BP facing social media backlash

The Globe and Mail reports that embattled oil company and environmental villain is set to experience a social media backlash. Virtually overnight, Facebook and Twitter lit up with former customers of the British company complaining and boycotting the providers services.

From The Globe and Mail report, the Boycott BP Facebook group is now hovering around 100 thousand fans. There are approximately a dozen albums of user-generated photos, showing everything from a pelican soaked in oil to images of a BP rig sitting on Planet Earth with a bloody sword, complete with the caption ‘How does it feel murdering your mother? British Punks!!!’


The backlash against BP is indicative of what has become commonplace in our hyper-connected society. If you mess up, your family might forgive you but the web world will not — they will hold you accountable. While some companies are looking to social media as a way to clean up and promote their image, the online audience has a tendency (and the smarts) to sniff out the good from the bad (and put emphasis on the evil).

What do you think? Is this the continuation of a digital, global citizen’s arrest?

A Look Back at TMRE 2009: Toyota: Continuous Improvement Through Research

The Market Research Event 2010 is taking place this November 8-10, 2010 in San Diego, California. Every Friday leading up to the event, we’ll be recapping one session from The Market Research Event 2009.

TMRE General Session: Toyota: Continuous Improvement Through Research

Toyota: Continuous Improvement Through Research
Steven Sturm, Group Vice President, Americas Strategic Research & Planning and Corporate Communications, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

Toyota runs their business according to the Toyota Way which relies on two principles:
-Continuous improvement
-respect for people

Toyota entered the US car market over 50 years ago. Their first car, Toyopet Crown, failed; it did not meet the quality or expectations of the US customer. This became the stimulus to meet more of the Americans needs

Toyota is the #1 brand in the US, and Lexus is the #1 luxury brand. Toyota is expecting affluent homes to grow over the next few years.

Lexus: best car and best ownership experience. So they then determined they’d sell Lexuses in their own dealer networks, and they would treated each customer as if they were a guest in their own home. Of 1,600 dealers that applied to be Lexus dealers at the beginning, only 80 were selected.

The #1 selling luxury brand in the US is the Lexus RX.

Toyota’s Concept of Sustainability
Core of what Toyota does is to have respect for people and the environment. They’ve capitalized on this with the Toyota Prius.

It has two power sources: gas engine and electric motor. A computer chooses which to use for maximum use, and the batter never needs recharged because it’s automatically recharged when the car breaks. It went on sale in 1997, and was not a success. They began using a family demo program. They did real road testing and got feedback directly from the customer. This also created buzz. Families felt that they were participating in a breakthrough, and also were getting attention.

People needed to be educated on how the Prius worked, as the technology for the car was unknown. Early adopters began to get their information about the Prius online. It was launched in 2000, and they exceeded their sales expectations from that year on. Media coverage, partnerships, and government incentives to purchase the car have since followed.

Webinar: New Research on the Changing Face of Beauty

New Research on the Changing Face of Beauty

Join us for a Free Web Seminar on Thursday, June 10th from 11:00 AM -12:00PM EDT

Reserve your Web Seminar seat now at:


Mention priority code MWS0029Blog

About the web seminar:

Personal care and appearance have become an obsession. Personal care product usage has increased in double digits in the past 5 years with consumers using more individual products on average every day.

In order to develop new products, companies need to identify unmet needs as well as emerging trends and attitudes. Furthermore, we need to better understand how consumers navigate through new categories.

This beauty and personal care development has created a need for new understanding. How has behavior changed? Do women feel differently about themselves?

In order to understand how the category has evolved, we need to be able to look back in time. In 2005, BuzzBack conducted a study among US women around personal appearance and their use of personal care products ‘ from cosmetics to body and face lotion. The study utilized eCollage, our award-winning online technique for revealing visual associations and underlying emotions/feelings.

In this new webinar, five years later, we will look at what’s changed ‘ as well as compare to new findings among women in the UK.

Attendees of this webinar will learn:

‘ How attitudes related to beauty and appearance have changed among females in the past 5 years and why

‘ How women use imagery to better express how they feel about their personal appearance on a typical day

‘ What remains the same — which consumer feelings are similar today compared to 5 years ago and why

‘ How the recession has impacted purchase behavior and why

In addition, you’ll learn how new research methodologies, especially hybrid qual-quant online techniques, have evolved. Traditional quantitative measures will be combined with future-facing qualitative collection methods and advanced qualitative analysis.

Featured Speaker:

Brendan Light, SVP, Research and Development, BuzzBack Market Research

Brendan has been leading research development and best-practices for BuzzBack, with recent recognition by the Advertising Research Foundation as a Great Mind winner for Innovation. In addition to continually improving the quality of the quantitative and qualitative methodologies and analytics of BuzzBack’s research offerings, he pioneered BuzzBack’s award-winning and patent-pending eCollage and Verbatim Viewer technology, and leads a broad team of future development and research strategy for BuzzBack. He continues to focus on leveraging the transformative powers of the Internet to evolve respondent engagement, operational efficiency, and visualization of analytics and insight. He has over 10 years of client and research supplier side experience, having also served as Research Director for Grey Interactive and as the Global Director of Ipsos-ASI Interactive.

Europe’s privacy laws affect ad effectiveness

Online Media Daily looked at the study that showed how effective Europe’s online privacy laws are in response to the effectiveness of banner ads on webpages. In Europe, a data protection law states that companies are not allowed to track users via web bugs and cookies unless they have consent from the user. While this can allow webpages to tailor the ads to the user in the US, it can not be done in Europe. This dramatically affected the effectiveness of online advertising between the US and Europe, decreasing effectiveness up to 65%. Read the full article here.

New York City Government Customer Serivce Line Reaches Milestone

Earlier this week, the 311 Customer Service call line for the New York City government, received its 100 millionth call.

Mayor Bloomberg set up the line in 2003 looking to: provide easier access to non-emergency services in a cost-effective manner. The 311 service consolidated more than 40 separate call centers and hotlines, encompassing 11 pages of government listings in the City phone book, into one easy-to-remember number.

To further accommodate the New York City citizens, there was also a 311 Online in January of this year to futher aid members of the community.

Source: Market Watch

Students creating decentralized social network

Four students from NYU have set out to create a social network where large hub servers do not host users information. They have promised a completely secure platform where a users information will remain private. The group decided to put a call out for funds on the internet, and received $23,676 in donations as of Tuesday of this week. According to Finn Brunton, a professor of the four students behind the project, they have a solid plan to extend the network beyond just technical users, but to the general public. Follow them at @joindisapora and visit their webpage here. Read the full article at the New York Times here.

Facebook gets snapshots of market

In a recent article at the San Francisco Chronicle, they looked at how Facebook is becoming a great picture to the people’s current feelings. While we have know this for some time, the article points out that on any given day, this chart can demonstrate the national happiness generated by Facebook statuses. The researchers have even taken it one step futher and looked at how relationships statuses affect men and women. Read the full article here.

Have you begun to use Facebook for market research? Do you look at the status trends of the biggest fans of your products? How can Twitter and Facebook measuring national happiness on a daily basis be a benefit to your research?

How is your customer using Twitter?

An interesting article at Agency Spy reveals that 53% of Twitter users do not post anything. While you may be monitoring what people are saying about your brand or product, many more are out there reading about your product. And two-thirds of the users also access the information on their phone. What does this mean for your company? Users are monitoring your product, and often times on the go. Read more about the Twitter statistics here.

Sprint sees increase in customer satisfaction

Trefis recently looked at the three reasons that Sprint is seeing an uptick in customer satisfaction that is showing in their stock prices. Over the past few years, Sprint has treaded a rocky road when it comes to customer satisfaction. They have found a way to turn this around. One reason they’ve increased customer satisfaction is because they’ve identified and supplied the need for prepaid phone cards. Supplying prepaid cards also allows for Sprint to avoid monthly subscriber losses due to unpaid bills. They’ve also increased the visibility of their brand and introduced new SmartPhones that are appealing to their audience. Read about their other improvements here.

Guest Post: Virtual meets IRL, again’Social Media 2.0 / #socialc20

Below is a special post from one of our 2010 attendees of Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies. For more information on the event, please click here.

The presentations at this conference were, IMHO, fantastic. The presenters were all very frank and pretty open in terms of sharing experiences ‘ both successful and the kind one learns from. Everything was discussed from blogging to Facebook to Twitter to Foursquare, and beyond.

This conference was also unique in that we had a ‘mingling’, almost ‘speed-dating’ session with other conference attendees. The art of being social and responding in a stream-of-consciousness. It was during these conversations that I met the people I would end up speaking with most (even having dinner with!). Although, the use of the #socialc20 hashtag also linked me with some folks I would later meet IRL, as they know me as @kerbehr, and I knew them by their Twitter handles.

There was no shortage of interesting content and hearing from brands that we all know all too well: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Sega, Intuit/Turbo Tax, NHL, Chicago Bulls, Scholastic Books, Washington Capitals, Pepsico, Wells Fargo’the list goes on! We also got sneak peaks into @charleneli‘s new book ‘Open Leadership’ and @jbernoff‘s new book ‘Empowered’. I’m looking forward to reading both, Charlene’s comes out this month, and Josh’s sometime in September.

So, in the course of two days, I feel like I made some solid contacts, met some tremendous people, and hopefully, have some interesting things lined up for work. I also got to drink LOTS of bottled water (contaminated water situation in Boston) and was evacuated during a panel discussion Wednesday morning (I heard it was a broken pipe), so it wasn’t just the presentations that were interesting during this trip!

Some quotables (in no particular order):

‘ If people get what they expect from your prod. they don’t talk. Your prod needs to exceed expectations.’ – David Witt, Gen. Mills.

‘No one social app is big enough to drive major sales, but they help us to engage.’ ‘ Bonin Bough, Pepsico

”Social networks will be like air’ It’s everywhere. It’s a natural state of being. ‘ Charlene Li

‘We tend to overvalue what we can measure, and undervalue the things we cannot’ ‘ John Hayes, AmEx, via Charlene Li

‘I love any application where you can make money & pay people with love’ ‘ Josh Bernoff

‘Access creates content, content creates traffic’ ‘ Jeremy Thum, Chicago Bulls.

‘If someone talks about you negatively, its probably better that they do it in your house.’ – @stevealter.

”If you don’t build it, they will come anyway. If you build it, but don’t know why, they will come once’and never come back again’ ‘ Steve Alter

‘ The fastest way to not be a faceless corporation is to not be one. Put personality into your soc med efforts’ ‘ Kellie Parker