The top 3 methods to make certain your customer is getting your message.

Here’s a “How To” designed to get your message noticed, read and acted upon. 
This article is about how to optimize your chances that someone will get your message.
We’re not writing this down for our health.  We want our message heard. 
1.      We all want our the messages we send to customers to be heard. 
2.      We want our selling message to a potential customer to be persuasive. 
3.      We want our message to customers acted on. 
There are some clear steps you can take to increase the chances your message will get processed in the manner you’re hoping for.
Of course your message has to have merit.  This blog entry is not discussing content.  But let’s at least say, you should be trying your best to say something important.  Time is short and we’re all busy so let’s not waste people’s time.
Statistics tell us the odds of being heard are against you.  Consider that we receive 5x as much information today as we did in 1986. We consume about 100,500 words on an average day.  We’re overloaded. 

We’re consuming most of these words on line but it’s tough to get people to interact.  Up by ?? hour each year, people spend over three hours a day on social networks while TV, Radio, newspaper and magazine reading/watching is down year after year.  Your chances of getting someone to interact with your posting are low’consider that people average 36 posts per month on FB and spend 20 minutes per FB visit. 
People are spending their time on social networks more than any other medium.  They have a lot of information to choose from.  This is why it’s important to make sure your message counts.
Most of these suggestions are things you probably either know, or thought you knew.  But I think in our haste we forget how important these persuasive steps can be to help us be successful.
Be Concise
We’re humanly no better at reading this overload of information than we were 30 years ago.  When you put your message in front of your audience, they take in about 20% of the words.  Think about that.  That means you have to keep your message short.  Concise. 
Be Aware of the Medium
Don’t forget your audience may encounter your message via a variety of media.  They can look at it:
??       on paper,
??       on their desktop computer,
??       on their laptop,
??       on their tablet,
??       on the screen in a meeting,
??       on their smart phone. 
Make sure your message has a self adapting component.  In other words, it works in any format.
Use Color
Color increases readers’ attention spans and recall by 82%. Researchers found that color visuals increase the willingness to read by 80%.  Color gains readership by 80%. It’s 39% more memorable. Color increases comprehension by as much as 73%. And increases retention even more.  It increases sales results and brand recognition.  Are you getting this?
Use Pictures
People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.  In fact this works for in person presentations and in tests 67% of the audience were persuaded by the verbal presentation that had accompanying visuals.  Think about it’when you’re looking at a news-feed, aren’t you more likely to click on the entry with a picture?
Brain Scans?
Adding pictures of brain scans and mentioning cognitive neuroscience make people more inclined to believe what they are reading.  It’s kind of hard to sneak it into your message, but it does fit into this story so what the heck.
We’re inundated with information.  Yet we all want OUR message to be heard.  Maximize your chances for successful communication by being Concise, by using Pictures and Pictographs.  Of course make certain you’re writing something worthy of being read.
Ron Shulkin blogs researches and writes about enterprise technology focused on social media, innovation, voice of the customer, marketing automation and enterprise feedback management.  Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer??, an innovation ecosystem.  CogniStreamer serves as a Knowledge Management System, Idea Management System and Social Network for Innovation.  You can learn more about CogniStreamer here  Ron manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (Join Here). You can follow him Twitter. You can follow his blogs at this Facebook group.  You can connect with Ron on LinkedIn.

Call for Presenters: The Media Insights & Engagement Conference


The Institute for International Research (IIR) is currently seeking presenters for:

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 
January 29-31, 2014
Mayfair Hotel, Miami, FL

Content Areas Include But Aren’t Limited To: 
‘ Understanding Cross-Media Behavior with Scalable Measurement Solutions
‘ Creating a Comprehensive TV Everywhere Experience
‘ Multi-Screen Consumer Behavior Drives the Growth of Social TV
‘ Creating Actionable and Measurable Insights
‘ Cross-Media Measurement
‘ Multi-Dimensional Research
‘ Big Data Analysis & Synthesis
‘ The New Watercooler: NextGen Content Creation
‘ Winning Collaboration and Partnership Strategies
‘ Social TV Analytics
‘ Transitioning from Reactive to Predictive
‘ Educate the Consumer on How to Navigate the Content and Platform Options
‘ The Future Role of Social, Digital, Video and Linear TV
‘ Changing the Business Model to Respond to New Content Distribution Platforms
‘ Exploring New Opportunities for Revenue
‘ The Discovery and Convergence of Content and Commerce
‘ Examples of New Partnership Opportunities
‘ The Blurring Lines Between New & Traditional Channels
‘ Trends on Emerging Technology and Research Tools
‘ Zero TV Households
‘ Second Screen Usage and Monetization
‘ The Where, How and Why Behind the Content Viewing Patterns
‘ The Evolving Role of Distribution Platforms Creating Original Programming
‘ Research on Demographics and Evolving Behaviors
‘ How Digital Technology is Reinventing Creativity on TV
‘ The New Living Room: Use of Second Screen Apps
‘ Matching Loyalty Card Insights with Viewing Insights for a Holistic View of the Consumer
‘ Future Trends and Forecasting
We are also happy to consider topics not listed here that you feel would add value and be appropriate.

Submission Guidelines
Please submit the following to Rachel McDonald, Senior Conference Producer at no later than Friday, June 28, 2013.

For proper consideration, please include the following information with your proposal:
‘ Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
‘ Contact information including address, telephone and e-mail
‘ Title and objective of presentation
‘ Please indicate which topic you plan to address and please indicate what is NEW about the presentation
‘ Summary of the talk
‘ What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key “take-aways”)
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.

Attention Suppliers/Consulting Companies Interested in Participating in the Event
This call for papers is limited to client-side presenters. If you are a vendor, consultant, research firm or technology provider and would like to speak at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference or have a presence at the event, contact Claybrook Collier, Business Development Manager at or via phone at 646.616.7662.

Due to the high volume of response, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Value is the TMRE Difference: The Proof is in the Numbers

The Market Research Event
is the world’s top market research and consumer insights event.  For more than
a decade, we’ve brought you the very best in consumer insights by presenting
ground breaking case studies and the most cutting edge advances in technology
and methodology. This year we couple that best practice with new sessions
focused on personal and executive development.  It’s the event your
industry trusts for unparalleled networking opportunities, never before heard
case studies and the world’s most inspiring keynote speakers.

Without a doubt, TMRE is the must attend insights event of 2013. See why The
Market Research Event is considered the industry’s most trusted event – Proven
Value is the TMRE Difference, the proof is in the numbers:

7 World-Class Keynotes Take the Stage Including:
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Author, Blink, The Tipping Point &
    David & Goliath
  • Dan Pink, Author, A Whole New Mind & To Sell is Human
  • Jane McGonigal, Author, Reality is Broken
  • Joan Lewis, Global Consumer & Market Knowledge Office,
    Procter & Gamble
  • Jeremy Sack, Vice President & Director, Pragmatic Brain
    Science Institute, Lieberman Research Worldwide

And more!
Download the brochure for the full conference program:

130+ Sessions to choose from, giving you the power to create your own agenda.
Choose the sessions YOU want to learn more about, and move freely between the 9
concurrent tracks as much as you like. 
More content than you can cover on your own? Have no
worries, the TMRE 2013 Executive Summary will share key takeways from the
event, or send your team! Click here for more on group discounts.
175+ Cross-Industry, Research
& Insights Experts share best practices and what’s on the horizon for our
industry. Hear from Panera Bread, Kellogg’s, American Cancer Society, eBay,
J&J Consumer Products, AT&T Mobility, Pfizer, Dunkin’ Brands, NBCUniversal,
Bank of America and more.

1,000+ of the leading insights and research professionals from across the globe
- 60% from the client-side, ensuring you meet the RIGHT people. This high
caliber attendee only has time for one event a year, and this is it.

98% of attendees would recommend TMRE over any other event

5 Completely New Content Areas for 2013, based on extensive requests from you
and your peers on what you need to know now, including: Big Data &
Predictive Insights, Cross Platform & Digital Insights, Strategic Planning,
Competitive & Business Intelligence and User Research & Customer

0 Commercialism from the Platform

Mention code TMRE13LINK & Save 15% off the standard
Register today:
October 21-23, 2013
Nashville, TN

TMRE is more than a conference. It’s a game
changer. We’ll see you there.


The TMRE Team

Maritz Research Helps American Family Insurance Create a Customer Experience Action Plan

It’s a question that so many people in the customer experience measurement business are asking:  They are collecting feedback from their customers, but what’s next?
Action planning is part of the evolution of how American Family Insurance does business when it comes to customer experience. The insurer isn’t just there for their customers during accidents and catastrophes, they’re listening to the voice of their customer every day.
Maritz Research recently partnered with American Family to help them take their customer satisfaction data to the next level. Brian O’Connor of Maritz Research and Katie Churches of American Family Insurance shared their success story at the Total Customer Experience Leader’s (TCEL) Summit. The goal was to provide agents and other employees at American Family Insurance with information to help them proactively notify customers about rate changes to their premiums.

Check out the full videobelow to see highlights from the TCEL presentation and hear more about how action planning is making a difference.

Personalize Your Customers’ Experience without Getting Too Personal

Nowadays, organizations are using technology to create a personalized customer experience (CX). But, they must remember that when it comes to collecting customer information, it isn’t just business, it’s personal. These days, customers are becoming much more comfortable with providing personal information in exchange for an improved CX.
In fact, in the recent Cisco Customer Experience Report which surveyed over 1,500 customers across the globe:
  • 49 percent would allow retailers to collect personal shopping data in exchange for a more personalized experience.
  • 54 percent are comfortable with retailers storing purchase history in exchange for increased personalized value.
  • 65 percent are comfortable receiving mobile retail advice based on current location as detected through their mobile device.

When it comes to providing personal information, there is an increased level of trust between the customer and the organization. In the report, 69 percent of customers said they would be willing to give their bank personal information if it meant they could receive more personalized services, but 57 percent said they don’t want their bank to share any of the personal information.  
There is such a thing as too much information, and organizations must be cautious to keep customers happy. According to Business2Community, here are three ways to begin personalizing the CX without getting toopersonal:
  1. Call the Customer by Name ‘ Saying a person’s name is one of the best things a brand can do to improve the CX. While incorporating a name into the CX may seem simple, you must use correct spelling, pronunciation and never ask the customer to repeat it.
  2. Deliver Custom Content – If you know what your customers are searching for, give it to them. Whether its product or service related content based on past or recent purchases, or customer service content based on frequently asked questions, personalized content is proven to improve the CX.
  3. Ask the Right Questions – Increase the completion rate of customer surveys, as well as customer satisfaction, by personalizing feedback requests by tailoring the questions. Consumers lose motivation for completing surveys with numerous questions, when only some of the questions matter to them. 

10 Key Customer Experience Stats for 2013

Today, a better customer experience can contribute to greater customer loyalty. But how do you define a great customer experience (CX)? Steven Woods, Group Vice President and Software Development at Oracle, says it is based on two things: understanding a buyer well enough to know what they are interested in and then delivering this message. The CX should be a reflection of everything that makes up your brand ‘ not just the products or services, but its attitudes, values and differentiation.
In addition, Vice President of Customer Experience at Forrester Research Harley Manning says we can prove that CX correlates to loyalty. A CX correlates to willingness to consider for another purchase, willingness to recommend, and reluctance to switch providers. If you want good word-of-mouth, and if you want to keep your customers, it’s unlikely that anything else you do matters more than delivering a superior experience.
Today’s consumers are more likely to choose a company that offers a superior and personalized CX. Personalization is becoming a mandatory component of the CX. That being said, according to Technically Marketing, here are 10 important CX stats to keep in mind for 2013:
Eighty-six percent of buyers will pay more for a better CX, but only 1 percent of customers feel that vendors meet their expectations.  
  • Forty percent of organizations cite ‘complexity’ as the greatest barrier to improving multichannel CX. 
  • Only 37 percent of brands received ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ CX scores this year.  Sixty-four percent of brands got a rating of ‘OK,’ ‘poor,’ or ‘very poor.’  
  • Eighty-nine percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor CX. 
  • Customer power has grown as 73 percent of businesses trust recommendations, while only 19 percent trust direct mail.   
  • Eighty-six percent of customers will pay more for a better CX.  
  • Only 26 percent of companies have a developed strategy in place for improving CX.  
  • When asked what were the key drivers for a customer to spend more with a company 40 percent said improvement in the overall CX, and 35 percent said provide quick access to information and make it easier for customers to answer questions.  
  • CX is a high priority for consumers in a negative economy as 60 percent say they often pay more for a better experience. 
  • About 13 per cent of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. 

The moral of these stats is the better the CX a company provides, the more likely customers are to purchase again and to recommend your company’ and the less likely to go to a competitor.

The Problem with Big Data in the Entertainment Industry

These days, everyone is talking about Big Data. Every day,
we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. According to IBM, 90 percent of the
data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data
comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, social media
posts, digital pictures and videos, purchase records, and cell phone GPS
signals. This is Big Data. But, for Melva Benoit, senior VP, consumer insight
and audience research at Fox Broadcasting, Big Data is ‘a pain.’
At last year’s TMRE,
Benoir sat down with IIR’s Marc Dresner to discuss Big Data and how it is overused in the
entertainment industry. It should represent a volume in size, when it actually
represents everything that goes beyond the standard data that we currently get.
Benoit runs the research group for Fox Broadcasting. ‘The easy
way I like to explain it to people is I help management understand who’s
watching, who’s not and why. So, everything from analyzing metrics to program
testing,’ she commented.
She has several executives that are very excited about Big
Data and about collecting every single metric and statistic about viewers that
come to the Fox network. Benoir feels that people are getting lost in the name
of Big Data when it’s about actually paying attention to the three or four
metrics that matter.
‘For my industry, when you are talking about measurement you
only need four. So, I need to know what you are watching, the time you are
watching it, how long you spend with it, how many and where. Once I understand
those, I can create multiple calculations to get different types of analysis,’
she explained. ‘Once you start adding more things, the metrics loose relevance
and don’t mean anything.’
Moving to the idea of behavior prediction, Benoit feels
there are some industries that would be thankful to have predictions, some
industries haven’t changed so they can be predictive by looking at data, but in
the entertainment industry the sheer number of variables makes it impossible to
predict a hit television show.

Watch the full interview below:

The New Extension of the Quantified Self: Your Quantified Pet

Two stories demonstrate how this trend is progressing:


Startup Whistle has designed an activity tracker that clips on to your dog’s collar, but its core offering is a cloud-based analytics service designed to quantify your pet’s health. via Giga Om

Now we won’t need to wonder so much about what our pets are up to when we aren’t looking.

Happy Friday!


The Rate of Change, Digital Shoppers & The Strategic Quest for Holistic Human Insight

We hope you can join us in Chicago next month!

The 13th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference is the world’s most trusted conference brand and the catalyst for connecting the entire shopper-ecosystem. The content, the visionary speakers and the experience at Shopper Insights in Action unlocks new opportunities to understand shoppers as people. 

There is no other event that’s more practical and on point with exactly what you need whether you are a Shopper Marketer, Merchandiser, Researcher or Category Leader. Join us on the Strategic Quest for Holistic Human Insight. 

The Strategic Selling Summit, a new event co-located with The 13th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference, is designed for Shopper Marketers, Category Leaders, Shopper Analytics and Merchandisers is focused on de-siloing the organization and optimizing basket growth. 

Best practice meets visionary thinking and actionability with all new case studies focused on targeting the right shopper, in the right context, with the right message with a goal of positive ROI for all groups involved in the selling process.