The Explor Awards Finalists: American Water and Digital Research, Inc.

The EXPLOR Awards are back at TMRE this year! This week, we’ll be taking a look at the four finalists!

Finalist #3: American Water and Digital Research, Inc.

Tipping the Scales: How a New Research Tool Has Changed American Water’s New Business Development

Represented by: Bruno Levine, Director, Business Development,
American Water

American Water and Digital Research, Inc. have created the water industry’s first known comprehensive, fact-based business development tool, the Target Identification Program (TIP). This tool has revolutionized the business development practices in the contract services area of the water business. This is an alternative to the traditional relationship-based practices employed in this industry. Attendees will discover the challenges that were overcome to create this tool, and how this tool impacted American Water’s business development process throughout the organization, including strategic analysis, pipeline assessment, and staffing.

The 2010 EXPLOR Awards winner will be announced at The Market Research Event, taking place November 8-10, 2010.

Logos courtesy of DRI and American Water

Three ways to build customer loyalty and your reputation

Sue Painter of writes that it is as easy as 1-2-3 to deliver great customer service that is guaranteed to increase customer loyalty and your business reputation. Painter offers an example of a shopper who is looking for batteries. After approaching the battery display, she doesn’t find what she needs and then leaves the store. The potential customer spoke to no one and was not spoken to during her trip to the store. The store lost a customer and they lost the opportunity to build their reputation with her; and if the customer shares her experience, the store has lost many potential customers and sales. So what can a business do to ensure that she finds what she needs?

Painter shares three tips that drive money your way and build customer loyalty that is fierce and unwavering:

1. Carrying inventory in stock. If you are going to sell batteries, sell them fully.
2. Shorten the time it takes to make a purchase.
3. Make your item extremely easy to find.

Check out the original article for Painter’s explanation of her tips.

Customer Service – 3 Ways To Win Loyalty and Build A Reputation for Customer Service

The Explor Awards Finalists: Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and Infosurv Inc.

The EXPLOR Awards are back at TMRE this year! This week, we’ll be taking a look at the four finalists!

Finalist #2: Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and Infosurv Inc.

How Wrigley Harnessed The Wisdom of Crowds to Predict New Product Success
Represented by:
Duane Burton, Market Research, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
Jared Heyman, President, Infosurv Inc.

Prediction markets harness “the wisdom of crowds” to ac
igley used a prediction market to assign accurate probabilities of success to several product innovations. With lower cost, greater accuracy, and faster speed than traditional concept screening techniques, we believe prediction markets are poised to revolutionize the way new ideas are screened and tested.

The 2010 EXPLOR Awards winner will be announced at The Market Research Event, taking place November 8-10, 2010.

Logos courtesy of and

Social media is working better for retention not acquisition reports that in a July 2010 study of US marketers by the Direct Marketing Association and COLLOQUY found that brand awareness was the most popular objective of social media efforts, followed by customer growth and loyalty. Even as this is their objective, the outcome has been far different. According to to the report, smaller companies may spend more on customer acquisition through social media; however, larger corporations are winning with social media by focusing on customer loyalty. Find out more about the study (and some nifty graphs) over at the EMarketer article.

How can you win with social media? Find out how 1-800-Flowers works customer engagement into their social CRM. Join Lewis Goldman, Former Chief Marketing Officer of 1-800-Flowers as he presents, “1-800-Flowers Shows Customer Engagement through Social CRM: You Can’t Fake It” on Monday, October 25th at 9:40am during NACCM 2010.

About the session: What does it mean to have an engaged customer? It’s more than just having Facebook fans or an online presence. It’s investing in the customer experience and becoming an authentic part of the interactions. You will learn how loyalty programs can increase customer engagement and transaction frequency, turning around bad customer experiences and creating advocates, social networking and participatory commerce including Facebook, Twitter, blogging and surveys.

The Explor Awards Finalists: eBay and Invoke Solutions

The EXPLOR Awards are back at TMRE this year! This week, we’ll be taking a look at the four finalists!

Finalist #1: eBay and Invoke Solutions

How eBay Used Real-time Hybrid Research to Fuel Early Stage Idea Development and Global Consensus Building

Represented by:
Mike Katz, Principal User Experience Researcher, eBay
Peter Mackey, EVP Research and BusinessDevelopment, Invoke Solutions

This session will share how eBay developed and implemented a real-time hybrid research program that unveiled insights used to develop ideas and innovation.

The 2010 EXPLOR Awards winner will be announced at The Market Research Event, taking place November 8-10, 2010.

A Look Back at TMRE 2009: Yes! Proven Ways for Market Researchers to Become More Persuasive

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 Keynote Session ‘ Yes! Proven Ways for Market Researchers to Become More Persuasive

Presenter: Dr. Noah Goldstein, Professor, UCLA Anderson School of Management and Co-Author of Yes!

The session first opened up with opening remarks from the managing Director of The Market Research Event, Kim Rivielle. Kim mentioned that this event first started off 15 years ago and it has grown into a very industry encompassing event since then.

‘We are here to exchange stories’sometimes best practices and sometimes worst practices.’

After her opening remarks Kim introduced the Conference Chairwoman, Kelly Styring, who is a principal at Insight Farm. She went on to officially introduce this morning’s featured speaker Dr. Noah Goldstein.

Dr. Noah Goldstein begins his presentation by stating that attendees will learn how to better persuade messaging through many scientific ways. Dr. Noah gives an example of how Tony Little recently saw much more success by changing this statement ‘Operators are standing by, please call now’ to ‘If operators are busy, please call again’. The first statement leaves an impression that operators are just standing by twittering, not paying attention, and cleaning their fingernails as opposed to the second statement which leaves the impression that operators are taking phone call after phone call trying to answer questions and fill orders.

The second example explained how some studies show that up to 75% of hotel guests re-use their towels at least once if they see signs like this around the hotel. In the study, there were two different signs showed at the hotel. One sign mentioned ‘Help save the environment by re-using towels’ and the second sign mentioned ’75% of people are re-using towels’. We always heard the term follow the herd but there is a strong persuasion figure in similarity. If people see similar people re-using towels in their room then there is a strong chance that they will also follow suit,

The best communicators recognize when they are not the best communicators. How do they do this? Testimonials are key!

What is optimal is to get other people to do the persuading for you, but there are many times that you will have to do it yourself. When you don’t know people though, people question whether or not they can trust someone or believe what they say. Progressive for example, gives you quotes from their insurance company as well as many other companies. At times they do have the best quote but at other times they do not. Since implementing this innovation, Progressive has done fairly well contrary to popular belief.

‘To immediately gain credibility in the eye of your audience, argue against your self interest.’ (E.g mention a weakness in your case)

Common mistakes people often make is to:

- follow positive information with a negative qualifier, occasionally negating that positive information. Small weaknesses should be mentioned before your strongest qualifier in order to make up for it.
- focus on what the audience stands to gain from the opportunity they present. Companies should tell the people they are trying to persuade what they stand to lose if they don’t take the opportunity they present.

Gifts and favors are most powerful when they are:

- significant and meaningful
- personalized
- unexpected

Excellent customer service is marketing

Great article today from MediaPost’s Engage: GenY blogger, Morgan Stewart. Stewart discusses a recent issue with a large cable company resulting in Stewart’s decision to stop service through the company. Instead of providing excellent customer service at the beginning, the cable company only provided customer service when Stewart was ready to stop the service contract. Too little, too late. This company didn’t follow the old adage that it’s much better to keep a customer than to acquire a new one; the company assumed that another customer would soon follow Stewart. So what gives? Stewart writes, “On one hand, marketers’ focus on acquisition makes perfect sense. Growth is the primary goal of any company — and new customers are required in order to grow. However, there is a point of diminishing returns where acquisition efforts are simply replacing customers that have already left — the classic leaking bucket.”

Stewart goes on to discuss the larger companies with excellent customer service and by being excellent they let their loyal (and very happy) customers spread their love for the company to their friends and family. This customer service prowess leads to awesome viral marketing.

Does your company think this way? How are you using excellent customer service to market your company?

Learn more: Customer Service IS Marketing

Soft drink packaging market returning

In a recent article at, the soft drink packaging industry for beer and soda is still facing uncertainty. The volume of consumed beverages dropped world wide .4% in 2010 after dropping 1.3% in 2009. Globally, not all markets are showing recover, Russia in particular.

While soda consumption is decreasing, so is the need for packaging. What other industries have you seen this happen to?

Call for Guest Bloggers for TMRE 2010

Earn a complimentary All-Access pass to one of the world’s largest market research events by serving as a guest-blogger. As a guest blogger at The Market Research Event, you’ll have access to the amazing visionaries, authors, academics PLUS retailers, manufacturers, industry authorities and explorers. With six track sessions, networking hours and innovative sessions ‘ you’ll learn and have a great time and this premier event.

Responsibilities will include attending specifically assigned sessions and blogging live or same day. You must have industry experience within the market research field. In exchange for guest blogging, you will receive an all-access pass to the event $3,000+ value. Guest bloggers are responsible for their travel and lodging.

Apply today by sending your name, company, biography and links to your blog directly to TMRE Media Marketer, Jennifer Pereira. Deadline for submissions is Friday, October 15, 2010 at 12pm EST. Early submissions encouraged.