Tag Archives: Consumer research

This Week In Market Research: 11/9/15 – 11/13/15

In a very compelling article by The Herald this week, the topic of market research and how critical is it for businesses is discussed and analyzed. Similar to what we already know about market research, the article argues that the longevity of a business depends on its awareness of consumer taste buds, government policies, and what competitors in the market are up to. ‘Entrepreneurs should understand that knowledge about markets is essential for the survival and growth of their business. It enables one to improve the competitive nature of their business and to reduce risks.’ The article also defines market research as the process of collecting data in order to determine if a specific product or service will meet and exceed the customer’s needs. Along with many other things listed in the article, market research has the ability to identify market trends, economic shifts, and the buying habits of consumers. Obviously this is nothing new, however it’s very encouraging to see articles argue for the importance and relevance of market research and how it can significantly alter the outcome for a struggling business.



This week Forbes posted an article on their site discussing how legal cannabis, big data, and leaders in market research joined forces to start a buzz (no pun intended). According to the article, Giadha Aguirre DeCarcer, CEO of New Frontier Financial, observed how data was powering big financial decisions on whether or not to back private companies and wondered why there was no one in the legal cannabis industry. ‘The one-time investment banker and consultant began attending the sector’s budding event circuit, pitching a Bloomberg for cannabis data. Her Washington D.C.-based startup, New Frontier Financial, began to publish reports assessing regional opportunities, upcoming legislation and the impact of looming price changes. Lawmakers, cannabis entrepreneurs and, increasingly, mainstream investors started to buy in to DeCarcer’s data.’ According to the article, New Frontier is partnering with market research firm ArcView in order to create a market leading report for the industry that will make it easier for investors to confidently invest. ‘The partnership will allow each company to focus on its strengths without worrying about competing on the same data.’ The full article is a brilliant read if you get the chance, I highly recommend it. 





The Wall Street Journal released an article this week that discusses Diageo PLC’s new effort to increase their emphasis on consumer research in an effort to reverse their weak sales numbers. Diageo PLC, a British-based liquor company, has lost a significant market share in the U.S. due to the competition from brands like Smirnoff and Captain Morgan. Due to this recent slump, the company has decided to enlist Deirdre Mahlan, the company’s former chief financial officer, to be the head of its North American business. ‘The move to beef up its marketing efforts comes during a year of tumult in the company’s North American operations. In July, the company confirmed a probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into its distribution practices.’ According to the article, the SEC led an investigation into whether or not Diageo had shipped excess inventory in an effort to boost results. This marketing effort seems to have not come at a better time for the company. Hopefully market research and newer marketing tactics can bring this company out of the long slump it’s been in. 


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

New Frontier of Consumer Research

TMRE 2015 Session
New Frontier of
Consumer Research
Olga Diamandis, Senior Manger, Open Innovation, Mattell
Three key things are happening that are changing research:
Crowdsourcing, big data, and artificial intelligence.  We will mine these dimensions, but first
let’s take a brief look at the history of marketing research.
The field was born in the 1930s with the Likert Scale. This scale becomes
the primary tool to measure consumer attitude. Then, the internet drastically
changed things in the 1990s. Once web sites became dynamic and data was easy to
handle crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing
enabled researchers to crowdsource around the globe. Everything from toys, car
design, to a country’s constitution have been crowdsourced.
For Mattell crowdsourcing became a tool for creating new
characters in their Little People line, reducing the time spent in Market
Research.
Big Data creates
new opportunities. From behavioral data to predictive analytics, Big Data
shortens the time to generate insights. Every human leaves a digital trail that
can be cross-analyzed. In the Connected Era the amount of data will spike even
higher.
What Big Data means for advertising is hyper targeting,
creating meaning and relevance for consumers.
Artificial
Intelligence
allows us to track everything without consumer reported data,
decreasing consumer biases. AI, in this realm, includes peer reviews (such as
reviews on Amazon.com) and consumer ratings.
AI also helps us understand ourselves better. What movies we
like. We words we use most often. In time, Siri will take a more proactive
role, recommending places to eat and things to do based on our user patterns.
I know I can go online and find an answer to a question
simply now. Then, I’m thinking that machines can handle the search and the
critical thinking. Revolutionary. I get excited and overwhelmed, but so
excited. The future is limitless, but we have to be adaptive to take advantage
of this emerging mode of the market.
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.

This Week In Market Research: 10/19/15 – 10/23/15

This week I came across a very interesting article on Buzzfeed that discussed the gender gap in people who own and or buy drones. The article discusses the issue from a marketing standpoint on how the drone market, which is generating more than $5 billion in revenue, can reach the female audience. The author explains how, upon doing research on women and girls with drones, ”only 3 included images of women and girls engaging with drones, compared to 18 for men and boys. On Shutterstock, I found 4 girls, 28 boys, 12 women, and over 100 men. (The search terms I used were ‘drone,’ ‘drone man,’ ‘drone woman,’ ‘drone girl,’ and ‘drone boy.’ The numbers are taken from looking through the images ‘ discounting unrelated pictures and aerial shots.)’ The article also points out that some attempts have been made to appeal to the female market, although they can be seen as a step in the wrong direction. Some drone booths, in their attempt to reach women, have women dress in revealing clothing to hand out T-shirts that say ‘Chicks dig drone pilots.’ However there are the few marketers that feature, in my opinion, more appropriate tactics such as strong women doing what they love and being featured on drone technology. Upon reading the article, however, I’m still not convinced that the majority of these tactics are moving the female image in the right direction. What do you think?
It’s that time of year again, folks! The infamous Black Friday is approaching us and everyone is stampeding toward’their phones? That’s right. In an article posted on Adage this week, Google is claiming that more consumers are actually using their smartphones to complete Black Friday purchases. ‘More consumers are shelving the traditional, daylong Black Friday shopping experience for short, burst-like purchases made with their smartphones that are spread out over a period of time, or what Google is calling ‘micro-moments.” According to Google’s blog, ‘shopping moments’ will replace the idea of a ‘shopping marathon’ where people spend the night outside of a Best Buy just to cram into the store and buy the latest gadgets for half price. The article presents compelling evidence and numerous studies that show consumers, more and more, are purchasing holiday items from their mobile devices. This comes as great news to someone like myself, who can’t stand waiting in lines and being in a crowded department store. It will be interesting to see the numbers from this upcoming Black Friday as compared to last year to really see the decline as well.
Last week many Advertisers and Marketers ascended upon the Orlando World Center Marriott to attend the Association of national Advertisers’ Masters of Marketing Conference. However, in an Adage article posted this week, many attendees did not find answers to some of their major questions. Questions such as, ‘how does our company get around ad blockers’? received very few, if any, remarks. ‘In Orlando, Mr. Liodice (The group’s CEO) moved quickly off ad blocking, as well as brief mentions of ad fraud, ad viewability problems and a “degenerative and destructive” proposal in Congress to reduce the tax deduction for ad spending. ‘With as many challenges as our industry has,’ he said, ‘we have a growing abundance of opportunities.” Answers such as this one were not received well with companies hoping for a strong and absolute response. However, the article also suggests that perhaps the answer to this direct question lies within General Electric CMO Linda Boff’s suggestion that the answer is as ‘simple as creativity.’ ”Ad blocking, viewability, none of it matters without great work.”

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

Four Need-to-Knows About the Millennial Mindset from Target

Podcast delves into research
shifts, loyalty, mobile and more at the bullseye brand!

By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor,
IIR

The Millennial consumer has four
core needs/expectations. Fail to meet every one and you risk losing him/her.
That’s according to Michael Abata,
multicultural marketing manager and consumer futurist at Target Corp.

Michael Abata
‘Loyalty
is defined much differently by consumers today.’
‘Loyalty is defined much differently by consumers today,’ Abata told the Research Insighter.
‘They might be loyal to you for a few months,
but then something better might come along that appeals to one of those four core
needs and they could quickly move on,’ he added.
Abata also shared some thoughts, tips and
observations that researchers should consider, notably around mobile…
‘I
often feel like the client isn’t holding research companies accountable to
ensure that whatever we’re putting out is actually mobile-friendly.’
‘I often feel like the client isn’t holding research
companies accountable to ensure that whatever we’re putting out’especially in
quantitative research’is actually mobile-friendly and that it looks good and
works well on a mobile phone,’ he remarked.
In this wide-ranging interview for the
Research Insighter podcast series, Abata takes us inside research at the bullseye
brand, covering:
‘ Four need-to-knows
about the Millennial mindset

‘ Why ‘friendship
groups’ trump focus groups

‘ Target’s shift
from proprietary communities to commercial platforms

‘ New rules for
engaging Millennial respondents in research…and much more!
Listen to the
podcast here!

Download the
transcript here!

Editor’s note: Michael Abata
will be speaking at TMRE 2015′The Market Research Event‘now in its 13th
year as the largest, most comprehensive research conference in the world taking
place November 2-4 in Orlando.
For information or to register, please visit TheMarketResearchEvent.com.

(Ps.
SAVE $100 when you register with code TMRE15BL!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Technology Takes Toll on Consumer Psyche

By Marc Dresner, IIR
Last week at my nephew’s Little League game I saw two
pedestrians nearly collide in the adjacent park.
Neither of them was watching where they were going because
they were engrossed in their mobiles. (One of them was pushing a stroller. Not
relevant. I just found it amusing.)
The incident reminded me of an anecdote consumer
psychologist and author Kit Yarrow shared at a speech I attended awhile back:
She compared browsing the Farmer’s Market to riding the bumper cars at an
amusement park.
Comical, irritating, a bit sad, perhaps, nonetheless our fixation
with our devices seems harmless enough.
Kit Yarrow
But Yarrow, a Golden Gate University professor and author of
Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How We Shop and Buy,’ thinks otherwise.
Yarrow says the increasing mediation of rapidly advancing technology
in our lives is having a deep and profound psychological impact on people.
It’s not about what we’re doing with technology, she notes,
but what technology is doing to us.
People today think
differently
‘People today think
differently,’ Yarrow said.
Specifically, our attention spans are shorter, we’re less
focused but we’re more adept multitaskers, and we require an increasingly
higher level of novelty and stimulation.
Our brains, Yarrow said, are also being programmed to perceive
better visually and to prefer ‘visual snippets.’
This explains why photo links receive 85% more clicks than
text and why Pinterest ‘pins’ are 100 times more viral than tweets, she noted.
What’s more, Yarrow says our increasing penchant for visuals
lends itself to heuristics we use to make decisions.
Accordingly, images, symbols, and even colors have
unprecedented communication potency. For example, waitresses wearing red
receive 16-24% higher tips from men.
Technology has also made us more autonomous, but left us
feeling more isolated.
We’re more ‘connected’ than ever, we
don’t ‘connect’
Yarrow points out that although we’re more ‘connected’ than
ever, we don’t ‘connect’ with people they way we did in the past.

We may have more ‘friends’ thanks to social media, but the
nature and quality of our relationships and interactions with people, by and
large, have suffered as a result of technological mediation.
For example, more and more of our communication occurs digitally
and not face-to-face today. The former, a pretty recent development, is
displacing the preferred mode of human communication for thousands of years!
We don’t even use our phones to talk as much anymore; we
use them to text one another.
Consider the implications when as much as 93% of face-to-face
communication may be non-verbal (body language and vocal intonation).
What is being lost and how is it affecting us?
‘We are responding to shifts with our limbic brain
that we don’t understand.’
‘We are responding to shifts with our limbic brain that we
don’t understand,’ Yarrow said.
Something as seemingly insignificant as a dearth of eye contact
engenders feelings of rejection and invisibility, which Yarrow says has among
other things contributed to a rise in disrespectful, rude and rancorous
behavior.
So, the fact that our heads are always glued to our devices isn’t
just causing us to occasionally bump into one another; it’s actually affecting how
we are socialized.
‘We’ve had the same
basic human needs since caveman days’the need to belong to a community for
safety, security and procreation, the need to love and be loved, the need to
have a purpose in life, etc.,’ Yarrow explained.
‘But as the world has changed, the ways we go about getting
those needs satisfied has also changed. Our brains are malleable. Our
psychology adjusts,’ she said.
‘Our brains are malleable. Our psychology adjusts.’
Due to a variety of factors’uncertainty, the pace of change,
lack of a sense of ‘tribal security,’ etc.’Yarrow says our collective anxiety
as a society is up.
‘We’re in a near state of fight-or-flight. We act like a
bear is chasing us,’ she said.
And trust has been declining precipitously with each
generation. Yarrow noted Gen Y is particularly wary and guarded.
The net of these intertwined shifts, according to Yarrow:
- We have powerful new cravings
for human connection.
- We acquire perceptions, process
information and make decisions in new ways.
- Trust disappointments color
everything.

There are, of course, marketing implications here, but I’ve got research on the brain.

I cannot help
but wonder how what we’ll see and hear at The Market Research Event next week ‘techniques, innovations,
insights’will exploit and/or address these trends.

Looking forward to seeing you in Boca Raton!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

What Samsung Looks for in Research Agencies

Insights Chief Says Innovation and Communication Key for Preferred Vendors

By Marc Dresner, IIR
For consumer researchers at most corporations, cultivating
rich partnerships with research agencies has become absolutely imperative.
Transactional relationships won’t do. We hear over and over
again that companies want a partner who understands their industry and their
unique business needs, and who can function as an extension of the research
organization.
Tim Benner

This is certainly true for Tim Benner, Director of Consumer
Insights and Analytics
, and his team at Samsung Telecommunications America.

‘Mobile technology and the market move very quickly. Having preferred vendors
allows us to execute research with the speed we need,’ said Benner.
But with so much change taking place both in the mobile industry and in research, generally, Benner says partners need to keep very current methodologically, because searching out new research capabilities can be burdensome. 
He also needs his agency partners to be proficient influencers. 
This is a point I hear all the time from the client side: Methodological expertise is not enough; be able to tell and sell a research story. 
In this episode of The Research Insighter podcast interview series,
Benner discusses what he looks for in a research agency partner, including:

-          Specialization

-         
Innovation


-         
Communication savvy


Listen to the podcast…


Editor’s note: Tim Benner will be speaking on the ‘Intersection of Big Data and Little Data’ at The Market Research Event 2014
October 20-22 in Boca Raton, Florida.
For more
information or to register, please visit www.themarketresearchevent.com




ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER 
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Big Privacy: It’s Coming

By Marc Dresner, IIR

My blog last week focused on data brokers and the looming threat of a Big Privacy backlash
in response to Big Data collection run amuck.

I want to
stick with Big Privacy this week, because I believe strongly that the
consequences of inaction for those in the consumer insights field could be more
serious than most of us realize.

For starters,
high-profile gaffes by Facebook, Apple (I’m referring to “Locationgate” not the naked photo scandal) and the like have done much to educate
the public on the data-for-service arrangements those of us who didn’t read the Privacy Policy unknowingly entered
into with such companies.

I think most people have since resigned themselves to this trade-off. 

Maybe that’s
because many of us did a rough cost-benefit analysis and, if not ideal, we found the
model acceptable, harmless, reasonable’ 

The absence of any evidence suggesting widespread public outrage has to do with the fact that
people don’t think they have any choice

But I suspect that more likely than not, the relative absence of any evidence that suggests widespread public outrage has to do with the fact that people don’t think they have any choice in the
matter.

A friend I recently mentioned
this to dismissed the idea, noting that Facebook isn’t forcing anyone
to use its network.

That’s true. And it’s pretty much irrelevant to a realistic discussion about privacy, because what matters here is the perception of transparency and ethical conduct.

No one is being forced to Google anything, either. But that didn’t
prevent the European Union Court of Justice from ruling in May that Google must amend search results upon request’a precedent-setting decision that asserts
the rights of the individual to control his/her personal data.

Indeed, it’s this notion of control (and informed consent) that we need to start considering when we talk about privacy.
People
are waking up to the fact that information about them is being collected and
used for purposes that they aren’t aware of and might not consent to if they
were

People are just
now starting to wake up to the fact that information about them is being
collected by unknown others and used for purposes that they aren’t aware of and
might not consent to if they were.

Most of the general
public, I think, knows that privately held data’credit reports, purchase
histories, loyalty data’about them exist and are shared between companies, but
I’d wager few people understand the extent of this sharing or what policies or
rules govern such activity.

Josh Klein, author of ‘Reputation Economics: Why Who You Know Is Worth More Than What You Have,’ points out that most people would probably be surprised to learn that Acxiom and LexisNexis have been aggregating purchase history to develop health profiles, which they sell to hospitals who then
use the information to advertise targeted medical services.


“Tell people this sort of
thing and it’s no leap for them to imagine that information going to their
insurance adjustors,” Klein said in a presentation he delivered at TMRE’s sister event, Shopper Insights in Action, this past July.

People would probably be even more shocked to know what can be amassed about them in the public domain’tax
records, voting records, ethnicity, religion, who your neighbors are, if you’re
married, do you take care of your parents, do you have children, etc.

This information isn’t
just available to Big Brother; it’s available to, well, me if I want it.

Klein pointed out that Spokeo combs publicly available sources, aggregates the data and basically provides
a docier on individuals to subscribers for about $3 per month.

Now, you can opt out of a Spokeo listing, but you cannot close the spigot of publicly available data about you. That alarms some people. 

Surveillance
is a loaded word, but that’s what is happening when we go online, isn’t it? 

Surveillance
is a loaded word, but that’s what is happening when we go online, isn’t it? And
on such a massive scale that Orwellian is almost an understatement.

Klein notes that Google only needs 22
points of data to figure out who you are wherever you log on. (Whether you hit the logo to go back to the home page or hit the
home button is one such data point.)

And then there’s mobile’where you go, what you do on your phone’it’s all being collected. 


People may have signed on, but they are not on board.

So, again, why haven’t we
seen a bigger backlash?
Maybe it’s a matter of ignorance or denial. Maybe people think it’s futile. Maybe we’re just lazy.
Whatever the
case, it is a curious thing and I’m not the only one who believes the situation is unsustainable.

Coming Next: Data Custodianship, Privacy By Design and a Huge Opportunity for Consumer Researchers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Sponsor Spotlight: Consumer Insights Group

Today, we’ll continue looking at the companies who are participating in The Market Research Event. Consumer Insights Group is today’s featured sponsor.

Consumer Insights Group is a full-service market research firm excelling in innovative, custom methods to provide immediately actionable results. We have helped clients in a wide range of industries optimize their products, understand their current and potential consumers, and innovate intelligently. With our unrivaled consumer research experience and cutting edge methods and tools, we can develop a qualitative, quantitative, or hybrid methodology to meet all of your business needs. From web analytics to usability to surveys, brand research, focus groups, and more, we can put it all together to answer the big picture questions that your business needs answered.

Hear more from Consumer Insights Group and other leaders in market research at The Market Research Event this October 18-21 in Las Vegas!