Tag Archives: social media research

IBM’s James Newswanger on The Power of Twitter Data for Corporate Decision Making

Late last year IBM entered into a partnership with Twitter which their Senior Research Manager, Corporate Social Analytics James Newswanger describes as combining “the best of Twitter with the best of IBM”.  The Research Insighter sat down with Newswanger and asked him for an update on what sort of data and research IBM was working on with Twitter. Here’s a brief excerpt from the video interview, which you can watch in its entirety here.
James Newswanger first explained to The Research Insighter what IBM’s partnership with Twitter entails. “They give us full firehose access. We apply IBM’s Deep Insight through Watson computing analysis to help them find more meaning in their data.”
The Research Insighter: “What kinds of information are you looking for?”
Twitter analysis is “much more than 140 characters”
James Newswanger: “Past the 140 character text there are 150 metadata elements that tell you info about the Tweeter. You can find out how many followers the person, organization or in some cases spam has. This is extremely useful in identifying people who are most influential; it’s also used to identify spam.”

Newswanger discusses IBM’s own internal usage of Twitter data

James Newswanger: “In one quarter we get 500K tweets that mention IBM that need to be analyzed. Some of it is spam about products we are no longer making, some if it is robotic churn when people use #IBM in their Tweets to get attention. You have to clean data before you start analysis.”  

With a clean data set it’s easier to determine the story

Newswanger continued: “Once the data set is cleaned, you have to determine what is the purpose of the engagement. If we’re looking to identify influencers, we’ll be paying attention who is followed, who are they following. You also want to identify what keywords are being used in association with your key interest ‘ say it’s IBM for example.”

The Research Insighter: “Is there any other data that you’re looking for?”

James Newswanger: “Location. Knowing where a person is proving to be extremely useful. The amount of posts a person makes. The amount of activity they do, the amount of retweeting a person does indicative of their activity. We look at their description. That’s very interesting when we get into personality analysis.”

Twitter analysis is not just for marketing and brand equity anymore

The Research Insighter: “IBM recently issued an Institute for Business Value report called Beyond Listening. Can you tell us a little about it.”

James Newswanger: “It attempts to take a step forward past text analysis for marketing and brand analysis only. Social business analysis has moved into the fundamental operations of a firm and to some extent the strategy making of a firm. Things like supply chain, HR, every element of a firm now can figure out a way to use social. We give examples of how different companies are using Twitter to unearth a different level of business analysis. That’s proven to be particularly valuable to the C-Suite.”

The Research Insighter: “How would that work? Do you have any examples?”

James Newswanger: “Here are two of the most interesting examples:

Influencer identification. Many people use Twitter analysis to identify who they choose (or who they won’t choose) to be a product endorser. People also use Twitter information to decide who to invite (or not invite) to events as advocates.

Most companies sponsor events where they specifically target some people who are active socially. You see this a lot in fashion. In addition to a traditional magazine editor, you’ll see a whole barrage of bloggers and Twitter folks assigned to the front row because they’ve become important.

Supply chain. The other area that’s particulary interesting is supply chain. Companies are using Twitter to identify where people are, supplying things that are relevant to their inventory. For example, right now, the flu. If people tweet about being sick, colds or ‘where should I run to the store to get a cold medicine’.”

We’re excited to say that James Newswanger will be speaking at The Market Research event, and on a very timely topic: “Town Hall: The State of Election Polling”.

If you’re interested in hearing more from IBM and other technological innovators in the market research industry, don’t miss the world’s leading market research event TMRE happening in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida October 17-20. Got any comments on this blog? Make yourself heard – Tweet to us at @TMRE!

How Fashion Week utilizes Social Media

How do fashion brands use social media, especially in times like fashion week?

As evidenced in an aforementioned article, brands clamor on
twitter and Facebook to ensure that the wireless networks are abuzz with
their followers. Take Barbie’s QR code enabled scavenger hunt through Manhattan,
for a rewarding gratification of having the city at your touch phone
savvy fingertips. Digital marketing has shown to be the Launchpad when
targeting the yuppy iPhone and android tugging urbanite. View DKNY’s
inventive paper-clad e-vitation, as a blaring example of new times. DKNY
is one of many brands that successfully converted followers on social
platforms into shoppers. Including myself!

CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg deserves two thumbs up for
promoting twitter hash tag equivalents and beckoning New Yorkers to
indulge in the conversation, which allowed lucky winners to pick up a
fragrance sample two weeks in advance of an official brick and mortar
launch at Bloomingdales. Smart eh? And as a police check, there was a crosstab of twitter followings and updates with foursquare check-ins.

the bustling streets and lack of direction; iPhone apps like Lustr and
interactive maps (shareable on Twitter and Facebook ‘ stalker friendly
or friend-wowing?) all allowed tagging of partner stores as an entry to a fabulous giveaway.
It was not the retail brands that attach themselves to the digital
fiber optics ‘ from Bendel to Jimmy Choo, the upscale market sensed the
current of the circuit, too.

And the perks of simply fanning or following a brand on Facebook or
twitter? If Burberry, one was indeed lucky enough to get one of a
gazillion samples of Burberry’s Body scent, launched and sampled on Facebook
for its fans. Truly a far cry from makeup caked age-ing and harsh
pitched sales folks at department stores who jeered scented cards in
passerby faces. Oscar de la Renta raised its ‘likes’ by up to 40%
through a similar campaign, exhausting 25,000 samples in 3 days ‘ that’s
more than department stores nationwide can do for a single fragrance in
a month!

With so much interactive media space, I was envious of my
non-Manhattan friends who were enjoying the festivities, albeit in a
comforting environment. Livestream drew them to witnessing events in a
less sweaty party, all on the laptop. Fashion brand channels offered coverage
of their respective concerts, like Janelle Monae for Ralph Lauren or
Joss Stone at Nine West. Was the endurance really worth it? I should say

Coming to fashion week, I wondered the worth of standing at the back of a tent, compared to the minute by minute updates
of everything from the gleam of the stage to the wardrobe malfunction
of a model to the beat of the music, all of which was easily viewable on
one’s smartphone, and at a location of choice.

Note to voyeurs: indulge in livestreams.
Note to brands: livestreams can either build your brand equity, or drown it.

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

Are you Pinterested? A Fashion Brand Evolves Research Communities

@JaclynDecell from Rachel Zoe Inc presented on, ‘The Insightful
Consumer: Using Social Signals to Drive Business Decisions.’ And this company
is doing something very cool.

The company is launching a pilot of a new kind of online
insights community: it’s a Pinterest community. People are being recruited to
the ‘Zoe Insiders’ shared boards. In exchange, they get exclusive access, such
as sneak peeks to new fashion collections, exclusive content and they may even
have the chance to be on the Rachel Zoe site (their 5 minutes fame?). No monetary

Pinterest is a fascinating choice, since it’s all about images. Which certainly makes
sense for a fashion brand. And if you haven’t yet checked it out, Pinterest is HUGE.
And addictive. Check out this Mashable infographic
on why it is so addictive.

The shared Pinterest boards will be moderated, though the speaker
felt this wasn’t too big a challenge’as the participants are being heavily
curated to make sure they are on point with the brand and goals.

But where is the market research? While the Pinterest project
is new (it’s in pilot), the company has been leveraging social media insights
from other channels for some time’and the Pinterest project is just the next
generation of it. Jaclyn says that when people share content from or about the brand on
any social media channel, it’s an indication of the customer journey. Seeing
what they share can reveal what types of editorial and imagery Rachel Zoe should
be creating. Nail-related items are hot? Black and white images hot? This information
can inform editorial choices, content creation choices’allowing the company to really
be responsive.

Will this replace a deep analysis of brand perceptions or customer
satisfaction measurements? Of course not. But it is a fast, continuous way to
respond to customer wants and passions. And that is pretty cool.
This post was written by Kathryn Korostoff. Kathryn is the President of Research Rockstar, the only independent company dedicated to market research training (online and in-person).  Many of Research Rockstar’s classes are MRA-certified, and Research Rockstar offers class bundles leading to MRA Certification. She also currently serves as President for the MRA’s New England chapter.  KKorostoff@ResearchRockstar.com, 508.691.6004 ext 705, @ResearchRocks

Live from FOCI 2013: Social Media Insights made Actionable

Being aptly titled social media expert, and with a personal passion for the
arena, I was obviously front and center at the panel of social media insights.
With Clorox, Heineken and Johnson and Johnson coming together to share their
views on a rapidly changing consumer landscape in the social context, the
learnings were as strong in variety as they were packed with information.

Here were some key takeaways:

Make it actionable: The point of
social media rises from the need for market driven reactions and actions that
can hopefully lead to insights. One can think of this as exploring white space.
However, no one product comes out of it for Johnson and Johnson, but General
Mills however has pizza crusts and gluten free products that come from social
media listening.

Understand your consumer: Heineken
has success from permission to follow its uber men on instagram and facebook,
in order to understand relationship dynamics and influencers. This is much
deeper in engagement and fosters better understanding.

Try to understand the ROI in the social
: What is the real value of paid, shared or earned followers? Its all
about actively engaging. The ultimate goal is to drive engagement, increase
customer loyalty and eventually induce purchase. Paid owned earned space isn’t
figured out, because they can’t prove the value to find out what the ROI is.
ROI is what is used by classical marketing, and often gets muddled with social.

Tie in your social and classical
channels: You
need to integrate consumer affairs and social media
listening. They will tell you different stories, as they work with different
consumer segments. Listening to only one source (classical or social) will only
give you part of the story, and cannot be the basis of a strategy. Because
after all, consumer affairs, social insights and listening. Ultimately everyone
is trying to find actionable insights.

Social media action should be driven
by objectives:
never ask a question of what happens with social media or
what do you do with it’ It’s as simple as not letting method drive your quest
for insight. Rather, focus on your objectives.

Overall, we’re at the point of expanding connections ‘ and social media makes
it even easier. The irony of social media joined with classical marketing boils
down to money and budgets, for when it comes to spending corporate, one seeks
ROI, despite knowing that simply being on the social channels is essential.

Ending anecdotal-ly with a KY learning from social media relating to men and
women doing dishes, this panel brings to mind that social is awesome.

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

Why refusing social media research is a risk

A recently published press release by Gartner on “communication by social media” made me think about market research and its positioning opportunities in the future.

The prediction that within the next two years ‘responding to inquiries via social
media channels will be the new minimum level of response expected’
also has
implications for our industry, regardless of whether this will come true 1:1 or
not. As critical communication between consumers and brands on social media
channels is growing, these channels will gain significance for market research

Although we all perceive an increase in methodologies and approaches embracing changes in communications behavior among consumers (MROCs, Big Data Analysis, Social Media Analysis to name a few) most of qualitative and quantitative methods used today
are traditional.

If social media communication will extend to the amount predicted,
this probably will have to change.

If refusing communication via social media is risky for brands, what about refusing social media research?

For marketing, finding the right way of responding to consumers’ social engagement obviously is a challenge. The learning curve of those who do so is still very steep and a lot of effort comes from learning by doing. The same is true for market
research. So all we will have to do is to keep on probing around and learning from
our experience?

Maybe this is not as easy as it looks like’ 

Historically, we think in products and MR-services from most of the vendors come along as products (with a lot of ‘TM’-extensions). This is not suitable
for social media research anymore due to tremendously fast change of technology
and behavior. Maybe it is good to use a product for customer satisfaction
measurement, but for social media research? I am not sure… Whenever somebody is
turning up with a finished social media research product I would be skeptical’

Furthermore we try to focus too much on tools, that we know from former times. Mainly quantitative (but also qualitative) research should notice that the social media world is moving on and traditional online research – especially the kind that is still using forms and questionnaires of face to face research – has to be replaced by more innovative approaches.

Maybe it is a good idea to learn from each other in order to benefit from each other’s experience with the new MR toolkit. And I know a
good place to do so.

Join us this fall at The Market Research Event 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. For more about this
year’s program and ‘The New MR Tolkit’-session, download the agenda.

Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany. He
has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market research
agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and
logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through
market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live
blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Teens and Social Media: Where are they going?

Facebook has been the go-to social media site of the past eight years. But recent research shows from Microsoft Research shows that teens are gravitating from Facebook and using social media with apps specially made for SmartPhones is their new destination.  Tumblr, Twitter and text messaging is the popular destination now of those who turn 13.  But studies show that they’re still using Facebook and 93% do have accounts.  The article at the LA Times also mentions that three out of every four moms who went online in March did visit Facebook.

At The Market Research Event 2012, we’ll have a track dedicated to social media listening looking at how you can listen to you audience online.  As the younger generation has so fully integrated technology into their lives, brands should discover how teens are communicating their brands online.  For more on TMRE 2012, download the brochure here. As a reader of this blog, save $500 off the standard rate when you register before June 5 and mention code TMRE12BLOG!

What what does this mean for the social media giant and it’s next few years? Do you think that the younger generation gravitating away from the site has to do with it’s personalization and and a view of invasion of privacy from their parents?  What does this mean for the future of Facebook?

Save $300 on TMRE this week only

The $300 early bird discount expires this week for TMRE 2010. This year’s agenda covers: Segmentation, Media & Measurement, Shopper Insights, Social Media & Community Research, Culture & Research Trends, Market Research Leadership & Strategy, Marketing Research & Brand Insights, Insight Driven Innovation, Data Analysis & Measurement, Business to Business Market Research, the EXPLOR Awards, The New Insights Toolbox, and more.

Click here to visit the TMRE webpage.
Click here to visit the agenda to find out more about the tracks, sessions.

Social Media Marketers Declare Success

eMarketer.com reports that The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has followed up on its 2007 and 2008 studies of social media usage by the Inc. 500. Adoption and awareness continue to trend upward, with 91% of firms using at least one social media tool in 2009 and three-quarters describing themselves as ‘very familiar’ with social networking.

Social networking and blogging have seen the most growth in adoption, while other technologies have flattened or even declined in use, including wikis and online video. Twitter usage, of course, has caught on quickly’more than one-half of businesses reported tweeting in 2009. This was the first year respondents were polled about Twitter.

Social Media Marketers Declare Success

We’ve seen the success of social media marketing in market research; but how about you? Are you seeing success with this new marketing medium?