Tag Archives: Consumer insight and market research

Contagious: How to Make Products, Ideas, and Behaviors Catch On

TMRE Keynote Presentation
Contagious: How to Make Products, Ideas, and Behaviors Catch On
By Jonah Berger, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School
at the University of Pennsylvania
Berger starts the keynote session by playing a game, Which
is Tastier
? Where two images are shown: broccoli and a cheeseburger.
The vote is cast: the majority vote, you guessed it, for the
cheeseburger. The point is simple. We all know we should eat more broccoli but
the cheeseburger beckons us.
The analogy of tasty then gets turned to ideas. Which ideas
are Tastier?
Some of the ideas are like broccoli’they are good for us,
but not desired, not catching on.
The curse of knowledge plagues the researcher.  We have to overcome what we know and
communicate in a way people will try and spread it. 
As an overview, we will explore these three, key points:
How we make ideas tastier
How we craft our insights that make people more
likely to listen
How we can use word-of-mouth to spread the idea
He asks the audience: What is the science of why people
share? Let’s tour the main points. Let’s learn about the science of social
transmission through storytelling.
Berger showed a slide proving that word-of-mouth is at least
twice as effective as advertising, according to a McKinsey study.
The first hack he shared was based on his experience in
academia. Two copies of the same book were sent to him; the second had a note
encouraging him to pass along to a colleague who may enjoy it. Berger’s point:
find the influencers and give them something to spread, and it comes across as
a recommendation.
So, why do people
? Here are the top driving six factors:
Social currency
Practical Value
One way to get others to share our ideas is to make them
look good, look smarter’this is the basis of social currency.
We share things that send desired signals of who we are, our
ideal self. So do brands. How can you make your brand tribe feel smart and
in-the-know, on the inside track? If people feel special sharing our stuff,
they will.
One facet of social currency is finding the Inner
Remarkability’something surprising, novel, or interesting. Berger used the
Blendtec blending an iPhone example as the Will it Blend campaign. Blenders
sales went up 700% as a result.
The more you can show rather than tell, the more powerful.
So, what is a Trigger: something that is top-of-mind
because it is tip-of-tongue.
Consideration is 80% of purchase, and getting in the
consideration sphere is the most important part of the strategy.
Here are the four questions for getting value from triggers:
Who do we want to triggers?
When do they want to be triggered?
What is in the environment at that time?
How can we connect to the environment?
The last tactic discussed is Stories. Facts and data bore
everyone. Stories are vessels of information, a Trojan Horse, a carrier of
information. Stories imbue the emotional shorthand of a brand. Stories are the currency
of conversation.
Berger’s advice: first, find your kernel. What do you want
to pass on, to share? Then, how can you make others feel special about it,
in-the-know, and share.
Michael Graber is the
managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic
growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit
www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

Consumers Driving Healthcare Innovations

Everyone in the U.S complains about
healthcare’the rising costs of insurance premiums and co-pays, the lack of
innovation, the poor experience at doctor’s offices and hospitals, and price of
The landscape of big healthcare is eroding
faster than the biggest players can adapt.
Thanks to malpractice, the internet, the
rise of specialists and decline of general practitioners, integration with
complementary and alternative medicine, and other factors’consumers feel as if
they must drive their own healthcare. 
Gone are the days when actions are blindly
followed, as in ‘the doctor told me to take this __________________ and do
__________________.’  Instead, internet research leads to
second-guessing and attempts at self-diagnoses. Both scenarios lead
to information anxiety. Too little and too much unfiltered information causes
this quiet despair. The emerging paradigm finds consumers lost,
bewildered, looking for sources and solutions that help make health care make
sense for them’and willing to switch to what works for them. 
This tension creates a gap of opportunity
for disruptive entrants into the market. With 2.8 trillion at play,
everyone will race to get their piece of the pie, from well-established
companies outside of healthcare, to service providers offering new models
of care, to start ups. Hopefully, healthcare companies will recognize
the need to transform their business model and their product and service mix, or
risk dying on the vine. 
A recently released study by
the Health Research Institute (HRI) called ‘Healthcare’s New
Entrants: Who will be the industry’s Amazon.com’ The threat to the
established players is made plain: ‘Revenue
will circulate differently, and to many new
players. Consumers, spending more of their own money, are exerting greater
influence and going beyond the traditional industry to find what they
want and need. In the New Health Economy, purchasers increasingly will reward
organizations providing the best value, whether it’s an academic medical
center, a tech company with a great app, or a healthcare shopping network.’ 
Traditional providers have not yet caught the
tide of change, nor have they figured out how to diversify their revenue steams.
A single innovation can put a huge dent in the market. For example, if half of
all U.S. patients opted to administer an
at-home strep test, it could hurt the traditional provider network as much
as $68 billion. This move would benefit consumers, the company that makes
the test, and the retailer, but is a seismic shift for doctor office
Huge players are scrambling to make
an impact: Walgreen’s, Google, Time Warner, Target, as well as an increasing
number of healthcare technology start ups. 
Who will win? The ones who listen to
consumers, as they are the driving force of the change. 
Michael Graber is the
managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic
growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to
learn more.

Consumer Insight :: Go Deep or Go Home

We meet companies and non-profits who have been marketing to the same
lists for years. Often, these lists and the assumptions about the
people on their lists are more than a decade old. These aged lists may
have been scrubbed, but that is simply for those who have fallen off the
grid, one way or another. This point should be obvious: there are major problems with this scenario.

1. First off, organizations marketing to the same list for years lose
the feel of how their buyers make decisions. Their selling instincts
dull, and then they tend to think of names on the list as objects rather
than subjects with rich, full lives, motivations, and choices. In
essence, they lose their hunting impulse, their sense of courtship, and
reduce a possible valuable customer relationship into a vague,
impersonal slot machine, settling for a single transaction with low

2. Second, people are dynamic, not static. If these organizations put
their prospects into a rigid category instead of knowing them on a
deeper level, they will be marketing to a snapshot that is no longer
valid. Think of yourself or your children 10 years ago to demonstrate
this point. People are one of the most progressive species on the
planet. Fortunes can be made, lost, and regained in a decade’and if your
customer information keeps the same basic inputs, you are out of touch
with reality.

3. Third, your weakest competitors are marketing to the exact same list.
Incredibly, they are marketing to them with a similar value
proposition, brand promise, feature and benefit set, and price range
(perhaps with a few incremental differences, but nothing really
discernible to them). They, too, are eking out a living on the after
fumes of cobwebbed insights from a decade ago, and cannot think outside
of the confines of a strategy set when the world was a different place.

4. Fourth, the most egregious sin: They don’t have any actionable
insights about the market, the people in the market, the trends and
forces that shape the market, and they do not renew and transform their
innovation and marketing efforts to position as a leader in their
category. This is the classic deadly sin of sloth. If it exists in your
organization, eradicate it or risk extinction.

Face it: this is the post-industrial world, the economic era of
innovation. These innovations are steeped in human-to-human
valves’offering products, services, causes, and messages that add value
to a person’s life. You have to know a person to go this deep. You must
immerse yourself in their world and get out of your conference room to
comprehend where and how you can really add value.

Call it a deep dive, a voice of the customer, an ethnography,
narrative insight based marketing research, field studies, whatever’just
get out of your own head and your rut-like routines and get inside the
homes, routines, rituals, and hearts of your people. Honor those that
buy from you or give to you, as subjects with dynamic lives.

By investing in them, you create a win-win relationship. You offer
something of value to Joe, Betty, John, Veena, and Amir’and they, in
return, return to your offering as part of the natural course of their
lives. This quid pro quo, these repeat sales, will not happen if you
keep playing the old lists game and never spend time with your prospect

Go deep.

TMRE Poll Results:Do you think the market research industry as a whole has embraced social media as a legitimate means to gain consumer insight?

The first TMRE Poll closed last week, and you answered the question: Do you think the market research industry as a whole has embraced social media as a legitimate means to gain consumer insight?

And the results are:

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