Insights as a Vehicle for Influence: Embracing the Omnichannel Customer Journey

By: Amanda Ciccatelli,
Content Marketing & Social Media Strategist, Informa
Insights have become a vehicle for influencing marketing and
ultimately, the world. That’s why next in our Insights as a Vehicle for
Influence series, we sat down with Claire Quinn, principal at Capre Group to discuss
the ever-changing retail space and how to embrace the omnichannel customer
Here’s what Claire had to say:
How is digital
reinventing retail?
Quinn: For
Millennial ‘digital natives’ and those GenX and Boomers who are early adopters,
digital has reshaped the traditional ‘role sort’ of consumers and
shoppers. Instead, people are shifting between ‘consuming’ modes and
‘shopping’ modes seamlessly, regardless of their physical location. 
Imagine this scenario to demonstrate these shifting
modes:  a young woman views a TV ad showing how a new lipstick will last
all day (consuming mode)’she researches user reviews online with her phone (consuming
mode)’then uses her phone app to check whether her local drug store carries the
brand (shopping mode)’ultimately ordering it for pick-up at her neighborhood
store (shopping mode). She has moved along the full path to purchase -
shifting between consuming and shopping modes – all from the convenience of her
own living room. 
It will be critical to understand the different decisions
people are making at each point along this new path, as well as the right
marketing touchpoints and content to share to drive conversion and reinforce
each purchase decision. 
What can retailers do
better to embrace the omnichannel customer journey and experience?
Quinn: The new
omnichannel world presents a great opportunity for retailers to partner with
manufacturers to successfully meet and exceed consumer/shopper
expectations. Manufacturers are experts in their categories, and can
provide deeper category leadership insights and perspectives than most retailers
can create on their own. And retailers know their shoppers extremely well,
having built incredible capabilities to target and engage their shoppers.
Together, manufacturers and retailers are able to
collaborate in new ways, such as to engage shoppers pre-store, getting brands
on the list of relevant household segments or to reinvent the aisle or
check-out experience, to provide added value to shoppers while driving
incremental impulse purchases. Working together to exceed shopper expectations
provides a triple win for everyone ‘ shoppers, retailers and
What are some shopper
insights lifecycle best practices you can share?
Quinn: One of the
most important things insights professionals need to keep in mind when planning
research is to ‘begin with the end in mind.’ Specifically, what is the
business problem you are trying to solve and how will the insights drive action
once the results are in?  
At Capr?? Group, we work with clients to delve into root
cause analysis and create hypothesis-driven assertions to guide research design
as well as post-research analysis and application. This approach helps to
ensure one is thinking through the full insights lifecycle before the Knowledge
Brief is even drafted. 

Want more on this
topic? Attend OmniShopper International this November in London, England. Learn
more here: 

Marketing ‘Health’ In the Age of Additive

This post was
originally published on Kelton
Global’s blog.
Looking around at health and wellness messages across
industries, I’m struck by how much our perspective on ‘healthy’ has shifted.
After all, it wasn’t that long ago when Richard Simmons had us Sweatin’ to the
Oldies, and The Beverly Hills Diet recommended cutting out nearly all the
major food groups in the crusade for a lean physique.
Fewer consumers are aspiring for the ‘ideal body’.
Deprivation and ‘no pain, no gain’ health messaging is still
out there, but a rising trend is rendering these tried-and-true tactics less
effective. The focus of the conversation around health has gone from
subtraction (minimizing calories, dropping pounds), to addition (benefits,
rewards, and how much one has to gain). In a nod to Positive Psychology, it’s
no longer solely about making improvements in terms of better physical health,
but about achieving a more balanced, healthy outlook on diet and fitness. The
shift in thinking is so prevalent that Kelton’s Cultural Insights team is
calling it out as a full-blown movement around Additive Health.
As the pursuit of ‘healthy’ moves away from fixing what’s wrong and
toward optimizing health and wellbeing as a lifestyle, brands need to
reposition and speak to these changing perceptions. After a thorough analysis
of emerging trends in Additive Health, Kelton uncovered three impactful brand
messaging principles that brands can use to speak to this new ethos. Every
health-related brand should incorporate the below tenets into their messaging
toolkit in order to stay relevant in the face of this new trend:
Emphasize potential
gains, and avoid highlighting opportunities for ‘loss’.

Once an omnipresent message pervading all things health and
fitness, weight loss-centered marketing has lost its luster in recent years.
Sure, people still want to drop some pounds. But at the same time, more
consumers are realizing that a mindset of deprivation and negativity is a
barrier to achieving health-related goals. They’re turning instead to proven
techniques like rewards and affirmative statements. Focus your messaging on the
advantageous outcomes of getting fit and healthy’like increased energy,
confidence, and strength, and position physical and superficial benefits as
secondary byproducts. This will inspire shoppers to incorporate your product
into their daily routines.
Double down on social

Think about ways that your product or service can bring
people together in the name of wellness, whether it’s offering a traditional exercise course, run club, or something else that caters to
. Offer a means of entertainment, social connectivity, or even a
little indulgence, in order to cultivate a sense of community among your
brand’s biggest advocates.
This tactic can work both online and off. Consider
integrating elements of positive reinforcement’ including social and personal
payoffs’ into the digital consumer experience, to help consumers internalize
progress and transform sense of self. Programs like Vitality and Fitocracy link
elements of gaming, rewards, and digital coaching to engage users and maintain
Be inclusive. Recognize the broad-spectrum audience that
aspires to behave and feel healthier.
Instead of using actors and models for your next marketing
campaign, look to incorporate people who resemble and think like your broader
consumer base. Fewer consumers are aspiring for the ‘ideal body,’ thanks at
least in part to an increase in candid body positive messages from high profile celebrities.
This trend of body acceptance has reached a crescendo, with Barbie now
available in four different body types and the first ever plus size model
featured on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.
Showing unrepresentatively fit or thin individuals is not
nearly as impactful to today’s audience as featuring people and situations that
the average person can relate to. Leverage social listening to find out the
broader goals that your audience is striving for, and design your messaging to
speak to those ambitions.
 The Additive Health Movement has positive potential
for consumers and brands alike, and is an incredible opportunity for companies
to highlight the role of their products and services within a holistically
healthy lifestyle. While no one can say for sure how long this movement will
last, it’s no mistake that the most relevant fitness brands broadcast the
high-level benefits of wellness and downplay the role of aesthetics.

Catch & Release: Elevating the Researcher/Customer Relationship

By: Kevin Lonnie, Founder,
KL Communications

I would argue that market research has not lived up to its
reciprocal relationship with the customer. 
In theory, we are the conduit that allows their voice to be heard so our
clients can make better decisions.
But this is a one-way relationship where we hold all the
cards.  That’s why we get to ask all the
questions.  In fact, the customer is
afforded few opportunities to change the nature of the conversation. 
And speaking from years of perspective (oh man, it’s been a
bunch of years), we’ve done little to elevate the nature of the relationship.
We still refer to questionnaire input as data capture.  We still fall back on grid questions and
often underestimate the length of the primary survey experience.  We still rely on paltry economic incentivizing.  Well into the 21st Century, we continue with
our ‘catch & release’ approach to customer feedback.  Of course, over time, the customer has become
leery of our ‘hooks’ and passes on future attempts to have their opinions
heard.  The net effect is we’re left with
the limited, non-representative segment of the population still willing to
OK, what can we do to elevate the nature of the client/customer
relationship?  After all, there’s no
association or code of conduct that requires researchers to actually make the
customer experience ‘enjoyable’.
To our credit, there has been a decade’s worth of
conversation on the need to add gamification and social incentives to our repertoire.  Unfortunately, little progress has been made
as this is counterproductive to the budget. 
Elevating the researcher/customer relationship is not going
to happen overnight.   Heck, we’ve spent
the past 70 years doing our best to wreck it. 
Despite all that, I can envision a gradual migration away from traditional
data collection tools to customer empowerment tools.   As millennials begin to take on senior
positions, I think there will be a natural desire to bring social reciprocity
to the world of market research.
As for myself, I think the fundamental questions become;
Do we wish to empower or capture our customers? 
What are the terms of the new marketplace relationship? 
Is it based on mutual empowerment or are we to view
customers as acquired goods? 
If we choose the latter, it surely doesn’t promote a common
or sustainable purpose. 
The smart organizations will choose an empowered
relationship with their customers for the simple reasons that it represents the
best value (far greater understanding of unmet needs/new product opportunities)
and because it represents the only sustainable option. 
KL Communications is a
research agency with a specialty in collaborative online communities. While
traditional online communities capture the opinion of crowds, only KLC delivers
the wisdom of crowds via our proprietary CrowdWeaving’ platform!

5 Ways to Work it Like a (Go) Pro

We love doing
in-context or ethnographic research. 
It’s so fun to immerse ourselves into a respondent’s environment and
learn ‘what’s really going on’ vs. ‘what respondents say’ in a focus group
setting. And, yes, video is a great way to effectively capture the interviews ‘
it provides authenticity but also comes with some drawbacks. Regardless of someone’s
moderating skills, it’s more awkward for a respondent when you add a video
camera to the mix.  For the last few
years, we rarely take video during our
ethnographies due to the ‘cumbersome nature’ of the equipment.   

 To solve one of these problems, we could enlist the help of our clients.
However, walking them through operating a camera is technical and takes away
from the ‘in the moment’ learning.

At ABRG, we found
a small and mighty answer to this multi-layer dilemma. Insert GoPro Hero 4 Silver! 
We chose a GoPro because its versatile capabilities allow flexibility for any
ethnography or in-context research situation.

  1. Mounting accessories:  we love the Go Pro’s various accessories and bought
    the suction cup, flex clamp, and hand grip. These make it easier to walk with it
    or mount it wherever you need to take video ‘ bathroom, kitchen, etc. The clamp accessory especially,
    is useful doing in-homes because furniture can easily become camera equipment.
  2. Size:  It’s tiny, which is another asset when
    recording. Because it’s not bulky, respondents don’t notice it when they are being interviewed ‘ it fades
    into the background.
  3. Great
    quality video at close proximity
    ‘ the video quality on a GoPro is stellar,
    especially when it’s put on the ‘narrow’ setting.
  4. Mark-up ability:
    it is easy to mark up interesting, noteworthy parts of the interview in the
    moment!  This makes sorting through
    footage later so much less painful!
  5. Remote
    control via iPhone app
    : the GoPro contains a remote feature that allows you
    to control angle, start/stop, etc. from your iPhone, which is awesome.  If needed, the interviewer can both record
    and conduct interviews without enlisting the help of another team member or client.

All of these features are great but getting up to speed and
feeling comfortable with it requires bit of ‘ramp up’. We believe in creating step-by-step
Process Documents to keep us from reinventing the wheel so we put all our
knowledge into words in the format of a laminated Process
Document containing
the ins-and-outs of ‘how to use a GoPro.’ To easily access this guide when we are in the field, we made it so that
it easily fits inside the GoPro’s case and color-coded it based on topic.
Additionally, the GoPro, its parts and mounting accessories are labeled and
correspond with the user guide as reference.  In conjunction with the
process document, we also labeled all of the parts of the GoPro and the
different mounting accessories. Wherever
the GoPro goes, a user-friendly guide goes with it.
To GoPro or not?  That
is the question.  So far, we’re loving
April Bell. Owner, Researcher, Facilitator and the ‘force of nature’ at April Bell Research Group, a full service boutique market research agency helping researchers shine.

Get Unprecedented Access to Stephen Dubner at TMRE

TMRE Brings You the Best in Insights, Featuring Exclusive
Access to Best-Selling Author, Stephen Dubner
The world-renowned author of Freakonomics and
SuperFreakonomics, will reveal how you can leverage the power of incentives to
uncover human behavior.

Dubner is taking to the keynote stage at TMRE: The Market Research Event this
fall to show you, no matter what industry you’re a part of, how to inspire
change in both your organization as well is in your customers’ minds.

The first 10 people to register with code DUBNER receive
complimentary access to the VIP lunch with Stephen.
Book Your Today:
Stephen Dubner is just one of the amazing insights leaders
at TMRE. Access more than 120 sessions from cross-industry insights leaders,
Consumer Goods Perspective: PepsiCo’s Director
of Insights & Analytics talks about the evolution of their state of the art
Gatorade Mission Control Center and it’s new approach to digital insights.
Pharmaceutical Perspective: Merck’s Executive
Director of Global Customer and Brand Insights details the art of transforming
insights into stories and strategies that drive results.
Financial Service Perspective: MasterCard’s Data
Visualization expert details why Data Visualization is the key to Empowering
Powerful Business Decisions
Retail Perspective: Walmart’s Senior Director of
Customer Insights & Analytics reveals how the combination of Big Data and
traditional research methods can lead to stronger insights
Media & Entertainment Perspective: SVPs from
AMC and Cablevision come together to share best practices on how to join forces
on data driven business insights.
Travel Perspective: Marriott’s Senior Director
of Consumer Insights reveals low-cost research for high-impact results.
And so much more!
Download the TMRE brochure for the full agenda and
session details:
Use exclusive LinkedIn discount code TMRE16LI for $100 off:
See you in Boca Raton this fall!
The TMRE Team

Being ‘Smart’ With Your Data Integration

Most of us know that the mobile phone industry is on a
pretty serious surge of personal use. In fact, think of one person you know
that does not have a mobile phone. Coming up short? This is precisely the
reason why all marketing researchers should have a strong focus on mobile.
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly
two-thirds of adults in the U.S. own a mobile phone of some kind
. The
statistics show that the majority of mobile usage goes to text messaging and
voice calls. This is understandable; but how much of mobile phone usage is
being employed for internet or email use? 89% of mobile device users are on the
internet at least once a week, and 88% are using email at the same rate. Think
about what having this information could possibly do for your research
The Pew Research Center also found that of U.S. adults who
own a mobile phone, 7% are ‘mobile-dependent,’ meaning that they do not have
home broadband service and have limited options for going online other than
their mobile device. With the inevitable and exponential growth of technology,
making mobile phones more streamlined, these numbers are sure to rise in the
coming years. New generations are coming along that have never known a world
without incredibly intelligent mobile devices, which could mean that desktops
may one day become a thing of the past.
Smarter data

Now we are able to be smarter about the data we are
collecting, and integrate insights with other survey data: survey data from
syndicated studies, social media, and behavioral data. There are a lot of great
things happening in our industry’ we can now capture a holistic view of the
consumer without asking (a lot of) questions. We need to use the effects of
mobile to our advantage, not just adapt to evolving technologies. 
Although there has been an effort to change surveys, there
are still large portion that are incompatible with mobile devices. Moreover, users
prefer apps over browsers on their mobile
. Survey taking on mobile devices
takes longer than on a PC. A 10-15 minute survey on a PC will take 37% longer
on an Android device and 43% longer on an iPhone. iPad length of interview is
similar to PC, only 6% longer.
As data becomes increasingly integrated, researchers are
given more opportunities to boost engagement and shorten surveys. The world of
‘Big Data’ has granted us access to numerous data sources that can be blended
with quantitative research. The result is obtaining more insights through fewer
questions. This makes writing surveys for mobile users much easier because we
Be less redundant with our questions
Ask simpler questions
Break surveys into clear component parts

By bringing in third party data, we have the opportunity
make surveys more enjoyable and engaging. This will help us sustain our most
valuable assets, the consumers who provide their input. 
researchers are experimenting with leveraging third party segmentations to
provide the richness of profile that often was proprietarily developed.
Lightspeed GMI has partnered with several leading providers of marketing
segmentation data to allow clients the opportunity to both target with and
append third party segments based on lifestyle, life stage, attitudes,
behaviors and demographics.

Level Up: The Possibilities Brought to Life by Pok??mon GO

By Zoe Dowling, Lead
Research Strategist, FocusVision
In the few weeks since Pok??mon GO’s US release, it’s become
a hands down winner for this summer’s ‘craze’. Future generations will likely reflect
on these times with the same fondness as with the hula-hoop or (more recently)
the ice bucket challenge ‘ but for smartphones the needle has forever been
A Friday evening walk on Los Angeles’ Redondo Beach Pier
mirrored many landmark locations around the country ‘ a majority of visitors on
the Pok??mon hunt, many of whom came furnished with mobile battery packs and
chargers. Beyond the volume of active players, it was striking to note how
inclusive the game is ‘ from tweens to grandpas; from individuals and couples
to groups, everyone wanted to catch ‘em all.
What drove Pok??mon
GO’s unprecedented popularity?
Given the inclusive fan base of the game, its popularity
isn’t just a result of the 90′s kids eagerly reliving their youth, nor is it simply
techies delighting in the technological convergence and execution. While these
are contributing factors, there’s more going on.
Pok??mon GO is
The internet, social media and smartphones facilitate a
connectivity and global reach to the extent that memes and trends spread almost
instantaneously. News about the game swept across the country and the globe.
People want to be part of the newest trend.
At the same time, the game’s easy (and free) entry allows
anyone with a smartphone to participate themselves. Within minutes of opening
the app, you experience the wonder of being virtually positioned within your
physical location and catch your very first Pok??mon where Augmented Reality
delights. Perhaps also Pok??mon GO highlights the universal popularity of mobile
casual gaming, although maybe for the first time it becomes a visible, in fact
public, activity.
Pok??mon GO merges
technologies in a way that its predecessors didn’t succeed
Maps aren’t new to gamers but location-based gaming appears
to have gone mainstream. The use of GPS and walking your virtual character
around your physical world is very neat.

Aside from tracking your movements on the map, your physical and virtual
location are also linked by Pok??stops. Here you pick up Pok??Balls and other
items to add to your stash while learning about the micro-landmarks in your
immediate vicinity. During my first walk I discovered that my local diner is 40
years old and that the town library gardens are home to a small remembrance
fountain. Not to mention countless, hitherto undetected, Pok??mon to add to my
The inclusion of Augmented Reality (AR), which some rightly
say is a limited aspect of the game appearing only when you encounter a Pok??mon
and attempt to catch it, nevertheless delivers one of the most ‘wow’ moments,
being the final convincing glue between your physical and virtual worlds. These
technologies, coupled with classic game elements of a mission based activity
where you are awarded experience points, level ups and engage in traditional
video-game combat, deliver a compelling experience.
Pok??mon GO allows
users to concurrently escape and explore their world
Finally, it’s possible that the game brings a welcome relief
from this year’s bleak newsrooms. It provides a moment of escapism that you can
share, even just with slight smiles and nods, with the people around you.
Bringing us together, albeit for a brief moment, in an increasingly fragmented
 The branded advantage
Whatever the reasons for Pok??mon GO immense success, it has given
us a glimpse of possibilities with geo-location and AR that up until now have
felt more like a futuristic hyperbole. The opportunities extend well beyond the
gaming world. For brands, the race is on to capitalize upon people’s engagement
with the game and drive traffic to their retail environments. Furthermore,
well-considered partnerships can also help position the brand as a player
within the cultural conversation.
McDonald’s Japan became the first official brand partner
with 400 restaurants as ‘gyms’ and the remaining 2,500 sponsored Pok??stops but
there’s also been many instances of unofficial linkage with signs on shop
windows offering ’10% discount for any Pok??mon captured here’ and countless
social media posts by brands all eager to be part of the moment.
Will Pok??mon GO
impact market research?
It’s hard not to start considering the implications for
research. From an immediate perspective the smartphone message, which should
already be loud and clear, is booming. People have smartphones. People are
using smartphones. This is where we’ll find them.
The willingness to use GPS and having your movements mapped
is an interesting one. In many ways, people already give out this information
freely with check-ins on various social media and review sites but perhaps this
takes it to a new level.
What would a shopper journey look like using an app with a
map overlay? What if there were virtual items within the retail environment
that people found during their journey to signal a feedback loop? What if we
could use AR to have people select items from a set of features and overlay
them to create a view of the environment as they’d like to see it?
In matter of few short weeks, this type of interaction with
research respondents feels entirely possible rather than a pipe dream. The
challenge now ‘ turning the potential into a reality.
Happy hunting!
About the Author: Zo?? Dowling
is the Lead Research Strategist for FocusVision, the global leader in research
technology. Her extensive background includes quantitative and qualitative
research design, data collection, analysis and report writing. She is an expert
in internet and mobile research, specializing in respondent engagement, as well
as online and offline qualitative approaches, including interviews, focus
groups and usability testing. For more information, visit

Differentiated Customer Experience: Easier Said

By: Rick Kieser,

This post was recently
published on Ascribe’s

Differentiated customer experience (CX) is a deceptively
challenging goal shared by growing numbers of companies. In a recent presentation on Digital
Marketing Trends
 by Mike Corak to
the Cincinnati AMA,
we heard a lot of valuable insights, but one statistic in particular caught our
attention.  On slide 36 in his presentation, Mike quoted an
independent study that said ’89% of companies plan to compete primarily based
on customer experience in 2016.’
It sounds smart and admirable, but what does really
mean to compete on customer experience, and what does it really take?  One
thing it means is ‘something different for every company,’ because to compete ‘
to differentiate ‘ means that you are setting yourself apart as better,
special, even unique.
Easier Said Than Done

In order to truly compete on the basis of differentiated
customer experience, you must:
Identify what makes (or could make) you special
Understand the underlying drivers of your
differentiated customer experience
Deliver it consistently and monitor customer
sentiment relative to your differentiator
So how do you tackle the differentiation challenge and turn
it to your advantage?  The answer is this: ask, analyze, act and ask
again.  Simple, right?  Well asking can be, but what comes next can
set leaders apart.  If you process your open-ended feedback in context
with the rest of your survey data, you can very quickly generate actionable
insights to identify, understand, deliver and monitor your unique customer
Build on Customer

In our own independent research, 91% of respondents said
they collect some kind of unstructured comments, but only about 60% do anything
at all with that feedback and a mere 30% drive their data all the way to real,
actionable insights.  That’s a far cry from the 89% who recently claimed
they would be differentiating based on customer experience!
To us, that translates tremendous opportunity for companies
to capitalize on assets they already have (survey data and open-ends) to
generate insights that can reveal and strengthen their own differentiated
customer experience proposition.

Infusing Cultural Thinking Into Your Business Strategy

This post was originally
published on Kelton
Global’s blog

Understanding culture is crucial for any business that wants
to stick around long term. But culture is a challenging thing to grasp at the
organizational level because it’s big, amorphous, and ever-changing. To
co-opt an idea popularized by the philosopher Karl Popper, culture
operates more like a cloud than a clock: a swirling and
continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a single
Businesses, on the other hand, have a comparatively ordered
structure. They tend to want to use clock-like approaches to tackle the cloudy
cultural challenges at hand. This yearning for measurement and simplicity comes
through in questions like:
When does a trend ‘officially’ become mainstream? If we decide to adopt this tone of voice or design, will
Millennials buy our products? What color signals ‘edgy’?
Many crucial aspects of business benefit from structure, but
this ordered approach won’t help businesses to solve their most pressing cultural
challenges. In the cloudy reality of cultural phenomena, linear cause and
effect and simple divisions of reality seldom exist outright.

Take, for instance, the ever-changing cultural dialogue
around masculinity. There are literally thousands of new images and messages
being shared every day ‘ some of which challenge the more traditional
assumptions, and some of which reinforce them. In the middle, brands like Target
are incorporating a softer, more fluid, set of cues in a traditional ‘patrizate-friendly’
way. In the world of consumer values and brand perceptions, far more of the
challenges that we face are ‘cloudy’ than we might imagine.
Grasping the deeper cultural dialogues around things like
masculinity, femininity, fun, beauty, style, and the like will be
impossible if you’re looking for machine-like predictability or linear cause
and effect. The best problem-solving approaches blend technical, linear
‘clockwork’ thinking with creative, lateral ‘dynamic’ thinking. While a
thorough initiative is best guided by a bona fide Cultural Insights researcher
(shameless plug), there are some things that an organization can do on its own
to infuse cultural thinking into the strategic mix:
1. Pay attention to
the fringe
If a competitive brand feels fresh and new in the category,
they’re likely tapping into something that we can learn from’ even if they’re
small in comparison. The fresh ideas in the category now are
often candidates for its future, especially in quickly-changing categories like
food and beverage, consumer tech, and retail. 15 years ago, how many of us
brushed off the idea of health(ish) fast food?
Action Step: Include ‘extreme’
consumers in your qualitative research, and look at the edgier elements within
your category, including crowdfunded ideas.
2. Use Cultural
Insights for early and exploratory initiatives
Use Cultural insights early on to challenge some of the
entrenched ideas around how your category or brand is working. Then, explore
these hypotheses in subsequent research. For example, if your brand refresh
involves looking at emergent ideas in beauty, use CI at the outset to
come up with a range of territories, and then use consumer insight and
co-creation work to nail the best iteration for your brand.
Action Step: Incorporate Semiotics and Trend Analysis
into your research mix at the outset, expanding the number of ideas in play.
3. Harness
‘Expectation Transfer’
Consumers grow accustomed to certain norms in one category,
and the expectations for these norms are slowly demanded of, and adopted into,
other categories. This phenomenon, known as Expectation Transfer, can
cause categories to disrupt not only their own verticals, but others that
feel ripe for reconsideration. Leverage expectation transfer for your brand by
staying extra observant of shifts in other verticals, and adopt them before
they become a standard to stay ahead of competitors.
Action Step: Widen your scope (in landscape analysis
& consumer research) to more than just your category. Try to intuit what
these brands have captured about the consumer, and incorporate that into your
4. Find natural
places to impact the conversation
In ways that are often hard to measure, brands have the
potential to influence the wider cultural dialogue just as much as they reflect
it. Don’t wait for a good idea to be fully entrenched in the
mainstream ‘ or your category ‘ before acting on it.
Action Step: Look to make public stances in ways that
bring your brand’s point of view & key equities to life, and be bold in
defending those views.
5. Use social
listening to inform hypotheses
The Internet itself is a highly organized system, but the human
activity that takes place on the Internet is much more of a churn.
Leverage powerful social intelligence platforms to make the cloud-like swarm
seem a little more clock-like.
Action Step: Set up a social listening dashboard
following key sentiments and influencers (but be sure to avoid the pitfall of
seeing it as a measurable stand-in for the complexities of the real cultural
Culture operates more like a cloud than a clock: a
swirling and continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a
single snapshot.

With so much to see, hear, and read, culture is
absolutely fascinating on both an organizational and personal level. By
simply reframing how they think about culture and using the available insight
tools in accordance with this new way of thinking, brands can get ahead of the
curve and fully understand where their consumer is headed.

Does Market Research Have a Seat at the Table?

Market research has undergone big changes in the past few
years. Even with transitions and restructuring of teams, market research andinsights proves to still be relevant in virtually every industry. Companies are
always going to need to know their customers’ wants, needs, values, motives,
goals and more.
In order to capture these indispensable insights, research
teams must adapt to the ever-changing digital world and have leaders to charge
their teams forward and impact the bottom line of businesses with strategic
consumer insights. 
So, do you think Market Research has a seat at the table?
Share with us in a
short survey here:  By filling out the survey, you will automatically be entered to win a free pass to TMRE 2016! 

We look forward to hearing your feedback!

Also, don’t miss TMRE:
The Market Research Event taking place October 17-20, 2016 in Boca Raton, FL.
With over 150 sessions to choose from, TMRE is the most comprehensive event in
the industry. Every presentation is tasked to leave you with actionable
insights you can implement back at your organization. For more information
about the event or to register, click here:
The TMRE Team