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Showing posts from June, 2008

The latest Buzz

In the marketing and research industries there are more buzzwords than you can "shake a stick at." If you were to "boil the ocean" you might come up with some "breakthrough thinking" that provides true "business transformation" and gets you a seat at the table.

You get my point.

Many of the consultants that I have encountered of the past ten years think that speaking in marketing tongues or "research-ese" is what helps get them in the door at big companies. These same consultants wonder why research isn't consumed more at the top levels of organizations. The truth is that senior level (especially at the C-level) don't have the time or inclination to translate findings and recommendations into plain English.

It really isn't so hard, it just takes the discipline to say what you mean as concisely as possible. There is a great article today over on the 1 to 1 Blog about this topic today. Take a read here.

The Good and Bad of Buzz Words

In the marketing and research industries there are more buzzwords than you can "shake a stick at." If you were to "boil the ocean" you might come up with some "breakthrough thinking" that provides true "business transformation" and gets you a seat at the table.

You get my point.

Many of the consultants that I have encountered of the past ten years think that speaking in marketing tongues or "research-ese" is what helps get them in the door at big companies. These same consultants wonder why research isn't consumed more at the top levels of organizations. The truth is that senior level (especially at the C-level) don't have the time or inclination to translate findings and recommendations into plain English.

It really isn't so hard, it just takes the discipline to say what you mean as concisely as possible. There is a great article today over on the 1 to 1 Blog about this topic today. Take a read here.

The Good and Bad of Buzz Words

In the marketing and research industries there are more buzzwords than you can "shake a stick at." If you were to "boil the ocean" you might come up with some "breakthrough thinking" that provides true "business transformation" and gets you a seat at the table.

You get my point.

Many of the consultants that I have encountered of the past ten years think that speaking in marketing tongues or "research-ese" is what helps get them in the door at big companies. These same consultants wonder why research isn't consumed more at the top levels of organizations. The truth is that senior level (especially at the C-level) don't have the time or inclination to translate findings and recommendations into plain English.

It really isn't so hard, it just takes the discipline to say what you mean as concisely as possible. There is a great article today over on the 1 to 1 Blog about this topic today. Take a read here.

Join the Party!

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As we bask in the glory of our sports teams here in Boston I can't help but wonder where the Bruins were last week. Running marketing for the team is my second dream job (the NHL is first) and I have to believe that there was an opportunity to come out on TV and in the papers to do three things at the same time:
Congratulate the Celtics publicly and garner some good will from the fan base
Take the opportunity to remind people how great their playoff series was against the Canadiens while featuring the team's up and coming stars
Acknowledge that they aren't holding up their end of the bargain and that they are going all out to join the party.
"Congratulations to the Celtics, Now its our Turn!"

Again, maybe its just me but chalk this up for another lost opportunity. It's called Bruins.

Join the Party!

Image
As we bask in the glory of our sports teams here in Boston I can't help but wonder where the Bruins were last week. Running marketing for the team is my second dream job (the NHL is first) and I have to believe that there was an opportunity to come out on TV and in the papers to do three things at the same time:
Congratulate the Celtics publicly and garner some good will from the fan base
Take the opportunity to remind people how great their playoff series was against the Canadiens while featuring the team's up and coming stars
Acknowledge that they aren't holding up their end of the bargain and that they are going all out to join the party.
"Congratulations to the Celtics, Now its our Turn!"

Again, maybe its just me but chalk this up for another lost opportunity. It's called Bruins.
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Along the lines of the prior post. Our friends over at Chadwick Martin Bailey have a great article up about the value of Net Promoter Scores and what you can find in verbatims that goes beyond simple quantitative measures. Their VP of Retail and eCommerce, Brant Cruz (the self proclaimed funniest man in research) says simply:

"We’ve learned firsthand about how important this is recently with one of our clients: verbatims picked up an important pain point (and improvement opportunities) related to a business change that would have been completely missed in a more traditional tracking instrument."

Read the full article here.

Traditional quant has its place, but no one can doubt the power and insight that comes from hearing customers' voices through rich verbatims (especially in an easy to use format like Invoke.)

A Real Research Connection

A recent post over on the "Church of the Customer" Blog spoke about how the writer was asked to participate in a survey and obliged but felt that it was sorely lacking and wanted to drop off after the second question because it was boring, repetitive, and he didn't feel like he was giving valuable feedback. He suggests trimming it back to 4 main questions:
Would you recommend? Explain why you answered that way. How would you describe the company? What can we do to improve?In general I agree. Surveys are too long and still fail to ask the key questions that people want to answer. he also unknowingly suggests a qual-quant survey design. But even more important, he makes the case for an interactive experience where customers and prospects feel like they are actually communicating with a company not just filling out a survey. That's the whole basis for what we do at Invoke and why after a "non-live" experience with our Engage open methodology, people …

Using a Captive Audience

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I spent the last two weeks on vacation in Europe and took advantage of a great deal from IcelandAir to fly through Reykjavik and spend time exploring a fascinating country. Those exploits aside, I was very impressed with the airline and not just because of the brilliant marketing partnership they must have with the Icelandic Tourism Board to reduce costs of flying to Europe if you include an overnight stop over.

The airline has installed personal entertainment systems in their new planes and along various TV, movie, and gaming options has included a survey mechanism for people to provide feedback while on the flight. While the survey quality wasn't great, the fact that they are taking advantage of a captive audience to improve their service was refreshing and much appreciated.

When is your audience captive and do you use that time to help improve your business?

Don't forget the basics

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I spent the last two weeks in France on vacation with my family and found myself making decisions about where to eat or shop based on the the most basic marketing principles.

We "in the industry" types spend a lot of time talking about the next great thing, but when it came to choosing a winery to stop at (and buy about 15 bottles of wine from) it came down to one with welcoming, clear and compelling signage along the highway. Who knew?

So as you move forward, don't forget the basics!

Don't forget the basics

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I spent the last two weeks in France on vacation with my family and found myself making decisions about where to eat or shop based on the the most basic marketing principles.

We "in the industry" types spend a lot of time talking about the next great thing, but when it came to choosing a winery to stop at (and buy about 15 bottles of wine from) it came down to one with welcoming, clear and compelling signage along the highway. Who knew?

So as you move forward, don't forget the basics!

Don't Move Too Fast

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A colleague of mine is on a panel at this week's MRA conference discussing technology's impact on research, and specifically what the switch away from analog tv means for this industry.

In discussing the topic with him it dawned on me that as technology leaders rush forward with the latest and greatest, it is important to remember that researchers rely on normal consumers to feed us information and that they are who we should be focused on, not the small percentage of people who have pre-ordered the Blackberry Bold or bought the iPhone the week it came out.

Certainly the expectations of online interactions have changed. People expect to have a say and want the opportunity to express themselves fully through open-ended comments. They want to be a part of the conversation, not just listeners. They expect research environments to function smoothly and incorporate more than text.

But its important when you are desigining a study to think about the target audience and their comfort …