Tag Archives: SKIM

Desktop to Wrist Watch Surveys: The Future of Market Research

When was the last time you recall sitting at your computer with leisure time to Web search as you please? Between commuting, longer days at work, squeezing in that workout, and finally eating, it is becoming very uncommon for one to find time to sit down at a computer and search the Internet. Minimal leisure Internet time therefore makes reaching potential online survey panelists even more tough to reach.
How is this impacting the data collected from online market research? For traditional online surveys, it seems it is becoming harder and harder to reach preferred data numbers let alone certain target groups. Where does this lead us to and how can we overcome this obstacle?
The most obvious and trending answer brings us to mobile. Allowing users to take abbreviated, reformatted surveys via mobile device is one way to increase sample size and reach what was traditionally called the ‘general population.’ Making the survey-taking experience simplified, convenient, and ready for today’s constant on-the-go consumers will drastically change the current problem of unreachable respondents. In addition to reaching more consumers, mobile has numerous advantages over traditional desktop online surveys. Take, for instance, geolocation capabilities which allow for tailoring of surveys according to the respondent’s location. Or in-store research, allowing customers to actually be in store making tradeoffs and purchases to evaluate choices in the environment we try to replicate online. Qualitative research can be enhanced with mobile devices, allowing respondents to video their shopping experience and take images.
Similarly, smart eyewear has recently come into play within the market research realm. Allowing for even more consumer behavior analysis, this technology will play a large roll in qualitative research in the years to come. Voice capabilities, eye-tracking, geolocation, you name it- these weapons of market research will change the industry!
Both of these alternatives have been discovered and are currently being explored for use. What options could 2015 bring? I believe the visual options have advanced far enough and we now must turn to understanding consumer behavior from a psychological standpoint. How can we measure what consumers really are thinking and understand this down to a neurological level. How does this then interplay with rational vs. emotional decision making models and how can we use this to influence consumers? Will the next generation eyewear include on the fly brain scans? Will the smart watch measure circulating neurotransmitters and predict choice behavior?
Changing times come with changing measures. To remain relevant we must approach this development with open arms and continue to keep looking forward!
Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com.

Live from #TMRE14: How Will You Use Communications to Inform & Influence Consumers in 2020?

Steven Tramposch, VP of Consumer Market Intelligence at Heineken USA, Will Lehman, Central Nervous System Market Research, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Jee Ahn, Senior Manager, Consumer and Shopper Insights, the Clorox Company discussed how communications is changing in a panel moderated by Sourabh Sharma, Senior Manager, Strategy Consultant and Social Media Expert, at SKIM.

5×5 Reality:

Key Criteria:
Promise Value
Be specific
Put the benefit first
Set yourself apart

Avoid Pitfalls:

Be Positive
Be respectful
Avoid jargon

While CPG tries to showcase a more emotional pull, Heineken sees itself promoting more functional aspects and Pharma falls in between.

In the future, Pharma sees itself empowering the consumer to make their own choices rather than being completely dependent on Physicians’ message.

For Heineken, they see information democratizing consumers so they need to be clearer, crisper, and better at communicating emotionally so that they stand out among all the choices in the category, especially with craft beer accelerating.

For Clorox, the future holds the ability to micro-target based on consumer needs and relevant messaging. There will more information to leverage.

As researchers, it will be incredibly important to figure out the drivers, habits, influencing aspects of each market.

Social media is a huge repository of work waiting to happen for researchers, especially regulated industries like finance and pharma. The role of pushing products is going away whereas seeking out and finding the person who NEEDS your product to better their lives is what will be key for success in the future.

There is no perfect strategy for social channels, each platform is different, you can reach people on different occasions on different mediums. You just need to figure out how to be on the right one at the right time with the right message.

Stay true to the core truths of your brand’s principle.
And watch how you communicate your product’s benefits
We don’t leverage visual aspects enough to showcase benefits

As you move forward, consider complexity, and more tools for research, more content across platforms, be faster, work in stack sized chunks, be willing to take risks and fail fast. Don’t let data stand between you and your customer.

Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding fundamentally your consumer. You won’t have to test as much if you gets this right rather than go through 10 different tactics to see what sticks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

Creating, Curating and Socializing Insights in a Time Compressed World

Who knew that the first phone was born by AT&T in 1876, 138 years ago? And that the iPhone is already 7 years old?

 

Speed and faster time to insights was aptly showcased  with the telecom industry where competition is high and brand loyalty is pervasively low. Your phone is, after all, the remote control of your life. Well expressed by AT&T and SKIM.

The key message of nobody has time resonates with a plethora of industries in a hyper competitive world, which is fast changing, mandating extremely targeted insights and very short timelines.

 

Amongst the key takeaways that will shortly be updated on the site, some of the more actionable ones included:

  • Having a seamless team that is cross functional with key stakeholders. Align, align and align.
  • Know what your stakeholders DON’T want, its a twist on knowing what they want.
  • Keep it brief and actionable (12 slides!)
  • Think lean: keep things seamless, transparent.
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

The Marketing of Creating Product Anxiety

Daily, we hear of a new fad in the world of thirsty consumers. Apple rules the roost of having new products yearly. Recalling the years when Harry Potter and Twilight releases meant brands clamoring for attention still rings a marketing bell. Teetering on borderline obsessive, the anxiety attack is something I have explored several times before, and its a psychological facet that continues to amaze me.


What
makes these tremendous launches a mega success even before they hit the
earth are the hype  that they generate, which in turn induces anxiety
amongst a majority of populations. Hype truly resonates with today’s
yuppy and less yuppy generations alike, and is the apt verb used by lookbook.nu‘s
ecstatic fashionnistas trying to carve a name or make a few friends
based on inspirational looks. With multiple footholds of hype, anxiety
comes into play, which in turn represents the gap between needs and
wants.

While
needs and wants represent the degree to which we aspire something, it
is the level to which its utility and our anxiety align that predicts
how popular it will be when it hits the public. This in turn can allow
firms to manage their marketing expenditures, for if something creates
an unaided hype, it can be profitable to reap the benefits of this
induced anxiety. Yet, for a sustained hype, the product must also be
positioned as somewhat useful; hence the utility aspect.

This gives rise to the Anxiety Framework, whose parameters and quadrants need not be confused with the Shopper Psychology framework. Utility describes the usefulness of something that we desire ‘ a movie, a product, or anything. Anxiety is the level to which we want it (where notice that the want can be created, as  in aforementioned examples).

Necessity

When high on utility and anxiety,
products and experiences become a necessity. They are useful on many
fronts of daily life, and with the ability to create enough anxiety to
make the waits worth it, this is where every company, manufacturer, and
experience maker wants to ultimately be. Apple often holds this enviable
spot, being a category creator for MP3 players and tablets alike. The
Macbook Pro (so frequently not called a laptop), with its
portability and ease of working ability, is by far a necessity. Other
laptops are substitutes in comparison, or perhaps a functionality.

Functionality

A functional product or experience is
one that is high on utility, thus incredibly useful in the objective it
fulfills, but low on anxiety. Marketers have often either not adequately
created the hype, or have not felt the need to create it at all. And
yet, if sales are high, then unaided awareness shows that the product is
truly a success. Showbiz underdogs and word-of-mouth movie hits like
Slumdog or Million Dollar Baby exemplify this. And of course, the
underhyped releases of laptops that still place Dell and Sony in
business sans inflated anxiety shows that functionality can be a
bread-and-butter winner for any corp.

Craving

Products and experiences that are so
high on anxiety with a low relative utility are a craving. Our urge to
watch cinema, for most, falls into the craving quadrant, unless of
course we are aspiring showbiz stars seeking inspiration. A craving is
the dream of modern day marketing, where with the use of public
relations and social media can enable the creation of hype to fulfill
the initial costs of investment. Thus, even though media showed a slump
in the Deathly Hallows penultimate theatrical revenue, the tremendous hype ensured record openings. iPads can fall into this category, as many have reviewed that they are not the best for what they cost. And yet the sales refuse to
plummet, as competitors come out with their own versions. My favorite
craving was from Spanish accessory and jewelry line Uno de 50 ‘ claiming to make only 50 pieces of any ensemble that was created. Scarcity indeed induces anxiety!

Support

Low on anxiety and low on utility? While
this lethal combination would make it sound like a company ought to
close shop, products and experiences here thrive on the fact that they
are a support to others. Often product complements, and sometimes even
substitutes, fall into the support category. A cool multi-functional
gadget (where the strangely shady advertising does not indicate the
longevity of the product), a cheaper tech gadget, an unhyped, marginally
ineffective but more economical smartphone would fall here. For even
the worst of smartphones still have a market! As would the series of tech accessories ‘ from
underperforming stylus pens to low budget unexpected hits  that garner
revenue nonetheless ‘ Snakes on a Plane, anyone?

Notes to take?

As a corporation,
try to always allocate marketing budgets wisely, bearing in mind what
position your product, experience, or consumer output is attempting to
take. Hype is a useful tool to generate anxiety in both your target
market and growth opportunity markets. The key is to learn how to
sustain the hype.

And consumers,
watch thy anxiety level! Always try to match it, or rather pre-empt it,
with utility. The ‘do I really need this’ clich?? never fails, albeit is
often forgotten or found to be duller than a ‘I want it!’ urge.
Emotional drivers are always challenging to manage, as discovered in a
study of emotional decision making. As always, things are easier said than done.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at
s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on
@sssourabh.