Tag Archives: Fast Company

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

This Week In Market Research: 11/16/15 – 11/20/15

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

This Week In Market Research: 11/2/15 – 11/6/15

This week Fast Company released a fascinating article that discusses how ‘the cloud hospital’ is using big data in order to tackle mysterious medical conditions. ‘You probably haven’t heard of a disease called arterial calcification due to deficiency of the CD73 enzyme, which causes painful calcium buildup in the joints and blood vessels. Discovered in 2011 through the Undiagnosed Disease Program (UDP) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, only a handful of individuals are believed to suffer from the disease, which is also known as ACDC. For people with obscure conditions, sometimes called mystery diseases, UDP has been a last resort that combines weeklong medical examinations, genetic sequencing, and data analysis in an effort to finally find a diagnosis and treatment for patients who are at wit’s end.’ This federal program essentially links databases at six private institutions and allows ‘would-be patients’ to apply for admission online rather than shipping a paper record. ”This allows all of the sites to really work together to diagnose the patients,’ says Anastasia Wise, an epidemiologist and co-coordinator of the UDN.” According to the article, 100 people have applied to UDN online within its first month. I highly recommend reading this article to anyone interested in seeing just how big data can be utilized to diagnose mystery diseases.

According to an article on medgaget.com, the MarketResearchReport.biz recently announced a new addition of a research report. The report is titled ‘Global Food/Pharmaceutical Peony Industry 2015 Market Research Report’ and examines various types of Pharmaceutical in the global market. ‘The report provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The Food/Pharmaceutical Peony market analysis is provided for the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status.’ The article also states that this specific report focuses on major leading industry players by providing info such as company profiles, production, price, and cost. On top of this, the report includes the feasibility of new investment projects and research conclusions. You can download a sample of this report on Medgadget.com here

With a lot of chatter recently about the gender pay gap in the U.S., Fast Company wrote an interesting piece that details how much the actual gap is in each industry. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, there is no field in which women earn equal to or more than men. ‘A new study on the gender pay gap using salary data from more than 1.4 million full-time employees from PayScale, an online crowdsourced salary database, reveals that men aren’t just outearning women in male-dominated fields, they make more money in every industry. According to the PayScale data, ‘There is no industry where women earn equal to or more than men overall, even when controlling for all measured compensable factors.” With a whopping 9.4% gap, farming, fishing, and forestry leads the top of the list amongst other professions such as production, protective services, and computer and mathematics. The article also points out that higher education doesn’t necessarily alleviate the difference. PhD degrees appear to have the highest controlled pay gap with 5.15%. Definitely some interesting data that puts each industry into perspective. 

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: 10/26/15 – 10/30/15

Networking. Yes, I know it’s a word that can often elicit a nervous response from those on the receiving end. ‘What should I wear? Who do I talk to? How do I tell them what I do? Wait’. What DO I do’? Ah, indeed this word can even get you questioning just what it is you do. But it doesn’t have to be this difficult does it? According to an article on Fast Company this week, there are four things you should keep in mind when networking that will shake those nerves. 1. Pay attention to body language. ‘Glance down at their feet to see if they are still facing towards you. If they’re not, she says, it’s a sure sign they want to move on.’ 2. Keep track of timing. Start practicing what a 30-60 second exchange should feel like. Too often, once we get going, we don’t realize how long we’ve been speaking. 3 and 4 remind you to focus on the person that you’re talking to rather than you and also be ready with some interesting stories. If you think about it, a good story is enough to keep someone engaged long enough to actually get to know a little bit more about you and your personality. I highly recommend reading the full article to learn more about the ways you can improve your networking. 

According to an article released on Ars Technica this week, Apple Pay adoption growth has slowed in recent months. The data, released from a market research company called Phoenix Marketing International, is based off of a survey sent out to people who identified as financial decision makers. ‘In February, four months after Apple Pay launched, 11 percent of respondents said they had signed up for Apple Pay. But by September, the number of respondents who had signed up for Apple Pay had only increased to 14 percent.’ The article does note that the decline in some of these numbers could potentially be attributed to the fact that Apple Pay only works on iPhone 6 or later models. This research also tells us that a slight majority of people using Apple Pay are between the ages of 33 and 48 while 42% are between the ages of 18 and 32-years-old. This article is a fascinating read because it explores a lot of the possible explanations for the decline in growth with Apple Pay. If you are interested in reading the full article click here
This week, Forbes wrote an article that discusses DX Marketing firm’s decision to move their database to the cloud in order to receive faster consumer insights. Along with this move, the firm was able to avoid the expense of hiring a new IT staff and buying new infrastructure. ”By reducing the project’s IT budget, we could actually hire some really top-grade analytics talent,’ DX Marketing President Ray Owens says. ‘So we went out and hired our own data scientist.’ The 14-year-old company does marketing creative work, prints and distributes direct marketing material, and crafts marketing strategies for clients, such as when to use digital, search, or radio advertising channels.’ By taking advantage of the cloud the firm is now able to get faster speed to the market and gain higher quality marketing insights. A lot of talk has gone around about the cloud and how it can work multilaterally, but this is just one added benefit to the marketing industry in gaining better consumer insights.
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: 10/12/15 – 10/16/15

We’ve all been there. Staring at the clock in shock and wondering how it’s already 3:00pm in the afternoon when the rest of the day you’re in meetings. This week Fast Company wrote an interesting piece on Google’s Head of Marketing, Loraine Twohill, and how she handles taking on 20 meetings a day. In Loraine’s advice, you need a ‘Go-To Motivator.’ ”I get out of the building and go for a walk and look at the trees. Time to think is the scarcest resource in life. I use my drive to and from work to think, but it’s never quite enough. For me, going for a walk and being in fresh air is almost a form of meditation.” Twohill also suggests that rather than just using email as a way to communicate, coworkers should interact through talking face-to-face. Along with this point, Twohill suggests that it is important to start the day off by prioritizing tasks. In Twohill’s opinion, ”you get older and wiser and realize you can’t do it all. You can’t even begin to do it all. You have to be realistic.’” One of her last and final points, is that it is important for an employee to have a decompression method. Whether it’s attending a class at SoulCylce or walking through a park, everyone needs to have something to wind them down and get them ready for a productive next day. The full list of tips is worth checking out if you’re like everyone else and struggle with managing meetings and workload.
This week, Fast Company wrote an article describing the process that the brand of Filson has been undergoing in order to tell their story. ‘Since 1897, the company has been outfitting the more rugged types of the Pacific Northwest, starting with gold miners, then forestry workers, and on to outdoorsmen of all stripes, including hunters, fishers, sports shooters and travelers. Over the last decade, the brand’s territory has expanded to just about anywhere a guy can grow a beard” Until recently, the Filson brand has gotten by utilizing very little marketing and rather relying more on word of mouth. Now, the company has hired Alex Carleton (Rogues Gallery, LL Bean Signature) as their new Creative Director along with Gray Madden (associated with Burberry Watches) being their new president. ‘The plan is to use the legacy of the brand’s long, storied history to chart its future.’ The full article then goes into what key components will be used to make this campaign reach its full potential. I highly recommend looking over this article, if not to look into a unique brand design strategy, then to glean how this brand has reached such a wide consumer base without much marketing in the past.
MarketWatch released an article this week that identifies The Hershey Company as it expands and continues leadership in convenience for consumers and highlights Hershey’s efforts to identify consumer trends. ‘Hershey’s ability to synthesize numerous data sources to give the company a full picture of important trends for its brands, category and the full retail environment, has made it a trusted category advisor. These insights enable Hershey to plan the most effective floor sets and product mix to help C-stores increase their sales velocity.’ This year, Hershey will showcase its ‘market-leading’ products at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show. The company is expected to share its major priorities and reveal how consumer insights help to enable the company as a whole to have the most effective products. According to the article, ‘Hershey’s insights-driven performance has allowed the company to build its core business to include a broader range of delicious snacks that are incremental to our core growth.’ It’s very refreshing to read about companies like Hershey’s who put their consumer insights at the forefront of their marketing and business strategy. After all, consumer insights holds the key to the growth of any business.

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: 10/5/15 – 10/9/15

Did you know that Americans only spend 10 percent of their time outside? That translates to roughly two and a half hours a day where we are breathing in fresh air. Now I don’t know how you feel about that statistic, but it makes me want to get up from this computer right now and step outside for some fresh air. According to a Fast Company article it would seem that I’m not the only one concerned about the effects being indoors 90% of the time has on us. This week, Fast Company wrote a piece on a new study that Mayo Clinic and, a real estate company by the name of, Delos conducted. ‘The Mayo Clinic and Delos, a real estate company with an emphasis on wellness, have partnered to launch the most ambitious study yet of how life indoors influences the human body and brain.’ According to the article Mayo Clinic and Delos have set up what they call the ‘Well-Living Lab’ which is located in Rochester, Minnesota. The space is designed to measure every aspect of the indoors and track how each part affects the human body. The Mayo Clinic will then be reaching out to Rochester residents who might be willing to earn some money by spending several days living in the labs as if it were their own place. The lab is set to be running studies in early 2016 so keep your eye out for any results, this should be very interesting!
In previous posts I’ve written about the pros and cons to working remotely and how to continue carrying business relationships while being a freelancer. Today, I’m writing about how to find the perfect location for working remotely. According to an article released this week by Fast Company, there are a few ways to discover the perfect work environment if you work remotely. The author states that you must first think of your ‘must-haves.’ In other words, think about the things that you HAVE to have in your work environment in order to be productive. For someone who can’t tune out outside conversations, this could mean needing a space that is near-silent. The author also points out that it is important to ‘think outside the coffee shop.’ This one was my personal favorites because all too often people who work remotely just resort to a coffee shop. Coffee shops are by no means ‘bad places’ to do remote work in, however it is important consider all of your options and mix it up a little. ‘Experiment with different places to see where you work best. Consider trying places that don’t meet all your criteria” The full article lists many intriguing points and cites various research done on remote work. Next time I work remotely I may just skip the coffee shop and try and outdoor mall.
This week Customer Think wrote a piece discussing the various advantages to utilizing market research and how, as a small business owner, developing a budget for this can be difficult. However, the article provides a list of 5 free online tools that every business owner can utilize. The first of these tools is The American Fact Finder which can help aid companies in collecting U.S. Demographics Research. It is mentioned that this site can be particularly helpful in the exploratory phases of market research. The second tool is called Freelunch.com also known as economy.com. This site offers economic data that can help you build more of a numbers picture in your market. For your macro data platform, Customer Think suggests using the Statista Statistics Portal because it ‘not only’collects a ton of worldwide data but also aggregates it into a single platform for users to parse through.’ Also among the free tools is Survey Monkey and Free Sample Market Research Report, both which help to collect data on the market and competing markets. I highly recommend reading this article in its entirety and learning about each of these free tools, as they all seem extremely beneficial for any small company struggling to put a budget together for market research.

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: 9/28/15 – 10/2/15

Everyone talks about market research and the unique ways we can utilize the findings from it, but how exactly do we conduct market research? Business.com this week released an article that details 13 different tools that help in conducting market research. The first listed, is the Google Keyword Planner which is essentially a free AdWords tool that can give you metrics and point you to where your demand is. Another easy tool they mention, one that I particularly love using, is SurveyMonkey. This neat little tool can help you conduct effective consumer insight surveys while also helping you customize these surveys to fit your intended audience. Finally, the last tool this article lists is social media. I, for one, strongly believe in the power of social media and its direct impact on gleaning new insights and trends. ‘Social media is a powerful tool for market research, if used properly. One approach is to contact influencers through direct messages and simply request feedback on your product or services.’ Check out the full article for wonderful tips on how to effectively utilize free resources to boost market research.
An article released earlier this week on Entrepreneur discusses the importance of reaching the group of individuals known at Generation Z. According to the article, a new research firm by the name of Wildness, is on a mission to help marketers better understand this generation and reach them in new ways. The Wildness company was actually born out of AwesomenessTV which is a media company owned by DreamWorks Animation and the Hearst Corporation. The AwesomenessTV co-founder and CEO, Brian Robbins, stated that ”[Generation Z] may have just gotten the keys to the car’but soon they’re going to have the keys to the economy. In a few years, these consumers will contribute $44 billion annually.” On top of working with other organizations to help them ‘activate Generation Z,’ Wildness has conducted a study nationwide with 3,000 respondents that aims to shed some light on the different Generation Z practices and preferences. The article claims that this study revealed that most young people within Generation Z see themselves at cultural collaborators who ‘are seeking brands, retailers, and celebrities with who they can co-create’ with. The entirety of the article is a solid read and I highly encourage those who are interested in market research to read it in full. After all there may be some things you did not know about Generation Z.

This week Fast Company released an article that highlights new animated heat maps that correspond with the noise levels in each neighborhood. The real estate site Trulia designed a new heat map of noise in neighborhoods by simply using the crime data on noise complaints. ‘Trulia pulled five years’ worth of noise complaints and mapped out the noisiest areas of Seattle, New York and San Francisco. It then used the software CartoDB to create GIF heat maps that show the changes by year.’ The article also mentions how noisy areas can also pose a health risk and lead to cardiovascular diseases and stress. Obviously this method of tracking noise levels in neighborhoods a not a perfect method, however, it is an interesting approach and gives us insight on the varying neighborhoods of large cities and possibly how that impacts the specific population. To view all of the maps in full you can visit Trulia’s blog here

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: 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

Disruptive Technology and Social Media CRM

Lately we’ve been looking at the different ways that new technologies can change or improve customer experiences. From customer-centric mobile apps to complaints on social media channels, it’s clear that a company needs a digital strategy to survive.

It was with that in mind that I was pleased to read this recent interview in Fast Company on “Why Technology Is The Special Sauce In Growth Planning.” In the interview, guest blogger Lisa Nirell interviewed Erik van Ommeren of VINT (Vision Inspiration Navigation and Trends) on the ways that “technology is becoming increasingly pervasive in B2B buyer-seller relationships and strategic marketing endeavors.”

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the interview?

“Customers are seizing the opportunities to share their opinions and preferences, bringing more transparency in every market. For organizations, this means that they will have an even stronger motive to create honest and relevant interactions with their customers. Even if technology doesn’t change your company directly, the technology will change your customers’ behaviors. Through their changed demands, they will change your company.”

Honest and relevant interactions are happening as the result of new technologies. Customers are ready to share their experiences and opinions on digital media, and it is now the job of brands to catch up. Social Media and the rise of Social CRM as a practice makes this abundantly clear. Where traditionally CRM was all about using data to better target various customers, Social CRM allows brands to collaborate with customers to discover and solve problems and build meaningful relationships. As Erik says in the interview “It’s about people.”

Read the whole post on Fast Company here.

Looking to learn more about Social CRM? Join us at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit this October in Phoenix, AZ. At our Social CRM Symposium Day you will learn how to better manage your customer experience by linking social media research to financial value. Register for the conference here.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com.