Tag Archives: Behavior

Is it Worth it? Key Considerations for Social Media Research

By: Terry
Lawlor, EVP Product Management, Confirmit

The role of social media in delivering
business insights is a tricky business. While most researchers consider it to
offer real benefits, the big question is ‘how do we do it properly’? In our
recent survey of Market Research professionals, we asked respondents about
their feelings towards social media. Overwhelmingly, the most popular response
from the five choices offered was ‘A
useful addition to a Market Research project if we can bring the data together
effectively’.

The word to look at there is ‘if’.
For many businesses, that ‘if’ is
surmountable, and for others it isn’t ‘ at least not yet. There are a number of
things to bear in mind.
Who
is Your Audience?
The changing dynamic of the consumer has a
significant impact on research. Millennials behave differently when it comes to
researching, buying and complaining about products. The audience you’re
targeting has a huge role to play when it comes to establishing the part that
social media has to play in your business.
It
Takes More Than Technology
There’s no silver bullet for social media.
It takes a combination of people, process and technology to be successful. You
need technology to sift through the vast quantities of information ‘ to find
and filter data sources, provide intelligent sampling of massive amounts of
content, and perform categorization and sentiment analysis. However, you will
still need people. In our recent study, Political Buzz, we used social media
(as well as traditional surveys) to monitor topics for the UK election. One of
our key findings was that the role of people was critical in researching the
key social and online media channels, and in building the taxonomies on which
your technology must function.
It’s
More Than Just Social
When thinking about social media, most
people immediately think of Twitter and Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, perhaps
YouTube and Pinterest. There are actually many more social media sites than you
think, and there are many different feeds within each social media platform.
And there is a huge array of online media, where people post comments and
stories, and review sites that cover many different categories of products and
services. So you need to think about online media as much as social media, and
you need to think about data sources that amount to tens or hundreds of
thousands of different media channels.
A
Double-Edged Sword
As with every ‘next big thing’, social
media research is a double-edged sword. On one hand, because it is largely
unsolicited, you can uncover insights that you never anticipated. However, also
because it is largely unsolicited, it might not address anything useful for
your research program. You may want to research a particular topic but no one
is discussing it, or your target audience just doesn’t use social media.

About
the Author: Terry Lawlor has the responsibility of all aspects of product
management, including strategy development, product definition, and product
representation in client and marketing activities. Terry is a seasoned and
highly professional enterprise software executive who possesses a wealth of
expertise in the Market Research and customer experience markets.

Live from FOCI 2013: Transforming Weather Data into Consumer Insights

Every day, we are affected by weather. We check it 3 times a day or more, or simply intuitively. Its more important than our social media feeds, but it drives purchase intent too! It affects everything encompassing:


Your commute
What you buy
What you do
Your health
Where you eat
How you feel 
What you wear

The opportunity here is that weather is measureable and predictable. Weather is locally specific, too. It s not just the weather that influences consumer behavior, but its what is going to happen with the weather.

Its fascinating that marketing is needed as an adaptive solution, which cannot be fixed from an advertising or media perspective, the the key is to understand how you can leverage media and technology to get the word out to people. That is, keeping it local and relevant.

Its quite simple: you know how weather affects consumer behavior in the past. You know what the weather is going to be like. So marketers must intuitively put the two together to come up with an adaptive marketing strategy.

A simple and intuitive thought. Which makes so much sense!

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at
s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Live from FOCI 2013: The Future Consumer, brought to life by one shot visuals

Perhaps the most refreshing start to the day is having a presentation that is essentially not a presentation, but rather a movie, a conversation, or simply a kaleidoscopic peak into the future. The opening at FOCI13 epitomizes the fact that there is no room for templates, formality or the usual conservativeness usually associated with crisp corporate.

The learnings are that consumers and corporate are becoming more open to informality, change, and embracing the variety of options to communicate – via mobile, social, or simply empowered with the notion that their opinion matters. And with more ways to communicate with each other and brands – the one spiking currently being Snapchat, the market is becoming crowded, busy, and with the need for sounder research. Ethnic diversity, cost savvy-ness, sharing (versus ownership) and the likes are all consequential findings. It ends on an interesting note of the existence of technology, and if there is really a threshold of how much we really need it.

Jaspar Roos, with all his Dutch humor (having lived in Holland and working with a Dutch company, I’d know this!) and livelihood of poking fun at industries from banking to insurance, made for an engaging opening speaker. Not only did he share the aforementioned learnings, but brought to life an important point: you don’t need a slide deck for an effective presentation. An apt collection of powerful images is sufficient to relay a truthful, often harsh, but very candid reality.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

The Emotional Mind

Today’s blog post comes from Dr. David Forbes, Ph.D., of Forbes Consulting, an exhibitor at The Market Research Event 2012.

Why do consumers ‘really’ think and act as they do?

We have long known that the deep seated emotional centers of the human mind generate the most powerful motivational forces driving consumer behavior. Traditional market research, however, has historically only accessed the conscious intellectual layers of the consumer mind. The desire to learn about the emotions that ‘really’ control behavior are largely unfulfilled.

Two barriers confront the market researchers in this quest. First, consumers are often unaware consciously of these deep-seated emotional forces.

As St. Augustine wrote in the thirteenth century, ‘I cannot grasp all that I am.’ His insight remains true of consumers today. Consumers today are no more able to grasp the motivations that arise from emotional centers of the brain that work below the level of consciousness than St. Augustine was; in the language of pop psychology, consumers are ‘out of touch’ with their feelings on the issues important to marketers.

Second, consumers are often unwilling to share their emotions with market research professionals, even when they are able to consciously access and articulate their emotions. Rare is the respondent who is willing to share reasons for behavior that might make them seem frivolous or irrational.

So where does this leave market research in its quest for ‘real reasons’ behind consumers’ behavior?

The news actually is good. The conscious mind is far from irrelevant ‘ it remains an important driver of attitudes and behavior, and traditional market research continues to excel at researching the conscious mind. For the first time, neuropsychologists have documented the activity in those areas of the brain responsible for our emotions. Employing techniques from perceptual and cognitive science, clinical market researchers have begun to leverage the insights from neuropsychology to devise methods for ‘talking’ to these emotional centers of the brain.

Our proprietary Forbes MindSight?? technique is a good example of how the latest insights about the brain can help market researchers acquire the once elusive emotional reasons for behavior ‘ to get new data about ‘real’ reasons that they have never gotten before. Consumers may remain unaware of their emotions or unable to share their emotions with us, but technologies such as MindSight?? are overcoming these barriers.

Why do people really think and act the way they do? We are revealing motivations that they themselves may not know. Results from MindSight?? research suggest that surprises are in store ‘ for marketers and market researchers, and even for consumers themselves!

For more information on Forbes Consulting please visit http://www.forbesconsulting.com/