When Money is Tight and Time is Short

Sorry for the delay for this post. But I wanted to be sure I had captured as much detail as possible. I had attended another workshop before the end of The Market Research Event 2008. Speakers, Tina Bronkhorst, Vice President Digitas and Jennifer Drolet, Vice President, iModerate gave a compelling story for the benefits of a hybrid research approach.

“Current consumer demands and expectations for “real time” dialogue are changing the way we, as marketers, need to think about research”, say Tina and Jen. Below is a bulleted summary of their reasoning:

  • It’s harder to be heard : 20 years ago, just 3 exposures created awareness, now it takes 150
  • Consumers have an amazing ability to multitask
  • Consumers aren’t as overwhelmed by information as they used to be
  • They trust their peers more than they trust marketers
  • Real time dialogue is everywhere (myspace, facebook, blogger)
  • They are coming together with common interests. One example of this is the Starbucks gossip site, which lets those who have a similar feeling toward the brand chat together.
  • And there are a host of others: blog, microblog, online chat, RSS, widgets, social networks, social bookmarks, message boards, podcasts, video sharing sites, photo sharing sites, virtual worlds, wikis…and the list will be greater as we move forward.
  • So, marketing doesn’t own the brand completely anymore
  • And, consumers trust their ability to make smart choices and they aren’t afraid to trust their instincts (Yankelovich Monitor 2004/2005)
  • Instead, they prefer to take a chance with a personal experience, instead of playing it safe
  • Thus, we need to focus on listening more instead of shouting louder (active branding)
  • Stop push marketing and start pull marketing

They gave practical examples of how to develop hybrid approaches, where qualitative and quantitative data are collected at the same time. These include conducting:

  • Online survey with IM-like chat intercept (iModerate)
  • Online focus group with closed ended, open ended, IM-like chat and redirects (Invoke)
  • Online communities (Communispace, Passenger)

Watch here where Tina and Jen give a few tips from their workshop. Thank you both for a great workshop!

April Bell

The Market Research Event 2008–What Participants Thought

As I’ve continued to receive feedback on the conference, I thought it would be appropriate to share a quick interview I conducted with one of the delegates. Jason Archambault, Director of Insights at Red Lobster and I had a chance to chat during the conference and he is one of many who have been attending the conference for several years. His comments reflected what I heard from several others.

Here’s what he had to say:

April Bell

Market Research and Online Communities

Matt Rhodes recently posted on the FreshNetworks Blog that the market research industry should embrace online communities. One of the reasons why he believes communities should be taken advantage by market research professionals is because of the staggering numbers of online community adoption. According to the latest report form Gartner, more than 60% of large US firms will have built an online community used to engage with clients by the year 2010.

With the growing number of people turning to social media, the market research industry can use these communities as a great source of insight. Communities provide a great platform on collecting data on demographics as well as feedback and information on products directly from clients and the consumer.

Using Twitter for Customer Service

We’ve posted a while ago about how Twitter has made ‘customer service proactive rather than reactive.’ This morning I came across this post from Search Engine Guide in which Paul Jahn reminds us that businesses, especially those who have e-commerce sites, should be using Twitter as a customer service tool.

Customer service reps can simply do a quick search on Twitter for their company to see what people are saying about them. The result, reps will find either good feedback or bad feedback. Representatives can go above and beyond by thanking happy customers and help unhappy customers using Twitter as a medium. Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Frank at Comcast, and many others are just a few examples of people who have used Twitter to improve customer service practices within their company.

Social Media Reviews is the 2nd biggest Influence on Purchase Decisions

Matt Rhodes recently posted on socialmediatoday that for American adults, online reviews are only second to word of mouth in terms of influencing purchase decisions. The report was published by Rubicon Consulting, and it also goes into detail about how a consumer-to-consumer message is much stronger than a brand-to-consumer message.

That means that consumers are turning to blogs, social communities, peer reviews, forums, and other forms of social media to help them make an informed decision before they go out and spend money on a product or service. Some of the areas in which the web has a greater influence on purchase decisions is consumer electronics. Companies like BestBuy and Circuit City have incorporated customer reviews next to each product in order to aid potential customers in making the right decision.

Is your business using social media to help your customers make a more informed decision?

See you at Next Year’s Event!

I thought I’d leave you off this fair weekend on a light note. Make sure to check The Market Research Event homepage for clips on interviews with TMRE speakers, presentations from this year’s events, participant comments, and other spontaneous happenings. This year’s event was a great success and we look forward to seeing you nxt year on October 18-21, 2009 at the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check back on the blog and The Market Research Event homepage for regular updates!

Customer Satisfaction at Verizon

In a recent study from J.D. Power and Associates, they announced that Verizon wireless ranked the highest in terms of retail customer satisfaction, as well as customer loyalty in comparison to the other top 5 wireless carriers. As reported here, the metrics for measurement included: sales staff, store display, store facility, and price along with promotion. In a statement from Jack Plating, COO of Verizon, he stated:

“Our leadership in retail customer satisfaction sets us apart from other wireless providers. At our 2,400 company-owned and -operated retail locations, our sales and service representatives are committed to delivering a rewarding retail experience for all who visit our stores looking for the latest phones on the nation’s most reliable wireless network. This is especially important as we approach the holiday buying season since so many shoppers put Verizon Wireless at the top of their list.”

Social Network Ad Spending: Still a Small Picture

Yesterday I posted some data on demographics of an online ad clicker; I figured I would end the weekend by leaving some more interesting data recently taken by eMarketer here. According to eMarketer, social network ad spending, which is a little over $1.4 billion, still represents a small percentage of total online ad spending which is estimated to reach $24.9 billion in 2008.

What does this mean for companies thinking about investing in social network advertising? Now’s a great time to dive in and experiment with ads using social media. What’s important here is listening to feedback and fixing mistakes.

It will be interesting to see how social network ad spending will change over the next couple of years.

TMRE 2008: Who Says Market Researchers Don’t Know How to Have Fun

Vision Critical and iModerate both sponsors at The Market Research Event 2008 co-hosted an after-hour party for attendees showcasing this incredible breakdancing performance. Let me just say, having experienced it first-hand, Vision Critical and iModerate were great hosts, everyone had an excellent time, and we all certainly enjoyed the show. I can just imagine how much fun we’ll have next year! Enjoy!

Demographics of an Online Ad Clicker

Earlier this morning, I came across this post from eMarketer that displays some data on Online Ad Clicker Demographics. What’s interesting here is that nearly two-thirds of all users who click on online ads are daily visitors of the website in which the ad appeared. Fifteen percent of people who clicked on ads were first-time visitors and only 6% went to the site sporadically.

It also comes as no surprise that users that are most likely to click on video ads are below the age of 25; whereas users aged 45-54 tend to click on text links more frequently than others. It will be interesting to see how social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn will cater to different internet users. Here’s the survey conducted by iPerceptions Inc. below.