Kelley Styring, a featured keynote at this year’s Market Research Event, was featured in an article today on USA Today. The article Is there junk in your trunk focuses on the new study Styring is doing on what Americans carry with them in their cars. Styring did a study in 2007 focusing on what American women carry around in their handbags. There were many useful findings for marketers with her initial research on purses which led to her interest in examining another storage vehicle, this time cars. Styring is traveling to seven US cities, and studying the contents of people’s cars. She takes two hours to chronicle what each car has to offer. One of the most interesting things she’s found so far is the use of the cup holders. She says a lot of the cup holders don’t actually hold cups, but instead coins, golf balls, air fresheners and other items. Her research will help both car manufactures and companies looking to fit consumer’s needs. Car companies are trying to find a way to maximize the storage capacity in cars, and there are many opportunities product manufactures are missing when it comes to the usability in the car. Styring is chronicling her adventure at her webpage, and you can read her experiences at her blog. Don’t forget to come see Kelley Styring kick off The Market Research Event October 15 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California!
A new study out by Forrester shows that customer satisfaction from US banking institutions is at its lowest level recorded. Insurance News Net wrote about the study here. The study was conducted by Forrester and 5000 US customers evaluated 41 banks, brokerages and insurers. The low level of satisfaction is attributed to the fact the consumers think that banks do not have the interest of the customers in mind. The study attributes this to the drop in consumer confidence, caused by things such as the subprime mortgage crisis. USAA held the top spot for highest ratings as a bank. The study also found that property and causality insurers are the highest ranked, as they are five of the top ten organizations ranked in the survey.
In the new world of Web 2.0, the fine line between marketing and customer service is often blurred. Since 70% of the US and Canadian population use the internet, the internet has become a medium for learning about products as well as letting everyone know their faults. As stated in this post at CMS Wire, companies are having to adjust the way they view social media on the web as a way to provide value and a creative outlet to allow current and future customers a platform for discussion. One bad experience can be posted in a blog, and the world can find out about it through a search on the company. Other forms that customers can hear about experiences: wikis, forums, Digg, Reddit, Technorati, and del.icio.us to name a few. But given the right outlet, customers can empower a brand in a positive light. This can promote the value of the brand in the eye of the customer, as stated by Brian Solis, blogger and founder of FutureWorks: Companies that apply resources to help steer and bolster their brand across the social web create relationships that ultimately pay dividends in the form of customer loyalty and referrals. Relationships are the currency of social media. It’s important to see this new form of customer service. Many companies are overlooking the power of social media as a customer service tool. What’s the best company you’ve seen use Web 2.0 as a way to empower their customers?
A blog post from Read Write Web announces a new application for Facebook users called ‘Blog Networks‘ This new tool allows individuals who are not technical savvy to keep current with blogs they are interested in without having to understand RSS feeds. From a marketing viewpoint, this will allow businesses to expand their blog reader base to consumers who in the past did not have the technical expertise to keep track of several blogs a day. Additionally, as the post states:
Blog Networks may have the power to reach an entirely different demographic than MyBlogLog, whose community made up of a lot of blog owners and serious blog readers. The Facebook app, on the other hand, will appeal to casual readers by providing them with an easy-to-use blog directory and a simplified feed reader.