The terrorist attacks in Paris seen late last week have shocked the world and completely rocked the situation in Paris. The fear of terrorism has never been higher and analysts are now saying that this environment of fear could have a high impact not only on policy, but also on the global economy. According to an article put out by Fox Business this week, the biggest economic impact from these devastating attacks will be on how much people spend on travel and tourism. ‘France’s tourism industry is likely to take the biggest immediate punch from Friday’s gruesome events. According to 2014 data from the International Monetary Fund, France is the world’s sixth-largest economy ‘ the second-biggest in the eurozone, and figures from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau show the tourism industry makes up nearly 7.4% of the country’s gross domestic product.’ The article also argues that the Paris tourism industry will not be the only area economically affected. Analysts say that given data of past attacks and consumer behavior in the aftermath, people will be less likely to spend money on going to restaurants, cafes, and or concerts (all three of which were targets during the November 13th attacks.) ‘Recent data show overall consumer confidence in the nation fell from an eight-year high in October as consumers were less sure of their ability to add to their savings or make large purchases. In the wake of such abhorrent attacks, it is clear that on top of the emotional stress and trauma France will face, economic stress will also follow.
In an extremely compelling article on Harvard Business Review this week, the idea of combining thick data with big data is discussed. Now many people may wonder, ‘What is think data’? According to the article, thick data is the data that is generated by anthropologists and individuals trained in observing human behavior and what motivated people. Recently the large majority of businesses either specialize in one or the other. ‘To date, thick data and big data have been promoted and employed by very different people. Thick data has been handled by companies grounded in the social sciences. Big data has been promoted by people with analytics degrees, often sitting in corporate IT functions.’ As the article depicts, little dialogue has gone on between the two. The argument being made is that combining these two approaches can complete a full picture and real solution for some of the strategic problems that CMO’s face. ‘Thick data’s strength comes from its ability to establish hypotheses about why people behave as they do’Big Data has the advantage of being largely unassailable because it is generated by the entire customer population rather than a smaller sample size.’ The article discusses a case study of a European supermarket chain and the tactics their CMO used. The conclusion of the study is that more CMO’s need to ‘familiarize themselves with the strengths and weaknesses of the two data types. I highly recommend this article to anyone in the field of market research, as it illustrates the importance of both types of data.
An article on Fast Company this week discusses the development and design of Samsung’s Gear VR as it was largely spurred on by consumer insights. According to the VP of Immersive Products and Virtual Reality, Nick DiCarlo, ”Consumer and developer feedback is critical and all of the tweaks we’ve made to the device have been as a result of what we hear from the community. We are committed to continuously improving and bringing this amazing new technology to millions, and that takes a careful ear to listen and learn from the passionate VR community and developers we work with every day.” Many consumers had comments from the previous version that centered around the touchpad which is located on the right side of the headset. In its newest version, Samsung changed the touchpad from being flat and squarish, to a cross-shaped groove that is more conducive to swiping up and down. This article is great example of how consumer insights and market research can impact the design of a product and its evolution thereafter.
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