Tuesday, October 8, 2013

EXPLOR Award Winners AOL and BehaviorLens Use the Topology of Moments to Understand People

At last year’s TMRE, Chuck Miller, President of DM2 and Founder of the prestigious annual case study competition, EXPLOR; Alec Maki, Vice President of BehaviorLens Research and 2012 EXPLOR award winner; and Vicki Draper, Senior Manager of Media Insights at AOL and 2012 EXPLOR award winner, sat down with IIR’s Marc Dresner to discuss what stood out about the winner’s submission.

The EXPLOR award recognizes breakthrough innovation in technology as applied to market research. “At the end of the day, the EXPLOR winner really needs to resonate in terms of organizational impact,” explained Miller.

BehavioraLens Research did just that.

The company’s case study represented a few things, according to Miller. First, it was the insights into the mobile space, which is a channel that marketers are trying to figure out, and is something researchers are struggling to collect data in. Secondly, is the data integration element. More often, researchers are being challenged to use multiple data streams, get out of our comfort zone of primary survey data, and this is a case that truly represented that with an ethnography study, a mobile survey, and metered and behavioral data.
“The combination of those three things really derives insights as something that stood out from everything,” added Miller.

It all began when AOL came to BehaviorLens with a big idea. “They wanted to rethink mobile,” Maki said.
Maki and his team talked with them and tried to understand what their hypotheses were in terms of the marketplace. It turns out, AOL wasn’t sold that the conventional wisdom of the market was quite right, but they weren’t exactly sure what the right way of looking at the marketplace was.

“We realized we had to go beyond the ‘what’ and ‘how’ people are using mobile apps and websites to understand why they were using those apps and websites,” Maki explained. “So, we thought of our approach of understanding moments and using those moments as the unit of analysis would be ideal application to better understand what is going on with mobile and what is really driving mobile.”

By applying that idea, BehaviorLens was able to integrate research information across multiple modes qualitatively to understand the topology of moments. According to Maki, moments are ‘the context of engagement for brand or a product in terms of where people are, what they are doing and what their goals are.’

BehaviorLens then took this information and put it into a survey to be able to measure these moments across 3,000 different moments, and segment the moments based on the motivators of choice. Ultimately, Maki and his team recast the marketplace based on different segments of behavior that were characterized by their motivators of choice, providing phenomenal results.

Check out the full interview below:



Want to learn more and meet experts just like Miller, Maki, and Draper in person? Register for TMRE 2013 today! Click here: http://bit.ly/16LQrIW

In 2013, TMRE is focusing on elevating the researcher to a strategic, consultative leader. The 2013 conference will be combining best in class business cases with professional development sessions on building skills like data visualization, story-telling and strategic thinking and transforming researchers into game changers.

Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmanadCicc. 


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