Tag Archives: The Market Research 2011

Live from TMRE 2011: Learnings from Coca Cola, Henkel, Mars Pet Care and 3M

Yes of course, putting famous brands in the headline always is a good
idea… But today I learned how to choose… ;-)
The second day of this year’s The Market Research Event is nearly over and
I have to say it was very inspiring as well as educational to a certain extent.
Everything started with the keynote sessions and a session I had really
looked forward to: “The Art of Choosing” by the impressive Sheena

“Be choosy about choosing” was the summary of it all. But before
coming to this final recommendation she was takling about one of the most
relevant problem in everyday life consumption of any goods. How do people
choose and how could choosing be simplified. If you are more familiar
with  “the narrowing down problem” by Fidelity research or the
“3 by 3 rule” by McKinsey, you know what Sheena was talking
In her own words she was talking about the “jam problem”. She
showed some of her experiments and one was about jam. Draeger’s Grocery Store
for instance has a huge variety of options to choose between all kinds of
products, besides others 348 different kinds of jams. The question is, is it
useful to have that large variety of options? To test this in the experiment
she tested two stands, one with 6 jams and one with 24 jams. At the booth wit
24 jams 60% stopped, at the both with 6 jams 40% stopped. But only 3% bought
something at the 24 jam stand and 30% bought something at the 6 jam
stand.  So it was more than 6 times more likely to buy jam if 6 jams were
offered than 24 jams. The number of choices is attracting but the choice itself
is much more difficult. 
In another experiment people were asked to choose chocolate, one group out
of 6 pieces and another out of 30. At the end they could rather have money or
chocolate for incentive. Chocolate choosen from the 30 piece deck was perceived
as less delicious and people tend to take the money more often than the
This leads to three different negative consequences for brands and
1. Commitment – The
number of choices weakens the commitment toward the choice anyway, even if it
is important to consumers
2 Decision quality – The more
choices they have, the lower the perceived quality of the decision
3 Satisfaction – The more
choices they have, the less satisfied they are with their choice they made
But why is this?
We have cognitive limitations, the modern world is designed for experts who
knows how to skip suboptimal options.
Options are more and more indistinguishable. Differences are to small but
variety is often seen as a competitve advantage, no matter how small the
differences are. 
And there is more pressure to choose anyway. Because we aspire to be unique
(but not extraordinary). And our choices express our personality. We think:
“If I choose this what does this say about who I am and what I want and
how does the choice reflect on what I want and who I am…”
So it is all about offering a better choosing experience!
And there are three techniques to deliver this:
1. cut – retailer ALDI ist probably the best example to express what sheena
means with “cut”
2. categorize – look at Best Sellers and they categorization of wine to get
an idea what’s behind this
3. condition – start easy with complex choices and slightly increase
complexity within the process of choice
The next one was a good experience. I was sitting at the bloggers’ desk and
was glad to have a seat. 
The room was crowded, first time at TMRE in the session I attended. Diane
Hessan and Stan Sthanunatahn were there to talk about Market Researchers in the
21st century. Amazing, they only showed one chart, and this was the title ;-)
So it was more an interview than a track session, but very interesting to
hear a big company’s perspective on the future needs of our industry. Want to
read some quotes? Here you are:
“Market research is the best profession in the world, because it is at
the heart of every important decision”
“But the best
profession is also boring, because parts of the jobs are boring. Processes are
designed to be boring”
“Challenge is inspiring
people. Be a change agent.”
“Surveys may not always
be the truth, and why would you tell the truth to a complete stranger?”
“What makes Coke so
successful? Not just the tv commercials, but the “strong community
“brand health can’t be
developed in a month, why measure it on a monthly base?”
“Synthesize your findings
into an informed dream of the future”
“Take the familiar and
make it unfamiliar. Convey facts in a different way to inspire”
Nothing to add at this point
Then I attended a session from the Marketing & Brand Insight
track and one from the Activating Insights track. 
Ann Bearth was talking about 3M and the efforts they made by reactivating
the brand. Quite interesting to see what barriers to overcome internally and
how to roll out a real huge internal and external survey. One of the most
interesting findings to my point of view was the fact that younger employees of
3M are more engaged in the brand, for customers the opposite is true.
And that brand activation can be ensured by sharing the stories of the
companies and their brands, internally and externally.
Henkel also found a great internal experience to bring insights to life.
They decided to have an internal live event in order to let the consumer speak
and to show the employees their work in order to use their power and ideas to
develop new ways of increasing usage of the prodcts the compay sells. All in
all it was an intense experience for them.
But Heiko Sch??fer also pointed out waht you have to keep in mind when doing
this kind of internal event. Some very valuable pieces of advise:
- Identify important business topics
- Set and track the event against clear objectives and KPIs
- Plan ahead and don’t underestimate the time and effort required
- New skills are required
- Make it big
- Engage your audience
- Make it fun
But don’t stop at the end of a one-shot. Make it a process and show your
Be out in front and lead. 
This indeed was an encouraged speech about the current and future role of
market research in companies and for agencies.
Personally I have to say TMRE doesn’t mean “too much really enough

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

What if we were paid for clients’ Return On Insight?

Last week I dreamt an unusual dream: I landed up in market-research-future-land…  

The market research world
there had changed, everything was different. Much of the
dream didn’t make pretty much sense to me from today’s perspective. 
But one part of the dream I had to think
about a little bit longer:
in today’s time ROI was one of the key parameters for the assessment and classification of success. At least because of this
interesting post it becomes clear that it
is not always easy
to determine ROI as return on investment for market research
services. But in my
dream’s market-research-future-land however
much more research activities were rated
by clients on the basis of ROI
How could that be?  
How did they resolve the problem of a
clear definition and inter-individual clarity of what
ROI means?
It didn’t last long until I
realized that ROI wasn’t meant
as Return On Investment but
as Return On Insight. What had happened?
Central changes in the market research industry, which could be slightly observed and forefelt today, had been manifested in new
concrete requirements and business areas.

research’s clients were no longer willing to pay for (high) expensive and highly specialized external
service providers and service units.
Shortage of information about markets
and market participants became increasingly smaller, the value of the complex gathering and
surveying of this information declined
as rapidly as continuously

Most of the
information and the most important parts of it for the companies were easily
accessible via intelligent social media
approaches and progress in the DIY market research ‘ without a large investment. The MR-agencies, which had focused on the
information gathering, were caught in a negative relevance swirl and thereby
lost income until they lost all of their justification they once had.  
Quality, efficiency, methodology and last but
not least price had been arguments
in which the MR-agencies did not differ a lot from each other. 
Consequently, the investment, which the
purchasers of market research have issued
to the agencies for the collection of data and information, had become vanishingly small.

the industry had not disappeared from earth, but it had changed significantly. Insight
became the central proof to evaluate the performance of market
research. The generation of insights
had detached itself from the value of data gathering, this was
already re-integrated within the
organization of commissioning companies. To
connect relevance and significance to existing data and results had become the
most important competence, and clients paid a lot for it and loved to do so.

What I especially liked about market-research-future-land
was the fact that clients included Return On Insight as a flexible
component into their pay
. Only those agencies, that had been able to provide
insights that were able to influence the
client companies’ success in a positive way, were also paid with the flexible part
of the fee.
I’m sure
that Return On Insight for market research is as difficult to be determined as
Return On Invest. But I’m also sure that the assessment of our performance by our
clients via Return On Insight is trend-setting. For this we would be forced to:
- give up
our silo-thinking,  
- deal with
marketing and advertising in a more extensive way
- be less of craftsmanship and more to believe
in relevance and
- ultimately be prepared for the future

ourselves have not yet tried to
agree with the client about a flexible part of our fee, depending
on the quality of the Return on Insights
we deliver. But we are thinking about it, and who knows, maybe it will happen soon that we are working with one of our clients on
such a trend-setting model.
I’m curious how ROI will be discussed at The Market Research Event in Florida. IIR, USA,
the conference organizers have put it on the agenda.

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

J&J Global Strategic Insights Director Reimagines Research

Research Insighter Series Explores New Consumer Insights Nomenclature

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

When Jennifer Nelson returns to Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health Care from maternity leave later this year, it will be in a new role as leader of Global Strategic Insights (GSI) for J&J’s skin product portfolio and baby businesses.

And she plans to make a few changes.

‘We in marketing research are probably our own worst enemy on a variety of fronts. But in particular, in how we communicate about our own craft,’ Nelson told The Research Insighter.

‘To be relevant, you need to stop talking about what you do in terms of methods,’ she said. ‘It’s really time we take control of this discourse and own our own identity as a function by framing what we do in the full context of business need.’

In this exclusive podcast interview for The Research Insighter, Nelson outlines her blueprint for reframing the research conversation at J&J via a framework of categories and subcategories.

Change is never easy, especially in a conservative field like research.

So Nelson is also interested in raising a new generation of researchers’perhaps with unconventional backgrounds, like engineering or business’who aren’t afraid to break the rules.

Listen to the interview here.

Read the transcript here.

Author’s note: Jennifer Nelson will be speaking at The Market Research Event in a session titled ‘Instigating Marketing Transformation Through Marketing Research Innovation.’  Download the program here to find out more about her presentation and the rest of the agenda.

For information or to register for The Market Research Event 2011, taking place November 7-9 in Orlando, Florida, please visit TheMarketResearchEvent.com.


Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Market Research Leadership – Where’s the beef?

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

Recent research shows that market research is increasingly affected by a positioning problem.

For example the current Green Book Research Industry Trends Report mentions the fact that the proportion of those who describe the importance of market research as declining, has increased within six months by 20 percentage points.

Only every second expert assigns a rising or at least constant importance to market research. All in all it seems that perception of the relevance of market research suffers.

The reasons for this development are manifold. In addition to external factors such as the financial and economic crisis there are also some internal factors to be identified.

In general declining relevance is a consequence of lacking clear added values. That’s valid for brands as well as for companies, and this is also true for market research. On the one hand this can be explained by the constantly increasing number of competitors for market research. Boundaries towards other players such as consultancies, advertising or strategy agencies become fluid. On the other hand, fueled by the increasing importance of the internet, technological service providers play an increasingly important role.

One of the most striking examples for this is the rise of online research communities. Different to for example a representative CATI-survey an online community project is not naturally located in the area of market research competence. It often happens that the marketing itself, supported by IT and technology department / supplier, puts on such projects. Consequently classical market research role models and thought patterns are questioned.

Requirements concerning market research therefore are constantly changing. It becomes increasingly difficult for the industry to keep up with the pace of developments and to find the right positioning.

Someone who has accepted this challenge is IIR USA, the organizers of this year’s “The Market Research Event 2011″ in November in Orlando. This conference has it all, a first glance at the program (which you get only when you specify name and e-mail address) is sufficient piece of evidence for that.

From my point of view the combination of diverse and interesting topics makes the TMRE 2011 very attractive. Nine different tracks – from “Market Research & Leadership Insights” and “New Tools & Breakthrough Methodology” to “ROI & Measurement” show the full spectrum of recent challenges and how one can deal with these new approaches, innovations and ideas.

While promising “connecting to the best insights from around the world” the TMRE helps in positioning market research and to re-strength, win back or even expand relevance.

And this is something where we all can benefit and gain a lot.

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: An Anthropological Presentation of the Use of Mobile Tech & Digital Media in Everyday Life

Leading up to The Market Research Event, we’ll profile the keynotes, tracks and themes at the 2011 event.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the exciting keynote sessions.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register using code TMRE11BLOG, you can save $600 off of the standard registration rate!  This rate is only available through today, July 15, 2011.

Featured Session:  An Anthropological Presentation of the Use of Mobile Tech  Digital Media in Everyday Life

Featured Keynote Speaker: Mimi Ito, Professor in Residence, Department of Anthropology and Department
of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine

About the session: Mimi Ito is an international expert on how people use mobile technologies and new digital media in their everyday lives. A cultural anthropologist of technology use, she also is a leading authority on how social network technologies are shaping society. Dr. Ito has been named the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning. Created in 2009 from an endowment fund originally established by the MacArthur Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley, the digital media and learning initiative aims to determine how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.

Tablet users growing and they don’t expect free content

Currently, only 12% of the US population has a tablet they use for internet browsing.  AdAge Media Works’ recent study found that it could increase to as much as 23% of the population but the beginning of 2012.  While the internet has become the place to find anything and everything for free, it seems that tablet users have a different mentality when using content.  Tablet spending came mostly through the purchasing of Apps, and the average App Buyer last year spent $53 dollars.  According to the study, 93% of tablet users purchased Apps.

What does this transition mean?  Is it significant that users are more willing to pay for content on a tablet as opposed to the internet?  Will companies such as the New York Times, who started a a Paid Content Model, benefit in the future?

The Market Research Event Complete Agenda is Revealed

The Market Research Event is the most comprehensive conference in the world for elevating the business value of insights to advance the industry forward. This year, we’re presenting more.

MORE choice. MORE options. MORE proven value than any other event in existence:
‘ 1200+ Projected Attendance ‘ 175+ Speakers ‘ 140+ Best in Class Sessions ‘ 100+ Showcase Exhibitors ‘ Speakers from more than 17 countries ‘ 720 Client Side Participants ‘ 98% Attendee Satisfaction ‘ 100% of Past Attendees Would Refer A Colleague ‘ 60%+ Client Side Attendance ‘ 14+ Scheduled Networking Events ‘ Best in research from North America PLUS South America, Europe, Asia, & Africa

Register by June 10 and Save $700 off the standard & onsite rate. Mention priority code TMRE11BLOG. If you have any questions about TMRE 2011, feel free to contact Jennifer Pereira at jpereira@iirusa.com.