Technology Driven Market Research: Your Place for Ground-breaking Tools

The Technology Driven Market Research Event is uniting research industry leaders with their big-brand counterparts as they share the ground-breaking tools and technologies being used to enable “in the moment” research to better understand consumer behavior.

Visit the webpage to find out more about this year’s conference.

Speakers include:
Market Research Industry Leaders:
‘ Dr. A.K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer, NeuroFocus, Inc.
‘ Chris Hobson, Chief Operating Officer, TXTEagle
‘ Damon Ragusa, President & CEO, Thinkvine
‘ David Dalka, Business Strategy Expert
‘ Frank Della Rosa, Managing Director, Symphonetic Insight
‘ Greg Heist, Vice President, Research Innovation & Technology, Gongos Research

Big-Brand Co-Presenters:
‘ Charlie Rader, Digital Insights Tools Leader, Procter & Gamble
‘ David Bernstein, CustomResearch Manager, Sam’s Club
‘ Jeff Esposito, Public Relations Manager, VistaPrint
‘ Lisa Kim, Consumer Insights, Product Innovation Team, Samsung Electronics
‘ Olga Patel, Associate Director, Nestle

It’s an exciting time to be a researcher as these technologies open the door to a whole new world of research opportunity. Download the brochure to find out more about the speakers and presenters at this year’s conference.

Join us this May 2-3, 2011; in Chicago at the Technology Driven Market Research Event as we discuss, explore and debate the latest technologies and the resulting impact they are having on the market research industry. As a reader of The Market Research Event Blog, we’re offering you an exclusive discount of 15% off the standard price when using discount code TDMR11Blog. Register here. If you have any questions about this event, feel free to contact Jennifer Pereira at

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: The Market Research Event 2011


From: Krista Vazquez
Re: The Market Research Event 2011
Event Date: November 7-9, 2011
Location: The Peabody Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Submissions due by Friday, February 18, 2011

NOTE: Presenters are accepted on a rolling basis so early submissions are encouraged.

About TMRE
The Market Research Event is all about the business value of market research. With more than 125 sessions and 150 speakers, it is by far the most comprehensive market research conference in the world. Multiple tracks and symposia allow participants to truly customize their experience based on their unique learning goals. New for 2011: More global perspectives promise to showcase the most valuable case studies and industry innovation from around the world.

Presenter Qualifications
TMRE is seeking client side executives to join the speaker faculty. Speakers can come from any department within the organization. Content must be original and not have already been presented at this or any other industry conference.

The Audience
In 2010, TMRE drew close to 1000 participants with more than 60% representing client side companies from all major industries including: CPG, Media & Entertainment, Finance & Insurance, Travel & Tourism, Durable Goods, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare, Retail, Energy & Utilities, Telecommunications, Technology, & Automotive and more.

Attendees have backgrounds in market research, consumer insights, marketing, intelligence, brand insights, marketing analytics, R&D, product development, innovation, customer experience, strategic planning, shopper insights, advertising and customer experience among other related areas.

Suggested Topic Areas
1. Social Media & Market Research
2. Shopper Insights
3. Consumer Trends
4. Segmentation
5. Biometrics & Neuroscience
6. Mobile Research
7. Ad & Media Research
8. MR Leadership & Strategy
9. Marketing & Brand Insights
10. Insight driven Innovation & Product Development
11. Business to Business Research
12. Data Analytics & Measurement
13. Innovation in Tools & Techniques
14. Strategic Global Expansion
15. BRIC

We are also happy to consider topics not listed here that you feel would add value and be appropriate for the audience.

Submission Guidelines Past Speakers of 2010 Those who wish to be considered for the TMRE speaker faculty should send the following via email to Krista Vazquez, Conference Director at no later than Friday, February 18, 2011:
1. Bio of proposed speaker
2. Benefit oriented title of session
3. Summary of session (no more than 150 words)
4. Full contact details for speaker including name, title, company, email, phone and mail

If your submission is selected, portions of your bio and summary will be used to promote your participation. In an effort to ensure the utmost quality, all final presentations will be subject to review by our content review board one month prior to the event.

Past Speakers from 2010
Bill Hoffman, SVP, Consumer Insights Best Buy, Susan Wagner, VP, Global Strategic Insights, Johnson & Johnson, Stan Turek, VP Customer Strategy & Shopper Insights, PepsiCo, Dan Zigmond, Technical Lead & Manager, Ad Quality & Pricing Group, Google TV, Joel Aach, VP Consumer Insights, Darden Restaurants, Mike Katz, Princial User Experience Researcher, eBay, Troy Stevenson, VP, Client Loyalty & Consumer Insight, Barry Blyn, VP, Consumer Insights, ESPN

Benefits to speakers
Each speaker receives the following:
1. Free pass to the event including access to all pre-conference symposia and workshops
2. Continental breakfast and lunch
3. Admittance to exclusive speaker networking activities
4. Unique discount code entitling anyone who uses it to 20% off the standard conference rate

Special notices to market research firms, vendors and solutions providers
This call is limited to client side presenters. If you are a vendor, consultant, solution provider, or technology provider and would like to speak at TMRE, please contact Jon Saxe at or 646-895-7467 or Sarene Yablonsky at or 646-895-7474.

Follow the Evolution of Social Media this April in Boston

For the past 4 years, the Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies Conference has been there to help you Translate Community Philosophy into Business Practice and Cash in on the Social Media and Community Conversations. This year we’re taking it one step further by following the Continuing Evolution of Social Media.

Leading industry professionals will be on hand to share in-depth case study perspectives focusing on the strategy, operations and results of social media. Join in on the conversation and follow the evolution taking place in the Social Media and Community space.

Keynotes Include:
‘ Marc Gob??, Chairman, Emotional Branding
‘ James Fowler, Author, Connected
‘ Scott Stratten, President, UnMarketing
‘ Michael Tchong, Founder, Ubercool, Author, Social Engagement Marketing
‘ Sasha Strauss, Managing Director & CEO, Innovation Protocol
‘ Kellie Parker, Community Manager, SEGA of America

Download the brochure for the full agenda and session descriptions.

This year, there’s only one place where you can find the tools and strategies you need to drive business through social media – Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies. From social media newbies to seasoned veterans, this is the one conference that covers it all.

Be a part of the evolution and register today! As a reader of the Community 2.0 blog, you can receive an exclusive discount 15% off of the standard rates when you register using priority code SOCIAL11BLOG2. If you have any questions about this event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira, Online Producer, at

The State of Online Branded Communities

I know sometimes we all get so head’s down in the business of every day that we don’t look at the larger industry trends. We are going to help with that by bringing the latest trends to you. To start off, Kathy Baughman, of ComBlu, shares the insights coming from their State of Online Branded Communities study. Not sure if your community competes with the best of the best? Read on to find out!


“Social Marketing is Growing Up” by Kathy Baughman, Principal & Founder, ComBlu

The single biggest takeaway from ComBlu’s second annual ‘State of Online Branded Communities’ study, is that far more top brands are demonstrating a strategic and cohesive approach to community as means to build long term customer engagement. Adopting a Center of Excellence orientation, many brands are consistently applying best practices across all their social assets. This is in sharp contrast to the more experimental and campaign-oriented approach exhibited last year.
In ComBlu’s study, we closely examine the community and social marketing programs of 78 companies across 12 industries. We joined and evaluated 241 communities, comprising a mix of feedback, advocacy and support communities. One of our major goals was to gain firsthand experience with how these communities engage and interact with their members.
Specifically, the research assesses the brands’ effectiveness in:
‘ Providing a meaningful experience for members.
‘ Integrating their brand strategies across multiple communities and social media.
‘ Applying best practices to strengthen customer engagement.

Key Take Aways

Last year, few brands in our study exhibited any evidence of an integrated approach to social engagement. Many communities were built around multiple’but unrelated’viral or online campaigns. They seemed less about long-term customer engagement and more about trying the latest social tools or applications.

This year, the number of brands with a cohesive approach to social engagement increased significantly. In addition, many companies are standardizing to a single community platform to facilitate tighter integration between properties. This also allows for a single login and the ability to reward points wherever the member is engaging and prevents ‘gateway’ confusion.

Good News

We found plenty of encouraging news in this year’s study.
‘ The percentage of brands exhibiting a Cohesive Strategy increased from 20% to 33%.
- The number of companies that are High Performers (scoring 35 or more points) jumped from 11% to 33%.
- Activity levels in online communities are also significantly higher. This is the expected outcome when communities give members more ways to contribute and connect with each other; reward their actions; showcase accomplishments of high performing members; and provide topical information on what’s new and exciting. Each of these best practices has higher adoption rates in this year’s study, with some brands showing a three to four times increase in usage levels over last year.
‘ Brands are doing a much better job delivering diverse engagement experiences by providing members with multiple ways to participate.
‘ Communities with the highest activity levels tend to focus on a specific need or interest. Those with creative engagement tools, but no clear mission, have less activity.
‘ Gaming and Entertainment industries have the most active communities, followed by Insurance, Technology and Telecommunications. With the exception of Insurance, these are also the highest scoring industries overall.
‘ Many companies are standardizing to a single community platform to facilitate tighter integration between properties. This also allows for a single login and the ability to reward points wherever the member is engaging and prevents ‘gateway’ confusion

Our research also found much greater integration between a brand’s sponsored community site and its other social assets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. However, only 61% of brands offer sharing functionality, which limits members’ abilities to be catalysts for community growth and content syndication.

Still Room for Improvement

While this year’s study uncovers significant positive momentum in the adoption of best practices, no brand scored in the highest quartile (50 or more points). We were surprised that fewer than 40% of the communities we joined have any kind of rewards or recognition program. ‘Microfame”defined as a member’s status within the community’is one of the key drivers for sustaining participation. In addition, a best-in-class reputation management tool will allow the community manager to mine member actions for deep strategic insights.

Nearly half of the communities we studied still have no active community manager visible as the ‘face of the brand.’ This misses a huge opportunity to personalize the brand and create a human connection.

A few of the brands in our study are creating communities across all three pillars of social engagement’Feedback, Advocacy and Support’but the vast majority focus on Advocacy. The brands that focus on support tend to be among the highest scoring communities; these communities are the most mature and have evolved consistently over time.

The lowest scoring communities provide no real path to engagement. They tend to have a Social Web model that allows some interaction with content, but provides few ways to connect with peers, build on the thoughts or ideas of others or provide any feedback.

In contrast, the High Performers (brands scoring 35 or more points), provide highly customized, meaningful experiences to members. They push content aligned with both the information provided by members during the profiling process and their actions in the community, thus making their experiences better over time.

We’ll explore this further at this year’s Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies Conference.

ComBlu will use this study as a basis for discussion at this year’s SM 2.0 Conference. Three of the Top Performing brands from the study’Verizon, NBC Universal and Dell’will comprise a general session panel to do a deeper dive into their strategies behind the results.

Selecting a Primary Community Platform Part 1

Are you shopping for a Primary Community Platform? It is such a critical decision, but hard to know what to base your decision on. I recently had a chance to catch up with several of the leading Community Platform vendors to ask them what people should be looking for when considering what vendor. We are going to share the perspectives of Jive, Lithium, and Telligent in a three part series of blog posts. Hope they are helpful in your decision making process!


‘Strategy First’ by Tim Albright, Director of Community Strategy at Jive Software

Honestly, I don’t believe anyone should start a social business platform assessment by looking at features. Instead, truly understanding your own social business strategy is the most important criteria for choosing a platform. Some community features are fairly commoditized (e.g., forums, rating, blogs, et cetera) and some aren’t (e.g., bridging internal and external communities, video, mobile, et cetera) but if the reason you’re applying social isn’t clear, choosing a platform to do it won’t be either, no matter what features are provided. Obviously, any social strategy should map directly to overall business goals and, for all but the largest companies (and probably for them too), a social business strategy will be more successful if it is shared across the enterprise.

A good social strategy identifies what specific problems to attack. For example, improving Sales Enablement is a strategic goal but it’s also a bit abstract. On the other hand, shortening the response time for RFPs is a concrete, measurable target that will improve Sales Enablement Now you can accurately assess the Sales Enablement capabilities of a social platform:

‘ Does it support robust internal deployments?
‘ Does it allow easy creation of logical groups (Sales Enablement, Regions, et cetera)?
‘ Can the usual RFP formats be uploaded and reviewed in the communities?
‘ Can users easily create reusable tables and charts with links to customer references, success stories, et cetera?
‘ Can users rate and tag content to heighten relevance and improve reuse?
‘ Can users follow spaces, content and other users?
‘ Can users receive notifications and reply directly via email?
‘ Is there mobile support for my distributed sales team?

In short, what should really inform your decision is: can the proposed platform take the current tasks your employees, partners, and customers are already doing and make those tasks easier by applying social? In the Sales Enablement example, social attacks the problem because it:

‘ Removes the RFP request from the tyranny of email: the Sales Rep won’t get nine ‘out of office’ replies and the responses aren’t buried in her email box
‘ The Rep doesn’t have to ‘know’ who the right source is: the source finds her. The entire company’s expertise is available to all Sales Reps, even on their first day on the job.
‘ When she gets the right answer, she can rate it highly so the next rep with a similar RFP can search and find it more easily
‘ Mobile and email allow users to respond when and where it’s convenient for them.

Each of these (and more) will measurably shorten the turn around time for RFPs. If the platform you’re considering can do all these things, it should be a contender for your Sales Enablement initiative.

Of course there are many other strategies and tasks that social business software can measurably improve. At Jive, we’re dedicated to helping you identify the right business areas to attack with social tools. Not all business problems require social solutions, but we’ve found many that do. Here are the questions I would consider in assessing platform vendors:

‘ Do you have the experience and skills to help me define solid, measurable business objectives?
‘ Do you have examples where your social software solved these types of business problems?
‘ Are there customer references ‘like’ me that you can share?
‘ Do you give guidance on IT, SSO, and other integrations?
‘ What Flexibility do you offer for theming my site to look like my other properties?
‘ Given the solutions we’re discussing, can you provide guidance on attracting users, marcom plans, et cetera?
‘ What else do I need to know to be successful?

Focusing on the right task to meet your objectives will also help inform all your other social decisions. For example, if you have a public support community, what should your Facebook or Twitter strategy be? Support communities focuses on asking and answering questions in the community. A FB page is likely to confuse some users and distract them from participating in your community. Contextual FB ads, on the other hand, might be a great way to generate awareness about the community and help to brand it. Tweeting about community events and hot topics might also extend awareness. The point is that, once your objective is solidly defined, you can have the right argument: will this feature or capability make the task better for the users?

Once you know what you’re trying to solve, and once you’re comfortable with the answers to these questions above, reviewing features, watching demos, and playing in sandboxes will be a lot more useful to you. Get the ‘what’ right and the ‘how’ will be much, much, more easy to spot.

A Cool Research Methodology That I Predict You Will Use

Written by: Roxana Strohmenger, Forrester Research

As my colleagues in our team can attest, I get giddy when I talk about all the cool, emerging, and innovative methods that market research professionals can use ‘ whether it be how biometric techniques helped the Campbell Soup Company understand how consumers respond to marketing and advertising in order to redesign its soup-can logo, or when Nokia used mobile research methods as a way to understand what emotional constructs influence a consumer’s ‘love and admiration’ for a brand. All in all, it is great to see technology starting to make a significant impact on how we collect richer insights about consumers.

To help market research professionals understand what innovative research techniques are out there, I am launching a report series this year that will cover some of these innovative methods. To kick off the series, I have focused on prediction markets. Why? Because I see this extremely underutilized method as a valuable tool in the long, expensive, and arduous process of product and concept testing.

Companies are faced with the following daunting facts:

  • - Over 25,000 new consumer products skus are introduced annually in North America with only half of these new product launches considered successful at launch.
  • - For every seven product ideas that are created, typically only one succeeds in the market.
  • - An estimated 46% of all resources allocated to product development and commercialization is spent on products that are cancelled or that fail to yield an adequate financial return.

Despite all the time and money spent discovering and flushing out new product ideas, there really is no way, using methods like monadic testing, to predict whether the product is going to succeed in the marketplace. But, what if there is a way to predict the future and determine which ideas or products will succeed or fail? I posit that using a prediction market methodology can accomplish this task.

A prediction market is a speculative market that harnesses the power of the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ for the purpose of making predictions. This concept was addressed in James Surowiecki’s 2004 book entitled The Wisdom of Crowds, where he presented numerous case examples of how a diverse group of independently thinking individuals is able to make decisions and predictions better than individuals in isolation or even than experts. The beauty of this method is that it is not relying on asking individuals to make predictions about what they will do in the future but rather what they think other people will do. Research has shown that we are unreliable witnesses to our own motivations. However, as social animals, we are actually very good at noticing what other people are doing, sensing why they might be doing it, and predicting what they will do. Therefore, a crowd can successfully predict the future and ‘ for a market research professional’s purposes ‘ can predict which products will do well and which will fail in the marketplace.

Prediction markets have typically been used during the discovery stage, when market researchers are ascertaining which ideas should continue on for extensive research and development. Rather than spending significant amounts of time and money on a target population using monadic testing for each idea put forward, researchers instead use prediction markets to quickly and inexpensively determine which idea is predicted to be the winning concept and then run that concept through the product development life cycle. When comparing against findings from monadic testing, companies that have used prediction markets have repeatedly found that the results are exactly the same in terms of what is deemed the winning concept. And instead of taking several weeks and paying significant amounts of money for these studies, they have reduced the research process down to several days and reduced their costs by the order of 50%. This is definitely a methodology that should become a staple of any market research professional’s tool kit.

Stay tuned for my report, which will focus on the appropriate time to use prediction markets, how to incorporate them into your traditional research mix, and which vendors can help. And, please drop me a line’ or in the comments, of course ‘ if you’d like to give me your take on using prediction markets or any other type of innovative research method.

Also, if you are like me and want to hear more about using innovative research methods, take a look at this conference: Technology Driven Market Research Event. The theme for the conference is ‘Capture insights in real time; Measure meaningful chatter; and Showcase breakthrough methodologies.’ As a guest blogger for this event, I look forward to hearing great case examples on exactly how companies have used these ground-breaking tools and technologies and, most importantly, how they have incorporated these new techniques with their traditional research methods. Be on the lookout on my blog and Twitter account where I will be providing a summary and my perspective on the key takeaways from some of the presentations.

This blog is co-posted with Forrester’s For Market Researcher Professionals Blog.

New! Your Conference ROA: (Return On Attendance) Tool

January is the time to reflect on last year and plan for 2011. We know that we all think of ways to better ourselves, and professional development is a big part of this growth. One way to start growing is to invest in a conference. We know there is a big investment in both time and money when attending a conference. People have been asking us for years, how to help sell a conference to their management team. Here are a couple of suggestions:

‘ INSPIRATION: Remind your management that an inspired strategy often comes from being in the midst of other practitioners to brainstorm and think wild and crazy!

‘ PROBLEM SOLVING: In the unofficial networking that happens around an event, is hugely valuable and not something that you can get from online case studies and webinars. We have heard from hundreds of conference attendees that this is one of the most important parts of the event.
‘ KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE: We never know what we don’t know’ however, seeing engaging case studies, techniques for measuring, the latest and greatest platforms and vendors keeps you on the cutting edge and makes sure you are in the know.
‘ KEEP THAT NETWORK FOR LATER: What happens next time you are stuck on how to do something? Now you have a broad network of contacts within the industry to reach out to have the one-on-one conversations about getting un-stuck! It is hugely helpful to have that outsider’s opinion sometimes!

In addition, we have created this little formula and toolkit to help put a value assessment to the things you learn and gain from a conference.

Everyone who walks into our conference is given a proprietary formula along with a toolkit. Those not reaching desired ROA prior to the conclusion of the event are instructed to speak with the conference director on-site who will ensure enough contacts; ideas and information value are achieved. Together we will calculate and calibrate success.

How the NCAA regulates Social Media

Earlier in the week, Mashable posted an interview they had conducted with Ronnie Ramos, NCAA’s managing director of communications, to discuss how they are monitoring and regulating the evolving world of social media and how it’s players, coaches and other officials can use the medium to communicate.

A few interesting facts about their social media regulation:

  • - The NCAA creates the regulations and each individual NCAA institution is responsible for enforcing the guidelines
  • -Each school can also create regulations, for example Duke’s student athletes are allowed to use Twitter while football players at the University of Miami can’t
  • -Coaches are not allowed to recruit through Facebook pages, but they are allowed to use Facebook messages and Direct Tweets on Twitter, as they are regulated like emails

At Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies taking place this April 4-6, 2011, in Boston, MA, a panel of professionals from Dell, Citi, Kodak and Powered Inc will be discussing Marketing Strategy: Building a Private Community vs. Open Platform, which showcases many of the issues the NCAA faces every day looking at what communications can be had on which platforms. Download the brochure today to find out more about this presentation and the rest of the program!

AAA, Bank of America, eBay, Kraft & more Share Social Media Strategies for Success

This year, there’s only one place where you can find the tools and strategies you need to drive business through social media ‘ The 2011 Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies Conference. From social media newbies to seasoned veterans, this is the one conference that covers it all.

Highlights of Social Media & Community 2.0 2011:

‘ Social Media 101
oRefresh your social media skills and perfect your social engagement. Strengthen the social media strategy for your company. Speaking companies include: AAA, Microsoft Advertising, MTV, Social Media Club and more.

‘ NEW! Social Gaming
o Explore a new realm of social behavior and dig deeper into the virtual world of gaming. Speaking companies include: Ayeah Games, Epic Games, Meblur Inc., SEGA of America and more.

‘ Strategy / Socialize Your Brand
o Help define your realm of expertise and ensure that content is produced in-line with the goal of your brand. Make social media a core part of your business. Speaking companies include: CareerBuilder, eBay, Kraft, Unilever and more.

‘ Operations / Adopt the Practice
o From execution to creating extraordinary platforms – efficiently operationalize social media & community across businesses. Speaking companies include: Bank of America, General Motors, TripAdvisor, Yahoo! and more.

‘ Results / Measure Success
o Connect and integrate the profitability portion into your program. Measure the things that matter to your company. Speaking companies include: ABC Disney, American Family Insurance, The Huffington Post, NBC Universal, and more.

Download the brochure for the full agenda and session descriptions.

The Market Research Event Presents…The Technology Driven Market Research Event

The producers of The Market Research Event invite you to join the next generation of revolutionary speakers and remarkable tools in market research.

The Technology Driven Market Research Event focuses on presenting ground-breaking tools and technologies that are being used NOW and those on the horizon. Hear from the leaders in the market research industry as they share how these technologies are enabling “in the moment” research to more clearly understand consumer behavior.

Featured sessions:
Avatar 3D Comes to the Store Aisle
- Dr. A.K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer, Neurofocus, Inc.

Twitter as a Research Tool?
- Scott Centurino, CEO, Crimson Hexagon & Colin Moffett, Senior Vice President, Social Impact Strategies, Weber Shandwick Digital Communications

The Future of Market Research in 2015
- Merrill Dubrow, President & CEO, M/A/R/C Research

The State of the Industry
- Leonard Murphy, CEO, BrandScan 360

Visit the webpage to find out more about this event:

Download the brochure for the full agenda and session descriptions: