Tag Archives: #TMRE13

75 Slides

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and is a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven.  

A resounding theme we heard again and again at #TMRE13 this year was “no more 75-slide decks.”  In many of the sessions we also heard “there needs to be a tailored approach depending on your audience.” 

I know, I know, not earth-shattering insights, but apparently the industry needs to hear this as I saw lots of heads nodding and sheepish looks when those 75-slide deck reports were mentioned. 

As an aside – we’re obviously all crazysmart if a 75-slide report is the easy way out!

But back to the topic. It’s hard not to want to be everything to everyone, and deliver all the data and insights that someone may ever need. But if you aren’t considering your audience and delivering insights in a format that works for them you’re going to lose them…and you both lose out: they don’t ‘get’ your insights and you lose your audience.

We heard several different alternatives to the 75-slide deck at #TMRE13 including: 

-A ‘Top 5 Insights’ mobile-optimized infographic (mentioned by Sarah Ryan of TNS and Ramona Harvey of eBay

-Workshops workshops workshops (mentioned by Kate Pomeroy of Pernod Ricard USA and Dorothy White and Leigh O’Donnell of Mars Petcare

-Inviting the client to take part in the research, and their takeaway is their experience, not a slide deck (mentioned by several speakers

As mentioned above, know your audience (apparently we need reminding of this!) and determine what resonates with the right- or left-brain thinking of your audience. The manner and method that you present your findings to your CFO and his team will (hopefully!) be different than how you would present your findings to your magazine’s editorial team. 

While we’re on the topic of data delivery and reporting, I want to reference a research report that recently came out from Confirmit.   

Confirmit recently released the results of their 9th Annual MR Software Survey in which they noted the findings as ‘one step forward, two steps back’.  Backwards in terms of survey length not conforming quickly enough to mobile and companies’ waning commitment to panel quality.  Forward in terms of new data collection methods.  

However, what caught my eye in the findings was the following:

‘The survey also found another backwards step for MR agencies. They seem reluctant to move away from Microsoft PowerPoint during the reporting phase, in spite of the clear benefits of using digital dashboards, interactive analysis and online static reports. Indeed, there has been a surge in the use of Excel as researchers strive to provide clients with reports that can be manipulated.’

However, in keeping with the ‘know your audience’ theme above, do clients want reports that can be manipulated? Is it really a ‘backward step’ to be using PowerPoint? To me it’s less the tool (I’ve seen good and bad PowerPoints, as have we all) and it’s more delivering what will resonate most with the audience. If the audience finds comfort and familiarity with slides to better ingest insights, then go with that. If your audience is hungry for data they can manipulate themselves, then go with the reports that Confirmit mentions above. 

So, are you keying in to the data delivery needs of your customers, and how are you meeting those needs? Is what you’re providing enough, not enough, or too much/data overload? Make sure you’re asking those questions often and really listening.  

From my perspective, I’m always open to integrating new data delivery methods if they meet my clients’ needs better than what I’m currently using. I’m also completely fine with PowerPoint as long as it’s used well to tell a story.  
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More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie is the Senior Research Manager at Diversified Business Communications, managing a team of skilled researchers busy gleaning insights for products around the globe. She has worked with companies large and small in industries such as software, seafood, fragrance and entertainment to help companies move their business forward supported by actionable insights derived from market research. She loves to find the story in the numbers and is passionate about bringing the ‘Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. Active on social media as @InsightsGal, Katie actively tweets and blogs about the market research industry. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

Live from #TMRE13: Learning from Meaningful Brands

Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst at Millward Brown began the session speaking about The Meaningful Brand and how quickly our brains react to information due to instinct.  

In fact, he said, it only takes 1/20 of a second to decide the appeal of a web page.

He went on to discuss the 3 basic types of mental associations which create a meaningful brand.
1.  Emotion
2.  Knowledge
3.  Experience

And then, the stellar panel discussed a bit about how they’ve been able to create meaningful brands:
  • Brenda Armstead, VP Global Strategic Insights at Johnson & Johnson —  Neutrogena
  • Ellen Zaleski, Director of Consumer Planning at Diageo – Johnnie Walker
  • Mike Quinta, Director Strategic Insights Global Brands — Lay’s 
The key themes were:
  • Foundation – understanding who and what the brand stands for 
  • Communication – stay focused 
  • Shelf space (if applicable) – keep it and expand it
  • Key stakeholders – keep them aligned

April Bell is Principal and Founder of April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.  

Live from #TMRE13: Malcolm’s Keynote – Everything in Moderation

This morning’s keynote, Malcolm Gladwell, was introduced by Joan Lewis, Global Consumer and Market Knowledge Officer, Procter & Gamble.  She mentioned that when he was asked how he is able to write such amazing books, he said:  “I like to collect research that’s interesting and I like to collect stories that are interesting’and then I put those together.”  As a researcher, that hits home!
His focused his presentation on his latest book:  David & Goliath.  It was fascinating to hear him talk about how “too much of a good thing” is not a good thing and the role that plays in larger systems. 
He discussed his thoughts around crime and the American public education system.  He questions:  “Is there a point when classroom size becomes too small?”  
When teachers were asked this question, virtually everyone said that a class size of less than 20 is too small’.because it gets more difficult to control opposing views of children.  “It’s like having 2 squabbling teenagers in the back of a car while driving across country.”  

Because “the single most determinant of success with a struggling student is whether they have a peer or not to help them”  true learning occurs when the classroom is full of discussion.  So, when you don’t have enough discussion —  you have dead classrooms.  Not enough interaction with each other.
When all you think about is your child’s relationship to the teacher, you get locked into how to maximize that relationship.  However, when you think about the classroom as a community, you also start to maximize that part of the learning as well.

He also brought it back to parents and how it’s not only difficult for those with very little money but also those with “too much” money.  Being a “good parent” gets hard again because you have to try to explain concepts such as “hard work” in an atmosphere where those type of lessons do not make intuitive sense. 

Key take away for me – more is not always better…

April Bell is Principal and Founder of April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.  

TMRE: Shifting to an Emotional Lens in the Drive-Thru

The majority of our thoughts take place in the subconscious mind. Usually, we don’t know WHY we are doing something if we are asked directly, but there is usually an emotional reason for it hidden in our subconscious. 

The folks at Coca-Cola were curious to learn about people’s experiences in the drive-thru. Instead of conducting this research ethnographically, which would involve being right there with consumers in the drive-thru to observe their actions and emotional reactions, Coca-Cola decided to take a different approach and do 30 one-on-one IDIs (in-depth interviews). 

The way they did this successfully was by asking respondents to go through the visualization process, to mentally bring them back to their drive-thru experience. “If you ask them to tell you about one of their memories or experiences, they tell you something you might not have heard otherwise,” says Kristian Aloma from Brandtrust. His team even asked respondents close their eyes while answering some of the questions for better recall of the event. “The key is NOT asking them why. There are ways a trained researcher can get past the surface to uncover their actual experience,” Aloma states.

To Coca-Cola’s surprise, many respondents revealed very emotional experiences at the drive-thru. For some it was a place where they could go in the morning to brighten their day; for others it was a get-away from their hectic routine where they could have someone else take care of them. It was a part of their ritual, and it made them feel good.

The presentation was definitely intriguing, and it was also very educational. I learned a lot about the different techniques that can be used to get respondents to open up about their experiences, especially if an ethnographic study is not possible. I’m eager to tell my team members about the interesting findings of this research!


Mayuri Joshi is Research Magician at April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.

Live from #TMRE: Turning Facts into Ideas

Christopher McKinney with Mead Johnson and Cynthia Ryan/Shari Morwood with Ideas To Go presented on how they turned facts into ideas.

It’s always interesting to hear new ways for generating ideas for innovation, especially when the company has a  “new science or technology” and need to ensure the ideas will work with overarching brand positioning as well as benefit the consumer.

The speakers walked us through the process of how this came to life when innovating for their brand, Enfamil.

They began with a team of  “experts” who ideated, giving a variety of perspectives:  
  • a futurist who could give a  “Big Data” perspective
  • a brain imaging specialist who provided a view about brain development
  • leaders in pediatric medicine 
  • creative consumer moms
Then, they utilized a list of  “general facts” about the brand or category as creative stimuli, and from that, the team created 3000+ ideas.  Wow!  
Utilizing this process, they were able to restate, categorize, and select a series of 28 potential ideas to move forward with for further testing.

April Bell is Principal and Founder of April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.

Live from #TMRE13: How CareerBuilder Builds Research Advocates Internally

Kassandra Barnes, Research and Content Manager at CareerBuilder began her presentation giving us her definition of “viral” — “the art of making something popular and shareable with minimum effort (or at least making something look like it’s minimum effort).”
Her “viral” goal was to create an internal buzz for research at CareerBuilder.  As a single researcher in a sales organization, it was not the easiest thing to do.  Because, she said, “In a sales organization, the typical research timeline doesn’t fly!  You have to be extremely agile!”
She gave us 6 steps to create internal advocates in an organization which needed extremely quick information:
1.  Do research “they” care about  -  Create the purpose before the research:  What’s the headline, So What?, Who Cares?
2.  Build a Braintrust (from cross-functional departments’including sales!)  This creates a group of brand ambassadors before the research even starts!
3.  Create Content – Using “The Four A’s” (Audience, Assets, Assess, Advertise)  
4.  Be Your Best Salesperson
5.  Train People on Research
6.  Build Partnerships

April Bell is Principal and Founder of April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.  

Live from #TMRE13 Safely Connected…How AT&T Is Using Consumer Insights to Help Seniors Age in Place

I was excited to hear about some amazing new technology from AT&T that is currently in the early testing phases. Stefanie Elder delivered a presentation about How AT&T Is Using Consumer Insights to Help Seniors Age in Place
There are over 40 million seniors in the United States. Most of them face the reality of having to move into an assisted living facility at some point in time – only a few are able to stay in their homes with full time care. AT&T found that the vast majority of seniors would much rather stay in their own home yet lack the care or help they might need.
This is where AT&T is stepping in with Digital Life – a security and home automation system that includes video monitoring and sensors that will make it possible for seniors to safely stay put in their homes. Some of the most innovative features will utilize sensors – one of which will keep track of when the person gets out of bed and alerts someone (via mobile technology) if they don’t. Monitoring for the system will be available 24/7 via web or app access.
They are currently testing this technology, which is available to AT&T employees and their families. They are collecting feedback from seniors and their caregivers who are in many different situations – giving them a broad range of ideas and possibilities. With this new technology, the future is looking pretty bright!

Talia Short is Chief Wrangler at April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.

Live from #TMRE13 Where Have All The Good Ideas Gone?

Steve Landis and Andy Smith spoke about opportunities to help grow your business in Where Have All The Good Ideas Gone?. In this rapidly changing world of consumers, there are more products and options available than ever before. So, how does a company make it in this cut-throat market?
Change your ways. The changing marketplace is forcing companies to change their way of measuring success. It’s not longer acceptable for survival to be the main goal. Your main focus MUST be growth – growth = success. 
Traditional measures don’t link to growth. Old ideas that may have worked before, are no longer relevant in this day and age. What makes a good idea? Those that will grow your business, not those that will just boost sales. Ones that may seem crazy at first, but will benefit your company in the long run. 


Talia Short is Chief Wrangler at April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.

Live from #TMRE13: Synthesizing Multiple Data sources at Panera Leads to New Insight

Yesterday, I enjoyed listening to the presentation give by Shawn Utke, VP, Brand Insights & Research, Panera Brand.

He discussed how marrying attitudinal segmentation data with behavioral data revealed interesting insights.
At Panera, they originally identified a singular target through their segmentation research:  The “EFI” (female oriented, higher income target) who had a propensity to fall in love with Panera and acted like brand advocates.
Panera wanted to do something different than what many in the category call “food porn.”  So, they targeted their messaging and called it, “Make Today Better” which was about leaving Panera better than when you came in.  They also added some of the yummy items I love (I guess I’m an EFI:)’Strawberry Poppyseed dressing and Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, Egg White sandwiches.  Yummy!!

However, after collecting and analyzing behavioral data along with their segmentation data, it suggested their customer target might not as valuable as they originally thought.  Once you have ‘big data’”, he said, “it’s a blessing and a curse because you start learning what you don’t know.”  The next question became “why the gap?”
Is the former target still the right target?
Is there a secondary target we should be directly serving?
This gave them the opportunity as an organization to strategically search for a solution based on their most important dimensions:  media buying, time of day, specific menu items.  And ultimately, led them to a more focused strategy.
Good “food” for thought regarding segmentation, big data, and bringing it together for greater insight!

April Bell is Principal and Founder of April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.

Live from #TMRE: We’re Not Just Researchers

Dan Pink’s keynote this morning was great!  He talked about his new book, To Sell is Human:  The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.

His primary points included:
1. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.  He described what we all know –  that most people had negative connotations of “salespeople.”  Note the word cloud of adjectives generated when 7000 Americans were asked the question. “When you think of “sales” or “selling”, what’s the first word that comes to mind?”
2. Sales of anything is not what it used to be.  It’s a move from “buyer aware” to “seller beware.”  The old way, he stated, was like Alec Baldwin’s Art of Selling in Glengarry, Glen Ross.
  • A – Always
  • B – Be
  • C – Closing
Whereas, the new way is about:
  • A – Attunement - can you get out of your own head and understand where someone else is coming from?
  • B – Buoyancy  - can you stay “afloat in an ocean of rejection”?
  • C – Clarity – can you curate (edit, distill, determine relevancy of information)?
He also made an insightful point about how power leads individuals to anchor too heavily on their own vantage point, insufficiently adjusting to other’s perspective (Adam Gallinsky). And that there is an inverse relationship between feelings of power and perspective.  
He suggested one way to increase your effectiveness is by briefly reducing your feelings of power.  And that the really sustaining kind of influence is by lessening your “muscle.”
When negotiating, it’s less about emotional intelligence, but about understanding the other side’s interest.