Tag Archives: Christian Dossel

No insight without context!

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

Some time has passed since “contextual insights” was promoted (by Bruce Tempkin and others) as a great opportunity to deliver and activate insights.

Contextual insights – as the opposite of pure statistical analysis – need a broad and deep understanding of our clients’ business. In other words contextual insights are “‘observations drawn from data that resonates with an understanding of the business’.

We benefit from contextual insights primarily by understandingt he business context for the interpretation and application of the results, combined with adequate data.

I like the idea very much, I think it’s extremely charming. We might need more than data to deliver good insights. We have to dive deep into the client’s business world and understand the context of their needs and opportunities.

But that’s not easy in every case (and btw. that’s the reason why highly specialized companies more often employ their own market researchers instead of commissioning external agencies’) Social Media Data is a perfect field for contextual data. Although there are tons of data, they weight nothing without appropriate context information.

This is a graph of more than 10,000 Facebook status messages, where people have reported that they have separated.

What is clearly missing here are real “contextual insights”, because the data reveal only the “when” and not the “why”. But as a starting point for analysis and as a pool for building hypothesis social media data could be quite interesting.

The question that remains is whether this is already the end of the road or if there is more.

Let’s see what we can learn from the 2011 TMRE11 in November, hosted by IIR USA. There is a nice track called “Activating Insights”. Really looking forward to it ‘

Market Research Leadership – Where’s the beef?

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

Recent research shows that market research is increasingly affected by a positioning problem.

For example the current Green Book Research Industry Trends Report mentions the fact that the proportion of those who describe the importance of market research as declining, has increased within six months by 20 percentage points.

Only every second expert assigns a rising or at least constant importance to market research. All in all it seems that perception of the relevance of market research suffers.

The reasons for this development are manifold. In addition to external factors such as the financial and economic crisis there are also some internal factors to be identified.

In general declining relevance is a consequence of lacking clear added values. That’s valid for brands as well as for companies, and this is also true for market research. On the one hand this can be explained by the constantly increasing number of competitors for market research. Boundaries towards other players such as consultancies, advertising or strategy agencies become fluid. On the other hand, fueled by the increasing importance of the internet, technological service providers play an increasingly important role.

One of the most striking examples for this is the rise of online research communities. Different to for example a representative CATI-survey an online community project is not naturally located in the area of market research competence. It often happens that the marketing itself, supported by IT and technology department / supplier, puts on such projects. Consequently classical market research role models and thought patterns are questioned.

Requirements concerning market research therefore are constantly changing. It becomes increasingly difficult for the industry to keep up with the pace of developments and to find the right positioning.

Someone who has accepted this challenge is IIR USA, the organizers of this year’s “The Market Research Event 2011″ in November in Orlando. This conference has it all, a first glance at the program (which you get only when you specify name and e-mail address) is sufficient piece of evidence for that.

From my point of view the combination of diverse and interesting topics makes the TMRE 2011 very attractive. Nine different tracks – from “Market Research & Leadership Insights” and “New Tools & Breakthrough Methodology” to “ROI & Measurement” show the full spectrum of recent challenges and how one can deal with these new approaches, innovations and ideas.

While promising “connecting to the best insights from around the world” the TMRE helps in positioning market research and to re-strength, win back or even expand relevance.

And this is something where we all can benefit and gain a lot.

Online access panels, natural communities and online research communities ‘ what, when and why?!?

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.




Online, Social Media Monitoring, Research Communities ‘ It has been a long time ago since market research was affected by that huge amount and speed of change. Not only in order to marketing their own services, but also to face the challenges new words, phrases, tools, brands and so on have been established.

No wonder that confusion sometimes is still quite large.

One approach that became a popular representative of new methods in a short time is the approach of online research communities, also known as Market Research Online Communities (MROCs).

There are different definitions of Online Research Communities, but they all have a common base: “An Online Research Community is a platform that is used exclusively to generate a deep understanding of needs, attitudes and the reality of life of specific target groups.”

So we don’t talk about access panels with a focus on quantitative research and we don’t talk about natural communities full of customers’ conversation, like brand communities, Facebook pages or topic related community sites.

But of course these sources can help us finding and recruiting the right participants for an appropriate Online Research Community.

But we have to make sure to keep advantages and disadvantages in mind:

For example people from Online Access Panels are used to the internet, but they are probably not used to community tools and have a lack of willingness to participate over a longer period of time.

On the other hand people from a natural community like a branded site or a Facebook page have rich experience with a specific topic as well as with the community tools but maybe they don’t want to participate in market research. And sometimes, especially if you are not the owner of the natural community, it might be difficult to talk to the community members.

We will learn more about research communities at The Market Research Event 2011 in November. If you look at the program you will see that IIR USA has planned a whole track for this topic. It will be interesting to follow the “Social Media & Communities” track on Monday.