Friday, October 31, 2014

Call for Submissions Now Open: The Media Insights & Engagement Case Study Competition

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference announces a call for submissions for the Case Study Competition.

At the first annual Case Study Competition & Awards, three jury selected finalists will present innovative, results-driven methodologies and applications from field-tested research. Based on a combination of jury and audience votes, the winning case study will be announced before the end of the conference. The Case Study Competition is open to all marketing insights, intelligence and research analysts, managers, directors, vice presidents, suppliers and consultants.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 5, 2014. For complete information, including submission details, judging criteria and entry form, please click here: http://bit.ly/1pY6yKj

We encourage you to pass this announcement to any individuals or groups who you feel would be potential candidates for this competition.
To learn more about The Media Insights & Engagement Conference, visit our website: http://bit.ly/1zJ8bVC

Best regards,

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Team
@-MediaFusion
#MediaInsights15
Digitalimpactblog.iirusa.com


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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?

The most obvious and trending answer brings us to mobile. Allowing users to take abbreviated, reformatted surveys via mobile device is one way to increase sample size and reach what was traditionally called the “general population.” Making the survey-taking experience simplified, convenient, and ready for today’s constant on-the-go consumers will drastically change the current problem of unreachable respondents. In addition to reaching more consumers, mobile has numerous advantages over traditional desktop online surveys. Take, for instance, geolocation capabilities which allow for tailoring of surveys according to the respondent’s location. Or in-store research, allowing customers to actually be in store making tradeoffs and purchases to evaluate choices in the environment we try to replicate online. Qualitative research can be enhanced with mobile devices, allowing respondents to video their shopping experience and take images.


Similarly, smart eyewear has recently come into play within the market research realm. Allowing for even more consumer behavior analysis, this technology will play a large roll in qualitative research in the years to come. Voice capabilities, eye-tracking, geolocation, you name it- these weapons of market research will change the industry!

Both of these alternatives have been discovered and are currently being explored for use. What options could 2015 bring? I believe the visual options have advanced far enough and we now must turn to understanding consumer behavior from a psychological standpoint. How can we measure what consumers really are thinking and understand this down to a neurological level. How does this then interplay with rational vs. emotional decision making models and how can we use this to influence consumers? Will the next generation eyewear include on the fly brain scans? Will the smart watch measure circulating neurotransmitters and predict choice behavior?

Changing times come with changing measures. To remain relevant we must approach this development with open arms and continue to keep looking forward!


Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com.

Call for Submissions Now Open: The Media Insights & Engagement Case Study Competition

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference announces a call for submissions for the Case Study Competition.

At the first annual Case Study Competition & Awards, three jury selected finalists will present innovative, results-driven methodologies and applications from field-tested research. Based on a combination of jury and audience votes, the winning case study will be announced before the end of the conference. The Case Study Competition is open to all marketing insights, intelligence and research analysts, managers, directors, vice presidents, suppliers and consultants. 


The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 28, 2014. For complete information, including submission details, judging criteria and entry form, please click here: http://bit.ly/1pY6yKj

We encourage you to pass this announcement to any individuals or groups who you feel would be potential candidates for this competition.
To learn more about The Media Insights & Engagement Conference, visit our website: http://bit.ly/1zJ8bVC

Best regards,
 The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Team
@-MediaFusion
#MediaInsights15

Digitalimpactblog.iirusa.com

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can You Think Like Google and Amazon?

What would Google or Amazon do if they purchased your company?  What would happen if they entered your industry?

We are proud to Introduce DISRUPT, a unique one day strategy accelerator,  taking place on December 3rd, 2014 in Chicago, at the offices of Leo Burnett.

DISRUPT brings together executives across disciplines to uncover the major forces impacting the B2C world. Our intelligence lead Dr. Hitendra Patel in combination with our expert industry facilitators will help you create a future action plan to adapt to industry disruptors, and ensuring your business remains relevant, by rethinking your current business model and unveiling areas for growth. 

Visit the website for more information: http://bit.ly/1pUkAMU

This Strategy Accelerator will help you:
  • Learn how to apply powerful techniques of disruption to help your business stay at the leading edge
  • Uncover how these strategies work and, more importantly, what tactics you need to employ to achieve strategic disruption
  • Leave with an action plan tailored to your business that will help you lead your company through creative disruption into competitive advantage.


View the full agenda here: http://bit.ly/1pUkAMU

Meet your Intelligence Lead:

Dr. Hitendra Patel
Managing Director, IXL Center
Chairman of the Innovation and Growth Program, Hult International Business School

Dr. Patel has helped over 50 global companies and their executive teams build innovation capabilities and get innovation results. He has helped drive innovation transformation initiatives at companies like Johnson Controls, Hewlett Packard, LG, Alibaba.com, CEMEX, Cadbury, Verizon, and P&G. He understands how to make innovation real from the top-down and bottom-up in complex and large organizations. Read his full bio here: http://bit.ly/1oQ2vEU

Join us as we prepare you for the future of your business.

Cheers,
The DISRUPT Team

#DisruptThinking

Buzz from The Market Research Event 2014: #TMRE14

We had a great event last in Boca Raton as the best and brightest in Market Research joined together to tackle the changes and disruption in the industry at TMRE: The Market Research Event. By late Wednesday afternoon 400+ people had tweeted 3,000+ times using the hashtag #TMRE14 & which resulted in a  reach of 789,000 impressions for the TMRE event. On average, we were getting between 50-70 posts/hr, and in addition, our audience generated 470 photos, 14 videos, and 30 blog posts. It was an amazing and we are truly honored to have shared another amazing event with all of you.



Here is a list of what attendees have shared in the past week or so:

Archives:
seen.co/event/tmre-2014
eventifier.com/event/tmre14
tagboard.com/TMRE14

Recaps & News:

4 Main Takeaways From The Market Research Event via CMO
TMRE 2014: Day 1 Recap, Day 2 via Sentient Decision Science
Keen Strategy on TMRE Takeaways

And if you're feeling a bit blue because it's over, here's a bit of fun to give you a quick lift until next time.

Market Research Love Song by Jibunu:



Storytelling at it's best:


Flashmob anyone, Oye Como Va:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

Monday, October 27, 2014

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?


The most obvious and trending answer brings us to mobile. Allowing users to take abbreviated, reformatted surveys via mobile device is one way to increase sample size and reach what was traditionally called the “general population.” Making the survey-taking experience simplified, convenient, and ready for today’s constant on-the-go consumers will drastically change the current problem of unreachable respondents. In addition to reaching more consumers, mobile has numerous advantages over traditional desktop online surveys. Take, for instance, geolocation capabilities which allow for tailoring of surveys according to the respondent’s location. Or in-store research, allowing customers to actually be in store making tradeoffs and purchases to evaluate choices in the environment we try to replicate online. Qualitative research can be enhanced with mobile devices, allowing respondents to video their shopping experience and take images.

Similarly, smart eyewear has recently come into play within the market research realm. Allowing for even more consumer behavior analysis, this technology will play a large roll in qualitative research in the years to come. Voice capabilities, eye-tracking, geolocation, you name it- these weapons of market research will change the industry!

Both of these alternatives have been discovered and are currently being explored for use. What options could 2015 bring? I believe the visual options have advanced far enough and we now must turn to understanding consumer behavior from a psychological standpoint. How can we measure what consumers really are thinking and understand this down to a neurological level. How does this then interplay with rational vs. emotional decision making models and how can we use this to influence consumers? Will the next generation eyewear include on the fly brain scans? Will the smart watch measure circulating neurotransmitters and predict choice behavior?

Changing times come with changing measures. To remain relevant we must approach this development with open arms and continue to keep looking forward!

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

This Week In Market Research: 10/20/14 - 10/24/14

Hearables Will Trump Wearables: 3 reasons why they are better and even healthier

The 5 SEO Secrets Every Business Should Know


The Wearables Security Conundrum: Security concerns with the new Apple Watch

5 Tools for Creating Amazing Online Charts

7 Methods for Analyzing Your Great Idea Before You Bet The Company On it

Big Data and the Death of Passion: 4 Steps to help keep the passion

Wearable Tech to Hack Your Brain: A headset that shocks your brain and allows you to increase focus and energy

Big Data 2.0: Breaking down the next generation of big data

8 Big Trends in Big Data Analytics

Women in Data Science are Invisible: How to Change That via Wired

Big Data as the Boogeyman: How much information is to much?


About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.



Friday, October 24, 2014

More from #TMRE14: Social Steganography - How Youth are Tricking Social Media Analytics

Danah Boyd
My biggest takeaway from the fascinating keynote by social media and youth culture expert Danah Boyd, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Founder of the Data & Society Research Institute, was that we need to be very careful about analyzing social media, because apparently we misread a lot.

Boyd, an anthropologist and author of “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens,” noted that social media use by young people has gone from a consolidation phase (Facebook) to a state of complete fragmentation as young people dabble in a variety of platforms to meet their needs.

As such, it’s no longer simple to optimize analytics for social media because these platforms differ by structure, format and, importantly, the use or purpose for which young people have deemed each best suited, respectively.

Much of the migratory behavior we’re seeing in young people on social media these days is a response to a lack of privacy and the consequent desire to exert more control over what is shared with whom.

Boyd said young people care deeply about privacy, but not in the sense we “grown-ups” might think. She said they want to be in public, not to be public, and they’re migrating from platform to platform in an effort to exert control over their social situations.


Young people are increasingly speaking in a sort of code or “social steganography”

Boyd cautioned the audience to not to take what’s posted online too literally, as young people are increasingly speaking in a sort of code or “social steganography”: much of what they post is a message hiding in plain sight intended for and whose meaning may only be deciphered by select insiders.

“My job as an ethnographer to get in deep and make sense of things has gotten harder. We’re missing things.”

“My job as an ethnographer to get in deep and make sense of things has gotten harder,” Boyd said. “We’re missing things.”

They’re also gaming algorithms in ways that might throw you off. For example, Boyd said young people often insert brand names randomly in status updates because they know that it will bump them to the top of their friends’ lists.

“Youth know Facebook and other platforms use algorithms for commercial purposes,” Boyd said.

They do the same thing with Gmail, she added, whiting out text and pasting it into emails they send friends to trigger ads that are clearly targeted for other people for laughs, for example.

Boyd closed with a note about how young people are organizing by networks instead of traditional groups.  “They get networks; they understand how to flow things,” she said.

The move from groups—characterized by established boundaries—to networks, which are porous, constitutes a radical cultural shift, Boyd emphasized.

The shift has implications for business culture, in particular. 

Boyd noted young people are voracious learners, which in part explains why those who’ve entered the work force now switch jobs every couple of years. And true to networking, they retain the ties they’ve made at their old jobs while forging new ones, which may seem innocuous but may really not be.

Boyd noted that in Silicon Valley, for example, the new generation of hi-tech industry workers doesn’t see a problem exchanging, say, code with peers over coffee.

“They’re fundamentally networked,” Boyd explained.  “They see no issue in meeting with friends from their old company and sharing information that might be considered intellectual property.”


The transient nature of the emerging labor cohort and the free flow and exchange of knowledge and experience inherent in the networked ethos will completely change the culture of business, she concluded.



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

More from #TMRE14: An Inside Look at eBay's Shopper Strategy

Gireesh Joshi
Gireesh Joshi, Director of Customer Insights at eBay, outlined the process behind which research-based insights are used at eBay to identify and help the company select from strategic options around “where to play” and “how to win,” respectively.

Joshi took us behind the scenes of eBay’s dilemma of whether to remain a pure Internet play or to become an omni-channel presence, possibly by opening eBay brick-and-mortar stores, for example.

eBay has opted for neither and is instead pursuing an “Internet-enabled commerce” focus, fueled largely by research into the role mobile plays in shopping.

Joshi reported 62% of shoppers use their mobile devices in the store (“showrooming”) and 63% of all purchase journeys begin online (“bedrooming”).


“We used to think consumers alternated between two parallel worlds.”

“We used to think consumers alternated between two parallel worlds, but they don't distinguish between online and offline. It's all one journey within which the Internet is pervasive,” he said. 

Joshi pointed out that 90% of commerce still happens in the physical store, despite the fact that shopping online is more convenient and the same items sold online frequently cost less. 

Why? Because people don’t like to pay for shipping, as a matter of principle, and they don’t like to delay purchase gratification. 

“The starting point for shopping has moved from the brick-and-mortar store to the computer or mobile device, but we end up at the store,” Joshi said, noting 52% of shoppers have now bought online and picked up their purchase in the store.

eBay's Click & Collect service capitalizes on this growing trend.


The service launched in the UK last year and has been so “amazingly successful” that eBay is planning a global rollout. 

Joshi also talked about the intriguing research eBay is conducting around the discovery leg of the purchase funnel. (Nugget: eBay found the discovery process for women shoppers differs from that of men.)

He noted manufacturers and retailers tend to focus on the selection and fulfillment aspects of shopping today, while the critically important process of discovery remains poorly understood by everyone, including consumers, themselves

“How does a consumer find what they want when they often don’t know what it is they want?” Joshi explained.

This work—with some inspiration from Pinterest—has led to eBay’s Follow It. Find It initiative to harness its 150 million users as “collection curators.”

Editor’s note: Gireesh Joshi was also featured in TMRE’s Research Insighter interview series, in which he discussed how eBay realized a NINE-FIGURE ROI on a predictive modeling-based approach that combined behavioral data and survey research. Check it out here!



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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cocreate The Market Research Event 2016 With Us: We need your input

We are seeking your input. Let us know where we should take The Market Research Event in 2016?

Live from #TMRE14: New DIY Launch Powered by Google

Corrine Sandler
A new DIY survey research offering powered by the Google Consumer Surveys (GCS) platform launched today in a track session GCS headlined at TMRE.

Validateit™ by MR firm Fresh Intelligence automates the survey research process all the way through to a final report issued in as few as five business days after the survey fields.

Three of four modules oriented around product development are currently available—IdeaRank, PriceCheck, and DemandCheck—with a name testing module soon to be released.

Click here to watch 40-second videos about the modules.

Validateit has been in development for two years and the underlying methodology was created by Ph.D. researchers and statisticians, according to Fresh Intelligence CEO Corrine Sandler.

Sandler explained that users can design and program a Google microsurvey in about 60 seconds simply by answering a few questions.

The $1500 price includes the questionnaire, 250 respondents, data collection and a one-page executive report.

Users will not have access to the actual questionnaire, which Fresh Intelligence considers intellectual property, Sanders said.

Sample is currently domestic U.S. gen pop only, but Google’s Monica Plaza, who co-presented, noted that GCS can customize sample, so expect to see that feature in the future as well as access to international respondents.

For more information, visit: www.validateit.com



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Live from #TMRE14: Food Futures: A Portrait of the Food Connected Generation

Being a prolific foodie, which I learned was a word with negative connotations, I was pleased to attend the Food Network and Cooking Channel VP talk about millennials from Gabe Gordon.

Talking about an interesting juxtaposition of millennials, who don't inherently watched TV, connect with shows, celebrities and reality television. The joy of cooking is an analog and senatorial experience in the digital world for the younger generation. The joy of cooking has grown exponentially over time, as well as just the need to consume more interesting food.

In terms of drivers, Facebook remains the key driver of conversations on food, as does Pinterest for repeat sharing, ideas and inspiration. Suprisingly, a social media addict's favorite Instagram falls to the bottom of the pack.

Some interesting factoids include
  • Consumers are hungrier - 70% of people are finding food more important than 4 years ago!
  • Roughly half of food connectors are millennials, and half of those are me. Men have a deeper relationship with food than millennial women
  • 90% of women think a man that cooks is a turn on. 77% of men find cooking makes them feel good about themselves.
Probably one of the most disturbing thoughts was that millennials like their parents and GenX don't, which is why the family phenomenon and the learning from parents is coming back as a saving behavior via food.

Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.

#TMRE14: Save the Date for TMRE 2015

Meet us on November 2-4, 2015 at Rosen Shingle Creek, in Orlando, Florida.

Sign up to get updates and participate or register here.



Live from #TMRE14: Under Armour - Serving Consumers from Day 1

Cassie Lopez, Senior Manager of Consumer Insights at Under Armour, discussed how her company evolved to serve consumer needs at TMRE 2014.

"Click Clack" means nothing to the average person but for anyone's who's ever played football, it's the last sound you here before you enter a stadium.



They started with the basics, focus groups, brand tracker, and implementation. They received some mixed reactions to their newly launched consumer insights team.

As a market researcher  you have to market your research.

Create Relevance:

Consumer need
Idea
product
Message
Channel
Merchandise

Keys to Success:

Build a network: ambassadors, determine "areas of influence," align projects with key needs
No big reveals: don't spring negative findings on people
Treat suppliers like teammates: establish culture fit
Know your audience: compel them to respond immediately
Prioritize: align the strategic leaders

Create a rolling resource for ad hoc requests...but be discriminating


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

Live from #TMRE14: Simon Sinek on How to Think Like a Leader

Simon Sinek is the author of "Start With Why" and "Leaders Eat Last, this morning on the last day of TMRE 2014, he explored ways to think and act like a true leader.

Almost all of our behavior is driven by our need to feel safe.

Trust and cooperation are feelings not instructions or things you can ask for, leaders set the tone, people REACT to an environment.

The human interprets everything in terms of life and death, even when the stakes aren't that high.

You can easily manipulate people with fear but it doesn't work for very long and causes stress and the inability to thrive.

When people feel same, feel part of the same tribe, they create traditions, language and their own culture which they cooperate with.

Feelings:

Endorphins
Dopamine

Seratonin
Oxytocin

People get addicted to endorphin rush and hits of dopamine, but they are fleeting while seratonin and oxytocin are released over time in relationship and make you feel safe and loved. Leaders make people feel safe and people in turn love their leaders.

Loyal customers and employers don't care that other products/companies exist.
They have such strong relationships they won't budge.

Loneliness causes more death than obesity, people who feel lonely are more likely to die younger than people who aren't. Build relationships and community to empower people, make them feel safe.

People will not believe you if you don't believe in what you are offering yourself.

Believe you can be the change.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

Live from #TMRE14: Wired for Story

Jonathan Gottschall is a scholar and today at TMRE 2014, he took us through research from his latest book, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human.

Dreams are night stories, stories are the fabric of our social setting. Gossip is the preferred genre of human stories. We have restless minds.

Story Solutions to Key Solutions:

How do you seize and hold attention?
How do you use it to persuade & influence other people?

Average duration of daydreams is 14 seconds, we have about 2,000 per day.

The neuroscience of the brain on story, less still, less passive, the brain experiences empathetic sensation right along with the story. Much like a reaction to a horror movie, your brain processes stories as real.

"Art is an infection" - Tolstoy

Story shapes us, it's not mindless, it has the ability to change the person consuming the story. Story changes behavior by changing brain chemistry.

None of this works unless the story is good. The story has to acchive narrative transformation. Your audience has to lose itself.

Story's Universal Grammar:

Character +
Predicament +
Attempted Solution +

Story's Function:

A story is a problem solution narrative that carries a deeper message, otherwise it's just a hollow, meaningless vehicle. It expresses values, beliefs, and a bigger meaning.

We love stories, unlike other messaging, we crave good stories the same way we crave good food.

A well told story cuts through the buzz of distraction, settles our restless minds, and holds us rapt.

No other communication form can do this.

Story is emotional. They can blow your mind and change your mind. Stories are more persuasive than strategies based on argument and evidence.

Story is sticky, if you want an idea to enter into the universe and lodge there it's best to weave it into a story.

Story is infectious, they demand to be retold. As a result the ideas and values in the stories spread virally through social networks.



We need stories in the best and worst of times. We are storytelling animals, stories offer hope and solace.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.



Live from #TMRE14: How Adobe Streamlines Research for Disruptive Innovation

Dr. Sam Lindsey
Adobe’s Dr. Sam Lindsey, Research Manager, Market Insights, gave us an in-depth tour of how research at Adobe is being adapted and made scalable to suit the demands of the innovation process. 

Specifically, Lindsey works on disruptive—as opposed to incremental—innovation.

Lindsey noted that innovation leaders tend to view research like a luxury cruise ship—slow, cumbersome, extravagant—a vessel decidedly ill-suited for the sort of highly uncertain terrain germane to the disruptive innovation process.

He’s been working to change that perception with a speedboat variation that dramatically cuts costs and reduces the average research window from 3-5 months down to 1-2 weeks. It entails:

-          Narrow, hypothesis-based studies

-          New samples (crowdsourced panels)

-          New tools (ex. UserTesting.com)


Adobe is training non-research employees to conduct their own research.

Among the more controversial elements of the presentation, Lindsey discussed how Adobe is equipping its non-research employees to conduct their own research, themselves.

This includes a host of educational resources—best practices, sample scripts, how-to’s, guides and tips—imparting the essentials from drafting a recruit email to interviewing.

Lindsey and Adobe’s other research jocks advise on method, sample, design and confidence in findings as needed.

“The demand for this sort of research is too high for [our researchers] to meet,” said Lindsey, who anticipated some audience members might question the wisdom of building an internal DIY army. 

“They’re going to do research, either way, so why not help them do it reasonably well?”


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

Live from #TMRE14: How To Be a Standout Brand in a Crowd. Really.

Youngme Moon
Harvard Business School Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation Youngme Moon helped us unpack what it means to be truly different—and burst a lot of bubbles when she told us that despite what we may think, most of us are unremarkable.

According to Moon, author of “Different:Escaping the Competitive Herd,” while 99% of business leaders she talks to earnestly believe that their brand is unique in its competitive set, in truth the vast majority of brands are indistinguishable to the average consumer.


“Think of yourselves as wine connoisseurs for your category,” said Moon. “You may be able to easily see the differences, but for the average person looking at a hundred labels in a wine shop, it’s all just wine.”

Moon said the problem of "sameness" is pervasive because we have so many choices. As the selection set in a category grows, the consumer starts seeing “same” and tunes out.

It is possible to stand out in such an environment, Moon said, but it’s exceedingly rare.

Her research found standout brands do so by “flipping the fundamental”—they upend a fundamental assumption about their category.

She provided examples—Ikea, Twitter, MINI Cooper—of brands who differentiated themselves in a big way because they defied the instinctive urge to “stay close to the competition” and inverted a value proposition. Often, this involves taking a presumed negative, putting it front and center and turning it into a positive.

Moon also noted most brands struggle with appreciable differentiation because:

1.       In a really competitive industry it’s almost impossible to resist the pressure to match the competition (this leads to the “flocking birds” effect).

2.       Game-changing ideas don’t typically survive in most company cultures because they tend to look a lot like crazy ideas and they’re scary.


3.       We look to customers to tell us how to be different when they can usually only tell us how to be better.

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