Tag Archives: Communication

This Week In Market Research: 9/21/15 – 9/25/15

Imagine you go to work every morning wearing a badge that tracks your every movement conversation and interaction. Sounds like a futuristic scene right? According to an article posted on Fast Company this week, this was a reality for 20 employees at Fast Company for two weeks during April of this year. A new company by the name of Humanyze builds these devices, bearing a similar purpose to that of the Fitbit, and consults for different companies who would like to try the new system out. In April of 2015, Humanyze offering free badges and free analysis, Fast Company decided to try the experiment itself. ‘Our goal was to discover who actually speaks to whom, and what these patterns suggest about the flow of information, and thus power, through the office. Is the editor in chief really at the center of the magazine’s real-world social network, or was someone else the invisible bridge between its print and online operations’? As the article brings out some of the analysis, the better part of the first two weeks were almost spent in silence because employees felt awkward and uncomfortable having a device that recorded everything they said or did. The article also stated that after receiving analysis from the organization, the information is extremely private and cannot be demanded by the organization of Fast Company. In other words, the employees are not in any way forced to share what the device found with any personnel in the Fast Company business. The full article is quite interesting and definitely reveals how innovation and technology can add to market research whether it be outside of a company, or directly within the walls of an organization.

A new study explored in a Fast Company article this week, revealed that, although many hoped The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 would be successful, more kids are eating less fruits and vegetable than before. Why you ask? According the article, ” kids toss their apples into the trash before they even take a place at a table.’ This new study, led by Sarah Amin, used cameras placed over cashier stations as well as over food disposal areas. Amin claims the beauty of this method lies in the fact that the researches can actually see what was selected, what was eaten, and what was wasted. Upon viewing the data, researchers concluded that the fruit and vegetables that children were obliged to take were almost instantly thrown out directly afterward. However, there’s still hope according to Amin and her researchers. ‘There are some neat tricks, like renaming “carrots” to “X-ray Vision Carrots, which almost doubles consumption, for instance.’ Amin also suggests serving vegetables cut up in the meal rather than serving them whole. Overall, however, it would appear that what we used to know about kids then still remains true: kids don’t like to do what they’re told to do. 
In an article released on Fast Company this week, psychologist Art Markman helps a reader determine whether his communication habits are hindering his future career. The individual who writes in, describes a pattern of only wanting to communicate through email and text while avoiding speaking over the phone. Markman first starts his response by stating, ‘Human communication evolved in an environment in which small numbers of people communicated face-to-face in real time.’ He goes on to say that the sooner and closer we get to a situation much like a face-to face conversation, the more effectively we will communicate with others. Speaking on certain factors that go missing when you just communicate through written text, Markman highlights that, ‘When people can hear your voice, they hear more interpersonal warmth than when you just write to them’tone of voice helps people to find the emotional intent in what you say.’ The final part of the article is where Markham explains how you can incorporate verbal communication back into your day. The article is a well written piece that uniquely sheds light on an important research area. 
It’s the job everyone in the corporate world envies: being a freelancer and working, essentially, or yourself. The job itself comes with many obvious perks such as, setting your own price, managing your hours, working from the comfort of home, and of course being your own boss. However, in an article released this week on Fast Company, being a freelancer also has its down sides. Yes you get to work from home and be your own boss, but that also means you don’t get human contact and or coworkers to converse with during your day. ‘When the house is quiet and everyone is gone for the day, it’s just you and the humming of your laptop’day in, day out. You may go through an entire day without speaking, and often go for several days without having any face-to-face interactions with anyone.’ The article then goes on to explain why adding in social contact for individuals who are freelancers is necessary and actually helps boost creativity and even work productivity in some cases. It is definitely a relatable issue for most people, so good on Fast Company for recognizing this issue and bringing it to the surface. 

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at Ndicharry@iirusa.com

This Week In Market Research: 7/27/15 – 7/31/15

Do you work from home and feel like you can never get anything really done?? In a recent article by Fast Company, Carson Tate details 5 ways that will make working from home REALLY work. ‘According to research by the financial software company Intuit, nearly a quarter of U.S. workers telecommute for at least a few hours every week.’ So according to Tate, a few of the ways you can make working from home really work include ‘communicating well and often,’ and ‘being a proactive team player.’ The first suggestion is to use many forms of communication to be sure things are being communicated thoroughly and efficiently. To be a proactive team player, you have to be diligent about reaching out to your coworkers and connecting with them not just on a work level. In other words, being a part of the team includes comradery and you have to put in a little extra effort in order to gain those relationships. Interested yet? Well, read the full article at Fast Company.
This week The Guardian posted an article for younger graduates wanting to go into the market research industry. They list five different tactics, however the two that really stood out to me included 1. Choosing a research path and 2. Building on online profile. For the first one, the article suggests that ”it is important to pick a research path’.identify whether your skills lie in numeracy or whether talking to people face to face and learning about cultures is more appealing” On top of picking a research path, building an online profile and getting connected with the research community can bolster experience and resumes. According to the article, ”it’s important to create a professional online profile’and hide any potential controversial Facebook photos.’ There you have it. These 5 tactics will surely get you closer to your dream job in market research. 
‘Where do I begin’? It’s the common question, whether asked internally or outwardly, when dealing with the launch of a new product. So where does one start when marketing a new product? Well, according to a recent article released on Entrepreneur this week, all one needs to remember is ‘Search, Social, and Content.’ In this sense, search means your search engine optimization and making sure your page is searchable through google. Social refers to the sharing of information through social media and taking advantage of getting the word out through social. This third component, content, means ensuring that the content that you are marketing is strategic and clearly thought through. All of these avenues together make up the ‘Holy Grail of Startup Marketing.’ Want to learn even more about this? Visit Entrepreneur’site and 

We have all been there. When a crisis hits at work, we work reactively rather than proactively. Well thanks to an article released this week on Entrepreneur, we now have 7 habits to get us working more proactively. Now, in order to get the full gist of the email you’ll have to read it on the Entrepreneur website. However, a few to the points listed include, blocking out time to answer emails 2-3 times a day as well as celebrate what you ARE getting done. Both of these pointers stood out to me because making sure you answer emails throughout the day ensures that you won’t get behind and making sure you celebrate what is actually getting done helps you focus on the positive around you. Focusing on the positive, helps you negate many negative emotions that occur at work and slow down your productivity. If you’re one of those people, like me, who works much better in a proactive environment this list is insightful and in its own right, proactive.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at Ndicharry@iirusa.com 

Communication is important in customer service

Aileen Bennett recently wrote a blog post at theadvertiser.com looking how communication changed her experience with a certain local store. She was very impressed with the in-store customer service, but was not impressed with the lack of communication that ensued after she left. There was a void in communication, leaving the customer in the dark when it came to finding out information that was not in the store.

What do you think? Communication is important, and customer service occurs more places than just in person at the store. How can companies ensure that they’re effectivly communicating with their customers both in and out of stores?

Be where your community is

Amy Gahran recently posted a great post about forming online communities. If you’re looking to start an online community for your business, start by joining the other communities out there. Odds are the group of people you want to communicate and network with already have a place they frequent online. Join that space and begin interacting now so that when it comes time to build your own network, you have the thoughts and opinions of others in your community. You should also be allowing your employees to frequent these spaces online and communicate with others in these social networks.

What do you think? Do you have an example of joining a network and communicating with them before you start your own? Also, do you think your employees should have access to these social networking tools so that they can begin to build an online following and join the communities?

The use of online communities for different purposes

In a recent article at the Huffington Post, Jared Cohen gave his opinion on a new hot topic: terrorists and how they use social media to congregate. Terrorists use the internet to congregate just as everyone else does on a daily basis. The new reality we face is that the digital space we all use is just an extension of everyday life, everyone’s daily life. It is a new set of tools that we use to capitalize on our liberties given to us by governments.

He spends the majority of the article focusing on how they these tools were used to recruit for and plan the Mumbai attacks. Terrorists are using social media to their advantage, but is this any different from how they use NGOs and other fundraisers for aiding their attacks? Yes, they use these tools. But so do we, and in effect better, because the majority of operations can be focused into one social networking tool. They must spread their efforts across multiple platforms such as email, chat rooms and social communities, so they don’t raise any red flags during the planning stages.

Social media may be yet another threat used by the terrorists to congregate and communicate, but it’s a far greater advantage for those who are using it for other purposes. We can also monitor what’s going on online, and see how the terrorists are using the online tools.

Passionate customers deserve a passionate brand

Matt Rhodes took some time to examine the relationship between brands and their loyal customers. He points out that often times, the customers are more passionate about the brand than than the brand is about them. The brand needs to find a two-way street to start recognizing these loyal customers, who can often be a solid source for word of mouth marketing. Opening up and using social media can be a great way to do this. It can open up communication, and let you show your customers you appreciate them.

Communicate with your customers

Communication is key to customer relationships. There’s a need for you to openly communicate and be honest with what they should expect from your company. Service Untitled recently gave a few areas of communication to properly communicate with your customers.

They are:
Contact them through different mediums.
Be clear and honest with timelines.
Communicate what is being done and why.
Be prepared to answer questions.

A few tips for Twitter

Recently, Corey Wynsma posted a few tips on how to maximize the use of Twitter. Although the tips focused on newsroom use, I think the points are valid for any company starting to use Twitter as a new source of reaching their target crowd.

1) Forget about Twitter ROI
It’s not about making money, but adapting to the new culture shift that lies ahead.
2) Twitter isn’t a broadcast channel
It’s about conversation. Don’t just post the latest news, create a way for your followers to have a conversation.
3) Climb down off the pedestal
Approach Twitter carefully. You don’t know what exactly you’ll receive in return for your efforts, so hang back and jump in with two feet and an open mind.
4) Don’t rely upon a single branded Twitter experience
Connect with people in your community. Find a way to make people interact with your users and experience available for everyone to comment.
5) Find Twitters and their niches
Use your strength and expertise to reach out to other Twitter groups. Use what you have to build your community.
6) Help your twitters take ownership of their efforts
Provide your followers badges and logos to share your group.
7) Make twittering easy
Make sure your followers know they can Twitter from anywhere, promoting the different apps that allow them to comment through their mobile phones.
8) Gain followers that count
Thing quality not quantity. Allow your group to grow with members who are genuinely interested and can contribute to your conversation.

There are more points to the list. Read them here. Is Twitter a valuable source for your company? How have you gained your followers?

Gaining Loyalty Through Customer Service in an Uncertain Economy

Even through troubling times and economies, the strength of the customer relationship that a company builds should endure. Researching the net, I came across this great list of 10 customer service tips posted by Joe Brown, general manager of EMEA at RightNow Technologies, on MYCUSTOMER.com.

  1. Don’t discontinue an existing customer initiative in an uncertain economy ‘ if necessary, reduce the scope of (or postpone pending improvements to) the initiative until the economy improves.
  2. Don’t wait for customer relationships to weaken or break ‘ you can’t afford the loss of revenue or of goodwill in an uncertain economy, so proactively take steps to manage those relationships well.
  3. Customers make purchase decisions more deliberately in an uncertain economy, so give them the service and the information they need to choose your company over the competition.
  4. Customers take longer to make purchase decisions when times are tough, so bridge the gap with a sequence of individually customised communications that provide concrete information on the specific product features and benefits that fulfil their needs.
  5. Spend your budget wisely, by shifting dollars to individualised service initiatives and communications targeted to those customers who are most valuable or who are most likely to grow in value.
  6. Clearly communicate value in each customer message’ empathetically explaining how and why your product is aligned with the customer’s concerns in a trying economic environment.
  7. Don’t overwhelm customers with surveys, and when a customer does respond, let them know that their feedback has been received’and, most importantly, that it is sincerely appreciated.
  8. Invest in innovation’fuelled in part by customer listening’during challenging economic times, because it can pay handsome dividends.
  9. The memories of customers will extend well beyond the end of an uncertain economy ‘ they won’t forget (or forgive) opportunistic actions or other violations of trust, but they will remember excellent customer service.
  10. Focus upon cost savings rather than revenue generation when implementing a customer initiative ‘ and then use those savings to fund future enhancements.

Retaining customer loyalty through turbulent times really shows the worth of your company. Follow these steps listed by Joe Brown to ensure that loyalty is not lost no matter how tough times might get.