Tag Archives: Consumer Insights

Extinction or Revolution? How Market Research Can Excel in this New World

The Research Insighter caught up with David Boyle, the BBC’s EVP of Insights at our last TMRE event, you can watch the video here. Their lively discussion addressed the seemingly insurmountable difficulties the market research industry is facing right now, and offered some pretty concrete solutions.

The Research Insighter: “At TMRE 2015 there were some pretty big words thrown around, revolution, extinction… what do you make of all this with regard to the state of the market research industry today?”

The market research industry is certainly dealing with some scary stuff right now.

David Boyle: “Some big scary words… I think there are some serious challenges (for market researchers) from a number of different directions: New data sources resulting from digital engagement competing for business leaders’ attention, and people are doing research themselves with new tools such as: Survey Monkey, Google forms, social media analytics and data. The core work you’ve been doing for years is being competed against with all these new supposedly insightful data sources.
Everyone’s talking about big data or data science, it’s the topic of investment and where the future lies. So that’s what’s getting managers’ attention. There are very real risks for market researchers and the market research community.”
The Research Insighter: “How is this manifesting itself in your world at the
BBC? Obviously media is the probably first and hardest hit by all of the disruptive technologies to date.”

Step one to “overcoming the peril”? Ask the business question you are trying to solve for.

David Boyle: “I think the 1st step is to ask what the business question is that you are trying to solve for? This is key to overcoming the peril. Let’s get really clear. If you trying to monetize TV consumption, sure the Nielsen ratings are ‘the currency’. If you are trying to understand the reach of a brand in broader terms, it is not the data you should be using, it’s only part of the puzzle. You have to define what you mean by ‘brand engagement’ and therefore which are the data sets you want. If you’re trying to understand interest in the show that is not monetized ‘ who’s interested in the show but not watching it.
We see piracy for example, in some countries, it’s a pretty clear signal of interest in the show. We don’t see that interest reflected in TV ratings. We have to find an alternate business model by which we get the show to those people in a monetized way. That demand is by definition not in the ratings. It depends on what business question you are trying to ask. Starting from a business question and saying ‘what data is available to help me answer that question’? ‘What’s the best data I should use’? not ‘what data do I have handy’? and then solving the business problem carefully.
The Research Insighter: “How has this surplus of information affected how you operate as a market researcher?”
David Boyle: “You need people with skills and time to pull together multiple data sources and tell a story across that data source. Piracy, research, social media engagement and TV ratings for example. In the old world, market researchers would have a product they worked on, maybe the brand tracker, that was their expertise. They’d report the brand tracker results with great pride and then they’d run the next brand tracker. It’s no longer the world we live in.

That person now has to also take into account consumption, unmonetized consumption, social media engagement. That person has to tell a rounded story about what’s going on with that brand. Telling a story data source by data source is no longer useful to us as a business. That’s a slightly different skill set. The question for market researchers is: do people who run brand trackers have the skills, permission, encouragement and time to do rounded storytelling instead of being product focused. My opinion is yes, but they’re not always given the permission or time.”

Key things for the market researcher to be successful: Time and Permission

The Research Insighter: “Has your department adjusted to this change with relative ease or has it been painful?”
David Boyle: “I don’t think it’s been easy for anybody to adapt to, least of all me. The instinct is to pull out a relevant data source to answer a question but you’re only giving part of the answer, you probably don’t have all the data sources you need at your fingertips.
If I am doing research I need to reach out to the measurement person and coordinate delivery of the right data, the financial person to tell if the revenues match, the social media analytics person to see what’s going on in that world…

Suddenly I need five or six people in the room before I can answer the question, and I probably need to have a discussion or debate to tease out the different stories coming from the different data sets. The coordination and teasing out the answer is really tough but it can be done, it must be done.
Therein lies for me a big part of the reason why this jeopardy, this peril that market researchers face can be overcome. Market researchers by nature have the skills. Given permission, time and the confidence to say ‘I am not going to answer this with the brand tracker, I am going to gather the right people, and pull the right data together and tell you a more rounded story’. Market research can excel and excite people even in this new world.” 

We’re excited to say that David Boyle will be speaking at the 2016 The Market Research event, his talk is entitled: The Client Vendor Tug of War: How to Handle the Balance.
If you’re interested in hearing more from Boyle and other technological innovators in the market research industry, don’t miss the world’s leading market research event TMRE happening in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida October 17-20. Got any comments on this blog? Make yourself heard – Tweet to us at @TMRE!

Getting Deeper ‘In the Moment’

By: Anne-Marie
Clients constantly challenge their agencies
to go further, to provide insights which really and truly deliver on what’s on
the minds of their customers. As one recent client brief so eloquently put it,
‘we don’t want you to spend time regurgitating our objectives back at us, and
talking about sample structure, but want you to provide a methodology that is
going to capture attention’.  While those
old tried and tested methodologies still form the core of what agencies do to
get to the answer, new and exciting technologies that can enhance these are
becoming more prevalent. 
The best of these new approaches have a
common theme ‘ the ability to collect ‘in-the-moment’ feedback. In essence this
is pure and simple but, when correctly executed, it allows us to deliver
deeper, real world insights to our clients, with recommendations that steer
them forward.
Some of our most considered digital
research technologies include:
Adding a video element to our studies:
Building a video element into online surveys elevates the typical open-text
verbatim comments and increases engagement for respondents, improving the
quality of feedback. Bringing the faces of consumers into the room at a client
debrief brings the findings to life, and increases engagement for stakeholders.
This technology can be integrated into everyday tracking studies to gain rich
brand insight or into ad testing pieces to collect live and in-the-moment
Using facial expressions to accurately predict success: One step further than using videos within surveys, facial coding
allows us to read the emotions of survey respondents in the moment. While
typical survey diagnostics allow us to collect feedback post-viewing, facial
coding goes deeper, to pinpoint the initial emotional connection respondents
have to a piece of stimulus. This, in turn, also allows us to understand the
reactions respondents will not or cannot vocalise.
Collecting passive data: There are often
times when we expect too much from our respondents. In times of increasing
market and advertising clutter, spontaneous and prompted recollection is
difficult. Discreetly collecting passive data (with permission, of course) from
our respondents’ laptops and devices gives us the ability to measure actual
behaviour and deliver more robust insight to our clients.
The potential benefits are clear, but such
technology should be approached with care. Using additional methodologies for
the sake of it doesn’t help anyone and only serves to mismanage expectations
(and budget) in the mind of your clients. The challenge here lies in the
careful curation of a methodology that uses the best of the traditional methods,
alongside carefully selected, complementary methodologies to move beyond the
stated and more towards actual customer feedback. 
Couple this approach with statistical
analysis tools like Conjoint, MaxDiff or Kano analysis, it means that we can place
the onus on our analysis of the data, lightening the cognitive load on survey
respondents. By doing this, you are allowing them to think about answering
honestly, and to not have to indulge in complex thinking to get to an answer
they think is right.
After all, isn’t that why we are client
partners in the first place?

McCallion is Associate Director at the numbers lab @ Firefish. She loves a
challenge and believes that research is not a one-size-fits all exercise. She
is an expert at reading between the lines and has a keen eye for detail. www.thenumberslab.co.uk

WholeFood’s CEO Discusses Leadership and Insights at TMRE: The Market Research Event

TMRE is the only event
that brings you face to face with the brightest minds in business on the
keynote stage. These gurus and best-selling authors have tailored their content
specifically for the TMRE audience to leverage their insights for immediate
The TMRE Keynote Stage..where Ingenuity is your ally, and
Routine your enemy:
Dubner, Best-Selling Author, Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
key takeaway: Inspire change in both your organization and your customers’
minds by understanding the power of incentives.
Mackey, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market, Best-Selling Author,
Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

key takeaway: Grow and evolve your leadership skills with help from John
Mackey, to push employee growth and engagement, ultimately leading to growth of
the company itself.
Ross, NYT Best-Selling Author, The Industries of the Future, Former Senior
Advisor for Technology & Innovation at the State Department
key takeaway: Gain a better understanding of the next wave of innovations
that are going to disrupt markets and workplaces around the world, for better
and for worse.
David S.
Duncan, Co-Author, Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer
key takeaway: Hear how the ‘theory of jobs to be done’ can be used to shape
innovations that have a greater chance of success and how the approach can be
institutionalized in your organization to create enduring competitive
Zain Raj,
President & CEO, Shapiro+Raj, Amazon Best-Selling Author, Marketing for
Tomorrow, Not Yesterday and BrandRituals: How Successful Brands Bond with
Customers for Life
key takeaway: View the future of market research and see how next
generation methodologies are crafting tomorrow’s marketers and meeting the
demands of today’s consumer trust, respect and loyalty requirements.
Glebas, Author, The Animators Eye and Directing the Story, Director, Storyboard
and Visual Development Artist, Disney, Dreamworks Animation
key takeaway: Explore storytelling and visual presentation techniques from
the storyboard artist for Fantasia and Pocahontas to help insights executives
better sell our research into the organization
Eagleman, Neuroscientist, NYT Best-Selling Author, Incognito: The Secret Lives
of the Brain, Host of PBS’ The Brain with David Eagleman

key takeaway: Hear new data to show how people use the same brain circuitry to
relate to brands as they do to one another, suggesting strong motivation for
companies to work on reputation, loyalty and trust ‘ subconscious issues which
powerfully navigate customer decisions, but are missed by traditional methods
of market research.
Lobel, Author, Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence,
Internationally Recognized Psychologist, Professor at the School of
Psychological Science, Tel Aviv University, Visiting Professor, Harvard
key takeaway: Gain insights on how the strong influence of the physical
sensations have direct implications to products and package design, to user
interface as well as to business and personal interactions with family and
Soon Yu,
Global Vice President of Innovation, VF Corporation
key takeaway: Uncover the ‘T shaped’ leadership model that goes beyond just
developing inspired ideas to the organizational influencing skills required to
execute them.
Chance, Author, Better Influence, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Yale School
of Management

key takeaway: Learn the six keys of influence (Moments of Truth, Social Proof,
Consistency, Anchoring, Reciprocity & Scarcity), why they work and how to
recognize them.
Plus, check out the VIP package upgrade to join these
experts for private lunches, breakfasts, Q&A sessions, and workshops!
ONLY TMRE can give
you that level of access. Download the complete TMRE agenda: http://bit.ly/2aaZk3S
Use code TMRE16LI for
an additional $100 off. Buy your tickets: http://bit.ly/2aaZk3S
The TMRE Team

Data Mining Power Tools

This post was
originally published on Ascribe’s

Like any other form of mining, data mining can be hard,
dirty work if you don’t have the right tools.
Many customer experience professionals resort to hours of
reading or excel manipulation to extract what they can out of their customers’
open-ended feedback.  It might be better than not using it, but it is like
using a rock hammer to dig for oil ‘ you may never get there.
To transform your feedback from unstructured to structured
for actionable insights, you need far more than a rock hammer.  There are
several kinds of ‘power tools’ you can use for data mining depending on your
comment volume, complexity, cost and maturity.  
Here are a few examples:
Data Mining
Technology Options

If you have large data sets and the need to derive meaning,
develop taxonomy or access a query tool, rules-based text analytics (NLP) may
be the right solution.  This technology uses lexicons or dictionaries
alongside series of deterministic rules to identify topics or sentiment, such
as positivity or negativity.
If your program is more about large-scale, repetitive tasks,
machine learning might be in order.  Machine Learning uses artificial
intelligence (AI) to learn how to categorize and interpret text automatically
from a sample of manually classified training examples, so once trained, it can
run as an automated process with minimal intervention.
If the highest degree of accuracy is required, you might do
well with semi-automated classification.  These methods organize the work
intelligently, and optimize human decision-making in classifying customer
comments by using powerful searches.
Selecting the Right
Set of Tools
Sometimes, you need more than one tool to finish the job
quickly and well.  Your needs may change over time, or your data may
become more or less complex.  Be sure to consider all the possibilities as
you select the technologies to use for your data mining and analysis efforts.

How can I blend sample sources without impacting my data?

By: Susan Frede, Vice
President of Research Methods and Best Practices, Lightspeed GMI

has consistently shown that all panels are not the same. Recruitment sources
and management practices vary, and this can cause differences among panels.
Beyond panels, there are other sources of online survey respondents, such as
river, dynamic, and social media sources ‘ and these can produce data that is
different from each other, as well as different from panels. Given the wide
variety of sample sources, and their benefits and drawbacks in cost and
quality, researchers
often struggle with the question, ‘How can I blend in other sources without
impacting my data’?
help our clients answer this question, Lightspeed GMI modeled the impact of
adding in a second source of online respondents. For this exercise we are
considering two sources ‘ Source A and Source B. The assumption is that Source
A is the primary source and there is a need to blend in Source B. There are
differences in the scores between the two sources for the concept measures. For
example, the purchase intent scores are higher for Source B:
the differences, adding in Source B has the potential to impact the scores.
However, it takes a large influx of Source B to impact results (see Chart 1 ‘
Impact on Purchase Intent Scores). The proportion of respondents saying they
definitely would buy goes from 7.8% to 8.6% when the sample blend is 50% Source
A and 50% Source B. The percentage saying they probably would buy goes from
16.6% to 19.0%. Neither change is statistically significant with a typical base
of 400 respondents and a 95% confidence level. 
way to look at the impact is to examine the number of differences on scores in
the blended sample compared to 100% of Source A (see Chart 2 ‘ Number of
Differences versus 100% Source A). By adjusting the proportion of sample coming
from each source, it is possible to identify the point at which concept scores
are impacted. Five key concept measures have been evaluated (purchase intent,
uniqueness, liking, relevancy, and likelihood to recommend). For example, when 75%
of the sample is from Source A and 25% from Source B, only one difference of
+/-2% is observed versus a 100% Source A sample. Even when the sample is
adjusted to a 55/45 blend all the differences are less than or equal to +/-3,
which in most cases is not statistically significant. 
data suggests that as long as additional sources account for 40% or less of the
total sample, data should not be impacted. 

However, Lightspeed GMI recommends a more conservative cap of
25-30%. Because there are several situations that may call for an even
more conservative blend, consider the following before making any changes:
  1. Tracker and wave studies ‘
    Trendability is key in tracker and wave studies. Rather than making one
    big change it is better to make a series of small changes (+/-10%) from
    week to week or wave to wave and monitor the impact. 
  2. Unproven panel and dynamic
    sources ‘ Until the quality of an unproven source is understood it is
    better to be conservative in the amount blended in.
  3. Low incidence studies ‘ We have
    seen a higher proportion of questionable behavior on low incidence
    studies, so it is important to be more conservative when making changes.

analysis also shows that we don’t have to maintain an exact source blend for
trackers (e.g., 50% Source X and 50% Source Y), which allows us to more
efficiently use sample. As long as we are within +/-5 to 10% for each source
(e.g., 40-60% Source X), data will not be impacted.

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Updated Agenda Just Released

It’s hard to believe that we’re less than 1 week away from The Media Insights & Engagement Conference,
where hundreds of research and insights executives from the media industry will
gather in (sunny!) Fort Lauderdale.

Behind the scenes we’ve been hard at work ensuring that The Media Insights
& Engagement Conference delivers on your most pressing business needs. From
helping you overcome your measurement challenges, to uncovering next generation
research methodologies and creating new engagement strategies, the 2016 program
covers it all. Download the updated
agenda: http://bit.ly/1PQpQgI

The Media Insights & Engagement
Conference 2016
February 1-3, 2016
The Ritz Carlton ‘ Fort Lauderdale Hotel
Fort Lauderdale, FL

New Program Additions:
Panel: TV Now / TV Next?  Adjusting to
Viewers’ Evolving Linear and OTT Preferences
Suzanne Sell, SVP Research, Starz
Justin Fromm, Director, Head of Ad Sales Research, Hulu
Daniel Marcu, Audience Insights & Trends Strategist
Moderated by: Robert Miner, President, Miner & Co Studio 
Keynote: Totaling Up Total Audience
Kelly Abcarian, SVP, Global Watch Product Architecture, Nielsen
Measurement Science: Unlocking Data’s Potential
Pat Pellegrini, Ph.D., General Manager and Chief Research Officer, Simmons
Unlocking the Power of the Middle
Tommy Cheng, VP of TV and Content Research, Ipsos Connect
Stephanie Yates, VP of Research & Insights, WE tv
Plus, Open Forum Q&A, Conversation and Idea
Sharing with speakers at the end of the track sessions   
We’re thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2nd Annual
Case Study Competition:
Finalist #1
Memory vs. Engagement: Tut Promo Research
Thomas Grayman, VP, Brand and Consumer Research,
Spike TV
Finalist #2
Rich Cornish, VP, Ad Sales Research, Viacom
Tasja Kirkwood, Director, Ad Sales Research, Viacom
Finalist #3
‘Visual fixation’ as Viewability: Why Ads Require Less than 1 Second to Process
Duane Varan, CEO, MediaScience
See who’s already
signed up to attend here: http://bit.ly/1Pr8WVg
Use code MEDIA16LI
for $100 off. Register here: http://bit.ly/1PQpQgI
We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale!
The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2016 Team


Join the Best in Media Research at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Next Month

The Media Insights &
Engagement Conference
is Less than ONE Month Away…And you still haven’t
confirmed your attendance. There’s no need to worry quite yet, there’s still
time to register.
Act fast because
space is limited! Register here: http://bit.ly/1KbriIs
The Media Insights & Engagement Conference is the
must-attend event for research and insights professionals in the media
industry, in fact, Jess Aguirre, SVP Research & Media Planning, Crown Media
Family Networks has said it’s “one of the most efficient ways to keep on
top of (or even ahead of) the rapid and unprecedented changes in the media
practices from: NBCU, GroupM, ESPN, AMC Networks, Rentrak, TiVo, comScore and

CREATE ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES by gaining a better understanding of WHO your
audience really is, and WHAT they’re really looking for. Join Neil Howe and
Marilyn Stephens for a deep dive into what really separates Millennials and
Boomers, and how you can unleash the potential of today’s rising generation.

DECIPHER THE FUTURE and discuss today’s top trending industry shifts with
leaders from BBC Worldwide, Comcast, iHeartMedia, Google and Horizon Media.
Topics will include new distribution channels, measurement, big data, unique
partnerships, programmatic and more.

See who’s already
signed up to attend here: http://bit.ly/1KbriIs
Save $100 when you
use code MEDIA1BL to register: http://bit.ly/1KbriIs

We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale!


The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2016 Team

Three Predictions for Marketing Research in 2016

By: David Shanker, CEO, Lightspeed GMI, The Americas
is an evolving industry; with opportunities for those that can
quickly adjust to the changes and discover creative means to do more with less.
Clients expect deeper, enriched results at an accelerated pace. I see three
trends in our industry in 2016:
like a start-up, act like a researcher: 
Automation is the newest ‘game
changer’ in our industry and will continue to be. But while automation will be
a catalyst for change, new models will need to be created to meet client
demand. Faster, better, cheaper hasn’t gone away ‘ as a matter of fact, it’s
been amplified by a business climate that demands more ‘ much more ‘ without
the sacrifice of quality. Companies that can think, act, and execute like a start-up
will prosper.
the survey design agenda: 
Many researchers continue to struggle with
survey length, and as innovators in the survey design space it is up to us to
lead the way’ we are the research Sherpas. Guiding clients to design shorter
and more creative surveys for a fast growing group of mobile respondents
demands thoughtful design and structure. We need to communicate with consumers
in the way they wish to be communicated with. Surveys that are not device
agnostic are no longer an option. And, we can now better leverage easily
accessible behavioral data to help with crafting shorter surveys.
our teams from insights to innovation:
 It’s all about the people –
and here I specifically mean employees. Companies with a culture of innovation
will thrive. Building and maintaining a workforce of highly engaged employees
is critical to our success, and something on which we will keenly focus in
2016. The quality of what we put to market, of the surveys we put in field ‘ is
all a testament to the hard work of our people. We would not be where we are
without them.
Every minute we are online, we create data. Real time
insights and predictive analytics build better strategies, better business
performances. And as researchers, we need to raise two key questions in the
year ahead. Are we doing things right? Are we doing the right things?
From mobile design to panelist engagement, new opportunities
will emerge in the coming year. Overall I would say that 2016 will be a
challenging, yet interesting year. Companies that can leave a client meeting
and return the next day with solutions will be the darling of the industry. We
are in for massive change.

About the Author: David
leads the Lightspeed business across the Americas region, unifying and focusing
systems and expertise to meet clients’ dynamic needs and consistently exceed
their expectations. A veteran of 20-plus years in sales, marketing,
operations and research, he has served in senior management roles in
established, start-up and turn-around business situations

This Week In Market Research: 12/07/15 – 12/11/15

We’ve all been there. We’ve liked a post on Facebook (say a Honda car commercial) and the next day had multiple ads for the same product show up on a completely unrelated page. So how are companies able to receive this data and then use it to better target the consumer? An article on Technologyreview.com this week explains how certain tech companies are turning consumer data into ‘actionable insights.’ ‘Today, big-data computer systems and software are increasingly being built on an innovative, collaborative open-source foundation. In fact, 170 technology companies, many of which compete with each other, have formed a consortium to provide some of the technologies needed to fuel big-data analytics. The new organization, the OpenPOWER Foundation, allows these companies to collaborate in an open ecosystem.’ So essentially, with OpenPOWER, companies such as IBM, NVID, and Mellanox can join forces and share data in a collaborative environment. The article also notes that we can expect to continue seeing businesses and hotels using our habits and analyzing them to better market to us. Read the article here
In a compelling article on Business Insider, interesting statistics on consumer behavior related to TV consumption is revealed. According to a report put out by Cox Consumer Insights, only 28% of consumers watch live television. In other words, the other 72% are streaming and or using services like on-demand or a DVR. ‘Cox attributes this to the ‘growing popularity of Hulu Plus,’ but also says that 53% of the time-shifted TV ‘ people watching content that isn’t live ‘ was from DVR and on-demand offerings.’ I found these statistics to be extremely interested, though not too surprising. The shift in media toward ‘on-the-go’ technologies that allow you to be mobile while enjoying your favorite shows is ubiquitous in our day and age. From Netflix to On-Demand, people everywhere have the ability to access TV shows from various locations; that is, not strictly tied to the living room. I find this to be a fascinating trend and an important one to watch as technology progresses. Find the whole article here.
Social media is all around us these days. For someone whose life and work it is to utilize these tools this is excellent news! So when I came across a Fast Company article that explains 5 of the top trends that will revolutionize the way companies interact with social media in the year of 2016, obviously I couldn’t resist writing about it. The first trend listed is the fact that social media is starting to ‘storm the workplace’and replacing out platforms such as outlook emails. ‘Slack has proven a game-changer. Its intuitive interface, built around themed chat rooms and searchable archives, has propelled it to more than 1.25 million active business users in just two years’ time, from the team at NASA to the team at your local coffee shop.’ The second trend is that now more than ever companies are turning to their own employees for more social media amplification. In this way, employees are encouraged to share updates about the business on their personal platforms. Number 3 is that companies are starting to research into the impact of social messaging. ‘All the major social platforms now have messaging components, and it’s only a matter of time before they figure out how to make that data available to businesses for marketing purposes.’ The fourth trend is perhaps my favorite because it really rings true. Approaching their last trend, the article lists social media advertising as the fourth tend. Here, they refer to the subtly of ads that essentially get mixed into your news feed rather than on the sides of your page. ‘Haven’t noticed the exponential increase in ads on your social media feeds? That probably means they’re working.’ Lastly, they list social video as being one of the most contagious trends. I definitely agree with this last point as my Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram feeds are being overrun with short video clips. As always, I highly recommend this article to those of you so inclined to read a little into the way social media is taking off in the workplace.

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: 11/30/15 – 12/4/15

According to a study put out by Texas A&M University, executives are more willing to take a significant pay cut working for a top firm rather than having a greater salary at a mid-range company. This week, Fast Company wrote a piece detailing 5 reasons why these individuals choose the top brands over higher pay. The first listed among the others, is that working for a top company boosts personal identity. In this sense, where you work becomes your self-identity and by working for a top company, your self-identity gets a boost. Secondly, an obvious point, is that working for a top company offers prestige. Clearly being able to claim you work for a company like Apple give an individual a bit more status. The third reason they argue, is that it sends signals about quality. ‘In addition to paying less, the study found that top brands also attracted CEOs of higher quality, based on their experience, board appointments, and other factors.’ The article ends by claiming that working for a top company can trump a long list of experience and affect your salary in the long run. What do you guys think? I’m inclined to agree with most the points made, although I do believe there is much to be said about gaining experience from various organizations and becoming well-rounded. 

An article posted on Fast Company this week details allegations against Google on the premise of illegal data collection on young students. The group filing the complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, goes by the name ‘The Electronic Frontier Foundation’ (EFF). According to EEF, ”Despite publicly promising not to, Google mines students’ browsing data and other information, and uses it for the company’s own purposes.” Additionally the group harshly criticized Google by stating that minors should not be treated as ‘guinea pigs.’ They continued their criticism in saying that ‘If Google wants to use students’ data to ‘improve google products,’ then it needs to get express consent from parents.” In response to the allegations, Google has stated that it ‘will disable the setting on school Chromebooks that allow Chrome Sync data to be shared in the near future.’ This is definitely an interesting case with respect to market research and what can cross the line ethically. As always, I encourage individuals to read the article here and comment on what you think.  
Did you know that females are still the largest buyers of pop music? According to an article on Forbes this week, women continue to make up the majority demographic for consumers of pop music. ‘What do Adele, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have in common? Most of the buyers of their albums are female, according to an article by Hannah Karp in the Wall Street Journal based on data from a number of market research firms.’ The article points out that, while this may come as no surprise, the ability to have an understanding on an artist’s fan base corresponds nicely with the ‘conventional industry wisdom.’ According to the article, a Nielsen study also found that the majority of Adele’s fan base are females between the ages of 25-44 years old with children. This was an interesting statistic to me because I would have assumed this number to include more of the demographic that we call ‘tweens.’ Regardless of the stats, I found this article extremely interesting in its explanation of how market research is being used within the music industry.

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