Tag Archives: marketing strategy

This Week In Market Research: 7/13/15 – 7/17/15

Knowing your consumer is the biggest name of the game for
most companies. So if your employees demographics make up a large percentage of
your consumer base, why not conduct market research internally? This is what
Poshmark, a mobile marketplace for fashion organization, did in giving each employ (over 85 people) apple watches. Around 70% of Pochmark employees are
made up of women who love to shop, according to the founder.  In lieu of launching the Poshmark app, the
move to provide employees with apple watches was motivated by the desire to
gain insight into how women interacted with the new app. After giving the women
time to play around with the app, the results very extremely valuable. Among
many other behaviors noted, the women were extremely happy with the way the app
gave real-time notifications but some individuals were not as drawn to the
amount of images displayed; which could pose an issue for a fashion app that is
driven by images. In general the research was highly educational and showcases
a unique opportunity to conduct market research within the office. 

This week, Google released that it is testing a new feature
that will let consumers purchase products through advertisements. The function,
labeled ‘Purchases on Google’ will allow people using smartphones to ‘click
select search ads to visit retailer-branded product pages hosted by google.’
Going up against competition from companies like Amazon, Google is beginning to
invest in ways that attract the mobile shopper. ‘Thanks to smartphones,
shopping now happens anytime and anywhere,’ a spokesperson from the company
stated. It will be interesting to see where this function takes off from here
and how users will interact with it. 

You’ve seen it everywhere on Facebook: ‘Win free Chipotle
for a year!!’ Like who doesn’t want free Mexican fast food for the next year!?
So why is this irresistibly delicious fact food chain offering free chipotle
for a year and what do they want in return? Well, as it turns out, Chiptotle
just released its own app called, ‘Friend or Faux.’ In order to build more of
an awareness and audience on the app they’re offering a buy one get one free
coupon for anyone who plays the game. On top of that, 50 fortunate players will
be randomly selected to win free chipotle for themselves and a friend for an
entire year. In order to increase your chances of winning, each participant is
encouraged to tweet about ‘Friend or Faux.’ Essentially the game is another way
to highlight that Chipotle tops any other traditional fast food chain as far as
health goes. This campaign carries a brilliant strategy in order to gain more
app attention while also building up the reputation and brand of Chipotle.  


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 Best Time To Post On Social Media is…?

We’ve all been there before. We are about to post across Social Media (SM) and that foreboding question finally hits us. ‘When is the best time and day to post on SM’? I mean, we want as many relevant (maybe even irrelevant) people to see our postings and content, right?

This ever evolving digital social process is called ‘The Science of Timing’ (SOT).  If we get it right, everyone lives happily ever after.  If we get it wrong, no one gives us a second thought.

The “Science of Timing” predicts the optimal time to post on Social Media

SOT (a.k.a. the optimal time to post) revolves around 5 different paradigms and approaches otherwise known as: The Common Sense Approach, The Segmentation Approach, The Best Practices Approach, The Auto Scheduling Approach, and the Contracompetitive Timing Approach.

Huh?  Keep reading.

The Common Sense Approach is based on an intuitive sense of when people would or would not be on SM. For example, when people are asleep, at work, or at school, they are probably less likely to interact with SM. Whereas, if people are awake and the timing is before, after, or outside of work or school, their likelihood to use SM increases on average.

The Segmentation Approach involves timing based on the SM habits of your targeted audience, which coincidentally, you’ve collected over time. For example, if you and your organization are targeting teenage gamers during the upcoming summer, you’ve likely monitored their SM patterns over time, and will run a campaign based on the SM idiosyncrasies they’ve displayed. In all likelihood, their SM behavior will be different when compared to the entire online population as a whole.  Hence, the Segmentation Approach.

In contrast, The Best Practices Approach is based on how the entire SM audience acts as a whole and provides optimal timings based on aggregate online behavior.  You can think of it in terms of talking at a cocktail party, where there is a lot of chatter at its peak attendance point.

The optimal time to post on Twitter is late in the weekday, between 2pm ‘ 5pm EST

Dan Zarella, SM Scientist for Hubspot, recently addressed the SOT Best Practices Approach for both Twitter and Facebook.  ‘The optimal time to post on Twitter is late in the weekday, between 2pm ‘ 5pm EST, as this maximizes ReTweets. Coincidentally, we’ve found there is no significant difference in clickthrough rates according to the time of day or the day of the week, so it’s okay to experiment with your Tweets on the weekends and during late hours.’

Zarella further explains, ‘We’ve discovered clickthrough rates dramatically reduce, the more you post within an hour.  The clickthrough rate for a second post drops to 50%. The clickthrough rate for a 3rd post within an hour is almost nil.’  Zarella is not suggesting to Tweet less as he points to a strong relationship between the number of tweets per day and total followers.  Instead, he suggests not to ‘crowd out’ your tweets per hour.

Zarella also suggests three key timing points for Facebook: (1) post every other day as  mainstream pages that did this displayed the most likes, (2) post content on the weekends since it elicits the most amount of shares and (3) post content in the morning as shares tend to do marginally better than those published at other times.

Don’t “crowd out” your Tweets per hour

But if everyone uses The Best Practices Approach, wouldn’t the SM landscape become overcrowded during those specific times and diminish the likelihood of anyone hearing your message?

Great question.  Keep reading.

The three previous methods require someone from within to personally determine optimal timing.  Whereas with The Autoscheduling Approach, 3rd parties determine optimal posting times.  But what are these 3rd parties’ optimization practices you say?  And how do they measure up to yours?

After investigating Autoscheduling practices, two unique terms surfaced: static vs. dynamic. A static Autoscheduling system optimizes timing based on The Best Practices Approach, not on individual behavior. While a dynamic system optimizes timing through individual / follower behavior, and gets better over time. So which method would you prefer? Find out which method your provider utilizes.

Last but not least, there is The Contracompetitive Timing Approach. This approach is actually the opposite of The Best Practices Approach and circumvents its downside.  This territory lies at the beginning and tail-end of the cocktail party, where crowds are smaller in number, thereby improving the odds of individual engagement.  By utilizing Contracompetitive Timing, smaller crowds are more likely to hear your voice that would otherwise be lost in the chatter of a full-swing cocktail party.

So which SOT approach is the best? The Common Sense Approach of when people are online? The Segmentation Approach that profiles your specific target audience?  The mega-blast to a crowded room, Best Practice Approach?  Perhaps the best is The Autoscheduling Approach which leaves it in the hands of the experts? Or maybe the Contracompetitive Timing Approach seems like a valid alternative, so your messages aren’t lost in the masses? Perchance it is a combination of all the above? 

In your personal experience, the best SOT approach is _________. (Please comment below)

Chris Ruby is an award-winning Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive with Fortune 500 consulting experience. His niche is the ability to turn complex data into compelling stories that induce a call for action among key decision-makers. His work has been featured by MRA, MRIA, IIR, Norstat Times, Chadwick Martin Bailey & the Optimization Group. Keep up with Chris Ruby by following him on Twitter @ChrisRubyMRX or by reading the Chris Ruby Market Research Blog.

Using Key Insights to Optimize Your Marketing Campaign

Today, marketing optimization can be overwhelming. Marketers
have to design a strategy and hit their lead gen goal, let alone optimize
everything. As a marketer, it is important to focus your optimization efforts
on the elements of your inbound strategy that will have the greatest impact.
Here are six ways you can optimize to impact on your bottom line.
Landing Pages
Through your landing pages, you gather lead information so
you can to market to them using personalized emails and web content. They
are a key part of an effective inbound marketing strategy, and even small
conversion improvements can impact the bottom line. In addition to
the prospects and leads, repeat visitors will also come to your landing
page, so optimizing landing pages will ensure that they engage with the
In order to begin uncovering opportunities for better
optimization, ask yourself questions like: Can someone look at your landing
page and after five seconds know what the offer is, why you’re offering it, and
why it’s valuable? Do you have an attention grabbing headline? Do you have a
relevant image? Is your copy clear and compelling?

Conversion Path
The conversion path is the series of clicks that a visitor goes
through on your website, from their first interaction with what you are trying
to accomplish. It is very important to understand how all of your pages work
together. Ask yourself: Which ones generate the most leads? Which ones are
preventing your prospects from advancing?
The website is your primary online presence as all marketing
channels, including PPC, SEO, and social media will all point back to
the website. This is where you control the conversation about what makes your
products unique, so optimizing your landing pages and conversion path is
crucial to the success of your marketing campaign. Map out your site’s possible
conversion paths. Then, look at the conversion metrics as visitors progress
through these pages to see if any are over or under-performing.

Value Proposition
Your value proposition should power the messaging on every
marketing channel. It should state why someone would make a purchase from your
company among the others that do similar things. Online, the value proposition
is the first sentence that your visitor will scan. It’s important that with
just one sentence, you can address why your company, products, and services are
Begin with defining your value proposition by asking
yourself: Does everyone in your company agree with your one-sentence
differentiator? Next, look at your competitors. How do your claims measure up
against your competition? Once you have internal buy-in, run a test with
different versions of your value proposition explanation on a high-traffic
landing page. When you ask people that know nothing about your company, could
they explain what value your company gives?
Your marketing content is made up of the words that populate
your campaigns. But your content encompasses more than just the copy — it’s
also the layout, the topics, the publishing strategy, etc. Great inbound
marketing campaigns begin with great content — you’ll use this content to
attract and convert customers, pulling people into your website, blog, and
other online resources. The  language you
use is the thread that ties all your channels together.
For online content optimization, you need to look at not
only your copy, but your keyword strategy, topic selection, internal
linking, SEO, etc. You need to understand not only what you’re writing, but
also why you’re writing it, how to write it, where to add links and sharing
buttons, and where to publish and promote it.
Your homepage is an ambassador for your brand. The homepage
is a company’s most frequently-viewed digital asset. Optimizers need to pay
attention to the design of and content on the homepage. In contrast with single
purpose landing pages, company homepages are hard to design for one focused
conversion goal.
Homepages are often burdened with the demands of multiple
departments, which can make them hard to streamline. Step one in homepage
optimization is to hone your messaging. Narrow down your goals to one target
business outcome per web page. The purpose of a website is not to make your
business units happy; it’s to accomplish your goals by addressing the
customer’s concerns.
Email marketing plays a role in your lead nurturing
efforts. Your email list is your most engaged audience -  the people who have opted to hear more from
you. Email optimization is vital to converting your leads, and involves
thinking about every aspect of your email campaigns, from headlines and design,
and when you send your messages.
So to begin your optimization, start with a well-optimized
list. When you design your email campaigns, it’s imperative to think from the
prospect’s viewpoint. At the end of every template is a person who is going to
get intrigued by your headline and open your message. Because your database
includes people at different stages of the buying cycle, you must segment your
list to align your content with your prospective buyers’ needs.
Optimization is one of the best ways to assess the success
of your marketing efforts. By developing an optimization culture in your
organization, you will develop a better understanding of your audience, better
position your products and better execute your campaigns.
Want to learn more about the business impact of marketing
insights? TMRE (The Market Research Event)
is like attending seven events in one. TMRE will give you new skills to add to
your departments like strategic decision making and insight integration. 

Predictions: Future of Market Research Uncovered at the Future of Consumer Intelligence

At The Market Research Technology Event last year, Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President, Marketing Strategy & Insights at The Coca-Cola Company revealed his predictions for the market research industry for 2020.

The transformation has already begun, and although it’s only 2013, we’re already beginning to see his predictions come true. Find out how at the Future of Consumer Intelligence.

Stan Sthanunathan’s Predictions Predictions Become Reality in Featured Sessions:
Asking Questions and Getting Answers Will Be Almost History
‘ Big Data: Powerful Predictions through Data Analytics, Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight.com
‘ Listening to the Mind of the End User, Intel
Mobile Will Be the Primary Way of Collecting Data
‘ Utilizing Mobile Devices to Obtain Timely Customer Feedback on New Products, GM
‘ The Power of Integrating Data from Three Dimensions – Online, Social and Mobile, to Gain a True 360-Degree View of the Consumer, Forrester Research & Arbitron Mobile
Digital Natives: The New Breed of Researchers
‘ Why Should I Love You? Creating Enduring Loyalty in a Connected World, Virgin Online
‘ Social Media Insights: Making Them Real & Measurable, Clorox, Heineken USA & Johnson & Johnson

And more. Download the conference brochure for the full conference program.

Register today to secure your spot and save 15% off the standard rate.

Customer Service Basics

Have companies forgotten about how simple and effective thanking customers can be? This post on Get Elastic discusses how appreciated Philip Mikal felt after he received a hand-written thank you note from Rackspace hosting. He even mentions, ‘A handwritten note and cow bell to celebrate their recent IPO; Rackspace understands that customer service is the new marketing.’

Businesses will have to revert to basic principles this holiday season in order to keep customer loyalty high, especially because of our current economic situation.

Outsourcing Call Center Operations

I came across this article that explains how the outsourcing of customer service functions is not only seen as a short term cost cutting tool, but it is also a strategy for long term competitive advantage.

In order to get closer to your customers, you must engage a fully functional center that supports telephone, e-mail, the web, and social media (which was not mentioned by the article). Companies are always looking to reduce costs to increase revenue, but the reduction of costs should not affect the quality of customer service.

Enter with Caution

Before jumping blindly into your business, it’s very important to determine whether your product or service is a good one. Beliefs alone will not sell products; market research not only confirms your beliefs, but it might also help find a manufacturer interested in making your product. Stephen Key presents two out of five options for market research in the beginning phases in this post on All Business. Here are the first two:

  1. Pull-Through Marketing. Use your sales sheet as a basis to show to potential licensors. If they would license it, then you have a good idea of whether or not your product will sell.
  2. Focus Groups. Focus groups are generally for those with bigger budgets, but it can be modified to work for your budget. It consists of collecting the demographic the product intends to sell to, and posing questions such as: Would you buy this product? Be creative in selecting a target audience. Stephen gives an example of going to the mall if you are planning on targeting kids.

What other strategies have been useful for your organization in the initial stages of market research?

Nature and Characteristics of Market Research

I stumbled upon this document posted by Richard Cataman on .docstoc in which the author provides a clear understanding of the difference between pragmatic, applied market research and the much more common academic theory of market research. Cataman does a particular good job in explaining how although statistical analysis is important to market research, it is not the only factor needed to be an effective market research manager. Take some time out to read this article.

Latest Advertisements Capitalizing on Anger

An article found in NY Times, delves into the emotion that is present in many ads today. Anger. In one commercial from Southwest Airlines, in reference to the cost of other airlines, the company is quoted as saying ‘What have they been smoking? Apparently, your rolled-up $20s.’ Southwest isn’t the only company utilizing this strategy. Harley Davidson is using the tag line ‘freedom and wind outlast hard times’, and Jackson Hewitt displays images of taxpayers who didn’t use their services ‘angrily smashing or throwing things’. As the NY Times said ‘The tone and attitude of the ads are part rant, part battle cry, part manifesto and part populist appeal.’ In 2006 a Newsweek Article titled ‘Unhappy Americans’ they alleged that in a poll they conducted, 67% of Americans are unhappy. Are the advertisements based on marketing research accurately reflecting the mood of society today, or has this attitude changed?

Word of Mouth Marketing: So How was it?

Searching the blogosphere, I came across this post from one of NACCM’s keynotes speakers, Joanna Brandi. A couple of colleagues talked to Joanna about the recent experience they had at a stay at the Ritz Carlton hotel. Her friend later went on to describe the behavior of the employees there as ‘It was as if they were anticipating what I needed.’ The conversation quickly led to similar experiences (both good and bad) that they had in local restaurants. Before Joanna knew it, she had a long list of places not to go. When it comes down to recommending places based on customer experience, word of mouth marketing is crucial. Word of good customer service and bad customer service will somehow find its way spreading like a viral disease. Make sure your customers are taking care of, before they spread the word! Be sure not to miss Joanna’s Brandi’s session ‘The Positive Leader’ at NACCM where she’ll shed some more insight on customer management.