popular forum-like website Reddit. Starting the post as PresidentObama, a feat in itself that that username has not been taken yet, Obama covered subjects in this Q&A session ranging from NASA, Internet freedom, the possibility of losing the presidential election, basketball, beer, funding for elections, post-college qualms, to Obama’s personal day-to-day time management. 

As President Obama stepped into the uncharted territory of Reddit – a medium not previously utilized by past presidential candidates – the Republican Party took the more conservative (pun-intended?) route to promote their ideals and direction in Tampa, Florida with the Republican National Convention. The current face of the GOP, Mitt Romney formally accepts the Republican presidential nominee center stage, in front of the more mainstream news media outlets. Obama, taking the alternative means of reaching out to voters, actually at-times overwhelmed the Reddit servers, "reddit is under heavy load right now, sorry. Try again in a few minutes," causing Obama’s AMA post content to load very slowly, but nonetheless proving that his presence on the Internet was a hit.

My Facebook feed, the source of how I discovered this commotion, was heavy on the “OMG” and “COOL” in reaction to Obama's interaction, signifying the shock my peers felt as the President was taking the time to answer questions that they could ask. Though Obama already has achieved his Internet notoriety through the widely-used Obama’s Not Bad Rage Face meme, his engagement with Redditors brings him to a higher level of relatabilty, just as PresidentObama ends his last comment in the AMA post in reference to his popularly-used Internet meme with: By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!”
 
(Source: quickmeme)

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has his own popular meme, although not as positive as he would hope compared to Obama. Meet Relatable Romney, giving his strongest efforts to relate to the common people’s current woes but alas due to his known wealth and assumed wealthy lifestyle, he fails to do so.
I guess we all feel the summer heat, right Mitt? (Source: Huffington Post)

Does this bring Obama to an advantageous point having tried to connect with a wide span of potential voters with a never-before-used medium, while Romney attends the GOP convention that makes note of Obama’s failures as a president? Will Obama’s entry to where the common Internet users interact prompt other elected officials, perhaps Relatable Romney, to boldly go deeper into the depths of the Internet in attempts to sway more voters, a more no-holds-barred environment – where censorship is almost non-existent? 


Chester Wai is a Social Media Intern at IIR USA with a specialization in Cultural Studies and Digital Arts. He may be reached at Cwai@iirusa.com





PrideBites learns which dog toy features matter most to owners

Today's blog post comes from TMRE Sponsor Google.  For more information on upcoming Google Consumer Survey Web Seminars, visit this webpage.

PrideBites learns which dog toy features matter most to owners

Google Consumer Surveys helps you make informed business decisions by asking internet users survey questions. Users complete questions in exchange for access to content around the web, and content publishers get paid per answer. Google automatically analyzes responses, providing the data through a simple online interface. Below we share the experiences of one of our customers, PrideBites, a manufacturer and distributor of high quality, durable dog toys with unique designs.

The four founders of PrideBites first knew they were onto something when their box of 50 trojan-shaped dog toys sold out in under an hour at a USC football game. “They were so different and colorful, but the stitching was still very high quality,” says co-founder Steven Blustein. “It became clear that there is demand for dog toys that hit the sweet spot between design and durability.” As new entrants into an industry with particularly established distribution relationships, PrideBites knew they needed to be smart about how they expanded their product line. “Retailers will always want a cheaper product that has tried and true features. We need to know that we have what consumers really want.”


As a small business, it can be difficult to quickly and affordably access detailed market research. “We had broad statistics about the pet goods industry, but nothing about the demand for rubber versus plush.” Using insights from Google Consumer Surveys, PrideBites could more closely hone in on messaging and feature priorities. Surveys showing that people don’t play with their dogs in the water influenced their decision to de-emphasize waterproof features on the packaging. Similarly, surveys indicating that machine-washability isn’t important to consumers the way it is to retailers helped differentiate the important selling points across audiences. They also validated their hunch that dog lovers value contributions to pet charities, and are now developing ways to support animal welfare organizations.

After completing their first set of surveys, Blustein is excited about the future questions PrideBites will be able to answer using Google Consumer Surveys. “We couldn’t take our eyes off of the results and would love to ask more targeted questions about price thresholds for various demographics, and how long men versus women expect a dog toy to last.”

Joanne Schneider, Consumer Surveys Business Development





Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Will market research have more or less influence in 10 years? Gina G. Scott of Citi Group answers

Leading up to The Market Research Event for Non Researchers, we'll be sharing some of the views and tips from the leaders who are participating in our event.  Consumer insights continues to be a consistent foundation for marketing strategy, business innovation and product development decisions.  These leaders  will help attendees translate market research into profitable business decisions.

Today, we're speaking with Gina G. Scott, VP, Business Development and Strategy/Research, Citgroup - Citi Retail Services, who will be participating in the session "Methodology Assessment: An End Users Guide to the Research Arsenal."

Will market research have more or less influence in 10 years?
Interesting question. Managers will always need market research. The point of research is to be able to make more informed decisions. Research for the sake of research is not going to be an effective use of time and resources. Research to satisfy a curiosity is not going to be an effective use of time and resources. Research to tap the market for information needed to make business decisions is the only real reason to conduct research. So as long as managers have incomplete information about what is wanted and needed in the marketplace, there will be market research. Given that, the research in 10 years will have a different look and feel than research does now. Ten years ago, much of the quantitative research was conducted via snail mail, over the phone or in person. The method of contacting the consumer has evolved as the percentage of average Americans who have access to email has increased. The labor intensive (read: expensive) phone interview has given way to a faster, simpler way to collect data. The snail mail approach has given way to a faster approach with a higher response rate. Even qualitative research taps into email in that recruiting can begin with email screening.

Even beyond email, the next game changer has already begun – social media. There are different ways of collecting data from the blogs and posts of people with strong opinions. Companies “crawl” the Internet for public comments with key words then sell the reports with new types of graphical representation of the results. Companies post comments in public forums asking specific questions and inviting people to participate in the discussion. Another way to gain feedback from consumers is to simply request it– think apps.

It is hard to imagine what will be the next technology or discovery to bring major changes to the field of marketing, but in 10 years, there will be market research and it will be different.

As an end user of research, it’s your responsibility to spot inaccuracies and opportunities that aren’t yet uncovered. But how do you do this when you’re not a trained researcher? For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us this November 12-14  in Boca Raton, register today and mention code NONMR12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!





Infographics or Info-annoying?

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



Ok folks, let’s talk infographics. They are a hot topic in business information circles (including research), and love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay.

Let’s break this down. Common complaints about infographics that I’ve heard include:

  • -They’re busy – there’s so much information in one visual that they eye is not sure where to look…and how the heck do you print them out?
  • -Everyone thinks they are an infographics designer, even if they’re just essentially creating a colorful PowerPoint slide. Take this HOT PINK infographic about the Kardashian wedding for example.  
  • -They’re too simplistic and incomplete – they’re not communicating the full scope of research findings to the customer or end-user.
  • -Unless you have in-house graphic design, good infographics can be very expensive to produce.
  • -Data used in infographics is dated, incorrect, or very biased.

Ok, let’s face it, there are some pretty awful infographics out there, and the tide of folks complaining about infographics is growing.  Witness sites such as a Tumblr for terrible infographics, articles such as “Ending the Infographic Plague ,” and, well, this one from Gizmodo. There are also folks out there simply not using the correct information (i.e. old data when new data is available) to create their infographics.

All of these complaints aside, it’s hard to ignore the fact that sometimes one infographic piece can cut through the clutter of overwhelming data and give the client or end-user an ‘ah hah’ moment.  That’s when an infographic is done well, delivering data in an unexpected way that resonates. In addition to using infographics for client presentations and deliverables, infographics are typically excellent traffic drivers on your website, so it’s understandable why they’re particularly popular right now.

So, if you’re working on a project that involves infographics, remember they have a short shelf life (data gets old fast!), they can be expensive to produce, and it’s on YOU to ensure they’re done accurately.

For inspiration (and guidance) be sure to check out the fabulous Edward Tufte, “The Leonardo da Vinci of data,” and you can start with some good examples curated by Kissmetrics.

Also remember that if you’re joining us at TMRE in November there are some related to data visualization, such as “Making an Impact – Data Visualization and Deployment Techniques that Bring Research to Life.”

Finally, are you curious about research-specific infographics? Look no further than The Nitty GRITty of the Research Industry!
___________

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

If you'd like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year's program, download the agenda.





Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NBCUniversal Digital Research Head: Ratings No Longer Enough!

Integrated Media Unit Upends Conventional Media Research

By Marc Dresner, IIR

If Jon Gibs were to rate the performance of media research as an industry in general today he’d give it a C+.

Not failing, but nothing to be particularly proud of, either. Gibs is working to change that.

The SVP of Digital Research for NBCUniversal’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media (E&DN/IM) is transforming how the division thinks about media by focusing on the consumer, not the medium—an approach more akin to marketing research than traditional media research.

“We’re using toolsets that are much more about consumer behavior and consumer analytics than we had previously,” Gibs told “The Research Insighter.”

“We have all come to the realization that living by ratings isn’t enough…either television ratings or digital ratings like comScore,” Gibs said.

“What most divisions and most research groups are moving toward is helping drive business intelligence back into the organization rather than just reporting last night’s numbers,” he added.

The transition centers on Big Data integration and analysis, but it hasn’t been easy.

For one, Gibs said research providers aren’t equipped to meet the Big Data challenge, so his organization has turned to software platforms from IBM and Microsoft in order to build solutions in-house.

“The problem is right now that most (traditional research providers) don’t have the technical capabilities and it’s not part of their product roadmap,” said Gibs.

“We really need them to partner with us to be able to make these type of movements and to be able to look into the future of what we want market research to be,” he said.

This much is clear: The industry has some catching up to do...

Play the podcast here:

Download the interview MP3!
Download the interview transcript!

Editor’s note: Jonathan Gibs will be a featured speaker at The Market Research Event 2012 taking place November 12-14 in Boca Raton, FL.

For more information about The Market Research Event or to register, please visit www.themarketresearchevent.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s senior editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Women: Use your OUTSIDE voice

I sorted the mail today, preparing to pay bills.  I do this only once a month and the pile is a behemoth.   Doing it once a month is my gentle rebellion against the shear amount of mail, the mewling of creditors, and general inefficiency of a world made of paper.  Near the bottom of the pile was the TMRE Brochure.

What do they talk about in there?
I've looked at this brochure a few times already,then it struck me that there was something odd about the keynote photos.  Yes, they are black & white and yes they are always a little weird because they're taken by different photographers.  What left me dumbstruck is that they are all male.

This is not new news.  Women have been the backbone of this male-led industry for decades, beginning with Procter & Gamble's "Field Girls" in the 1950s and leading up to today.   Certainly we have our icons.  Yet - the proportion of women at the lower end of the scale in Market Research is very high and the proportion at the upper end very low.  This is not a new conversation among women in this industry, we've just kept it in the ladies room.  The event planning is just an artifact of the reality.
  
We need the women in leadership positions in this industry to step up.  Publish.  Have a public point of view.  Take a commanding role in shaping the industry.  We know you do this daily in your roles as leaders within your companies.  Time to share with everyone.  We know you are outnumbered by male counterparts but in this case we're also being out-voiced.  Use your OUTSIDE voice and tell us how to grow this industry, improve its technologies and build a stronger future.  Inspire us with what makes our diversity important.  And please be more visible on the platform at these types of events.  Let's take this conversation out of the ladies room and on the main stage where it belongs.

** ** **
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 The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you'd like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!





Friday, August 24, 2012

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: The Future of Consumer Intelligence

CALL FOR PRESENTERS:
The Future of Consumer Intelligence
May 14-16, 2013 | San Francisco, CA
Call 646.895.7335 or Email Slevyn@iirusa.com
Submission Deadline : FRIDAY, August 31st, 2012

Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than Friday, August 31, 2012 to Stacy Levyn, Conference Producer at slevyn@iirusa.com or 646.895.7335.

The nature of data and technology is changing. The upcoming year represents the year of the multi-dimensional marketplace, and just as the market researcher's role evolves, so does our third annual event. Welcome to The Future of Consumer Intelligence - a gathering of "consumer culture" collective exploring common ground across roles and industries for translating behavioral information into business opportunity.

Confirmed Keynotes
  • • Andrew Zolli, Executive Director and Chief Creative Officer, POPTECH
  • • Alex Hunter, Former Head, VIRGIN ONLINE
  • • Tom LaForge, Global Director, Human & Cultural Insights, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
  • • Rick Smolan, Former Time Life & National Geographic Photographer, CEO, AGAINST ALL ODDS PRODUCTIONS and Creator, HUMAN FACE OF BIG DATA
  • • Jasper Roos, Chief Inspiration Officer, ABN AMRO
  • • Henry Mason, Global Head of Research and Managing Partner, TRENDWATCHING.COM

Specific Topical Discussions Include
  • • Analytics: "From Data to Knowledge." Uncover connections and expose hidden patterns to predict future behaviors using technology.
  • • Insights: "From Consumers to People." Deeply understand customers and how they live.
  • • Relational Database Strategy: "From Insight to Action." Engage, build and deepen customer relationship for profitable outcomes.

Plus two NEW Symposia's
  1. 1. Top Tech Trends: Gamification, Visualization Data, Augmented Reality
  2. 2. Market Research Technology for Financial Services: Data Security and Access Control, Collection, Analysis and Cost Effective Storage, Predictive Models, Forecasts and Trading, Enterprise Risk Management Frameworks and other topical areas around finance as a top data driven industry.

The Audience
Managers, director level and above in Market Research, CRM, Innovation, Technology, Marketing, Analytics, Consumer Insights, Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Social Media, Mobile, Data Mining, Text Analytics, IT, Design and Engineering.

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

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

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

For consideration, please email slevyn@iirusa.com with the following information:
  • • Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
  • • Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
  • • Talk title
  • • The main theme you plan to address
  • • Summary of the presentation (3-5 sentences)
  • • Please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
  • • What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key “take-aways”)
  • • Previous conference experience
  • • Short bio





Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit 2013 Call for Presenters Now Open


INDUSTRY ALERT: OFFICIAL CALL FOR PRESENTERS 
 The Institute for International Research (IIR) presents: Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit March/April 2013

Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than Wednesday, September 5, 2012 to Rachel McDonald, Senior Conference Producer at rmcdonald@iirusa.com or 646.895.7405.

The Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit is an event that showcases trends, insights and best practices for measuring, aligning and communicating your customer experience strategy to ensure business relevance.

A Three Day Conference Experience Featuring NEW Topics 
• Customer Experience Design & Measurement
• Experience Engineering
• Design Management
• Redesigning a Program
• Analyzing VoC
• Data Deployment and Data Dissemination
• Social Media Feedback
• New Innovative Methodologies
• Internal Customer Index Scoring vs. NPS
• Enterprise Feedback Management Strategy & Alignment
• Using VoC to Take Actionable Insights
• Employee Engagement
• Monetizing Your Customer Experience
• Recovery Strategy
• Linkage
• Customer Service

High Level General Sessions that Focus On: 
• Innovation & Creativity in Customer Experience
• Operational Perspective
• Digital Customer Experience
• Behavioral Economics
• Leadership

We are also happy to consider topics not listed here that you feel would add value and be appropriate. 

PLUS! Idea gathering forums following each session topic.

The Audience:
• Individuals within the company responsible for customer experience, voice of customer, customer research
• Individuals with direct experience for the customer experience and/or voice of customer collection, dissemination, interpretation and results
• Individuals seeking to enhance their own company's capabilities in these areas (become more customer-centric and drive business results through improved customer experience), and willing to help others advance through sharing of best practices and experiences Speakers receive FREE admission to the conference.

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

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

For consideration, please email rmcdonald@iirusa.com with the following information by Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
• Talk title • The main theme you plan to address
• Summary of the presentation (3-5 sentences)
• Please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
• What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key “take-aways”)
• Previous conference experience
• Short bio

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline. Thank you for your interest in the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit.

We look forward to receiving your proposal!

All the best,
Rachel McDonald Senior Conference Producer, IIR





Thursday, August 23, 2012

Complimentary Web Seminar: Maximizing the Organizational Value of Insights

We would like to invite you to an upcoming web seminar!

Title: Maximizing the Organizational Value of Insights
Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/fenm0x5hjyqg
Please mention priority code: MWJ0023-BLOG

Are you frustrated by requests for new insights while those previously discovered go unleveraged? Does your organization struggle with crystallizing insights, making them accessible and understood, or translating them into actionable innovation?


About the web seminar:
Most marketers have no shortage of research findings, but to return the investment, findings must be turned into insights that are accessed, understood and used by company stakeholders.

Join us for a webinar in which we'll share best-in-class methods for maximizing the organizational value of insights.

We'll address solutions to challenges such as getting insights internalized by company stakeholders and getting more mileage from research by "connecting the dots" from research to insights to implications, strategies and activated solutions. And we'll review case studies with major brand companies and retailer and offer learnings, including:
- Formal and informal methods for turning findings into insights
- New tools for socializing insights across organizations
- Techniques for aligning teams around implications and forward-thinking retail programs

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/fenm0x5hjyqg

If you have any questions about this web seminar contact me at jpereira@iirusa.com.





Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Knowing When to Challenge the Research: Market Research with Perry N. Rea, Boeing

Leading up to The Market Research Event for Non Researchers, we'll be sharing some of the views and tips from the leaders who are participating in our event.  Consumer insights continues to be a consistent foundation for marketing strategy, business innovation and product development decisions.  These leaders  will help attendees translate market research into profitable business decisions.

Today, we're speaking with Perry N. Rea, Chief Engineer, New Airplane Studies, Boeing, who will be participating in the session "Mastering The Challenger Role…. Knowing When to Challenge the Research."

What advice do you have for market research end users you’ve worked with?
The researchers are not the end users, their customers are. My advice for researchers is to understand your customer and make sure that you are answering the questions they want answered rather than pushing available data on them and trying to convince them it is what they need. Spend the time up front to understand the requirements and desired outcomes for the data, what it is going to be used for, how much detail and certainty is need and put together a plan to get that data, rather than going out and collecting mountains of data and trying to make it fit a number of customers. Most important, don’t fall in love with a particular set of data and try to convince me it is what I need, instead, get me what I ask for.

My advice to end users is to be specific about what you are looking for prior to commissioning research, or understand what you are getting before buying research data. Question everything about the data, starting with the collection methods, the assumptions made and any biases that the researchers may have. My rule when having data presented to me is to always ask the next question. The biggest trap however it to filter all of the research through your own assumptions and biases. Whether you agree or disagree with the data, look for nuggets and new insights in it and challenge your own assumptions. Give the researchers a chance to tell you what they think is significant and what they have learned.

Dream project?
One where the data leads me to an obvious answer rather than more questions.

What is the biggest roadblock to getting things done internally?
Getting people to realize the need to spend the money to collect data before it is needed so that the data can be used to drive the decisions.

Will market research have more or less influence in 10 years?
Depends on how you define market research? The idea of having to go out and spend major money on research to get people’s opinions will be a thing of the past. As social media increases, researchers will have instant access to millions of people’s opinions. The difficulty will be how to analyze all of that information.

As an end user of research, it’s your responsibility to spot inaccuracies and opportunities that aren’t yet uncovered. But how do you do this when you’re not a trained researcher? For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us this November 12-14  in Boca Raton, register today and mention code NONMR12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!





Go Global!

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




“BRIC and EMEA”

“Cultural bias”

“Global brand relevance”

If you work in market research in a multi-national corporation, you may use the above terms almost every day.

If you work in market research in a small US-based company serving only local markets, they may not be as relevant to you.

And then there are many of us who are somewhere in the middle, working in companies who are either considering overseas expansion or who have recently taken the plunge into foreign markets.

Chances are if you fall into any of the three buckets above, you could use some brushing up on global research and insights, because those insights may be directly relevant to you regarding the countries in which you work or will be working soon, or the insights may be more tangential but still relevant to keeping your research brain “fresh.”

If you’re the global research lead learner in your corporation (like me), it’s absolutely imperative to build those global research skills and keep them fresh. Especially if you’re not the feet-on-the-ground in those overseas markets, but still need to manage the research…which I know is the case for many of you.

That’s why I’m over-the-moon excited that there is such an international presence at TMRE this year with speakers from India, Russia, the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, the UK, Mexico, Brazil, and more. I plan to listen, learn, and “be a sponge” of information in their sessions.

That’s also why I’m going early to TMRE to take part in the Pre-Conference Summits on Monday (11/12), particularly the Global Research and Insights track. Sessions such as “Understanding Local Culture to Build Effective Research Strategies in International Markets” given by PepsiCo Russia will hopefully give me some new insights into different overseas markets that my company works in. And that will make me a better researcher.

I hope you’ll join me at the Pre-Conference Summits on Monday, November 12th – I’d love to learn from YOU, especially if you’re doing some fascinating international research that you’d like to share!
____________
More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the”Voice of the Customer” inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you'd like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year's program, download the agenda.





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Don't throw away half of your market research effort

Two months ago the advertising agency Grabarz & Partner said good bye to their client EDEKA (Germany’s largest food retailer) who had decided to chose one of Grabarz’s competitors for further brand development and marketing activities.

While this has happened quite often in the history of brands and agencies, Grabarz & Partner have placed an ad in a German marketing magazine to appropriately finish more than seven years of award winning creative work with the client. The title of the ad: “How to create a brand – a 15 step guide”.


Personally I think this is a good thing to do, but step 5 I found worrying. It says: “Replace 50% of your market research effort by common sense”, suggesting that market research …

a) has limited ability to support creating a brand

b) is - by stating the obvious much too often - not revealing enough brand insights.

Depending on the perspective, this is either the truth or another act of MR-bashing.

Regardless of the reader judging step 5 to be right or wrong, the message itself gains importance for our industry because it was published in a marketing magazine (and widely shared and discussed throughout the social web). And readers of marketing magazines usually are part of MR clients.

Maybe we should think about reputation of our MR industry and how to improve...

First of all teaming up and seeking allies in the form of advertising agencies is key. There should be more joint approaches between our professions in order to level up consumer understanding and consequential brand and marketing programs.

Furthermore we should begin to think about public relation activities for market research. For many years – and maybe this is a local challenge in Germany – PR has only existed in order to promote new tools but not to position market research as an insight-partner. Insights are more interesting than methodological details so we shouldn’t hide behind our tools. To marketing MR to other industries like brand consulting or advertising in order to get a greater share of voice, means more than press releases about new methodologies. 

Requirements in these times are changing rapidly, that’s right. But one thing is key: we will have to think more from the perspective of users of insights to leveraging research, assessing methodology and challenging ourselves and our research. By improving our ability to change the perspective we will be much more able to demonstrate the strategic and actionable possibilities and values of market research.

And maybe the next ad about “How to create a brand” will replace step 5 by “work with your market research colleagues in close cooperation on real brand insights”

Make sure that you join us at the The Market Research Event 2012, hosted by IIRUSA November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL. For more about this year's program download the agenda.

-----------
Today's guest post is from Christian Dössel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany. He has worked for TNS, TBWA\ and other advertising, strategy and market research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you'd like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!





Monday, August 20, 2012

Social Media Research: from Listening to Understanding

USA Today recently published a piece on text analysis.  Yawn!  I know.  Really?  Again?  It suggested that... drum roll please... as a culture we are becoming more self-centered and less "we" or "team" focused.  Masters of the obvious.  I think reality television and social media have provided a loud narcissist's playground where everybody is talking so loud that nobody can hear well enough to listen.  And more importantly, who cares?

Market Researchers care.  So much so that TMRE's track on Social Media is not called "social media."  It's called Social Media Listening.  This shift fascinates me because it suggests we've reached a plateau in our initial understanding of social media - its role and mechanics.  And now we have tools in place to listen and learn.  That's cool, but what's next?

Now is the time to plan the next crescendo in social media learning, lifting from the plateau and into higher levels of understanding.  Looks like Jeff Henning from Affinnova will present another inventive thought in a session about listening then asking and understanding, iterating with social media to innovate.  This is a smart first step toward more "why?"

Here's the next dilemma as I see it.  The analysis in USA Today didn't actually consider social media at all.  They measured the text in BOOKS!  A full 50 years worth of books not a 15 minute slice of social media.  It was a Global analysis noting that words like "I" and references to the self far outweigh "we" and references to the collective.   This could just be a stylistic shift to first person narrative - but maybe that's the point.  If we are seeing the trend in books over a 50 year period certainly the trend for self absorption existed before social media.

So the next challenge in social media will be the quality of listening.  For example, could the analysis in USA Today even be performed when 140 characters entices writers to eliminate pronouns?  "I went to the movies" becomes "Went to the movies."  This could be "I," "we," or "the dog," and no one would know.  Maybe its more essential versus the content.  This is a difficult next step but probably imperative for us as we grow more dependent on social media as a source of insight.  Improving the quality of listening so we really know who is talking and the "why?" behind what they are saying would bring truly new insight AND understanding to social media.

** ** **
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 The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you'd like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!





Friday, August 17, 2012

How does Big Data impact your market research projects? Take the Connotate Big Data Attitudes & Perceptions Survey!

A message from TMRE Exhibitor Connotate:

As people continue to look for new ways to manage data, understand what is relevant to track and what is not, and figure out best practices for extracting value from Big Data, Connotate has once again commissioned a survey to identify trends and grow understanding of the needs and use cases in the market. The “Big Data Attitudes and Perceptions Survey” provides insights from today’s top thought leaders spanning a variety of industries into corporate goals involving Big Data. The survey highlights how enterprises monitor, collect and use information in Big Data projects and presents executives’ views on the importance of these projects to the business.

All participants will receive a link to the findings once the survey is complete.

Take the survey here.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Gina Cerami
VP of marketing, Connotate

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If you'd like to join Cannotate at The Market Research Event 2012 this November, register today mentioning code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

About Connotate
For organizations in which content and data are vital to success, Connotate is the Web collection company that puts the power of Web data monitoring and collection into the hands of the business user. Through an easy-to-use ‘point and click’ interface and patented algorithms, Connotate delivers the scalability, reliability and resiliency necessary to drive strategic value from dynamic, Web sources. With benefits ranging from increased productivity, competitive advantages and dramatic operational cost savings, Connotate’s growing customer list includes global businesses such as McGraw-Hill, Associated Press and Thomson Reuters. Connotate has been named a KMWorld “Trend-Setting Product” for the past six years. For more information, please visit http://www.connotate.com.





Become a TMRE Ambassador!

We’re setting out to find TMRE’s most passionate loyalists and invite them to participate in our inaugural ambassador program. After all, TMRE is the world’s best event because it attracts the best people. This highly specialized group of leaders results in an unrivaled intellectual capital not found anywhere else. These folks have the best lesson based stories to share. Therefore, the more peer counterparts who come, the more tangible value the event delivers. Consequently the more profound the impact will be on advancing the industry forward. And so, in a world where word of mouth is the trusted medium of choice, we invite those who believe strongly in the brand to champion the event on our behalf to help grow the event community by expanding our reach to the right people.

We’ll make it easy for you to do and reward performance. All TMRE ambassadors will receive VIP status including exclusive discounts, pre-event screenings and access to a members only gold room of pleasantries onsite.

What is the TMRE Ambassador program?
We’re bringing together a community of folks with a true passion for The Market Research Event to help us expand our network and broaden awareness of the event. If you’re singing TMRE’s praises, we want to recognize and reward you, support your efforts and make your mission a little easier and a lot more fun. By empowering our ambassadors with tools to spread the word about TMRE, you’ll be able to offer exclusive discounts to your contacts and rack up VIP experiences and other perks for yourself. TMRE ambassadors are an eclectic mix of past attendees, former speakers and long standing sponsors – all those that know, trust and love the brand.

Life as a TMRE Ambassador
Enjoy these onsite VIP experiences and other perks throughout the entire year.

  • • Special Ambassador discount to attend TMRE
  • • 20% discount to pass along to colleagues and contacts to join you at the event. (To receive your unique pass-along discount code, email Krista Vazquez).
  • • Access to presentations in advance
  • • Private on-site registration
  • • Access to TMRE Ambassador Lounge onsite
  • • VIP meet and greets with select speakers onsite
  • • Private keynote book signings
  • • Upgraded onsite refreshments and meals
  • • Complimentary onsite Wi-Fi access
  • • Automatic enrollment in the Annual Insights & Innovation Webinar Series
  • • Participation in TMRE AmbassaCHATTER – a panel of ambassadors face off on the most debatable controversial topics – scheduled quarterly
  • • And, of course, the coveted TMRE T-shirt

The Market Research Event will take place November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us, you save 15% off the standard rate when you mention code TMRE12LINK8. If you have any questions about this year’s event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.





Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's Overwhelming!

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




The concept of content curation has been on my mind a lot this week.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it is the process of identifying, organizing and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic or issue online. Content curation can be a very valuable activity in your business, as it can make you a recognized and trusted resource for pertinent news and important information…and it can keep you continually visible to your audience.

The trending of content curation as a “hot topic” has really taken off in the last few years, which is not a surprise as the pace of data and content creation is expanding exponentially each year. In fact, back in 2010 Nielsen and AOL estimated that 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day.  You can bet that number has gone up since then. Talk about drinking from a fire hose of information!

In fact, many marketers are using content curation as a key component of their content marketing strategy, according to Curata’s 2012 Content Curation Adoption Survey, with 95 percent of respondents indicating they have curated content in the past six months. In my company, content curation comes up a lot, because we strive to be a recognized and trusted resource for news and information in the various industries we serve and curation is certainly part of our strategy.

With many of us in a state of overwhelm with the amount of market research knowledge that’s out there, it’s no surprise that many of us have turned to content curators (our trusted friends, industry leaders, and great research thinkers) as we’re all in need of someone to curate the wealth of content that’s out there for us. As Kelley mentioned in her recent blog post here,” Developments in our industry and technology are moving so fast, it's hard to keep up.“ That’s why we select who we follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with care, subscribe to specific industry journals and Paper.Lis, add specific blogs to our reader, etc. Those sources are curating content for us.

But we also need to cultivate the skill of being curators ourselves.

Why?

Because essentially we are research content (and data) curators for our customers, and we need to be good ones. If you think about it, presenting our clients with ALL of the data from a study in raw format would be like asking them to drink from that fire hose previously mentioned! Even a 25-question survey with 500 respondents is a lot of raw data for them to look at.

We need to be good curators, identifying, organizing and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic or issue, by teasing out insights, knowing how to find the story in the data, removing our bias and personal filters, and by knowing who you’re curating the data for (your audience) and what data and delivery method will resonate most.

The pace of online content sharing and data creation is only going to increase over time, so curation (both employing it and learning it) is an important skill to master!
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More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the”Voice of the Customer” inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you'd like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year's program, download the agenda.





"Driving Best-In-Class Customer Experience" Webinar Recording Available

Recently we were pleased to present a webinar entitled "Driving Best-In-Class Customer Experience: Beyond Social Media Listening" in cooperation with EmPower Research, a Genpact company.


In this session, presenter Sagita Joshi explored the customer experience ecosystem, discussing the ways that listening and engagement can be performed on social media channels.  We learned more about the ways that Twitter "has become the help desk" with examples such as Lenovo and Best Buy's "Twelpforce" leading the way.

Joshi presented a "win me, delight me, keep me" approach to social media customer experience building, with Empower finding that over time increased awareness of a brand on social media lead to up to 37% more first timers visiting a brand's page. To learn more, view a recording of the webinar here.

Are you using social media for customer experience?


About EmPower Research:
EmPower Research, a Genpact company (NYSE:G) provides integrated media and business research services. We help our clients understand stakeholder perception and needs, empowering them to service better. We use proprietary methodologies to listen and learn about conversations in the customer ecosystem, deriving real insights for active stakeholder engagement.
For more information, visit http://www.empowerresearch.com 

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





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Going "Beyong Social Media Listening" - Webinar Recording

Recently we were pleased to present a webinar entitled "Driving Best-In-Class Customer Experience: Beyond Social Media Listening" in cooperation with EmPower Research, a Genpact company.

In this session, presenter Sagita Joshi explored customer experience through a social media lens. We learned more about the ways that Twitter "has become the help desk" with examples such as Lenovo and Best Buy's "Twelpforce" leading the way. Joshi presented a "win me, delight me, keep me" approach to social media customer experience building, with Empower finding that over time increased awareness of a brand on social media lead to up to 37% more first timers visiting a brand's page. To learn more, view a recording of the webinar here.

Are you using social media for customer experience?


About EmPower Research:
EmPower Research, a Genpact company (NYSE:G) provides integrated media and business research services. We help our clients understand stakeholder perception and needs, empowering them to service better. We use proprietary methodologies to listen and learn about conversations in the customer ecosystem, deriving real insights for active stakeholder engagement.
For more information, visit http://www.empowerresearch.com 

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





Personal Relevance: Two Thumbs UP

I'm now twice the age I was when I graduated from college, the first time.  I've made a conscious effort to remain relevant as each milestone ticks past me. In addition to the serious business of staying on top of the Market Research field and lots of trivial knowledge from reading hundreds of books, I've also tried some unorthodox things.  Such as...I've started going to see bands in clubs about once a month.  I'm way out of my depth and on the way to hearing loss someday but it is energizing to me.  And... I've stopped wearing a watch because someone told me that people under 30 don't look at their wrist for the time and they don't strap a device to their body with only one function.  I stopped giving two thumbs up to anything because I read that no one under 40 knows who Fonzie is and that two thumbs up makes you look... old. 

Hey there, Fonz.

It's not really aging that has me worried.  That's gonna happen no matter what.  It's relevance that keeps me up at night.  I know that my body is going to let me down, slowly but surely.  My hips have already forsaken me, proving the point.  But my brain is definitely rocking harder than it did in my 20s.  I think about all of the bad decisions I made at that age - just look at your old haircuts and you know what I mean.  I know the skills and experience acquired over time are paying off for me and my clients.  BUT how do I make sure I stay sharp, stay current and therefore, retain value over time.  Developments in our industry and technology are moving so fast, it's hard to keep up.  I sometimes feel like I'm swimming in an Endless Pool of Knowledge with the very real possibility it's going to smash me into the wall with the force of progress.

Attending conferences like The Market Research Event is an efficient way to sharpen the saw so to speak.  Reviewing the schedule gives you an idea of the topics burning through the industry - setting the stage for what you should worry about missing.  With concurrent sessions you have to accept the fact that there is more here than you can chew, but that choice of topics helps assure you'll finding something of interest.  Most important to me is the meet-ups between sessions.  These are the moments to reconnect with colleagues, meet new people by staring at name tags and screwing up your courage to say "hello" to someone who may hate you in the future.  (Never miss an opportunity to meet a new ex-client!  hahaha).  Make yourself attend a session you are not interested in and listen hard for something new.  These are the things that make you more relevant to your clients, your coworkers, and yourself.

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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 The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you'd like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!





Create the Future, Don’t Follow It

As summer is quickly drawing to an end the Shopper Insights in Action International team wanted to send a quick reminder of two Shopper events you don't want to miss!


Shopper Insights in Action International - Keynote Spotlight

America, Belgium and China: A Retail Marketing Perspective of Three Countries/Continents presented by Stephen Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, ASDA

The world is getting smaller by the day, habits and behaviours are converging, many brands are universal - yet every market is unique and proud. Stephen shares his experiences, thoughts and insights about the changing customer, the impact of country culture and the role and management of marketing across the world; having been a retail CMO in these three regions. See the Full Programme here
Stephen Smith 

ASDA is just one of the leading retailers represented at The International Shopper Insights in Action Event. You will also hear from: Arla Foods, Google, Danone Group, Migros, Nokia, Energizer, Kodak, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Lego, McDonald's Europe, Newell Rubbermaid, Tiger Brands, Wrigley, Ominicom Media, Pepsico Europe, Metro Cash & Caryy and many more. To see the full speaker faculty and for more information visit our website.




Plus....Preview The 2012 Shopper Insights in Action International Event:
Join us for a Complimentary Webinar on 
THE ART OF SHOPPING: HOW WE SHOP & WHY WE BUY

Date:  Thursday, 16 August 2012
Time: 10:00 AM EDT
Subject: Join Siemon Scamell-Katz, a leading expert in shopper behaviour and David Roth, CEO of The Store - WPP, in a conversation to shed light on consumer and shopper habits and what prompts their behaviour.

In this free webinar, you'll learn:
How the latest learnings from neuroscience illustrate the realities of decision-making
How consumer and shopper insight can link together to create maximum impact at the point of purchase
What retailing will look like in 2020, particularly how off and online will migrate
The future for brands in that new world

This complimentary Webinar is an exclusive preview of Siemon Scamell-Katz' keynote address at the International Shopper Insights in Action Event, taking place on October 24-26, 2012, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Register for this Webinar here.



Register to attend the International Shopper Insights in Action Conference.

* Save £200 - Register by 31 August  2012

Online: www.shopperinsightseventintl.com
Call: +1.941.554.3500
Email: register@iirusa.com






Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Submit Your Case Study for the Annual Innovation Awards in Research!

Innovate. Disrupt. Lead. This year, TMRE is proud to host two of the industry's most prestigious awards: the annual EXPLOR award brought to you by uSamp and the third annual Next Gen Market Research Award brought to you by NGMR.

The EXPLOR Award recognizes breakthrough innovation in technology as applied to market research. The Next Gen Market Research Award recognizes companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and made significant contributions to harnessing disruptive innovation to drive research industry progress.

uSamp™ and Anderson Analytics will partner to present two outstanding Innovation in Market Research awards at The Market Research Event this November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida.

For more information and to submit your nominations, visit the TMRE Awards Page. The deadline is Friday, September 14, 2012.  If you have any questions, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.





Research Industry Hiring Sputters

Recruiter Unpacks Employment Trend Portent

By Marc Dresner, IIR

By many accounts, the last couple of fiscal quarters have been something of a rollercoaster ride for research providers—alternating between feast and famine after a relatively stable period of slow but steady growth.

I’ve always felt that the job market is a pretty reliable, albeit lagging indicator of the state of business. So to get a better handle on the situation, I spoke with Karen Morgan, CEO of Morgan Search International. The firm specializes in placing research & strategy professionals.

She not only confirmed what I’ve been hearing, but shared some interesting trends worth noting in this forum…

According to Morgan, somewhere between May and June the research job market experienced a bout of dramatic fits and starts. In fact, she’s recently seen a slew of positions abruptly pulled, even at near-offer stage.

“We’re definitely seeing some hedging of bets,” said Morgan. “Companies—both agencies and buyers—are experiencing a great deal of difficulty planning ahead because there seem to be so many unknowns. People are nervous.”

Uncertainty Strains Resources

The retrenchment is exacerbating already strained resources. Morgan noted that research departments, in particular, have in cases been severely understaffed for an interminable period of time with little sign of relief.

“During this last recession companies shed a lot of research jobs. Not only haven’t they staffed back up, they’re not always replacing people who move on voluntarily,” Morgan said.

“It’s not at all uncommon to see one person doing the work of two or even three,” she added. “Senior-level professionals in departments need to be both strategic and more hands-on than before because they’ve got a skeleton crew.”

One might reasonably expect that an understaffed department would lean that much more heavily on its agency partners for support, but Morgan says that’s not necessarily the case.

“Research companies appear to be experiencing a delayed fallout, themselves,” she said. “There’s been a surge in layoffs recently.

“Moreover, we’re seeing a good amount of burnout at clients and providers. Salaries have been frozen for years with no end in sight, people are expected to take on more and more responsibility and they’re not feeling appreciated…It’s even driving people out of the industry,” said Morgan.

Qualifications Hinder Hiring

Interestingly, Morgan told me the positions that are available may in many instances be sitting unfilled due to inflated expectations on both the client and supplier sides.

“There’s no shortage of talent,” said Morgan, “but the breadth of skills employers are looking for exceed anything we’ve seen in research historically.

“In the past, a qualified candidate could tick three of five boxes,” she continued. “Today, companies want five of five boxes plus a little something extra, and they’re willing to wait for as long as it takes until the right candidate comes along.”

Morgan says employers want analytics jocks who can navigate Big Data, who specialize in both quantitative and qualitative, who think strategically and can creatively connect the dots and who possess diplomatic acumen and the elusive ability to persuade.

“Sometimes it’s like they’re looking for a unicorn,” Morgan said. “These people rarely exist, they’re not easy to find, they don’t come cheap and, frankly, the industry isn’t doing a great job of attracting them.”

Young, Cheap and Experienced?

Morgan added that employers tend to focus on younger candidates, in part because they’re less expensive and also due to ageism.

“Companies are not taking advantage of the pool of available senior talent, and so we run the risk of an experience deficit,” she said.

“We’re also seeing a lack of willingness to invest in training. Companies want to hire younger candidates, but everyone wants them to be able to hit the ground running.”

To make matters worse, Morgan says many briefs she’s seen reflect a failure to understand what motivates younger job candidates.

“Younger candidates care less about money and more about intangibles like culture, flexibility and work/life balance, as well as the opportunity to grow professionally and be challenged,” she said.

“Job briefs often read deadly dull, uninspired and limiting,” said Morgan. “These candidates aren’t interested in building a traditional research CV, so the positions being offered don’t appeal to them.”

Non-Traditionals Snatching Up Talent

While the job market favors employers, Morgan said a wave of demand for research talent from less conventional players means some research companies risk paying a price for complacency.

“We’re seeing a dramatic shift in our client base from the bigger, more traditional research organizations to non-traditional shops, strategic consultancies and creative firms. They’re creating an entirely new career path for researchers," she said.

Morgan views the influx of competition from outside the industry as a positive, and she's bullish on the industry's prospects.

“A recession can provide a great opportunity to innovate,” she said. "I think we're going to see some very exciting changes in the research industry!”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s senior editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

This post was written to support The Market Research Event 2012.  For more information on the event, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Why refusing social media research is a risk

A recently published press release by Gartner on "communication by social media" made me think about market research and its positioning opportunities in the future.

The prediction that within the next two years “responding to inquiries via social media channels will be the new minimum level of response expected” also has implications for our industry, regardless of whether this will come true 1:1 or not. As critical communication between consumers and brands on social media channels is growing, these channels will gain significance for market research purposes.

Although we all perceive an increase in methodologies and approaches embracing changes in communications behavior among consumers (MROCs, Big Data Analysis, Social Media Analysis to name a few) most of qualitative and quantitative methods used today are traditional.

If social media communication will extend to the amount predicted, this probably will have to change.

If refusing communication via social media is risky for brands, what about refusing social media research?

For marketing, finding the right way of responding to consumers’ social engagement obviously is a challenge. The learning curve of those who do so is still very steep and a lot of effort comes from learning by doing. The same is true for market research. So all we will have to do is to keep on probing around and learning from our experience?

Maybe this is not as easy as it looks like… 

Historically, we think in products and MR-services from most of the vendors come along as products (with a lot of “TM”-extensions). This is not suitable for social media research anymore due to tremendously fast change of technology and behavior. Maybe it is good to use a product for customer satisfaction measurement, but for social media research? I am not sure... Whenever somebody is turning up with a finished social media research product I would be skeptical…

Furthermore we try to focus too much on tools, that we know from former times. Mainly quantitative (but also qualitative) research should notice that the social media world is moving on and traditional online research - especially the kind that is still using forms and questionnaires of face to face research - has to be replaced by more innovative approaches.

Maybe it is a good idea to learn from each other in order to benefit from each other’s experience with the new MR toolkit. And I know a good place to do so.

Join us this fall at The Market Research Event 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. For more about this year's program and “The New MR Tolkit”-session, download the agenda.

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Today's guest post is from Christian Dössel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany. He has worked for TNS, TBWA\ and other advertising, strategy and market research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you'd like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!





Friday, August 10, 2012

What do the Olympics and the Market Research Industry have in common?

This weekend, the Olympics draw to a close in London.  There have been many great amazing and surprising upsets. Beyond the sports, market research lies at the heart of these successes.

Let's take a look back at how our guest bloggers have shared the importance of market research as it relates to the Olympics.

How is market research impacting these games and sports in general? Kelley Styring, TMRE guest blogger, recently compared the advances in technology and advancements in swimming to market research: “Swimming have shown the most statistical progress over time versus something like Short Distance Running. That’s because Swimming has benefitted from technology: better swim suits, less turbulent pools, etc. And that Running is something anyone, anywhere in the world can do versus Swimming where you need a pool you probably don’t have in, let’s say, Somalia. Good points, both.” Why is that relevant to market research? 

How is the massive amount of data coming out of these “digital” Olympics offering limitless of opportunity to market researchers across the globe?

Here just a few facts from blogger Katie Clark’s blog post:
-For the first time ever in the United States, NBC is offering every moment of competition live via nbcolympics.com, which equates to around 3,500 hours of coverage. Many of you reading this work in media research and know that’s a lot of video storage bytes!
-There were an estimated 1billion people tuning in to watch the opening ceremonies worldwide, and a documented 40.7 million people tuning in on NBC, making it the most-watched opening ceremony for a summer or winter Olympics ever.

What can come of all this data? Katie has a few ideas.

With these things in mind, we have to look at how these trends parallel market research today. What’s the impact of technology on the industry? This fall at The Market Research Event, JetBlue, Maritz Research, Best Buy, ABC Television Network and more will join us in the Mobile and Technology track to look at how they’re using technology to revolutionize the industry. Gerber Products, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Fidelity and others will join us in the Big Data track to look at how the amounts of data, comparable to those coming out of the Olympics, can be used to transform the industry. For more on these tracks and the rest of the agenda, download the agenda.

Would you like to join us this November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida? Register today and save 15% off the standard rate when you mention code TMRE12BLOG. If you have any questions about this year’s event, feel free to contact Jennifer Pereira.