Tag Archives: Forbes

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: 11/9/15 – 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

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

The Total CX Leaders 2015 Full Program Released & a $700 Savings

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Customers1stblog.iirusa.com

This Week In Market Research: 11/17/14 – 11/21/14

Investing in e-commerce? The importance of b2b mobile

Big Data: It’s Not What CMOs Know, It’s What They Do, via Forbes

Big Data: Who cares? The answer to business problems is not solved by a definition

5 Tips For Building A Great Data Science Team

No News Is Bad News for Your Data Science Team: Usually a sign that something is wrong and they be stressed out

E-Tailers Use Analytics to Read Your Mind: Can the amount of data they use allow them to offer better services with analytics

‘Tis The Season for UX: 3 Ways to Turn Holiday Shoppers Into Year-Round Customers

Has Artificial Intelligence Outsmarted Our Emotions? Emotional attachments to tech

Can Big Data Help Feed 9 Billion People? The population will swell to 9 Billion by 2050 and were going to need more food

Digital Branding, Are your Analytics Ready? Transitioning for new online advertising methods

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

This Week in Market Research: 10/13/14 – 10/17/14

3 Ways to Use Crowdfunding for Market Research

The Big Players in Big Data: An Infographic via SmartData Collective

The Feds Ignore Market Research: Agencies issue too many contract without doing basic research

Can Big Data Stop the Spread of Ebola? How mobile mapping can help

The Cloud Business Case: Insights on how to grow and Save via Forbes

Duality of Big Data: The helpful and harmful aspects

3 Tips to Create a Multichannel Strategy That Works

The Customer Is Always Right: 4 Ways TO Improve Your Customer Service Right Now

Big Data and the NHL: How the Toronto Maple Leafs bet on Big Data

11 Best Practices for Business Intelligence

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

This Week in Market Research: 9/8/14 – 9/12/14

Using Big Data from Social Apps and Reaching Their Untapped Potential

11 Customer Experience Stats You Should Know… #7 “It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience”

New Benchmark Reports Coming to Google Analytics: See how they helped drive email open rates

Was the Ice Bucket Challenge Worth It? Forbes Explains

How to Tell If a Company is Using Real Data Science: Three marks to help you

Breaking Down Coffee Analytically: Dunkin vs. Starbucks

So You Think You Need a Data Scientist? What do they even do anyway?

Artificial Intelligence: Algorithms that allow computers to learn on their own and recognize patterns. Making systems smart and doing more than step by step instructions via Wired.

Mapping the Brain: Obtaining Big Data from Small Brains. Our brains have billions of neurons and figuring out how they work by mapping them will lead to key insights about humans.

33 Problems That Can be Solved With Data Science: From Spell Check to Sports Bets, and this is only the beginning.

About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer
concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

Is America Breaking Up with Thanksgiving?

Several major retailers made a splash in the news this year
with their plans to kick off the Holiday shopping season early ‘ by opening for
business on Thanksgiving Day.  Many of
the pundits reacted by insisting that retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Best
Buy, JCPenney and Macy’s are ‘stealing’ Thanksgiving by opening as early as 6
p.m.  However, we’ve got evidence that
the idea of Thanksgiving ‘ at least as a sacred 12-hour stretch of family,
carbs and football ‘ is waning among key consumer groups.
This initiative on the part of retailers can be seen in one
light as just one more facet of the changing cultural landscape.  Thanksgiving was historically a combination
of religious feelings (giving thanks), extended family gatherings; and major
multicourse meals.  As a society, we’ve become
more secular, our family size has shrunk, and we are much more likely to be
eating our meals on the fly. All of these forces of social change diminish the
fit of the Thanksgiving holiday with the way that we live today.
To find out more about how people actually feel about
Thanksgiving in general as well as their reactions to retailers’ new plans to
open their doors on the holiday, we conducted research and found some
surprising results.
First, our findings suggests that Americans do feel
differently about Thanksgiving, compared to years past.  We found a significant decrease in the number
of people who expect to feel a sense of nurturance and connection to others
over the holiday. When people focused on how they expect to feel this Thanksgiving,
the strength of expectations for these emotions was reduced by as much as 20%
compared to past Thanksgivings   We also saw
a very marked increase in people who expected that they might feel somewhat
isolated and disengaged on Thanksgiving.
I suspect it’s not that Americans don’t have the same
emotional yearnings to feel connected to their loved ones and to enjoy family
time.  It’s just that the secularization
of our lifestyles, the atomization of our household structures, and the
mobilization of our eating styles all militate against this holiday.
The Risk Retailers Take
So what about doing business on Thanksgiving?  We also asked consumers how they felt about
stores opening so much earlier on Thanksgiving, and their perception of stores
who might adopt this practice.  Here the
results are strikingly polarized.
About 15 percent of the respondents don’t just like the idea
of stores opening earlier, they love it, and they definitely plan to go
shopping. These respondents were generally avid shoppers, most of whom (82
percent) say they were already committed to shopping on Black Friday, and three
quarters of these consumers say they plan to show up at stores before they
open.  The prospect of stores opening on
Thanksgiving makes these people feel good. They get a sense that the stores
understand and care about their needs as harried bargain hunters, and they feel
empowered by these new store policies. Finally, they are thinking, a retail
brand understands how important it is for me to save money and finish my
holiday shopping effectively.     
On the other hand, two thirds of respondents appear to
loathe the idea of early openings. They state that they ‘definitely will not
shop’ on Thanksgiving.  
It makes them feel unhappy and disengaged, even defeated.
They feel as if these stores and the culture are working against them,
thwarting their desire to make the holiday special and meaningful for
themselves and their families.
So — retailers are rolling the dice. Are they better off
opening early? Will they increase sales to those who would have already shopped
on Black Friday?  Will the intensified
emotional connection among these shopping enthusiasts translate to better brand
connection throughout the holidays ‘ or will retailers simply spread the early
spending of this group over two days? Only the sales records of the season will
tell.
The potential downside is that retailers may sour their
brand connection with the much larger audience. And that’s a big risk: These
people didn’t just have no emotion about Thanksgiving openings, they had very
strong negative emotions. Will it be enough to turn them against certain store
brands? Some stores seem to think so: Both Nordstrom and Costco, for example,
have held fast to their refusal to open on Thursday.
Most likely, stores will make the call based on their own
assumptions about core customers.
In the end, however our culture is changing, it’s important
to realize that we love our families as much as we ever did, whether we are inclined
or capable of gathering the clan together in one large group. Thanks to the
scattering of American families, that reunion moment seems to be getting harder
and harder to pull off.
We fulfill our need for connectedness in other ways. Chalk
some of it up to Facebook and other social media, which allows us to connect to
distant relations in ways we hadn’t before. Getting together has new forms. Who
knows? Maybe we are closer to finding a virtual Thanksgiving.
Whether you head off to Wal-Mart or not, have a great Thanksgiving
holiday!

David Forbes holds a Ph.D. in clinical and cognitive
psychology from Clark University, and was a member of the faculties of Harvard
Medical School Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Laboratory of Human
Development before beginning his career as a business consultant. Dr. Forbes
founded Forbes Consulting over 20 years ago as a strategic market research
consultancy dedicated to creating business advantage through deep psychological
consumer insights. Since that time, he has built Forbes into a major resource
for scores of major corporations in the CPG, Financial Services, and Pharmaceuticals
industries, domestically and internationally.

Your Brain On Football

It’s kickoff time. And whether it’s played at high schools,
colleges or in NFL stadiums, football is increasingly becoming America’s game.
Women now make up 44 percent of the NFL fan base, for example, and last season,
the sport drew in a record number of Hispanic viewers as well. The game is even
a hot export, with four teams scheduled to compete in England this season. That
means that marketers are using more football imagery (and across more
categories) than ever: Sabra Hummus, in the hopes that the gridiron can make
chickpeas seem macho, is now the official dip of the NFL
For those of us who study the emotional centers of the
brain, though, the real game is in decoding why there is a growing fascination
with a decidedly primitive pastime: Winning requires speed, guts and
bone-crushing power.
In general, spectator sports get their emotional appeal from
a very basic human drive’the need to shape an identity that lets us belong to
one group, while differentiating us from others. (Like when we threw rocks at
rival tribes thousands of years ago.) But because we’re civilized now and can’t
engage in that kind of bloodthirsty bonding, sports provide a very interesting
and emotionally useful release. They allow us to explore and engage with those
primal areas of identity that we may be unable to express in the real
world. 
In the case of football, it’s a very particular mode of
vicarious identification: The ritualized conflict of the game provides an
outlet for our personal desires to be aggressive and emerge triumphant. It
provides as well an important outlet for sublimating all of the slights and
injuries we suffer in the real world, but can’t do anything about directly. We
may not be allowed to knock irritating coworkers to the ground. But our beloved
Giants (or Vikings, Broncos or Bears) can.
Of course, all sports are ritualized conflict, to a degree.
But because football is more full-throatedly physical, it’s more emotionally
visceral. (My apologies to those who have been body slammed in basketball
games.)  In fact, football is probably
the closest thing we have to a modern day form of the gladiatorial contest ‘
the popular (so we hear) spectator sport for our ancestors.
Affiliation with the local team of football warriors is so
powerful for some people that it spills out beyond weekend games. They express
their feelings of belonging through bumper stickers, tattoos, team jerseys, and
house flags (I keep waiting to see motorcycle helmets.)
 
Sports team loyalties also provide strong social signal value,
as we become members of a ‘club’ of those around us who like and follow a team.
The explosion of fantasy leagues has created a new level of fandom, where we
actually get to manage teams, as well as watch them.
Women join the huddle

The emergence of women as a key fan base for the NFL,
though, is even more fascinating. Women’s roles have evolved, moving from historic
social pressures to seem (if not actually be) submissive, into a modern social
context that allows ‘ or even encourages — being increasingly assertive.  Football provides another place for women to
swap out the old fashioned pacifist, nurturing role and try on something a
little different.
This piece of cultural evolution has an interesting double
edge: at the same time that football is having an impact on women’s changing emotional
lives, women’s emotional orientation is influencing the culture of football.  Women’s increasing involvement in football
(both as activist parent and as spectator) is very probably implicated in the much
greater attentiveness in football at all levels to its risks, especially
concussions and the role they play in serious brain injury.
While some people may lament what they see as a sissification,
(I concede it was probably fun to watch guys with swords compete in pits
thousands of years ago, too.) having spectator sports that bring both sexes
together in a continuously evolving ‘modern gladiatorial game’ is probably an
emotionally desirable outlet for modern life.
So let’s salute the arrival of another football season ‘
giving us a great opportunity to cut loose when we need to and give the ‘bad
guys’ some serious pushing, shoving, and a good taste of the dirt.  Our vicarious victories will as always have a
thousand fathers (we really annihilated ‘em!) while our team’s defeats can remain
orphans (the bums just couldn’t get it together.) And then of course there’s
that Seven Layer Bean Dip’
About the Author:
David Forbes holds a Ph.D. in clinical and cognitive psychology from Clark
University, and was a member of the faculties of Harvard Medical School
Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Laboratory of Human Development before
beginning his career as a business consultant. He founded Forbes Consulting
over 20 years ago as a strategic market research consultancy dedicated to
creating business advantage through psychological consumer insights. He has
since built Forbes into a major resource for scores of major corporations in
the CPG, Financial Services, and Pharmaceuticals industries, domestically and
internationally. David is the creator of the MindSight?? emotional
assessment technologies, a suite of applied neuropsychological methods for understanding
consumer emotion and motivation, without the distortions of conscious editing
and self presentation.  

All Emotions Are Not Created Equal

By David Forbes, Ph.D.

I just returned from the Insight Innovation Exchange
conference in Philadelphia, where a broad range of market research scientists
and professionals gathered to talk about techniques for emotional measurement
and emotional research. As I look back on
the three-day event, it seems that the most striking feature was the range of
diversity in both the methods proposed for studying emotions, and in the types
of phenomena under study ‘ all of them called ‘emotion.’

The study of emotions as they drive consumer behavior is
still a relatively new focus for market
researchers
. It seems important at this early point to begin clarifying the
various options for this type of research ‘ the various types of phenomena that
can be called ‘emotions.’ In our work, we focus on one particular type of
emotional force that I heard very little about at IIEX ‘ the type of emotional
force that can pull someone from their armchair at home, move them to their
automobile, and get them to a retail store to purchase a particular type of
product, hoping for a particular type of outcome from that purchase. 
Psychologists typically call this type of emotional force ‘motivation.’
I believe that it’s important that the study of motivation
occupy a central role in Market Researchers’ study of emotion ‘ for several
reasons.
Firstly, the emotional forces of Motivation are what we
should be studying when we seek to uncover new business opportunities in the
consumer lifestyle ‘ because motivational drives which are unfulfilled in a
consumer’s life represent emotional need states that can be targeted by new
product ideas.
Secondly, the emotional forces of Motivation are also what
need to be targeted by marketing strategists who wish to have a product story
that is arousing and compelling. A new product concept is far more likely to
succeed if it offers the promise of emotional benefits that speak to consumer
lifestyle aspirations and frustrations. And finally the emotional forces of
Motivation should be the target of communication impact for advertisers who
want their messages to become a call to action.
Motivations vs. other
emotions
Motivations can be distinguished from other types of
emotion in part because they derive from forces inside the individual, rather
than being primarily ‘reactive’ to outside stimuli. We all carry around inside
us two distinct forms of motivational forces. One type consists of
aspirations that we have to make our experience of life better ‘ a desire for
outcomes which psychology calls ‘positive reinforcement.’ The other type
consists of frustrations that we experience in life which, drive us to seek
relief ‘ that drive for what psychology calls ‘negative reinforcement.’ In
my recent paper in the Review of General Psychology, I’ve attempted
to summarize a great deal of research
on these motives, developing a unified model that identifies nine distinct
types of motivating emotional forces, each of which can be manifest as an
aspiration for positive outcomes, or a search for relief from frustration of
negative situations.
Clearly the concept of emotion can take several other forms
aside from the emotions of motivation. We can study general states of arousal,
we can study the various sensory-emotional states activated by experiences in
life (like excitement), we can study emotion as a pattern of vascular activity
through the technique of brain imaging, we can study physiological expression
emotional states as expressed by the facial muscles (like happiness, or
disgust). And based on my experience at IIEX, I suspect that all of these types
of emotion will continue to play a role in the work of Market Researchers.
I only hope that enough of us decide to focus on the
emotions that drive motivation, and seek to understand the aspirations and
frustrations that drive consumer choices and actions in life.
Want to learn more
about this topic? Attend TMRE 2013 in
Nashville, TN October 21-23. For details, click here:  http://bit.ly/1aOb0Zm We hope to see you
there!  
About the Author:
David Forbes holds a Ph.D. in clinical and cognitive psychology from Clark
University, and was a member of the faculties of Harvard Medical School
Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Laboratory of Human Development before
beginning his career as a business consultant. He founded Forbes Consulting
over 20 years ago as a strategic market research consultancy dedicated to
creating business advantage through psychological consumer insights. He has
since built Forbes into a major resource for scores of major corporations in
the CPG, Financial Services, and Pharmaceuticals industries, domestically and
internationally. David is the creator of the MindSight?? emotional
assessment technologies, a suite of applied neuropsychological methods for
understanding consumer emotion and motivation, without the distortions of
conscious editing and self-presentation
.