Tag Archives: web 2.0

TMRE Spotlight: Paul Long, CPA Canada

At TMRE, we unite leaders across market research, consumer insights, strategy, innovation, marketing, analytics, shopper insights, media research, UX, customer experience, business intelligence, competitive intelligence and more, dedicated to blending art and science to fully understand today’s consumers.

As we curate best practices across industries and disciplines from practitioners in Market Research all over the globe, we’d decided to spotlight a few notables from the trenches.

Meet Paul Long, here’s what he’s shared with us:

Paul Long

Paul Long is Manager of Market Research at Charter Professional Accountants of Canada, the member organization for Canada’s professional accountants.  He previously worked as a Research Consultant for a market research company, and as a Consumer Insights Manager for a Canadian grocery retailer.  Paul tweets at @paul_long and is an occasional blogger at www.paullong.ca.

What do you do and how did you get started?

I currently work as market research manager for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). In my role, I work on both qualitative and quantitative projects. Much of the research is directly with CPAs. Some examples include the CPA Canada Business Monitor, which asks CPAs in executive roles with Canadian companies to give their opinions on economic trends. We also do a lot of financial literacy work with the public.This has included survey work addressing issues such as debt management, retirement savings and, most recently, summer spending. CPA Canada’s research assists our organization in determining ways it can continue to play an active role in helping Canadians learn more about personal finances.

My first job in market research was as a part-time telephone interviewer for a market research company while I was in graduate school.  After that I became a phone room supervisor. Once I finished my studies, I started looking for research jobs, eventually working at a market research company, and after that, in the customer insights department for a Canadian grocery retailer.

What interested you about MR?

I was first aware of market research because of my interest in politics, and following political polls and watching pundits on television. It didn’t occur to me until later that the big research companies that were conducting political polls were also conducting research on breakfast cereals and car preferences.

How do you feel the industry is changing? 

There are so many different ways that the industry is changing!  Gamification, drops in response rates, growth in mobile research are just a few. To concentrate on one element, as a client-side researcher I will focus on the growth in DIY research. Declining research budgets seems to be a common trend these days in many client-side research departments. The challenge for client-side researchers is to efficiently allocate their departmental budgets so that they outsource what is clearly outside of their level of expertise, and maximize efficiency in the work they conduct internally.

This has offered a great opportunity for suppliers providing advanced but easy to use out of the box applications for corporate researchers to position themselves in a niche area.  At the same time, full service companies are having to compete for a piece of a smaller pie. Consolidation among research companies has been going on for quite a few years, and it will likely continue.

What is your best tip for researchers in the trenches to become a catalyst for impact?

Again, from a client-side researcher perspective, I would say to other client-side researchers to provide value to your internal clients — explain what the data means, not just what the numbers are.

What’s one book you think we should read?

While it is not specially a market research book, I would recommend Groundswell, by Josh Bernhoff of Forrester Research and Charlene Li of Altimeter. One of the main themes of the book is that in a Web 2.0 world companies no longer have control of their brand, because of the conversations on social media. Due to this they need to take part in the conversations online, and neither ignore it nor try to suppress it.

I think one can draw a parallel with market research. It has been changing rapidly for maybe the past 15 years or so. In much the same way ignoring the changes that have taken place in market research methods, and ignoring newer methods is not helpful to anyone.

What Tech should we keep an eye on?

I’m curious about wearable technology, Google Glass or watches with similar applications as smartphones. Will some wearable device at some point in the future have a mainstream research application? It would appear unlikely, but mobile phones wouldn’t have appeared to be a good candidate for research devices before smartphones dominated the space, so who knows?

Random fact?

In three different years, I have taken part in a two-day 120 mile bicycle ride for charity — from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

Let us know if you would like to appear in our Market Research Spotlight next.

NACCM 2009: Two-Way Invention: Co-generating New Products and Services with Your Customers Through Ongoing Dialogues Online

In today’s presentation, Sami Hero, Vice President of Global Web Strategy at LexisNexis shared his company’s approach towards social media engagement and its evolution. LexisNexis built their web strategy over the past several years. In 2007, they launched their Web 2.0 initiatives and engaged in sporadic blogging, building focus groups and using Net Promoter Scores to gather feedback from their customers. In 2008, their focus was on building solutions and services for customer problems and creating 17 customer communities. Growth continued in 2009 as they developed global websites and grew customer communities to 30+. LexisNexis continued to grow its customer engagement in 2010 by adding mobile applications, building deeper customer relationships, and making it a common practice to listen.

Customer-driven innovation needs to be measured says Hero. It takes special talent’find them in your organization and ‘let them loose’. Age doesn’t matter, skill set does. When asked what skill sets are most important, Hero said that people with excitement, those that display strong writing skills, and those who are passionate about customer engagement make the best choices for managing customer conversations.

LexisNexis actively listens to its customers and users through their website at http://lexisnexis.com/community/ideas. Hero sees the value in these community sites as customers tend to go back to the main website. When at the main site, customers typically end up buying something. This cross promotion has significant value to an organization says Hero. He cautions us, however, in that if you aren’t giving good content, your community will die. Invest the resources to keep the customer conversations alive.

Community 2.0 Speaker Profile: Tara Hunt

With the Community 2.0 event coming up in May, we’re going to introduce you to another keynote speakers for this year’s event. Community 2.0 is May 11-13 in San Fransisco, California at The Palace Hotel. This week, we’re featuring keynote speaker Tara Hunt, co-founder of Citizen Agency and author of The Wuffie Factor.

Read Tara’s blog HorsePigCow here.

You can listen to a podcast interview she did with Jonathan Coulton here.

You can listen to the podcast she did with the Web 2.0 Show here.

You can see Tara present her keynote speech “Making Whuffie: Raising Social Capital to Win Online” on Tuesday, May 12 at Community 2.0.

Don’t miss out on the conversation

Chris Brogan recently wrote a post the continuing conversations of the online world. He first noticed it by chatting with someone else a conference, and discovering that there was the actual conference itself and then the conversation that took place online using Twitter. He’s also started using BrightKite again, which is a twitter-like application, but geographical location is one of the main focuses.

At the end of the post, Brogan had a list of way to create and continue the conversation online. Here are just a few:

  • When you’re somewhere new, snap photos and post them to Flickr.
  • Take photos of people at events and post the good ones. Add their names and companies to them.
  • When you post photos in Flickr, when you can, add contextual information about where.
  • Write reviews for places and services in Yelp.
  • Add hash tags to specific presentations if you think Twitter will enhance it.
  • Provide information about places. I tweet traffic jams.

Education and Community 2.0

Community 2.0 has entered the Education space with ePals, which encourages collaboration between classrooms. Growth of this new community has been significant with over 16 million members, in conjunction with 5,000 new classroom joining in as mentioned here. Recently the company was awarded with the 2008 Education Software Review Award granted from the ComputEd Gazette. Edmund Fish, CEO of ePals had this to say regarding their growth:

“Increased awareness of safe and effective web-based learning tools, and ePals’ decision to provide these services without cost to schools, are important factors in this unprecedented growth. Our members have told us they have chosen ePals because of a combination of a safe, purposeful learning environment; powerful communication tools enhanced for collaboration; meaningful learning opportunities designed to build reading, writing and problem-solving skills that are easily implemented in classrooms; and a large, diverse community of like-minded users so that classroom ‘matches’ can be global or local, but always productive. This combination makes ePals unique, satisfies user needs and delivers meaningful learning outcomes.”

The science community and Web 2.0

The Economist recently wrote a very interesting article about the slow adoption of the internet by scientists. They’re currently lagging behind in adopting the new tools that are taking the internet by storm that allows new information to spread quickly.

A new version of Research Blogging was recently introduced the Seed Media Group. This is a new hub for scientists to review articles written by fellow scientists. This portal provides a place for the scientists to blog on their particular research articles. From there they are aggregated, indexed and made available on line with key words so they’re easy to find. The only set back to this is that most scientists publish in order to be recognized by the upper classes of the scientific world. So is there incentive to use this website?

As the article pointed out at the end, the internet was created for and by scientists. Why are they so slow to pick up the new tools that are spreading information throughout the world?

WSJ enters the Community 2.0 Fray

Wall Street Journal has decided to enter the fray with their own social network with one major difference being that to participate, you need to be a paid online subscriber. Already there are mixed reviews as this article from ComputerWorld comments. Some positive comments have been that it is ‘a ‘nifty’ way for business owners to connect in a Web 2.0 world’. Others have been not so nice and stated that they have ‘missed the boat’.

What are your thoughts on this on this new venture for WSJ?

LiveBar: A Web 2.0 Bedazzler

Web 2.0, and Community 2.0 are commonplace in business conversations, but implementing and utilizing these tools can be difficult. VentureBeat announced here, that LiveWorld is releasing a new application, LiveBar, that will instantly ‘bedazzle’ any website with a bar that businesses can add of Web 2.0 features. This would allow organizations to have an area for immediate customer interaction, where they chose on their website. The features would include ‘soap boxes’ and ‘shorts’ which are similar to blogs and Twitter messages respectively. The benefits to businesses, as this article states is:

‘LiveBar features are standardized, they’re easy to add to any site. It takes minutes to do. By comparison, getting companies to add customized Web 2.0 features to web sites can often take months. As such, LiveBar is a tool for retrofitting pages that were created in the days before Web 2.0. It’s a way for companies to play catch-up in the Web 2.0 game, where engaging consumers in a conversation is just as important as presenting information to them’

With all of the technology, new and old, available to businesses, is there any reason for businesses not to utilize web 2.0 strategies?

Community 2.0 has a New Customer this Year

Much has been said in the media lately, about the impact that online communities are having in every part of our lives. Of late special emphasis has been placed on the political aspect with candidates having blogs, YouTube videos, and using other web 2.0 tools. In a latest update from the NY Times, Katie Couric announced that during the national political conventions, after her primetime broadcast has concluded, she will move to web casts. Is there any aspect of today that has not seen the impact of online social media?