Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Top Market Research Blog Posts of 2014

We’ve published a lot of interesting, inspiring, and thought-provoking posts this year about market research, consumer insights, Big Data, social media, data science, and more. So, we wanted to take a moment to look back on our blog’s most popular posts of 2014. Here are the topics our readers enjoyed the most this year:

Desktop to Wrist Watch Surveys: The Future of Market Research: When was the last time you recall sitting at your computer with leisure time to web search as you please? Between commuting, longer days at work, squeezing in that workout, and finally eating. It is becoming very uncommon for one to find time to sit down at a computer and search the internet. Minimal leisure Internet time therefore makes reaching potential online survey panelists even more tough to reach. How is this impacting the data collected from online market research? For traditional online surveys, it seems it is becoming harder and harder to reach preferred data numbers let alone certain target groups. Where does this lead us to and how can we overcome this obstacle? To read the full post, click here.

Technology Takes Toll on Consumer Psyche: Kit Yarrow, a Golden Gate University professor and author of “Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How We Shop and Buy,” says the increasing mediation of rapidly advancing technology in our lives is having a deep and profound psychological impact on people. It’s not about what we’re doing with technology, she notes, but what technology is doing to us. “People today think differently,” Yarrow said. Specifically, our attention spans are shorter, we’re less focused but we’re more adept multitaskers, and we require an increasingly higher level of novelty and stimulation. To read the full post, click here.

Anthem Blue Cross Research Head Confronts Post-ACA Unknowns: The challenge for people like Doug Cottings, Staff VP of Market Strategy & Insights at Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield (formerly WellPoint), is that new rules require fresh tools. “Everybody wants to know what the future looks like and to project business results. Unfortunately, predicting the future by relying on what I used to in the past—approaches that have been tried and true—they are not as effective as they used to be,” he said. To read the full post, click here.

Data to See: A Design Approach to Data Visualization & Storytelling: I think this early understanding fueled my ability to write poetry and later on in life, as a marketer, tweets. In the past year, I've become fascinated with the appeal of the visual web and experiment on Instagram, often posting powerful images with very little text, sometimes 1-3 words and/or hashtags and nothing else to see what sort of resonance they receive. To read the full post, click here.

Social Media Market Research of YOU!: Googling your name is social media market research of another kind. The kind you need to make sure has been done (keywords, websites linked, profiles consistent), is in place (visibility on multiple platforms), and practices are set (social media marketing) to keep you showing up as the expert you are in your niche. I know what a Google search of my name will show. I know this because I have carefully crafted my personal brand across my website, my social media platforms, my posts, and through the events I attend and talk about. To read the full post, click here.

The Rise of the Visual Web: Why Quality Data Visualization Is Crucial: Cognitive psychology tells us that humans are wired to favor visuals over text. We process images faster. We remember visuals better. We find well-designed visuals more credible. And when credible images engage us, they trigger emotional processing that leads to creativity and higher-quality decision-making. All of these things—speed, recall, credibility, engagement and quality decision-making—are critical to the delivery of market research insight and to a company’s ability to turn insight into strategies and actions. To read the full post, click here.

Get to Know Your Audience Better with Facebook’s New Insights Tool: Facebook recently launched its Audience Insights tool for advertisers, which was designed to help marketers learn more about their target audiences, according to the social network.  The company stated, “The more customer insights you have, the better you’re equipped to deliver meaningful messages to people.” Today, social media allows marketers to reach consumers in a unique, nontraditional environment where they are deeply engaged and constantly generating meaningful conversations. There is a huge opportunity in making sense of the social data created by the billions of users who broadcast their interests and opinions across social media channels like Facebook. To read the full post, click here.

Visa Canada’s Head of Mobile Talks Canadian Shopper Culture: Not long ago we may have been able to argue that retailers thought that Big Data was just a bunch of hype that didn’t actually lead to better returns, but we’ve come a long way since then. In fact, a recent survey reveals that 73 percent of retailers consider shopper insights to be very important or essential to the performance of the departments in which they work. In addition, 76 percent think leveraging insights is important to the performance of the company as a whole.  We caught up with speaker Derek Colfer, Head of Mobile at Visa Canada, to discuss how Canada’s shopper culture is unique to the rest of North America. To read the full post, click here.

How Fashion Week utilizes Social Media: Brands clamor on twitter and Facebook to ensure that the wireless networks are abuzz with their followers. Take Barbie’s QR code enabled scavenger hunt through Manhattan, for a rewarding gratification of having the city at your touch phone savvy fingertips. Digital marketing has shown to be the Launchpad when targeting the yuppy iPhone and android tugging urbanite. View DKNY’s inventive paper-clad e-vitation, as a blaring example of new times. DKNY is one of many brands that successfully converted followers on social platforms into shoppers. To read the full post, click here.

The Era of Brilliant Alchemy: Data Anthropology: "Show me the numbers," it's often said. After all, data IS proof. But data is nothing without context, without a story, the whole story. As a small child, I was fascinated by historical remnants of societies long gone, Pompeii, Masada, Taino, Aztec... Who were these people? What did they care about? What happened to them? How different were they from you and I? Or were they just like me? To read the full post, click here.

Spotify Looks Inside Data & Music Intelligence for Insights: Attention music lovers and market researchers alike: Spotify has created a The Spotify Insights Blog that will use consumer data to highlight how the world is listening to music. The music blog will feature articles about music and how people experience it - pulling from the company's own listening data and music intelligence from The Echo Nest, the technology company Spotify bought in March that powers Web radio, recommendations, and playlists. To read the full post, click here.

Big Privacy: It's Coming: High-profile gaffes by Facebook, Apple (I'm referring to "Locationgate" not the naked photo scandal) and the like have done much to educate the public on the data-for-service arrangements those of us who didn't read the Privacy Policy unknowingly entered into with such companies. I think most people have since resigned themselves to this trade-off. Maybe that’s because many of us did a rough cost-benefit analysis and, if not ideal, we found the model acceptable, harmless, reasonable… The absence of any evidence suggesting widespread public outrage has to do with the fact that people don’t think they have any choice. But I suspect that more likely than not, the relative absence of any evidence that suggests widespread public outrage has to do with the fact that people don’t think they have any choice in the matter. To read the full post, click here.

Data Brokers: Shadow Industry, Privacy Flashpoint, Research Problem: I attend a lot of research conferences and I’ve noticed that when the subject of privacy comes up, people frequently check out—laptops open, fingers wander to phones, sometimes eyes even roll…I attribute this to the fact that heretofore privacy has been pretty much a non-issue for researchers. Arguably no other industry adheres to more rigid privacy standards. The problem, however, is that we live in a world where data are no longer rare, and researchers obviously aren't the only ones who trade in information nowadays. To read the full post, click here.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

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