Tag Archives: Kelley Styring

The Human Element of Growing Your Business

Photo by Pixabay.com

“Imagined experiences are processed the same as real experiences. Stories create genuine emotions, presence (the sense of being somewhere), and behavioral responses engaging our right brain and triggering our imagination. By engaging our imagination, we become participants in the narrative (empathy).” – Pamela B. Rutledge, Ph.D., MBA, Positively Media, The Psychological Power of Storytelling

During the Media Insights & Engagement Conference earlier this month, Kelley Styring, Consumer Insight Strategist and Principal, Insight Farm, presented “The Human Element: Strategies to Observe, Engage and Connect.”

Kelley asserted that although today’s technology offers unlimited opportunities to connect with our audiences on multiple platforms, many of us struggle to make powerful connections with those audiences. This is because real communication takes place between people, not devices.

During her presentation, Kelley helped attendees look beyond merely modeling, averaging or guessing about the people who make up our audiences. She explained how to intentionally observe behaviors, engage to achieve authentic understanding and develop powerful connections with the human element. 

According to Kelley, observing with impact involves active observation and deep inquiry. “Slicing” is also important by observing a finite task in a defined space. A small number of broad-based, in-depth interviews can provide an expandable base to help identify the problem and the reasons behind it. 

Kelley describes these concepts and how they can support your business in “Five New Ways to Breathe Life into Qualitative Research”, Quirk’s Marketing Research Media.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. 

Connect with Peggy on LinkedInTwitterGoogle+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com

Inspire and Be Inspired by Your Customers

Photo by skitterphoto.com

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph, American track and field sprinter

Put your customers first. Make them the heroes of their own stories. “In Insights from Coca-Cola: Listen and Let Your Customer Be the Star of the Story,” by Simon Mainwaring, We First, he says that “people don’t want to hear companies talk about themselves. Consumers want to hear from and be inspired by other customers.” 

To find out more about inspiring your customers, join keynote speaker Kelley Styring, Leading Consumer Insight Strategist and Principal, Insight Farm, as she presents “The Human Element: Strategies to Observe, Engage and Connect” on Feb. 3  during the Media Insights & Engagement Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

During this session, you’ll learn how to intentionally observe behaviors, engage to achieve authentic understanding and develop powerful connections with the human element. 


Register today!

Join our network and stay connected all year long:
- twitter.com/@_MediaFusion
- linkedin.com/Media Insights & Engagement
- facebook.com/Media Insights & Engagement

Session descriptions are from the Media Insights & Engagement Conference brochure.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. 

Connect with Peggy on LinkedInTwitterGoogle+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com

If Innovation and ROI had a baby, it would look like…

Joshua Kantar, a researcher with Caesar’s Entertainment in Las Vegas has been quoted as saying, ‘There is a tension between Innovation and ROI that stifles creativity.’ When I first heard this I cheered inside like a middle school kid. How many times have I raved to someone about a cool idea or innovation program and had them dismiss my flash of brilliance by playing the money card? And how many times have I stamped my feet like a five year old ‘ in my mind, of course ‘ when innovation programs don’t lead to market introductions because they just don’t deliver the margins of a new flavor or new color of the same old same old. But then, I grew up.

If Steve Jobs (innovation)
 and Donald Trump (ROI)
had a baby, this is what it would
look like.  Seriously.

I started to innovate for my own company, InsightFarm, first by studying what women carry in their purses and why, so that companies could innovate new products for this home away from home carried on the shoulder of nearly every woman (www.inyourpurse.com). I was gambling with my own money. And as a sole proprietor, I was betting funds that could have gone into a college savings account for my kids, so ROI was a serious consideration. In fact, while recently scoping one of my new ideas for a syndicated study with a data collection firm, they dismissed my need to discuss what they called ‘monetization.’ They said, ‘We can discuss monetization later, let’s just figure out how to do this.’ I stopped them cold. ‘Nope,’ I said ‘we can discuss it now because without it we don’t need to know how to do this.’

Ideally, every concept or new product innovation we test would have a substantive ROI estimate before it’s tested. At P&G years ago, we wouldn’t test a concept that didn’t have a creative brief already written by the advertising agency. Each concept needed to be translatable into advertising or we didn’t test it. ROI estimation is similar. There should be baseline assumptions that tie purchase interest, frequency and other measures to margin expectations used to set pricing. Pricing should be a part of every concept testing if you’re asking purchase interest anyway, so taking a swag shouldn’t be so hard. With this in hand, the ‘tension’ between Innovation and ROI becomes a motivator for diligence in creativity. And creativity without discipline is child’s play, not innovation.

** ** **
Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you’d like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Women: Use your OUTSIDE voice

I sorted the mail today, preparing to pay bills.  I do this only once a month and the pile is a behemoth.   Doing it once a month is my gentle rebellion against the shear amount of mail, the mewling of creditors, and general inefficiency of a world made of paper.  Near the bottom of the pile was the TMRE Brochure.

What do they talk about in there?

I’ve looked at this brochure a few times already,then it struck me that there was something odd about the keynote photos.  Yes, they are black & white and yes they are always a little weird because they’re taken by different photographers.  What left me dumbstruck is that they are all male.

This is not new news.  Women have been the backbone of this male-led industry for decades, beginning with Procter & Gamble’s “Field Girls” in the 1950s and leading up to today.   Certainly we have our icons.  Yet – the proportion of women at the lower end of the scale in Market Research is very high and the proportion at the upper end very low.  This is not a new conversation among women in this industry, we’ve just kept it in the ladies room.  The event planning is just an artifact of the reality.
  
We need the women in leadership positions in this industry to step up.  Publish.  Have a public point of view.  Take a commanding role in shaping the industry.  We know you do this daily in your roles as leaders within your companies.  Time to share with everyone.  We know you are outnumbered by male counterparts but in this case we’re also being out-voiced.  Use your OUTSIDE voice and tell us how to grow this industry, improve its technologies and build a stronger future.  Inspire us with what makes our diversity important.  And please be more visible on the platform at these types of events.  Let’s take this conversation out of the ladies room and on the main stage where it belongs.

** ** **
Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you’d like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Personal Relevance: Two Thumbs UP

I’m now twice the age I was when I graduated from college, the first time.  I’ve made a conscious effort to remain relevant as each milestone ticks past me. In addition to the serious business of staying on top of the Market Research field and lots of trivial knowledge from reading hundreds of books, I’ve also tried some unorthodox things.  Such as…I’ve started going to see bands in clubs about once a month.  I’m way out of my depth and on the way to hearing loss someday but it is energizing to me.  And… I’ve stopped wearing a watch because someone told me that people under 30 don’t look at their wrist for the time and they don’t strap a device to their body with only one function.  I stopped giving two thumbs up to anything because I read that no one under 40 knows who Fonzie is and that two thumbs up makes you look… old. 

Hey there, Fonz.

It’s not really aging that has me worried.  That’s gonna happen no matter what.  It’s relevance that keeps me up at night.  I know that my body is going to let me down, slowly but surely.  My hips have already forsaken me, proving the point.  But my brain is definitely rocking harder than it did in my 20s.  I think about all of the bad decisions I made at that age – just look at your old haircuts and you know what I mean.  I know the skills and experience acquired over time are paying off for me and my clients.  BUT how do I make sure I stay sharp, stay current and therefore, retain value over time.  Developments in our industry and technology are moving so fast, it’s hard to keep up.  I sometimes feel like I’m swimming in an Endless Pool of Knowledge with the very real possibility it’s going to smash me into the wall with the force of progress.

Attending conferences like The Market Research Event is an efficient way to sharpen the saw so to speak.  Reviewing the schedule gives you an idea of the topics burning through the industry – setting the stage for what you should worry about missing.  With concurrent sessions you have to accept the fact that there is more here than you can chew, but that choice of topics helps assure you’ll finding something of interest.  Most important to me is the meet-ups between sessions.  These are the moments to reconnect with colleagues, meet new people by staring at name tags and screwing up your courage to say “hello” to someone who may hate you in the future.  (Never miss an opportunity to meet a new ex-client!  hahaha).  Make yourself attend a session you are not interested in and listen hard for something new.  These are the things that make you more relevant to your clients, your coworkers, and yourself.

** ** **
Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you’d like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

What the What??

I live in Portland, Oregon where coffee is a food group.  A new coffee shop advertised free coffee for their Grand Opening and cars lined up around the block.  No surprise.  What caught my eye was Starbucks across the street.  They too had a line of cars around the block.  What the what??  Huh?  Then after some thought I said, “wow.”  That’s the power of the brand.  It rivals free.  It transcends price.  I wonder if they could sell a $10 Venti Whatsahoosit… and then I stopped thinking.  Of course they could! 

I’m intensely interested in this dynamic, the choices consumers make, and the motivations for those choices.  This hit home while exploring the agenda for TMRE 2012.  Looking at the tracks it’s ridiculously full of action.  How do I choose?  Which path will inspire me and ignite my next idea?  Do I look for big name speakers?  Do I focus on a track area where I am less adept so that I learn more?  Or do I let my curiosity guide me – making decisions on a whim?  Probably the latter.

I find that two principles hold true at these events:  1) whatever sparks my curiosity leads to my next big idea; and 2) attending a session because I think I should unleashes my inner rebel.  She listens poorly and filters badly.  So, instead of doing that, I’ll seek out presentations that made me go “What the what??”  So hopefully after I can say “wow.”

** ** **
Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you’d like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Are We Leaping Ahead? Or Running in Place?

Bob Beamon breaking the long-jump record
at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City ‘
this record remains unchallenged today.

‘Which records will get shattered’? writes Nate Silver, sports analyst, in the New York Times.  Good question.  His argument is based on sports, of course, and he argues that sports like Swimming have shown the most statistical progress over time versus something like Short Distance Running.  That’s because Swimming has benefitted from technology: better swim suits, less turbulent pools, etc.  And that Running is something anyone, anywhere in the world can do versus Swimming where you need a pool you probably don’t have in, let’s say, Somalia. Good points, both.

Why should you care?

Two reasons: 1) new developments in the field of Market Research have been almost exclusively technology-based; and 2) for every trend there is a counter trend.

While our development of new techniques is headed quickly and staunchly down the technology road with Big Data, Mobile and Modeling leading the way, we should see great progress on the part of our clients.  I expect record-breaking accomplishment.  While this may be the case, it’s hampered somewhat by the fact that my clients have trouble communicating or even internalizing the output of such complex solutions to what they perceive as simple requests.  AND the accomplishments are of diminishing size, just like breaking world records, forcing some clients to ask ‘ ‘Do I really need this much elegance in a solution for such small gains in the market’?  Good question.

Which brings me to counter trends.  This is highly observable in life all around you.  For every person blogging on their mobile you have a person learning to knit.  Maybe it’s not 1:1 ‘ often the counter trends are smaller.  But it’s undeniable that for every Hummer there is a Mini.  For every Burger King there is a slow food alternative kitchen. Again not 1:1 but you get the point.

What are we developing on the slow side, the less technology-based side?  What have you done to help your clients come to simple solutions to questions that set new records by increment?  Maybe’ just maybe, it’s the combination of slow and fast, simple and technical that breaks the boundaries and sets the new records by a mother load.   I’ll be on the lookout for this type of new thinking at TMRE 2012 in November.  

What is the crisp new thinking that takes us beyond the technology and into the realm of record-breaking accomplishment?

** ** **
Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you’d like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Sweaters for Chameleons: How I’ll get the most from The Market Research Technology Event.

Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from TMRTE in next week in Las Vegas, April 30-May 2, 2012.
For more information on TMRTE, visit the webpage.  If you’d like to join us, as a reader of this blog when you register and mention code MRTECH12BLOG, you’ll save 15% off the standard rate!
Sweaters for Chameleons:  How I’ll get the most from The Market Research Technology Event.

That ancient art of weaving is based on a simple principle of physics. The warp and weft of the weave create a tensile strength in whole cloth that exceeds that of fragile threads. I’ve been thinking about this as I ponder how to better integrate innovative technologies into my market research consulting practice.

I’m as intrigued as anyone else about new things – exciting shiny widgets offered by technology to build deeper, broader understanding. Scraping, Mobile, Cloud, Big Data, etc. In fact technology is moving so fast and impacting our industry so much that I often feel I’m knitting a sweater from floating bits of dryer lint and not thoughtful threads, snatching one then another out of the air and pushing them into the system. While it may be an interesting looking sweater it’s certainly not strong enough to be useful. And that’s the problem.

There’s a real temptation to attend an exciting conference like The Market Research Technology Event and collect a satchel full of shiny new widgets – single function solutions that are cool and eye-catching but stand alone without integration to existing ways of doing business. I find this to be the key barrier to bringing innovation solutions to my clients – that adoption often means a step change rather than a slide into solutions that expand existing capabilities.

So I’ve decided to attend this conference as a chameleon. No – not blending into the background. I can do that my wearing black to an agency meeting in New York. I’m thinking more about how a chameleon sees. Its two eyes operate independently, each looking a different direction. So, while I know my eye will be drawn to clever, new, standalone technology solutions that will also pique my client interest – I will be consciously looking for ways to augment or enhance the existing approaches that my clients are comfortable with – so that I have a better chance of near-term client acceptance and increase my engagement rates. I’ve built a worksheet to help me with this. It’s a simple grid with space for new technologies I’ll see at the conference along one axis and existing market research applications along the other. For every new technology I add, I will then force myself to think of ways to also integrate it into existing techniques or approaches to market research. That way, I can see beyond the shiny new technique and have a better shot with my clients.

SEE LIKE A CHAMELEON YOURSELF: I’ll be blogging “live” from the event, so look for me in the back of the room. Come by, say hello, and I’ll give you a copy (Or you can download it here) of the worksheet so you can try it yourself. Looking forward to the conference!

Sharpening the Saw: The Market Research Technology Event

Today’s guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk’s Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from TMRTE in las Vegas this April 30-May 2, 2012.

For more information on TMRTE, visit the webpage.  If you’d like to join us, as a reader of this blog when you register and mention code MRTECH12BLOG, you’ll save 15% off the standard rate!

Sharpening the Saw: The Market Research Technology Event

Whenever my 12 year old daughter and I want to talk about girl things in the presence of men, we just start talking about shoe shopping. You can see their eyes glaze over as they go off into a happy place, annoyed and bored to death about women’s shoes. Then we can say whatever we want – because they aren’t listening anymore. The same thing happens to me when someone starts talking about Technology. One whiff of Gigawhatevers and Appwhatnots and I drift off to a happy place. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge user of technology – a gadget early adopter – and I would take my iPad to the grave before I’d give it up in a dark alley. But here’s the thing – I like to drive the car, not know how everything works under the hood. Put the key in, turn it and go! Then, I’m happy.

The problem with my attitude is that Market Research is bifurcating – becoming at once more grounded in real people through the rise of ethnography and shop-along interviews where real people bring you into their real-ish lives (or as much as they can given you are an interviewer with a giant video camera in their very very clean house) and at the same time, MR is becoming more Technology centric and dependent. And, it is the intersection of these two where some true beauty happens in terms of human understanding.

So, to be an expert in the real human, we must also know the Technology that helps us reach them in masses, or track them more elegantly, or even know them more deeply because sometimes, they’re more honest alone in a room with a Flip camera than squeezed into the bathroom with you and me and the cameraman. I must embrace my demon and learn as much as I can about Technology and how it is impacting – and even driving the future of my industry. It’s only with this knowledge that I can delve into and help create the future.

I’m attending The Market Research Technology Event to sharpen the saw on my command of Technology and how it is impacting Market Research. Join me there for provocative presentations and interact with leading researchers who are driving Technology ahead for all of us. I plan to walk away with at least ten new ideas for research applications, new tools to develop, and new contacts for future collaboration. And, the next time someone says speaks in Technobabble to me, perhaps it will actually peak my interest and spark new ideas. Otherwise, I should stop researching and just go shoe shopping.

A One Handed World

Next Monday, November 8, TMRE Speaker Kelley Styring will be presenting “The One-Handed World: Insights on the On-the-Go Lifestyle,” in the Culture & Research Trends Symposium: What’s Next? Here’s a video preview of her presentation.

TMRE unites the world’s most influential researchers to share best practices, industry innovation and showcase the business value of market research. Over 800 attendees are expected to attend in 2010 with more than 60% representing client side companies. We invite you to join us in San Diego! Register to join us today.

Are you in San Diego and can’t make it to the event? Join us for the TMRE Tweetup Sunday Evening. Find out more here.