Tag Archives: TMRE 2011

Live from TMRE: Day 3 – what a day wth Intel, Disney, YouTube and Microsoft BING (and CIA)…

Could there
be another TMRE day tomorrow? Should there be one? Hmm, I think we all have to
go back to work and do interesting research stuff and thinking.

But I will bring
a lot of interesting thoughts back with me to Germany. I saw a lot of
interesting sessions and talked to a lot of interesting people (some which I
only knew from Twitter). But before I’ll have to leave I would like to share my
thoughts on this third day of TMRE.
I started
the day with the two keynotes, ‘Why Bad Behaviour Is Good Politics by Bruce
He started with some interesting sentences:
are deadlier in Iran or China than Chile, Honduras or Italy’
‘All of the
world’s top universities are in democracies’
exported baby formula and food in the 90s while over 500.000 of its children
died needlessly from malnutrition and disease’
another quiz:
You want
job security? Huge income? The need to do want you want? Everyone should praise
you? Looking for perfect job privacy balance? Become a dictator! :-)
drilled it down to five rules, applicable for all organizations (families,
charities, companies etc.)
1. To be a
successful dictator rely only on as few people as possible, only use a small
coalition of supporters
2. Get a small
‘coalition’ of people and drawn them from a large pool of people, the larger
the better. It is important that they know that they can be are easily
3. Tax max! Get
out of customers as much as possible.
4. Pay your
coalition just enough so they don’t think to switch to the other side. But don’t
pay more than that.  If you pay them too
much, they are able to gain wealth and spend the money and at the end fights
5. Don’t
waste money on improving the lives of the people you rule. They aren’t
important because you don’t benefit from them at all
Very charismatic
speech, but I didn’t really get the connection to market research, promise to
think harder :-)
The second
one was Jeremy Gutsche, founder of Trendhunter.com, again a very engaging
presentation. You could see that he is a ‘man for the stage’.
He was all
about two different trends in recent times:
1. The
supremacy of culture
2. The tragic
return of gut instinct (which we don’t like that much ;-) )
He pointed
out that market research used to be driven by product. But that isn’t hitting
the nail anymore. It’s about experience. Most of the companies sell products,
but consumers buy experiences (see Harley Davidson).

So, to his
point of view, we are hunting for the cool stuff, because cool stuff is unique,
cutting edge, viral, the next big thing’ So you’ll have to create a culture!

Great case
study about littering. See the answer from the research and the execution from
ad agency and goolge for ‘Don’t mess with Texas’. Here is the link.  
important notes for me: Create a connection to the research! Or connect the
research to an experience!

 Then I went
to some cool sessions. YouTube, Disney, BING, Intel’
Good stuff: 
Sundar Doraj-Raj from Google showed how to measure the impact of advertising. They
have instream ads, overlays, banner / rich media and promoted videos (yes, they
belong to google)
And YouTube
is incredibly growing. 3 billion views a day, 48 hours of videos uploaded every
day’ Why is this important? It is, because they earn money with this. 2 billion
monetized views every week.

So they did
some experimental designs and found out that instream ads (those that are
running prior to the video you choose) are most disturbing the users. Not
surprising at all, because they stop you from doing what you want. This is
getting slightly better when the instream ad is skippable, but this kind of
advertising remains one of the most critical issues in terms of usage and
visiting YouTube.  But be sure they will react
on this.
I also
heard some inspiring words about culture in a creative organization from Yoni
Karpfen, Consumer Research Club Penguin (Disney
). It was very impressive to see
how children aged 6 to 12 deal with daily politics in a playful way (like 9/11,
breast cancer day or Japan tragedy).
But this
kind of product need perpetual creative development and the question is how to
do this and what to develop next? Yoni led us through their research process
which delivers a highly creative experience. They listen to the players, live
and breathe the experience. And they have a huge community support team which
is connected to the users anytime.
They are trying
to make research free or cheap instead of expensive, fast instead of slow, friendly
instead of controversial, trustworthy instead of questionable, tailored to the
audience instead of complicated and cool & fun instead of boring. And of
course they have to in order to fuel the creative network and their core

Inspiration meets information, creative has to be compatible to operational.
Empathy is the key, and that itself refers to culture. 
Microsoft /
is measuring social network conversation and WoM to understand how Gen Y
is talking about their brand to get more emotional connection insights of
Generation Y. They better do, because 10.1% of Gen Y visits MSN.com on a
monthly basis. So MSN and Bing’s target for 2011 has been Gen Y for all their
media spend & targeting. It is a little bit confusing, because Lise Nicole
Brende told us that the Bing research team mainly consists of Gen X
researchers. So how can Gen X researchers deep dive into the habits and rituals
of Gen Y (but this is another story’).
They moved
their attention towards so called Connected Socialiszers (Facebook centric) which
produce 47% of all BING searches. In former time they focused on Information
Seekers (responsible for 20% of BING searches).

We heard a
lot about Gen Y then, taken from the Cassandra Report, and how BING tries to
adopt these findings. They constantly try to get in touch with this optimistic,
control demanding, group oriented and sometimes overwhelmed and stressed Gen Y.
One of the key assets BING has is Gen Y trend seeker panel, providing feedback to
them, a very interesting and valuable source.
Last but
not least I attended the session by Intel about Experience Driven Innovation.
It was again very interesting and presented on a high level.  Tony Salvador was pointing out that Intel is looking
for long term evolution trends to use for corporate development. He said that
experience that is based on data is future. It delivers new ways of business,
new way of making money, new ways of interacting. And he left us with 5 take
- Exchange
drives markets
- Many
markets are comprised of people
- People have
values and they seek value
- Organized
complexity is right there
- Cultural
values in Flux drive Expertise
I have to
say good-bye for now. See you later! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter
@olympiamilano :-)
Btw, for
more check out the gorgeous twitter hashtag #TMRE

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.

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.

TMRE 2011: Coca-Cola VP talks about Truth, Insights and Community

It is obvious that Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President, Marketing Strategy & Insights at The Coca Cola Company, loves his job.

He opened with “The marketing research profession is the best profession in the world….for one simple reason. Insight is the most critical thing.” 

Well, he certainly knows his audience because most of us here at The Market Research Event agree with him…at least I do:)

Diane Hessan, President & Ceo of Communispace facilitated the discussion, and she told me prior to the session start that it would be worth blogging about…and it was!

This is what I enjoyed most about his presentation:

1. Visionary thinking“The responsibility of companies is to help create the future…..but you have to learn how to stop looking in the rearview mirror?” 
 2. Perspective on hiring. “Hire people that are not the same as you had before.” He said that many of his “strange hires” have turned out to be “great hires.” He also cautioned companies not to “outsource your thinking.” 
3. Clear communication of the brand. “What makes coca cola what it is today? It’s the community we have established..that we touch people on a daily basis.” “It’s a drink that promotes happiness.” Check out what Coca-Cola is now doing with a program they call 5 BY 20.

April Bell

Live from TMRE 2011: Great first day at TMRE

After an 11 hour long lasting but still comfortable flight on Sunday from Hamburg, Germany
I arrived safely and in good conditions in Orlando, Florida. As I learned today
‘ more about this later ‘ Sunday is NFL day, so I went to a nice sports bar and
watched some American Football. Very nice experience’
Today I was
curious and excited to see The Market Research Event started at The Peabody in
So I went quite early to get my registration
done and to join the first session from the Ad & Media Research track: ‘How
US Consumers’ Ethic Identity Influences Media & Purchase Habits’
I picked
that one because I was hoping to hear some interesting thought both on
methodology and results. And both presenters from Yahoo!, Lauren Weinberg and
Edwin Wong did a great job with their presentation.
But what was it about?
They showed
us a number of fact based recommendations how to do appropriate multi cultural marketing.
This is
important to a number of different companies and brands (and also Yahoo!) because
the purchase power of different ethnicities is huge and still rising. They
report an overall purchase volume of the four most relevant ethnicities
(African America, Asian / Pasific, Hispanic / Latino and Caucasian) of 2.5
billion dollars.
To gain a
larger share of this purchase power
it is important to understand how ethnicity
impacts preferences and how marketing can be as authentic as possible for this
To find
appropriate answers to this Yahoo! conducted a huge survey, consisting of
expert interviews, online communities, focus groups and quantitative elements.
It is always nice to see that a client sees the need to do market research. And
it is even nicer if this research isn’t conducted for the sake of doing
research. But it must have been a hard fight to set the budget free needed for
this scale of survey’
Anyway, I learned
a lot about the meaning of ethnicity to the groups, with very special area of
identification (e.g. music, food, gender roles, appearance, celebrating
holidays, language and even the family name). And it differs depending on the
ethnicity you are trying to talk to.
If you look
at the Caucasian-focused advertising out there it is not surprising that the ethnicities
feel underrepresented. But they feel much more underrepresented in traditional
media than in online media (e.g. 72% of the Hispanic feel underrepresented in
traditional media and only 39% in online media). 
My explanation would be that it
is much more easier to find yourself represented in the diversity of the www
than in 30 seconds TV commercials. And again the drivers of preferences are
strongly driven by the ethnicity.
In order to overcome this issue authentic
marketing has to face a basic paradox: On the one hand ethnicities have a
strong wish that the ethnic diversity (which they feel to be a part of and
which they see as representative for the US society and the real world) is
shown. On the other hand they are seeking for well targeted ads in order to
deliver a stronger ‘for-me-ness’ and to be represented in a better way. So
authentic marketing has to kill two birds with one stone: mainstream versus
This is not
easy. And this is a risk.
This is why 66% of the Asian ethnicity say that the
can’t think of any brand, that perform well (Hispanic 42%, African American
It is most
important to avoid stereotypes. And these again are ethnicity-specific. Aisans
don’t want to see the nerdy asian guy or somebody who is unable to attract
women. Huge families and Mariachi with Sombreros is forbidden if you want to
sell into the Hispanic ethnicity. And don’t show African Americans in a
commercial together with alcohol and tobacco and avoid Hip Hop and dancing. 
The true
understanding is the basis for success, execution is nuanced. Saying this, to
my point of view a strong need for pre-testing, co-creation or crowd sourcing
is identified. This is, because if you are doing it in the right way success
can be seen in trust, purchase and last but not least activated word-of-mouth,
offline and online. And here is a TV commercial shown by the presenters a best practice. 

next session I attended was some sort of childhood memories. It was about a
multi platform approach for Sesame Workshop by Diane Polvere and James

I have learned that not only my favorite characters from
Sesame Street have improved their style (the equipment of Super-Grobi ‘ his
German name ‘ is amazing) and some of them were new to me, but also
requirements of research improved. James
pointed out that 2005 there were 6 channels where you could get in contact with
Sesame content, 2011 they have 21 channels. 

No wonder
that they need to know a lot of different things about their audience: unique
audience, total audience, device interaction and sources of engagement, just to
name a few. TV is still
key, but gaming devices, audio, web, mobile, podcasts and other devices are
emerging and covering a relevant art of channel preferences in the pre-school target
After a huge
secondary analysis they decided to conduct a huge quantitative study with 2.000
children aged under 8 years. That gave them the opportunity to drill down
contact clusters on iTunes, podcasts, amazon etc. as well as important results
for future purchase of newer devices in order to spotlight trends. 
with existing data from Nielsen, comScore and so on they were able to build a
model and bridging the custom data with these common sources.
It was
quite interesting that they found a way to develop a multiplatform model to say
that over 50 million are in contact to Sesame content. This is an important
number for their revenue model (what I didn’t realize is that Sesame workshop
is a non-profit organization) in order to give value to their reach. 
And of
course ‘ like in every huge surveys ‘ there are a number of other interesting results.
Just to name two of them. TV is still number one and key to deliver a first
experience of Sesame content. But Online and Mobile is important to engage and enhance
frequency of usage.
And I found
myself belonging to the ‘Digital Dads’ which bring a new gatekeeper segment to
the responsible people at Sesame workshop. They usually stick to the ‘sesame
moms’ (described as mothers, who interact with their children and Sesame content
on TV and web). But ‘Digital Dads’ bring Sesame content with Apps on iPads,
Smartphones and Podcast to their kids. 
Something not completely different but important
in a broader sense was presented by Dr. Timothy de Waal Malefy from BBDOs Cultural
. It was all
about rituals and how brands could benefit from this. He pointed out that
rituals are nothing new for humans, but for most of the brands. 
The basis for
exploring rituals is to look at people. Because consumers use brands to suit
their needs and to share their experiences with others. So there is a huge
opportunity to learn from the customers in order to identify rituals and make
them work for brands. A brand’s benefits can be (among others) to give guidance
for a meaningful live to customers. 
But it is
not easy to find the ritual, because there are a lot of requirements that needs
to me fulfilled before you can call it a ritual. Generally speaking a ritual is
a fixed sequence of behaviors that transform us from one state to another,
emotionally or physically or both.
It is a powerful
motivating experience and develops strong loyalties (best practice: the ritual
of weddings
). Rituals operate in a clear framework and are highly sensorial,
memorable and pleasurable. 
compared rituals with habits, while habits are single and functional tasks, do
not transform a brand benefit and require low or no conscious effort. 
distinction between the two concepts is clear, but it stayed theoretical to me
unless he said that the ritual is ‘the journey’ and the habit is ‘the destination’.
This again is true for wedding, although some people regard a wedding as a
habit or other like this ritual so much that they want to have it again and
again :-)
But basically
it makes a lot of sense to look at rituals in this way. Timothy showed a lot of
research and advertising for ‘The art of shaving’ and he mentioned the ritual
of making your own coffee. 
First of all I
was thinking about rituals as some sort of elitist’s doing in order to differentiate from others, because
rituals show knowledge and express mastery. But and the end and by answering
questions from the auditorium Timothy pointed out that even this is mostly the
case and rituals is not for every brand, there are some examples for rituals in
mass market. Barbie vs. American Girl Doll, Build a bear or even the ritual of
Hispanics in the US starting to drink wine are good examples for this.
Next session was about women, apparel and the
. Alicia Z. Ranking presented backgrounds, process and results for a
re-positioning of NFL Womens’ apparel (and the success of it). 

Although I am
more into soccer I could understand most of the
things that were said. It is important to make good offers for women, because
445 of NFL fans are female and they are nearly 8 hours a week engaged with NFL.
Even more important is the fact that they spend $ 315 million on NFL apparel.
I like Alicia’s
descriptions of the former approach to make a good offer to women. It is called
‘shrinking & pinking’ and says that they took the men’s apparel, shrinked
it and made it pink.
The basis
for improving this was a huge online research with some face-to-face
components. And they build a segmentation on this survey, which revealed a lot
of shopper insights such as affinity to NFL apparel and purchase behavior as
well as attitudes and insights for product development.
One of the
key findings, which they used for developing the campaign, is that women pay
more attention towards fashion related items of NFL apparel and men basically want
to show their team affinity. And they also found out, that the female core target
consists of active and family-oriented women, aged 20-39 years.
So they
decided to create awareness for NFL women’s apparel by leveraging a health and
fitness performance that fits with the target’s fashion style and lifestyle. In
addition they wanted to feature women as NFL fans, which they achieved by
featuring real NFL women (I forgot their names. If this were soccer ladies I
would probably remember :-) ). But look at this:
They did a
lot more to support this campaign (events, microsite, contests, cause-related
etc.). And the business increased by 40% and 75% were aware of redesigned
product line
. Even the campaign was a huge success, 70% recall overall and 63%
recall brand related. 
To my point
of view this is a good example for having success when you have your business objectives
clear and stick to a limited number of relevant results but keeping these at
the spearhead of your marketing activities.
After this
I attended the Social Media & Communities track to hear Nick Mysore talking
about ‘Trend Spotting with Social Media to Grow Your Business’.
He introduced
his speech by focusing on using social media for strategy (and therefore for
business) and so (I thought) he would go one step further than saying that
listening to consumer on Facebook etc. is important. 
He had a
lot of numbers (very good and convincing ones) to support the fact that social
media is here to stay, and that is becoming more and more important for
marketing. I really liked the style of presentation, very entertaining and very
convincing. But for my personal scope there wasn’t much to learn than good
examples to show people that social media is important. 
Anyway, it
is important to listen and it is important to learn how to listen from these
how do it well (like US Gov. for instance). And it is also important to connect
the listening with the strategy. Therefore Nick recommends focusing on themes.
As an opposite of ‘a shotgun approach’ he mentioned that of course a selection
of themes is of course a risk (to choose the wrong ones). But otherwise complexity
is too big and it is impossible to deep dive into themes and to deliver
results. To create such patterns depends on the strategy and you must be brave enough
(or your internal or external clients) to take the risks of social media.
Social media is less reliable. But it is more penetrating and honest response. 
This leads
to the daily practice that social media is not replacing anything. But it is simple
to track and must be simple to implement into marketing (controlling).
The last
track I attended was about Celebrity and Engagement in a DVR world by TiVo.
Most of the time I saw impressive spots. And I learned that the spending in TV
ads are worthwhile, despite the fact that 54% of all primetime TV is
relates to former results 5-10 years ago, where it was revealed that is
important to keep the engagement high within the audience in order to keep
their attention for TV advertising. This is the same now, even if the forward
advertising. Let’s take Mad Men as an example.
This Suave ad was
shown and people who forwarded advertising thought the film would continue. 
let’s have a look at snickers and Superbowl:
People are
repeating this spot, because it supports the feeling of the sports. 
The same
for X-factor and Pepsi:
Different name for the same things…
All in all it
was a very exiting day. 
Looking forward to tomorrow and more hot market
research stuff. 

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

Live from TMRE 2011: Loyal or Lazy? Ipsos Explains…

Ipsos Marketing: Loyal or Lazy: Maximizing Brand Performance at Shelf

As presented by:

Paul Crowe, Ph.D.
Retail and Shopper Practice

Brad Bane,
Forecasting, Modeling & Consulting Practice

The Executive Summary
How consumers make decisions is a complex subject. Market Research company Ipsos helps clear the research clutter by introducing two mindsets that exist in all shoppers: Deliberative (where the brain works a little harder to compare products and attributes) and implimental (where the brain doesn’t work as hard to make a decision because the purchase has become second nature; very comfortable). Understanding consumers in this way will help marketers understand whether we should encourage or disrupt the path to purchasing our brands. Research recommendations suddenly get much easier when we can understand our shoppers in this way.

The Dive
We have a pretty good understanding who our shoppers are, and usually understand that that have many choices in the marketplace. Yet, Ipsos suggests that we also treat our shoppers as if they are thinking about us all the time and forget to realize that other things are going on her life. For example, she has to juggle her job, her children, what they are eating that night for dinner.

Our brands play a role in her life, but they do not occupy her mind all the time. It’s for this reason that we should focus on how Christine is making her decision by the time she reaches the shelf.

There are two mindsets that the presenters found in all shoppers: Deliberative and implemental.
The deliberative mindset is used to help choose between two or more items; we compare attributes and brand names are nearly irrelevant. The implementation mindset is found in people making decisions where there isn’t really a decision to be made; the brand or product we choose is almost a habit in that we don’t really think at it because we’ve already tried it and received the outcome we were seeking.

Here’s what we can do, as researchers, to understand which side of the fence your shopper might be:
  1. Utilize indirect measures. – People can’t explain ‘why’ so use inferred reasoning like a shopper decision tree.
  2. Read their mind. – well, we haven’t quite figured this out yet.
  3. Read their mindset. (either deliberative or implimental)

In the store, here’s what we can do:

  1. In store option 1: Disrupt the shopper. ‘ Force people to deliberate (might be in the implementation mindset for another brand). This will work best for trial and re-trial for a new product introduction.
  2. In store option 2: Reinforce. ‘ Do not disrupt. Perfect when your brand is already top of mind.
So to answer the original question, are consumer loyal or just lazy? It’s actually a trick question. For those making purchases without deliberation, they are cognitively lazy in that their brains are not working as hard to make a purchasing decision.

The TakeawayUnderstanding their mindset, and where our brand lies in the mind of our shoppers, we can provide much more meaningful and insightful research recommendations. As retailers and manufacturers seek loyal shoppers, how do marketers decide whether they should disrupt or encourage the path to purchase? As Ipsos suggests, we can focus more heavily on understanding their mindsets to understand the degree of work the our shoppers’ brains are engaging in when faced with our product at the shelf.

Garrett McGuire (@GJMcGuire) is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, “The Journal of a mAD Man,” that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

Predicting the Post-Recession Consumer Trends

I read an interesting quote this week from Aldi President, Jason Hart: ‘Discount shopping isn’t about income. Discount shopping is about saving money.’ At surface, it may not seem so interesting. But as we think about the booming value retailers (Dollar, Aldi, etc.), we must ask ourselves why and if our products, services, or respective businesses are affected by this trend. Even if not by value retailers, it’s likely that your business has been affected by the changing consumer landscape.

As fuel prices rose to historic highs and incomes remained level, many shoppers were forced to reevaluate their grocery trips and spending. More actively, shoppers began seeking value: Store brands were not second-on-the-shelf, but were discovered to offer a good product at a great price. What’s more, people started turning to the Internet and their smartphones for better shopping.

At the brink of this paradigm shift, market researchers became more important than ever for new-age marketing. When the Consumer Confidence Index began slipping into somewhat unfamiliar territory, we were forced to change our marketing messages that once influence shoppers to choose our brand. The word became value.

For consumers seeking value, Internet searching, in-store mobile use, and coupon usage rose. During that time, it was our responsibility to notice and monitor these trends of new consumerism and consequently provide the information to build new strategies.

So what about now?

It’s still our responsibility, as market researchers, to understand the economy and how it is affecting our shoppers. More importantly, we should be working to understand the residual affects of a damaged economy in the long-run: Will shoppers ever return to their old ways of frivolous spending? For those that found store brands, will they again find national brands? What are the new technologies that are influencing shoppers before, during, and after their purchases of our brand?

During your time in Orlando at The Market Research Event, you can expect to learn more about shopper marketing, the new mindsets of shoppers, and new technologies that will help market researchers to be more well-prepared in preparing for the current and future consumer trends!

Garrett McGuire (@GJMcGuire) is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, “The Journal of a mAD Man,” that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

Innovation and Recognition Partner Up in EXPLOR Awards and The Market Research Event

Hewlett-Packard/Qualvu, Microsoft/Blue Ocean, PepsiCo/Sentient Vie For Top Honors on November 8

The single-select question in front of us is this: who will take home the 2011 EXPLOR Award? Will it be Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft or PepsiCo ‘ and their market research partners ‘ as they contend for this prestigious honor in research innovation?

Presented by uSamp’, the EXPLOR Awards is an annual case study competition that honors technical innovation in market research. Case studies not only inform, but they inspire and provide insight into the problem-solving process. The new solutions presented are often a peek into the future. As the tagline states, the award highlights ‘Innovation in Research.’

The call for nominations was extended through September 12. Innovation leaders from global corporations, research agencies and academia were invited to submit high-impact cases where technology and creativity have merged to advance the research and insight process. A world-class judging team ‘ from noteworthy organizations like General Mills, GfK, NBC Universal and Wharton ‘ selected the top three candidates that will be presented at The Market Research Event (TMRE), November 7 ‘ 9 at The Peabody in Orlando, Florida.

Chuck Miller, who is President, DMS and Chief Research Officer, uSamp, co-founded the EXPLOR Awards in 1999. ‘The number of submissions grows every year,’ said Miller. ‘The fact that more and more clients are involved in the submission process, working in partnership with providers, is significant. This year uSamp has a record number of case study submissions.’

Last year’s winner, American Water, along with finalists, ANZ National Bank and eBay, showcased innovation in market research through their respective case studies. American Water’s case study, ‘Tipping the Scales: How a New Research Tool Has Changed American Water’s New Business Development,’ was a cutting-edge example of how insights from research can drive performance and new directions for a business.

The EXPLOR ceremony is during the keynote sessions on Tuesday, November 8, at 9:45 am. The presentation also features the NGMR Disruptive Innovator Awards, as the two jointly honor and cast a spotlight on industry innovation. The winning EXPLOR case study will be presented at 10:45 on Tuesday, November 8, in Celebration 12-13.

There is a very congenial atmosphere at the presentation itself, said Miller. ‘People are excited about sharing tangible details about success, and moving our industry forward.’ Past winners and finalists include: Orange Telecom, Frito-Lay, Unilever, IBM, Intel, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Wharton, NBC Universal, UCLA/MIT and Microsoft among others. Past research partner winners and finalists include: Nunwood, Decision Insight, Communispace, Knowledge Networks, Millward Brown and Neurofocus among others.

The NGMR Disruptive Innovator Awards, sponsored by Tom Anderson of Anderson Analytics, will share the presentation stage in partnership with EXPLOR ‘ together creating TMRE Innovation Awards. The Disruptive Innovator Awards recognize companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and made significant contributions to harnessing disruptive innovation ‘ technological, methodological or otherwise ‘ to drive research industry progress. Past winners and finalists include companies such as 3M Corporation, Linkedin and Nielsen Media Research among others ‘ and individuals including AJ Johnson of IPSOS and Sean Conry of Techneos.

Congratulations to all who submitted case studies. Your innovative approach to market research is recognized and appreciated.

This post also appears at uSamp’s Blog.

Low level of social media connection and social media spirit for Germany’s MR industry

Recently Q ‘Agentur f??r Forschung and linkfluence released an inventory of the German market research network. You can access the interactive dataviz here (which is highly recommended).

What can we learn from the results?

Well, first of all we learn, that the internet network of market research in Germany not yet developed and divided into two parts.

First of all there are traditional market research players (left side) that exist on the internet mainly isolated and ‘for themselves’.

And then there’s the networked side of the industry (right side). Here you find blogs and social network presences of agencies or individuals who produce (also) market research related content (including my German blogs Olympiamilano and FOYER for dedicated market research).

The degree of linkage between the two sides is rather weak and limited to a few connection points. Although the market research industry as a whole picks up momentum in the social media world social media agencies and specialized player are very active and much stronger located in social media than “classic market research”.

In addition, you can see that the German market research blogosphere is relatively small and personal. While in other communities the content is mainly delivered by bloggers and they discourse on issues play a central role, the market research blogging scene is very ‘manageable’. You probably won’t find open discussion on market research topics currently in the market research web. It therefore can be considered rather a Web 1.0 experience than Web 2.0. The German market research web is not dominated by user generated content or active exchange, but mostly by news, press releases or articles.

One could assume that the German market researchers have moved to a presence in social networks like Twitter and Facebook. But this is not the case. Here, too, German market researchers are very cautious and reserved. There are only a few active presences and little more intense exchange. #mr-Buzz is limited to a few activists. Public discourse or even public controversies are rare.

Explanations are easily found:
1. Traditional understanding of “secret”: news from the fields of techniques, methods, products or results are ‘ from the inside perspective ‘ highly confidential information that cannot be made available to the public under any circumstances
2. As long as the fear of lifting industrial secrets is that large, the exchanged and visible information thus is superficial and unsatisfactory. Exchange doesn’t exist.
3. Open and honest opinions and provocative theses are only very seldom to be found in the German MR-network. One of the main reasons for this is the perceived fear of negative consequences caused by the employer. The dominant opinion that it is not appropriate as an employee of a reputable company or a reputable agency to set up a provocative thesis on the future of market research or even comment this. Finally, you have to stand behind your corporate philosophy
4. Another explanation for the fact that almost nobody actively participates in knowledge sharing across the web 2.0 lies in the fact that they don’t receive any instruction from the management level for this. There is rather the attitude “I can take without giving”.

So no wonder that awareness and interest from outside the industry for the subject of market research is sometimes low. This is quite a shame as that here is an opportunity missed to directly interact with clients and customers and to design the role of market research more active.

Social media, networking and market research be on the agenda in Orlando, Florida at The Market Research Event 2011 , hosted by IIRUSA. Looking forward to having interesting chats about this.

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

Inspring Action with Market Research

‘All of the great and inspiring leaders of the world all think, act, and communicate in the same way which is the exact opposite as everyone else. It’s called’ the ‘Golden Circle.” – Simon Sinek.
This is the ‘Golden Circle.’

We should be able to explain what it is that we do, and how we did it; those things are easy. Answering they why seems to be a bit more difficult. It’s this aspect, the why, however, is the most important aspect to getting your insights, your work, your vision accepted by those you are conducting the research for. And the why is not profit; that is a consequence of everything else.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

A great example of this is Apple as provided by Simon Sinek. Can you image Apple saying: ‘Here’s a computer. It’s beautiful and easy to use.’ Would you want to buy it? Maybe, but it’s not very inspiring, is it? These couple of sentences are working from the outside of the circle to inside. Instead, Apple works from insight the ‘Golden Circle’ to the outside. For example, they might say: ‘Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo; we believe in thinking differently. They way we challenge the status quo is by making our product beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers.’
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

What does this mean for market researchers?

To inspire action from our research we shouldn’t tell people, leaders, executives, what it is that they should do differently, or what the business could do differently. Instead, they should be inspired by our belief of what the research is telling us. We should find the story, infuse it with
our beliefs, and sell it with inspiration.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

We shouldn’t believe that we do research because it’s needed. We should be doing research because we believe it can make a positive difference for the end-users of our company’s products, services, or ideas. How we do that is with a variety of research techniques that are tailored to
specific needs and specific questions. This is market research.

Not what. Buy why.

Garrett McGuire (@GJMcGuire) is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, “The Journal of a mAD Man,” that explains the theories and methods of advertising.

End of the rise of social media? What about social media research?

Social media is still on the rise. Large networks, especially Facebook, increase not only their reach, most users use the site also more intense the longer they are members. These are findings from a recent research report by Gartner. But the report shows more: 

Gartner surveyed 6.295 people aged 13-74 in eleven different markets between December 2010 and January 2011 .37 percent of respondents – most of them from young target groups – stated that they use their favorite social network more intense than at the beginning of their membership.

However, in some markets there seems to be an end of the rise of social media usage among consumers. Nevertheless, 24 percent said that the intensity of usage has decreased.

The markets where the users are more engaged with social media include, among others, South Korea and Italy, while the users in Brazil and Russia are tending to be less on the social web. The most important argument for reduced use: data protection and privacy.

What does this mean for Social Media Research? 

The same as for Social Media Marketing. That’s easy enough…
It isn’t enough to have a survey or even a poll on Facebook. That’s not how it works. We need innovation, we need inspiration. And we need to know the users of social networks annd their behaviour before we can survey than. Actuality is king as well keeping the attention high in order to use the very short attetion span in social networks. That, by the way, is to my point of view one of the most important reasons why gamification is more than a buzzword in recent times. 

So let’s get creative, and start by attending The Market Research Event 2011 in Florida, hosted by IIRUSA

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