The New York Times reported today that Google is introducing a new service called Ad Planner designed to help media buyers determine websites that their target audiences are interested in. This service will place Google in direct competition with Nielsen Online, and comScore. Google is touting that their main benefit to users will be that it is free. The screen shot for Ad Planner can be found below. Shockwaves have already hit the market space with comScore reporting a drop in their stock price of 22.5% from $21.45 to $6.24. Both Nielsen Online, and comScore in response to the new Google Tool have released statements defining why their companies are still viable. From Nielsen Online, Susan Hickey, head of marketing made this statement about Google Ad Planner, ‘We haven’t seen, in-depth, the tool, but the breadth and depth of our data, we feel that clients pay for that.’ Gian M. Fulgoni, chairman at comScore response was to say ‘If I were a competitor of Google, the last thing I would want to do is use their products.’
While Google has stated that the main difference between their service and competition, is that Ad Planner will be free, there is another competitor, Quantcast, who is questioning the validity of the findings of the aforementioned companies. This new start up, as announced in AdAge, stated that they will be offering a tracking tool that has people-based traffic counts, a cross between panel-based data, and cookie based measurements. Nielsen Online, and comScore currently use panel data, and Google has stated that their information will come from multiple data feeds and licensed information from sources including Nielsen Online.
I came across this post from Business Week this morning which discusses how Sulake used Habbo, a nine-year old virtual world that has over 100 million avatars, to survey 58,000 teenagers on topics varying from cosmetics to mobile phones. We’ve recently discussed the good and bad side of deploying online surveys, but what Sulake did was extremely clever. He utilized his online virtual world as a platform to question teens. Not only that, but he questioned teens on items that he knew would be of interest to them. The survey took roughly 31 minutes to complete, and the respondents were given an incentive to participate in the survey (complimentary credits to purchase virtual decorations and furniture for their virtual rooms). Sulake knew exactly what it would it take to get the millions of users who log-in everyday to their virtual worlds to take the survey. What incentives/prizes has your company used to entice your customers to give feedback?
There are many market research companies that offer online surveys. Some companies even offer money, prizes, and drawings just to collect your opinions. With all this in mind, how do you know which company to choose? Here’s a recent post from The M Society that lists the good and the bad on taking online surveys. Good
- Most online surveys can be taken under 15 minutes; it really depends on the amount of interruptions, your patience, and other factors that might prolong your experience.
- There is usually no writing involved unless there are questions that require an additional comment.
- Easy to navigate, usually through a simple click of a button.
- There is money to be made by taking surveys; many companies offer $1 to $5 by taking an online survey.
- There is software that people can download that will automatically fill out registration pages, making it much simpler for the consumer.
- The money offered by market research companies is very little, not enough to make a living.
- Higher paying surveys are generally longer than an hour, and so consumers might get impatient and frustrated.
- Surveys might tailor to one specific gender, age, or other demographic. Consumers might not even qualify to take it.
- Surveys might be problematic for people who can not stare at a computer screen for minutes at a time.
- Many survey companies are not legitimate. They make very outlandish offers for free laptops and iPod, only to discover that consumers must register for many different services before getting anything.
These are just a few points that were made in the post. Take a quick look before you decide to launch any online surveys.
Pushing your product and services through the internet is not an easy task, even though one might initially think that. One of the factors most commonly overlooked when forming an internet marketing campaign is market research. This post on The NMP Network highlights some basics to internet marketing. Researching the market is the first step in starting an effective e-campaign. You must first identify your target market, think of ways to reach them, and convey a message with value to these prospects to better explain what you are offering. Identifying the target is important because essentially you are trying to maximize your hit. The second basic listed on the post was search engines. A lot of patience is needed to get your rankings on the 1st page on a natural search, but by spending some money you can easily list your business on the top results using paid searches. Finally, email promotions are the last basic for internet marketing. This technique can be quite effective since many users opt-in for communications such as newsletters. Market research is the basis for effective internet marketing. Without good research, businesses can not reach their target market. Take a quick glance at the post to see if your business has all the basics covered.
Marketers have long used demographics compiled by market research firms, but social networking sites provides a great opportunity to access information in real-time. David C Skul, CEO of Relativity, details a couple of points in this YouTube video ‘Use Social Networking for Market Research‘
- Direct feedback and direct sampling groups are one of the benefits of social networking sites. Businesses can easily send mass messages to all of their friends asking for honest opinions on products and services. Rewards may be given as an incentive for people to give their feedback.
- Polls can be created in networking sites, given users an opportunity to vote amongst several choices. This is one of the quickest ways to compile information.
- Demographics such as name, age, gender, and income are shown on networking sites, and in turn it helps to ensure that messages are reaching targeted groups.
Are you using social media in your organization to find out more about your customers? Take a look at this informative video. It’s a must see’
If you haven’t had a chance lately, we’d like to direct you to the Market Research Event website. Not only are there videos from presentation of last year’s event, but a webinar that was recently televised by the IIR and a monthly book list! Check out the resource page here. Also, see whose going to be speaking at The Market Research Event October 13th through 16th in Anaheim, California.
In a recent report released at the Research Reports Blog, they discuss the growing opportunities in the sleeping disorder medication market. Over 80 sleep disorders have been identified, and it is believed that 20% of the American population suffers from these disorders. Visiongain believes that by 2012, the world insomnia market will be worth $1.8 billion.
Most of the drugs on the market are to treat the sleeping disorder insomnia. Since 2005, two new drugs have been introduced to the US market: Ambien CR and Lunesta. There are also a number of generic drugs that cost significantly less, leading to easy market penetration.
In a recent research report released by B2B International, they find that quality, not price is the most important thing for the items they buy. The five hygiene factors that influenced purchases were: service, price, quality, reliable delivery and speedy delivery. This survey was among industrial companies and there preferences when choosing a new supplier. However, most companies in the industry rely on quality to reflect the quality of their products. It’s also shown that customer loyalty develops in this industry, due to the quality of the products purchased. This research showed that quality always ranks first, in every industry. Check out the full report here.
In a recent news article at Marketing Daily, they discuss the newest research on how high gas prices are affecting the spending habits of Americans. The article notes that expenditures on gas is not going down, but to counter that, consumers are spending less money in other areas. In car sales, every segment is seeing a decrease in the amount of vehicles purchased. Other industries are also being affected, with people not spending as much money on clothing, eating out, and even buying houses, 10% of those surveyed said they were delaying buying a new house. Thus far in 2008, 65% consumers are spending less on nonessential items, up from 42% in October of 2007. Numbers are not looking to improve, as the article states that gas prices are expected to double from their current price is $3.80 according to AAA.
An important factor to business success is how effective your communication is with your customers, and potential customers. The main point from this article on Customers Rock is that teens may very well be using other forms of media rather than the company website to learn about new products. This survey (conducted by Bizreport) tells us that most teens do their purchasing in stores, but where do they find out about all these cool new products. That’s right ladies and gentleman, the World Wide Web. This blogger’s son actually had a tough time viewing the iPod Touch demo on the company site, and that’s when he turned to YouTube instead. Marketers must first find out where teens are doing their research for products. Then they must assess whether the company website has easily accessible demos and videos, or if they should put together a YouTube video about the product in order to reach customers. What about existing customers? Well, a simple email campaign letting the customers know about their new products would make any teen feel special. The way in which we reach teens is constantly changing. The simple truth here is that teens are finding information for products on the net, so we must learn to adapt to these changing times in order to effectively communicate on their level.