Activate Innovation

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. 

Why a penguin? It will make sense in a minute

I have to confess, one of the sessions I am most looking forward to at TMRE is ‘Creating a culture for Successful Innovation’ given by the Campbell Soup Company.

Why?

Because innovation is so very important to drive a business forward.

But far too often I observe companies requesting (or demanding!) their employees’and specifically their research teams’be innovative, without creating a culture in which innovation is part of the life breath of the organization. 

It’s not enough to wish it and it will be so.  Consider some of the below steps to take towards becoming an innovative organization’and then join me for the Campbell Soup Company session at TMRE!

Hire Hungry
When adding to your team, seek out characteristics in potential new hires that lead the way to innovative thinking such as: a propensity for proactivity, openness to new ideas and feedback, and a past track record of measured risk-taking in their former role.  Hire staff that is hungry for new challenges and who are open to learning along the way. For more on characteristics to look for, this is an excellent article.

Reward Risk Taking (and Sometimes Failure)
One of my favorite moments every year at our company is when awards are announced, and my favorite award is the ‘First Penguin’ award.  You may think that’s an odd name, but hear me out.

When a group of penguins approaches an ice shelf, one penguin must be the first to ‘take the plunge’ ‘ aka First Penguin.  There may be sea lions waiting in the water for that first penguin to take the dive, so it’s a risky move that can lead to great success’or great failure.

At our company, the reward goes to a staff member who takes a big risk and innovates with one of our products.  The risk may not lead to great success, but that staff member took the plunge off the ice shelf.

Shake Complacency
It’s easy to get too comfortable and complacent with your job’and if you do it’s likely your staff will follow suit. I spoke to this a bit earlier in my Outside your Comfort Zone blog post but I feel it bears repeating.

Shake off your complacency and that of your staff.  Network with other peers in the industry online or in person to see how others are approaching similar challenges.  Get out of the office for a group training day, exploring a type of research you don’t typically do’that will help to energize you and your team and shake the cobwebs out of your brains.  < For more on building an innovative culture, take a look at this recent article in Inc. Magazine ‘ it’s a short read and a good one!
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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 today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program, download the agenda.

If Innovation and ROI had a baby, it would look like…

Joshua Kantar, a researcher with Caesar’s Entertainment in Las Vegas has been quoted as saying, ‘There is a tension between Innovation and ROI that stifles creativity.’ When I first heard this I cheered inside like a middle school kid. How many times have I raved to someone about a cool idea or innovation program and had them dismiss my flash of brilliance by playing the money card? And how many times have I stamped my feet like a five year old ‘ in my mind, of course ‘ when innovation programs don’t lead to market introductions because they just don’t deliver the margins of a new flavor or new color of the same old same old. But then, I grew up.

If Steve Jobs (innovation)
 and Donald Trump (ROI)
had a baby, this is what it would
look like.  Seriously.

I started to innovate for my own company, InsightFarm, first by studying what women carry in their purses and why, so that companies could innovate new products for this home away from home carried on the shoulder of nearly every woman (www.inyourpurse.com). I was gambling with my own money. And as a sole proprietor, I was betting funds that could have gone into a college savings account for my kids, so ROI was a serious consideration. In fact, while recently scoping one of my new ideas for a syndicated study with a data collection firm, they dismissed my need to discuss what they called ‘monetization.’ They said, ‘We can discuss monetization later, let’s just figure out how to do this.’ I stopped them cold. ‘Nope,’ I said ‘we can discuss it now because without it we don’t need to know how to do this.’

Ideally, every concept or new product innovation we test would have a substantive ROI estimate before it’s tested. At P&G years ago, we wouldn’t test a concept that didn’t have a creative brief already written by the advertising agency. Each concept needed to be translatable into advertising or we didn’t test it. ROI estimation is similar. There should be baseline assumptions that tie purchase interest, frequency and other measures to margin expectations used to set pricing. Pricing should be a part of every concept testing if you’re asking purchase interest anyway, so taking a swag shouldn’t be so hard. With this in hand, the ‘tension’ between Innovation and ROI becomes a motivator for diligence in creativity. And creativity without discipline is child’s play, not innovation.

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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!

TMRE Session Spotlight: Social Media: A Powerful Tool in your Market Research Toolkit

According to Forbes, Frito Lay has found that California and Ohio like beer battered onion flavoring.  New York is the place to sell things with churro flavor.  How? By placing an “I’d Eat That” button next to possible new flavors and running social campaigns on Facebook.  This is just one example of how a company utilizes social media to facilitate their market research instead of focus panels and surveys.

This November at The Market Research Event, Melva Benoit of Fox Broadcasting Company will join us to discuss how social can be used to gather a greater, more useful amount of data from customers.  This new, cost effective tool can enhance market research programs.  For more information on this year’s event, download the agenda.  If you’d like to join us November 12-14 in Boca Raton, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate.

Session Title: Social Media: One of the Most Powerful Tools in your Market Research Toolkit Today

Featured Speaker: Melva G. Benoit, SVP, Analytics Innovation Research and Strategy FOX Broadcasting Company

About the session: Market Research used to be limited to telephone surveys and in-person focus groups until the Web expanded the methods and consumer outreach through online channels. Now “social listening”, “social networks” and “private communities” allow us to gather yet even greater intelligence about our companies, products, services, competitors and industry. Social media has transformed market research into an immersive, engaging and iterative process that presents a cost effective tool that should be part of your market research program.

How is JetBlue connecting to their customers through Mobile Technology? Jonathan Steven, Jet Blue Head of Mobile answers

Recently, Jonathan Stephen, Head of Mobile, JetBlue Airways, sat down with the TMRE team to discuss the evolution of mobile research at his company. In his role, he looks at how consumers interact with devices through their interaction with JetBlue.

During the podcast, he gave advice to researchers on how to better serve their clients:

I think there is a lot of research out there, but I think that ultimately it’s good to understand that every industry is different. So, being in the travel vertical it’s good for us to not only understand what pertains to mobile, what types of devices are out there or what is the percentage of saturation by device, but it’s also good for us to understand how users are using their devices today and, ultimately, what they are looking for in the future. We feel that research plays a huge role in that for us. So, we see tons of value there and we will obviously continue to make sure that we keep that as part of our process moving forward.

Listen to the full interview.
Read the transcript.

Few things stand to have as much impact on how we connect with respondents than mobile technology. This year, TMRE debuts a full day summit on Mobile & Technology where we’ll discuss designing the mobile web survey experience, capturing SMS Text based customer feedback and mobile strategy. Best Buy, Coca Cola and InterContinental Hotels Group share how the mobile channel has brought them closer to their consumer and dramatically improve business results. For more information on this summit and the rest of the program, download the agenda.

At The Market Research Event 2012, we unite the world’s top clients and vendors in a collaborative setting and facilitates open, honest conversation about how we can work together more productively. This year, it will take place November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. Register today and save 15% off the standard rate when you mention code TMRE12BLOG. If you have any questions about this year’s event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.

Back to Basics

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. 

As we prepare to head off to TMRE in a few short weeks, I know we’re all thinking about the latest in research strategy and innovation that we’ll learn about while on site in Boca Raton, as well as taking advantage of the myriad of networking opportunities!

But let me take this moment to bring us back down to earth for a moment and share a cautionary tale about remembering the research basics.

I spoke with an industry peer recently who is graciously allowing me to share his story. For the sake of this blog, let’s call him Todd (not his real name!).

Over the past year, Todd and his team have been following the mobile research trend and were excited to get approval to pilot a mobile research strategy at one of their one-day events. They had done extensive research to understand how active their audience was on mobile, especially tablets.

Todd and his team were very thorough in setting up tablet optimized session surveys to be available for launch at the end of each session time, as well as some other short surveys and activities meant for tablet use.

Sounds great, right?

However, from the keynote kickoff in the morning to the lunchtime round table discussions, Todd’s team saw lots of note taking…on paper! Pens and pads of paper were the rule of the day. After observing this in multiple sessions, Todd did some intercepts to find out where they went wrong with their tablet research.

Come to find out their tablet research was spot-on: pretty much everyone Todd stopped brought an iPad or other tablet device, but had left them in the hotel rooms due to sky-high WiFi rates that by that point were non-negotiable with the conference center/hotel.

The lesson we can all learn from Todd’s story? Be sure you cover the basics, especially around logistics, when launching a new research venture. The epilogue? Todd and his team did some quick thinking and were able to field some paper surveys for the afternoon sessions.

For more learning from your peers, be sure to catch some of the interactive discussion sessions at TMRE with Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Bloomberg News, and more.
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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 today and mention code TMRE12BLOG and save 15% off the standard rate! For more about this year’s program, download the agenda.

I’ll have Big Data on rye with a schmear of survey, please.

… and women too.

Big Data. Big Data. Big Data. It’s becoming a catch phrase. A lot of people are talking about it without even knowing what it is ‘ including me! We’re wringing our hands as an industry, trying to figure out how to deal with something so large it’s hard to define and something that changes/grows moment by moment. And we want to deal with it perfectly ‘ because that’s in our nature. Perfection has always been the enemy of the good in market research. It’s our Achilles’ heel. Meanwhile, start-ups in unexpected sectors are jumping in with both feet and perfecting as they go, like Salesforce.com and this may be our undoing.

I recently had a conversation where a large survey organization – fretting over the expected ‘thin surveys’ of the future. With mobile apps and embedded tracking of online behaviors, survey data is in the process of being displaced. Combine this with shorter attention spans and small screen venues, surveys are definitely going on a diet. And shorter surveys with less complex analysis means leaner margins if you think of yourself in the survey business.

This is just the first shot across the bow and it’s coming from the industries sourcing all this Big Data. If we don’t dig in and lead, if we allow the start-ups to out-nimble us and allow those in other sectors who create the data to be the first to provide analysis ‘ even if it’s imperfect ‘ we’ll be left to fight over the thin scraps of the survey business that remain.

Time to pull up our big boy pants and jump in with two feet, just like we did on social media. And online. And neuroscience. And virtual stores. And mobile. Time to go get Big with Big Data so that we can do it the right way and integrate a thin slice of survey – like a condiment – to make it all go down easier.

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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!

TMRE Session Spotlight: Shattering the Proverbial Glass Ceiling: Tools and Techniques for Getting in the Game

Earlier this year, TMRE guest blogger Kelley Styring challenged the women of the market research industry to step up and use their outside voices.  In the spirit of Kelley’s challenge for women to step up and become a voice in the market research industry, we’d like to feature four women who have done exactly that.  On Tuesday, November 13 during the Strategy and Futuring track at The Market Research Event, they will gather to discuss how women can forge a way in the industry for their peers.

Featured Session: Shattering the Proverbial Glass Ceiling: Tools and Techniques for Getting in the Game

Featured Speakers: Louise Chater, SVP, CRM & Research at The Walt Disney Studios
Jackie Wilgar, SVP, Marketing, North America- Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster
Kelley Peters, Vice President, Integrated Insights & Strategy, Post Foods
Moderator: Kristin Luck, President, Decipher, Inc.

About the session: It’s no secret that the MR space has been dominated by men in senior management (16% of the Honomichl 50 CEO’s are women and 4.3% of venture funded companies are run by women), but the truth is that women have been making broad marks on the industry for the past decade. With glass ceilings to shatter, preconceived notions to overcome and the conquering of stereotypes as part of daily life, these female market research professionals share the experiences that led them to entrepreneurial brilliance and unparalleled innovation. These are real-world skills and capabilities that either gender can benefit from learning about. The panel helps participants develop and accelerate what they all want more of ‘ more women as CEOs or in senior management positions, more women starting their own research firms, more women choosing research as a career path, more knowledge around how to get to that next career level career.

To find out about the rest of the TMRE event, download the agenda.  If you’d like to join us November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15%  off the standard rate.

JetBlue Mobilizes Research To Reach New Heights

Research Provides Runway to Mastering Mobile

When you’re an airline, you tend to take mobility very seriously. And JetBlue Airways is no exception.

Nearly two years ago, the carrier installed Jonathan Stephen as its inaugural Head of Mobile and he’s made considerable headway toward helping JetBlue realize its multi-platform roadmap, thanks in no small measure to research.

In this podcast interview with the Research Insighter, Stephen discusses challenges and opportunities he faces as a user of research and the kinds of insights that matter most to him on the runway toward mobile mastery.

Listen to this episode of The Research Insighter podcast series!

Download an interview transcript!

Editor’s note: The Research Insighter is produced by The Market Research Event’connecting the best in insights from around the world’taking place November 12-14 in Boca Raton, FL.

For more information about The Market Research Event or to register, please visit www.themarketresearchevent.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
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.

Practical Persuasion

A book that has influenced
me more than most others…
I wonder why?  

I teach a workshop that helps managers and teams increase organizational effectiveness.  The emphasis is practical persuasion, maximizing the impact of Market Research in an organization.

I was watching a TEDTalk today where a neuroscientist was describing the brain development of teenagers.  I live with two of them (teenagers, not neuroscientists) so you can see how this would intensely interest me.  She described how humans (adults and teenagers), when given a specific rule, can complete a task with great accuracy.  She then demonstrated how accuracy goes down when instead of a rule, they are given someone to please.  Even if the rule is effectively the same, introducing the human element drastically reduces accuracy. 

In a recent persuasion workshop, I had a client who folded his arms, sat back in his chair, and said ‘I could do a really great job if Marketing would stay out of my office and leave me alone.’  I was momentarily stunned.    You see, accuracy is unimportant if there is no impact from what you have done. 

Why? Well ‘ it’s a little like trees in the woods.

I could sit in a closet and sing The Star Spangled Banner with complete accuracy, but it’s not going to secure a spot for me on The Voice.   Accuracy without audience is futile.  And, oh, but the way, without impact you’ll probably be fired. 

Practical Persuasion is rooted in knowing the business, creating insight that is relevant, and sharing it in ways that shows understanding of internal constituent needs and visibility vehicles.  It’s Marketing 101.  It’s the Marketing of Insight.  And, because all good marketing should have measureable results, the uptake of ideas should be apparent.   With enough practice at the human element, we can also become just as accurate in launching our ideas as we are in creating them with data.

For more on Persuasion, I recommend Robert Cialdini’s excellent book called INFLUENCE.  Available online everywhere you shop for books.

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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!

This Thursday! Best Practices in Mobile Research – Successes, Failures and Lessons Learned – Complimentary Web Seminar

In association with Confirmit, The Institute for International Research invites you to join us for a one hour complimentary Web Seminar. This webinar is part of the 2012 Insights Webinar Series: Your resource for insights on the cutting edge. Best Practices in Mobile Research – Successes, Failures and Lessons Learned Thursday, October 4, 2012, 1:00PM – 2:00PM ET

Presenter: Sean Conry, Vice President of Mobile Solutions, Confirmit

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/llpgc7vbb1hj
Please mention your priority code: MWJ0025-BLOG

Webinar participants will gain a new appreciation for the mobile industry and its current and future role in fostering customer engagement. Global case studies will demonstrate the challenges and pitfalls of implementing a research methodology that relies on mobile solutions. More importantly, we will share the wonderfully deep insights and findings that can be delivered through a mobile implementation as part of your multi-channel strategy.

This webinar will share best practices, dispel myths and show how recently introduced features, such as GPS tracking, photo capture, video capture and playback, increase the depth of data in a meaningful and measurable way. We will help you identify the opportunities in mobile and overcome challenges in managing the mountains of unstructured data that you can now collect. Understand how insights captured via mobile will allow you to deliver even more value.