4 Transmedia Campaigns To Learn From

Recent research by Google amplified a message that we’ve all been circling around:

Go mobile or get ready to lose customers

But if there is one takeaway that really sank in after the Mobile Marketing Conference last March, it’s that silo-ed is not the way to go. Your mobile marketing campaign needed to keep the mobile user in mind…but it should also integrate fully with all aspects of your marketing strategy.

Some brands already do this beautifully, employing “transmedia” approaches to tie consumers in across mobile, social channels, print or television and more. These are some of our favorites, each tailored to their ideal user:

For the thirsty TV viewer:What do we do while we watch TV? These days the answer may include “grab a snack” or “drink a beer,” but it frequently also includes using at least one other screen, perhaps texting with friends or playing an online game. Enter Grolsch / Big Bold Grolsch

This campaign goes from a TV spot to an online interaction to SMS to a coupon code with directions to the nearest store. Employing compelling storytelling and a continuous stream of actions for the viewer, the path to purchase couldn’t be clearer. Casual viewers are turned into purchases as they are engaged across multiple screens.

For the fanatic:
Your audience already exists and they will be online talking about your product, how do you guide or harness the energy of that conversation? Recent blockbusters Prometheus and The Hunger Games already had built in audiences via the Alien movies and The Hunger Games Trilogy respectively, but would they have been such box office gold if it weren’t for their multidimensional campaigns?

From this viral faux-TED talk: to a hashtag campaign Prometheus employed a wide range of strategies to re-energize existing Ridley Scott fans and drive online buzz about the film prior to its release.

Similarly, The Hunger Games played a long game with its existing fans, drawing the community into an addictive online world. As this New York Times article notes:

“But the campaign’s centerpiece has been a phased, yearlong digital effort built around the content platforms cherished by young audiences: near-constant use of Facebook and Twitter, a YouTube channel, a Tumblr blog, iPhone games and live Yahoo streaming from the premiere.”

For brands that have a history and existing fans, consider using a compelling content strategy across media to re-energize your base and fuel new interest.

For the Savvy Showroomer:Target made waves last May when it opted out of selling Amazon’s Kindle tablets. The New York Times reported that:

“Target has been trying to figure out how to stop Amazon shoppers from visiting Target stores to check out products, and then buy them online from Amazon.”

However, the retailer is taking steps beyond the exiling of the Kindle to encourage shoppers to visit the store and complete purchases on site. Most notably may perhaps be the Target partnership with Shopkick.

Shopkick delivers rewards to a consumer just for entering a store, but also encourages behavior such as pre-orders or product scans via mobile ads and tie-ins with social media or television actions (watching specific ads on The CW can now earn users “Kicks”.) With elements of gamification and an eye towards price-sensitive consumers, the app partnership helps to keep purchasers in-store.

I see multimedia campaigns like this continuing to grow. Mobile is an increasingly big slice of the marketing funnel and we’re excited to see more solutions that incorporate it as part of the bigger picture. What interesting strategies have you come across lately, or how could you apply these strategies to your brand?

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Big Data ‘ different names for the same thing?

Okay, we
cannot avoid the truth. Obviously ‘Big Data’ is here to stay. 

For myself
I can say that I am by no means a Big Data expert. Large surveys with more than
3.000 participants still have the ability to impress me regarding the enormous amount
of data. Maybe I am ‘old school’ :-) 

I am curious to learn more about ‘Big Data’. Doing so I recognized
a lot of well known things from the very beginning of my market research career.
Once upon a
time I was working for a German telecommunication company. That was the time
when mobile phones were primarily used for calling and messaging and smartphones
haven’t been invented yet.
Big brands were
called Nokia, Siemens and Sony Ericsson and not Apple and Samsung’ However, for
each of the more than 20 million customers every minute calling, every message,
every megabyte of data was recorded, primarily to bill the right amount of money
(flatrates were an exception, mainly offered to and used by business customers). There has been ‘Big Data’ 10 – 15 years ago. 
Similar to
now, one of the big challenges in this time was to find solutions of getting
use out of the huge amount of data that has been growing minute by minute,
hour by hour, day by day’ 
Why? Because
there was (and there still is) a need to understand consumers’ behavior in
order to serve the right customer with the right offer at the right time’ An increase
in efficiency regarding campaign management was the order of the day, especially
in times when the market has got more and more saturated. So analytical CRM came
into play and was fueled by Data Mining.
We did a lot of interesting project combining
records from the data warehouse with market research results in order to
predict behavior. This was a challenge not only because of data protection
I really
like the word ‘Data Mining’ because to me it bears some fine connotations such
as ‘craftsmanship’ and ‘working hero’.  In my perspective the attractiveness of Data Mining declines during the past 10
years, but neither I know exactly if this is true nor understand why the
perception has changed.
Now we are having
not only big data but ‘Real Big Data’. I am pretty sure that ‘Data Mining’
already has experienced a revival because of what is now called Big Data. And again
I am by no means expert for this.
Maybe you are as curious as I. Let’s learn
more about Big Data at TMRE via the ‘Data Analytics and BIG Data’ sessions (and
maybe about the “rebirth of Data Mining’.


Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany helping clients from US and Asia to research Europe.
He has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market
research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance,
transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to
understand consumers through market research and to increase
implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Nice to Meet You!

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven. 

It’s time for an update on my How to win my business (a memo from your client) blog post from a while back.

What’s prompting the update? A recent interview of the mysterious @Angry_MR_Client over at Green Book Blog and subsequent discussion in the comments section.  If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend it!  The interview and discussion highlighted for me yet again the need for continued healthy dialogue between research suppliers and clients.

My previous blog post focused on online or telephone interaction with potential suppliers or clients, but I feel it’s important to update that here to highlight the importance of face-to-face interactions.

Let me say right off the bat that yes I’m definitely biased towards face-to-face interaction as I work for a company that among other things produces events. So, don’t take this as the voice for the whole client side of the industry, but the opinion of one client-side researcher.

As is the case with most client-side researchers, we have our roster of go-to vendors for different types of projects. However, it’s often the case that we need to deviate from our standard roster when a unique project comes up that our current suppliers may not have expertise in.

And that’s when the options can become overwhelming! From printed and online directories to many many sales emails’  In that moment of decision, what do I wish for? A personal connection and face-to-face discussion.

That’s why it’s important to me to attend at least one market research live event a year, preferably an event with a good number of suppliers exhibiting.  Why? So I can relate a face to the company, so I can see a demo of your software in person, so I can see how you and your staff interact with other client-side researchers, so I can see how passionate (if at all) you are about your company’s service or product.

You can see why meeting suppliers at an event is important to me.  Now for some compelling stats on why it should also be important to suppliers as well, thanks to the Center for Exhibition Research (CEIR):

  • -According to research by CEIR and Exhibit Surveys, Inc. closing a lead generated at an event costs almost 40 percent less than a lead generated from the field.
  • -76% of attendees pre-plan the exhibits they want to visit.  So, suppliers, you DO need to do some legwork pre-event to reach out to your key audience letting them know you’ll be there.
  • -This one’s the kicker for me. A CEIR study found that 79% (!!) of leads are not followed up on. So have a follow-up system in place and a plan of action after the event.

I do realize that funding for exhibiting or even travel to some of the major events is sometimes not possible.  But another way to establish face-to-face contact is letting us know when you’ll be in the area visiting clients and have a few extra hours. More often than not, we’re willing to do lunch. (Shout out for lunch the Portland, Maine area ‘ we have lobster mac and cheese’with truffles!)

Is a face-to-face connection going to guarantee you win my business? No, but establishing that face-to-face connection does help move your company up on my ‘to contact’ list and separates you from random, faceless directory listings when projects come up!

More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the’Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you’d like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida,register todayand mention codeTMRE12BLOG and save15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program,download the agenda.

Customer Service Week Is Coming: How Will You Celebrate?

In 1992, the U.S. Congress declared the first week of every October to be National Customer Service Week. In a proclamation, then president George H. W. Bush wrote of the value of a holistic customer experience:

“A business built on customer service understands and anticipates the customer’s needs. It designs goods and services to meet those needs and builds products that perform to customer expectations. It then packages them carefully, labels them correctly, sells them at a fair price, delivers them as scheduled, and follows up, as necessary, to satisfy the customer. This kind of commitment to service leads to customer loyalty and to genuine improvements at the bottom line.”

Now, 20 years later, will you take the opportunity to celebrate, reflect, or honor your own commitment to customer service next week?

Many use this week as a opportunity to reward or recognize those who are on the front line with customers – from call center representatives to retail staff. Another way to celebrate could be taking this as an opportunity to step back and review your holistic customer experience – go through the process of making an order, calling a helpline, using your website or visiting a store – and asking, is there more we could be doing? Lastly, this is a great time to hold a training, take a class, or read some thought-leadership: get re-inspired! (Perhaps join our LinkedIn group to discuss your challenges with like-minded individuals.)

Here’s some of our recent favorites in thought leadership to start with:

1to1media: Customer Experience Leaders Spank Customer Experience Laggards in Total Returns

Chadwick Martin Bailey: Is Your Loyalty Program Just a Face in the Crowd?

Social Media Today Social Customer: Why Customer Insight Matters To Every Customer Service Leader

Whatever you are doing, we’d love to hear from our community. Post photos of your celebrations to our Facebook page or share in the comments below.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She is the voice behind the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Research Suppliers to Clients: ‘We Don’t Suck!’

Clients are Tigers and Bears. Oh My! Part One

By Marc Dresner, IIR

I’ve been known to eat dessert before dinner, so feel free to stop reading here because the headline is also the conclusion’

Some of you may remember the masked rogue blogger and tweeter ‘MR Heretic‘ (MR being shorthand for ‘market research,’ not ‘mister’), author of a subtle little blog called The Market Research Deathwatch.

We haven’t heard from him/her in a while, and it saddens me because whether or not you agreed with MR Heretic’s assertions or approved of his/her penchant for the controversial, I find it’s refreshing to come across someone who doesn’t suddenly go blind every time a massive white elephant enters a room.

Happily, it recently came to my attention that the #MRX twitterverse has a new anonymous bomb thrower.

Her handle speaks for itself: Angry_MR_Client.

She’s caused a bit of a stir, but there are two sides to every story, and my aim today is to tell the other side’


Angry_MR_Client started with a slightly salty twitterfeed, which I’ve read and obviously follow.

Research industry pundit, GreenBook Editor and friend Lenny Murphy published a stimulating interview with this mysterious figure on September 12 aptly titled ‘An Angry MR Client Speaks.’

Not surprisingly, it generated quite a bit of interest in MR circles and a lively discussion on the blog’s comment board ensued.

The shadowy, ax-grinding client subsequently appeared on the September 17 episode of the webcast series, Radio NewMR.

Who Is She?

Her identity remains the subject of breathless speculation’some maintain she is actually a supplier with an agenda that would do Machiavelli proud.

According to her NewMR bio, Angry_MR_Client is a woman and she is currently the ‘youngest’ (i.e., newest, although she does also sound young when you listen to her) clientsider to tweet her frustrations with the industry.

We also know from her tweets and the interviews she’s given that she has some pretty strong opinions and a healthy sense of humor.

And lest we ignore the obvious, even those who are hearing about her for the first time know from her nom de plume that she’s had a few dissatisfying experiences with research providers.

For what it’s worth, while controversial, on the whole I haven’t found her comments inflammatory, but I’m not here to debate their merit and/or lack thereof.

Instead, I thought it might be interesting to present the providers’ perspective in similar fashion: anonymously.

A Silent Ruckus

I’m no industry apologist, but we spend an awful lot of time fixating on what’s wrong with commercial providers and little time talking openly about clients’ shortfalls (for obvious reasons).

The customer is not always right, and there’s nothing radical or subversive about pointing this out.

Nevertheless it’s clear that to get authentic opinions on a sensitive issue like this one requires the protection of a disguise.

By the way, this is not a rebuttal piece specifically aimed at Angry_MR_Client, although she inspired me to undertake it.

I appreciate Angry_MR_Client for speaking out and hope she will continue to do so, because she’s performing an important service to this industry.

In my interviews at no point did I mention her or solicit a response to anything she’s charged. I simply asked a few questions along the lines of, ‘What frustrates or upsets you most about clients’?

When I got this bug last week, I was determined to get the truth’raw and unvarnished, so I encouraged people to speak from the heart and to dispense with diplomatic pretense as they liked.

I didn’t want to start a counterproductive conversation, but I didn’t invite Pollyanna to the party, either.

The ‘Sample’

  • - I spoke to 24 people, all of whom currently work for research companies or consult independently in a research service capacity.
  • - More than half of my sample came from Honomichl-class companies, their subsidiaries or strategic partners.
  • - I spoke with what I consider to be a fair distribution of job titles in terms of seniority and function and’not unrelated, but an important distinction’to veterans and relatively fresh faces.
  • - I already knew many of these sources personally, but referrals were a huge help. I had no problem filling my quota. Everyone was very cooperative.
  • - Roughly one-third of those interviewed have worked on the client side.
  • - Lastly, tempted though I was, I deliberately avoided known provocateurs. My goal was not to provide a platform for serial malcontents.

Mostly Bad and Some Ugly

Obviously, I did not attempt anything remotely resembling a representative sample, but at the end of the day, I think the folks I interviewed provided a decent window into how the supplier community feels.

Several themes emerged (entirely unaided), which I’ll get to in my next post, so please stay tuned!

For now, I’ll simply close with some particularly resonant verbatims:

  • ‘We’re mad as hell, and we are going to take it more.’
  • ‘If you’re going to get into research today, get used to abuse.’
  • ‘I love my work, but it’s discouraging when they don’t appreciate you’I would say maybe 25% of the time (the client does not appreciate the supplier).’
  • ‘My job is to give (clients) what they want, not what they need.’
  • ‘Unreasonable expectations. Epidemic levels.’
  • ‘I constantly remind people that you get what you pay for. But either no one believes that or they just don’t care.’
  • ‘When I find a client that really understands what it means to partner, it’s like finding an honest mechanic. They’re rare. You stay with them and do whatever it takes to keep them happy.’
  • ‘My long-term clients I love. They ‘get’ it, and they’ll go to the mat for me’I’m so grateful for (those relationships), but they’re the minority for us and I don’t think my company is unique in that regard.’
  • ‘I feel sorry for (clients). They’re under the same pressure (as suppliers are), maybe worse.’
  • ‘It’s all about trust, but I’m not seeing a lot of that on either side these days. I think (too many suppliers and clients) have been burned. They’ve given up.’
  • ‘You have to walk in their shoes first’My best clients have been people I used to work with (when I was a client).’
  • ‘I just wish sometimes (my clients) would get out of the way so I could do my job.’
  • ‘Tell me the truth. I can’t help you if you won’t.’
  • ‘I’ve had to fire clients (because) they wouldn’t listen to anything (I said).’
  • ‘You say to yourself, ‘There’s no way this can turn out good.’ But what choice do you have? They’re paying the bills.’

And finally, my personal favorite: ‘We don’t suck. That’s my message. We don’t suck.’

And that wraps part one of this two-part blog. I hope these comments gave you something to chew on, but it’s only a taste.

In part two, I’ll share some of the outcomes from my interviews with suppliers in more detail and introduce you to The Burn Victim, The Know-It-All, The Miser and a few other client types that bug suppliers.

Until then, thanks for reading and please share your thoughts (you don’t have to use your real name, either).

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s senior editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

The Precision of Words

Data is blunted by words
that are imprecise.

I recently reviewed a report and reacted a little bit like @angry_mr_client.  Not out loud of course but deep inside I rumbled like a freight train over a lack of precision.   Interestingly, it was not a mathematical error or lack of base size, which is a common cause of precision issues.  It was a word choice.

Mathematics is a nearly universal language originally used to describe phenomena observed in the natural world.  Over time maths have become abstractions – stretching their utility to explain things we can only imagine.  My children, in fact, have not seen a number in a math class for a couple of years.   In relative terms, probability and modeling, arguably our most mathematical domains in market research, are simple.  What has become more complex and therefore less precise is the other language used to describe observable and imagined phenomena:  words.

Interpretation of market research is a hairy business.   Most practitioners have no problem regurgitating the numbers and calling out what is significant.  This is what I affectionately call “monkey math.”  I would expect to be able to train a reasonably smart ape to do this and even he would be insulted if called a monkey.  I also reserve the term for times when I stretch the numbers to do things you wouldn’t even learn in Pilates.  Math that makes a monkey of me is also monkey math.  But sometimes I do it.

I lose my cool when words are used incorrectly – unintentionally so – to interpret the data.   A recent report I received said that an event occurred “rarely” because half of those asked about frequency said the event “rarely” happened.  The problem with this is that more than half of respondents experienced the event and those were the people asked the follow-up question.  So the event happens OFTEN – very often and not at all rarely.  Among those who experience it, the event occurs rather infrequently or rarely, perhaps only the first time they use the product but we don’t know.  What we do know is that it’s not RARE!  This makes me crazy.

It’s time for more precision with our words so that our numbers aren’t blunted in their impact.

** ** **
Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you’d like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Friday Inspiration Break: The Power Of Social

We frequently write about the power of social media to carry marketing messages here on the blog, and it certainly is powerful for that purpose, but ultimately it is so much more than that, changing every faucet of our lives: from how we interact with brands to how we communicate with our politicians or even start a protest. This video, which I was forwarded from Open-Site.org nicely sums it up. Take a few minutes to get inspired this Friday:

“When Gil-Scott Heron wrote that “The revolution will not be televised” he was right. Instead, it will be youtubed, it will be statused, and it will be retweeted. Social networking sites reach more than 82% of the global population: 1.2 billion people”

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Taking a Break for Humor

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven. 

For many of us in market research, September is one of the most stressful and crazy months of the year.

On the client side, we’re rushing to get 2013 projects defined and structured, preparing our budgets, requesting headcount, etc.

On the supplier side, you’re ultra-busy taking our calls and providing quick turn-arounds on pricing requests…and budgeting for what your work will look like for 2013.

So in honor of “Budget Season” and the need for a bit of levity – it’s time for a little market research/statistics humor!

Brought to my attention by the fabulous (and funny!) Annie Pettit of Conversition – have you ever felt like one of the characters in this video when dealing with a client?

For some great math, research, and infographics humor I need to give a shout-out to the team at I Love Charts for bringing us links to everything from ‘Gangnam Style for Math Nerds’ videos to ‘What Sports are they Arguing About‘ charts.

Finally, it’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays!

Have little ones at home? Who wouldn’t want a

plush Chi-Square Distribution?

…or maybe an I Heart Statistics bib?

Perhaps you’d like something to put in your holiday gift list? How about decorating your home office with these faux-vintage WWII era data analysis posters?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this break for some market research humor – now back to budgets and data analysis!

More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie manages the market research team at Diversified Business Communications. She has worked with companies large and small and in industries such as seafood, 3D laser imaging, software, fragrance, finance, and entertainment to help them move the business forward through actionable insights derived from market research. She is passionate about bringing the’Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

If you’d like to join Katie at TMRE 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida,register todayand mention codeTMRE12BLOG and save15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program,download the agenda.

Does the Internet lead to information overload for your customers?

Yesterday, we looked at the importance of sorting through your big data to make sense of it. So if many companies are having trouble with keeping up and analyzing the data they’re receiving on a daily basis?  Social Media Today recently shared how consumers approach the situation.  Do consumers deal with the influx of information they receive on a daily basis with the added sources that the Internet brings to their plate?

Yes according to a recent study from Northwestern.  They found that if people are interested, they will pay attention.Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies,and author of the story stated, ‘We found that the high volume of information available these days seems to make most people feel empowered and enthusiastic. People are able to get their news and information from a diverse set of sources and they seem to like having those options.’

Can market researchers take this to their advantage?  I believe so.  If we find out where consumers who are interested in in the topic matter of various surveys and market research projects live online, we can easily reach this audience.  If they’re interested, many will be willing to cooperate in studies.

This fall at The Market Research Event, Suresh Subbiah, President of North American Operations, QuestBack will take a further look at this topic in the presentation “Brand Communities and the Impact
on Product Innovation.”  If you’d like to know more about this session and the full program, download the agenda.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us in Boca Raton, mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate.

Have you found niche communities online that would fit your target market research profile? How has this helped your study?

Big Data and the importance your researchers

Big data comes with big value.  But how do we get to that value?  The humans behind the technology are what ultimately makes big data the value to put companies ahead of their consumers by understanding what motivates the actions behind the data.

David Wilson  of FGI Research points out that three main services have propelled Big Data to the spot that it holds today in data: Google, Facebook and Amazon.  Adding analytics to the large amount of data will lead to value and insights, but the challenge lies within the team insights are coming from.  While you can’t see why your consumers are doing what they’re doing, you do have an advantage due to the large amount of data coming from so many consumers.  The Harvard Business Review also looks at the important human component.  The technology used to collect the data is integral,  but it’s up to the humans to see the connection and derive the insights that will help give their company a competitive advantage and better meet their consumers needs.

This fall at TMRE 2012, David Boyle, Senior Vice President Consumer Insight, EMI Music will talk on the importance combining big data with insights during the presentation “Come Together: Data, People and Music People Working Together to Transform EMI.” For more information on this session, download the agenda. If you’d like to join us in Boca Raton this year, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate.