Showing posts from 2010

Three obligatory and quick marketing predictions for 2011

As a blogger, I feel like I have no choice but to write a predictions post for 2011.  Or at least what I hope will happen in 2011! So here are three things I see sitting right here, waiting to happen.
1) Data integration reaches a tipping point:  whether it's the combination of internal and external behavioral data, social media and primary research data, or even just sales and marketing data, it is time for departments to break down the walls and share what they know and work together to make smart decisions based on that data.
2) Real time will become more real. As with the DVR and the touch screen before it, much of the talk about real time data access was years ahead of the reality.  Pushed in part by the real time nature of social media and it's explosion, but also by the true integration between marketing, sales, and support systems, real time is becoming a reality at more and more companies.  And your internal and external customers are beginning to expect more in terms i…

Six Take-Aways From This Year’s Market Research Event

Last month I attended The Market Research Event, my favorite market research conference of the year. It lived up to expectations once again and six things keep bouncing around my head as I reflect back on it.

1. The innovation conversation is focused on qualitative and distribution: Judging by session attendance and the nominations for the EXPLOR and NGMR Disruptive Innovator awards, the vast majority of innovation is coming in the form of qualitative research methodologies and information distribution. This is being driven by the continuing emergence of technology first companies into the market research space, as opposed to new entries using traditional ideas and techniques. This new life in the industry is a good thing for sure, but getting from cool technology to useful insights is easier said than done and those who don’t understand the end goal of what researchers are trying to accomplish will likely fail.

2. Quantitative topics aren’t sexy: There was not much talk of advancements…

What was that iTunes social network again? Three problems with Apple’s Ping


3 Takeaways from the Inbound Marketing Summit for Market Researchers

I spent two days this week at the Inbound Marketing Summit and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  As an avid podcast/webcast viewer, I am not sure how much new I learned (except the brilliance of unmarketing’s Scott Stratten), but as someone who works in the market research, and more broadly professional services industry, I had three big takeaways.

1. As an industry, most marketers in the professional services world are behind the times. 
Marketing today needs to not only support sales, but bring in leads and play an active role in engaging buyers, partners, and potential employees.  It is no longer enough to simply put out an e-newsletter, stand in your booth at some conferences, and make up some pretty collateral.  Smart marketers are producing regular sharable content, participating in discussions, and using their position as a company learning post.

2. Corporate marketers are talking about measurement, but not market research.  Granted this was a conference about Inbound Market…

5 Facts from a new report on Social Sharing

Earlier this week, my friend Jeff McKenna and I released a new Chadwick Martin Bailey Consumer Pulse report about why, how, and what people share content online. As a social media junkie, this was research close to my heart. And I love being able to add a “voice of the people” to the results from the chats iModerate conducted as part of the research.

Below are five of my favorite findings from this research.
75% of people are somewhat / highly likely to share content they like online For 18-34, email & Facebook are used similarly for social sharing, for 35+ email is dominant31% of people who share do it to generate thoughtful ideas or discussion32% of people have shared coupons and discounts in the past 3 months Only 10% of people who share online content are less likely to share branded content

Doing it Right: Three Great Marketing Moves From GEICO

In the past few weeks I have found myself very impressed with GEICO’s marketing group, seeing excellent ads in a variety of places I didn’t expect. It’s a great example of using multiple channels in different, appropriate ways.

1. The Fantasy Focus Podcast: While many brands lament the slow demise of radio, GEICO has inserted itself into the podcasting world and changed the way advertising has been done (at least that I have seen.) I am a fantasy sports guy and listen daily to ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Podcast. In addition to sponsoring the podcasts’ listener only league (usually called the Man’s League, now called the GEICO Cave Man’s League) they have developed an interruption strategy that is short, but effective.

Part way through the podcast a car horn sounds three times with a short sponsor message. The horn grabs my attention and the message is short and sweet (at the 14:30 minute mark). “You’ve been listening to the Fantasy Focus Podcast, visit today see how much you can …

Making Market Research Data More Accessible

We (Chadwick Martin Bailey, with help from Steven P. Dennis and iModerate Research Technologies) just released a new report on how to engage consumers in today’s economy (download for free here) and one of the cool features is that we have used Tableau Public to share much of the data from the study with anyone who wants it. Using this tool, it is really easy to look at specific sub-groups or product categories on their own.
Obviously you couldn’t do this with a custom project (although I believe the paid version can make the data private), but this is another case of using technology to make market research data more accessible (and thus more useful) to non-researchers than ever before. Check it out, its Better Research Blog approved!

Spending By Category Condensed
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You may know me, but I don’t know you

In my last blog post about sellers and buyers making the process easier, I really wanted to include a story about a recent sales call – or series of calls rather that I received as a case in what not to do if you want to successfully cold call a business prospect (name and company changed to protect the guilty). I am paraphrasing, but it went a little like this.

Voicemail 1:“Hi Josh, my name is George and I am calling from awesomeweb, a local design firm specializing in thought leadership based websites and I would like to talk to you about your website and how we might be able to help you increase your search engine power.”

One week later:

Voicemail 2: “Hi Josh, this is George calling from awesomeweb again. I left you a message last week and was hoping to talk to you about how we might be able to help with your web design needs.”

One week later:

Voicemail 3: “Hey Josh. George from awesomeweb. Give me a call.”

George started off well enough, but made a criminal mistake as he mo…

You Like Food? Wait Tables. Buy for a Living? Try Selling

As a regular buyer of business technology and services I am continually shocked at some of the mistakes made by people trying to sell to me. And while I understand how many of the mistakes happen having done the job and read numerous selling books and white papers on the topic, many of those people I encounter would be far more successful if they made a few minor changes by thinking from the buyer perspective.

The truth is that anyone who sells any product or service should spend some time on the buying side and anyone who buys should take a turn selling. Or as I always say to anyone who likes to eat out at restaurants, spend some time waiting tables and you'll quickly learn how to get better service and appreciate the value of the slight over tip.

Sticking with the dining out metaphor, here are three tips to make buying and selling easier for everyone:

1. Create a comfortable environment: Remember that your job is not to “sell me something,” it is to help the buyer buy. The odd…

Au Contraire eMarketer: Social Media Does Impact the B2B Sales Process

In today’s edition of eMarketer there is an article stating that most business to business referrals from social sites are uninterested in products and services. The article, however, goes on to state that visitors from Facebook were most likely to check out a company’s “about” page or blog posts.

As a B2B services marketer those are exactly the desired effects of social media that feed our sales process. While it would be great if potential clients saw something we posted on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook and rushed to buy a project from my firm, the reality is that our sales process is not short or direct. Our value proposition is made up of the smarts, personalities, and creativity of our people and our sales cycle can take months (and occasionally years.)Barring the rare immediate project opportunity, our goal is to drive prospects to the elements of our site that let us different ourselves – the blog, the about us, the leadership team, etc. and encourage prospects to contact us o…

Praising A Panel Company (It Pains Me)

I spend a lot of time in this blog taking panel companies to task, but I really liked and appreciated what I saw in this new video from Toluna. They are thinking from a panelist perspective (at least in this video) and what makes it worthwhile to be part of the Toluna community. Nice work.

How Geo-Targeting is Affecting Customer Loyalty Programs

Originally posted at the CMB Research Blog
Recently I have been playing around with Foursquare, the geo-targeting based social media application that allows me to "check in" at certain locations, share my "check in" with friends via Twitter and Facebook, and earn "badges" based on how much I use it. I'll be honest, as a consumer I don't fully get it (yet). But as a marketer in 2010 I want to understand where things are going and be able to speak to them as they relate to our clients. And with this week's eMarketer report that 53% of mobile app users are willing to share their locations, there is no question that there is a huge opportunity for brands to utilize this technology.

Certainly geo-targeting is not for everyone, but some major brands are going beyond mobile ads and jumping in to help increase the impact of their loyalty programs and reward their best customers in real-time. And as many companies seek to evolve their loyalty programs i…

The Life of a Research Panelist: Invitations Count

One of my first posts on this blog was about the way online research panels bombard panelists with requests to participate in research. It seemed like I was being invited to take part in surveys that were not relevant and getting these invitations at an alarming rate.
How companies treat panelists came to my mind again last week as I listed to speakers at the Social Media and Community Strategies 2.0 Conference. It seemed like as a research panelist I was only treated as product, not as a part of a community where I had any real control over my own experience.
After tweeting out the question “do panel companies think of their panelists as customers?” (I received a nice reply from iTracks saying that they do and I have no reason to dispute it.) There is no doubt an opportunity to get more engagement and insight from people who have agreed to be a part of your panel. Or at least to better understand my preferences as a panelist, but instead I just get requests to take a survey… and requ…

The internal questionnaire

My last post was about how we conducted internally feedback and a few people asked if they could see the actual questionnaire. As I said, it is far from perfect, but it got us moving in the right direction!
What is your role in the company?
- Executive
- Project manager
-Research associate
-Senior consultant/director
-Business development
0-10 agree/disagree scale: On the whole, the marketing team is doing its part to help its CMB internal customers to meet/exceed their goals
Why do you rate the marketing team that way? (open end)
0-10 agree/disagree scale: The marketing team follows through on requests quickly and thoroughly
Why do you rate the marketing team that way? (open end)
0-10 agree/disagree scale: The marketing team delivers work of the highest quality
Why do you rate the marketing team that way? (open end)
Overall, has the marketing team improved from 2008 to 2009? Yes/No/don’t know
Where do you see room for improvement? (open end)
What do you think the marketing te…

Taking the Medicine: Setting an Internal Benchmark for Effectiveness

It recently occurred to me that since starting my current role over a year ago I have revamped the entire marketing infrastructure in my organization – from technology, to strategy, to staff, to measurement. Over the next few months I’ll be posting on a lot of those changes – both in terms of why and how we did it – and offer tips for people looking to put the same principles to work in their companies. Today’s topic is a simple one – establishing an internal benchmark for effectiveness/ performance.

The marketing function in a small-medium sized company like mine can be very different than what people thinking of as “marketing” in a large organization. Traditionally marketers play a sales support role and defer to content experts on the substance of all communications. This makes it very hard to truly measure the success of a group.So while many of the changes we have made are designed to make it easier to measure success, I knew that there was a lot to learn from our intern…

A For Honesty, F for Marketing

That is what the sign said in the window of a new barber shop around the corner from my house when I walked by with my dog last week. It’s a sign that has stuck with me since seeing it, even though it was gone by the time I came back the next morning. The message is clear – they feel like they aren’t making any money on Sundays because they have no one coming in, which may be true. I have no problem with the concept, but as a marketer it pains me when I see a better solution to a situation than this. Here is the situation…
The barber shop opened less than three months ago
There was no banner or otherwise attention grabbing sign outside to announce its opening (just one door down from a hair salon I might add).
They were open 7 days a week.
I never received an announcement about their opening or why I should go there and only knew about it because it is on my morning walk.
Nothing stated above is that out of the ordinary, so maybe i…

The continued rise of visualization in market research

Much to the chagrin of my number loving colleagues, one of the things that always perks up prospective clients is the fact that my firm, Chadwick Martin Bailey, has a graphic designer on staff to help make reports easier on the eyes. (Chagrin is too strong a word, they just wish that advanced analytics perked prospects up more!) Clients love this because it means less work for them after a report is delivered and shows a commitment to making sure deliverables are easy to share internally. As we move more and more towards increased visualization – and interactivity of research data, I have been having fun playing with some of the interactive tools available online for free. Fast company had a great write-up recently of some of the new offerings from Google, Tableau and others. Play around and let me know what you think has the most potential. As a Fantasy Football junkie, I particularly enjoyed this one in Tableau Public. (or see it more clearly here.)

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Why Brand Tracking Should Include Experiences (incl. Social Media)

Brand tracking research usually focuses on how customers and prospects get brand impressions through market communications. However, research shows that once a person begins interacting with a brand, their actual experiences have a far greater impact on their perceptions and likelihood to shop, buy, or recommend. Too often companies' brand tracking research doesn't account for this dynamic in any significant way, thus missing the opportunity to tell a more complete story. That's why I believe that the most effective brand tracking research incorporates both:
Impact of the Brand: The extent to which market communications are delivering the most compelling brand promises; and
Impact of Experience: The extent to which people's experiences at every touch point (e.g., the product, the store/purchase, personnel, problem resolution) match up with what the brand led them to expectSo where does social media fall into the equation? Obviously social media has both a brand element…

Data, Processes Pose Challenges for Marketers: 3 Steps Towards Improvement

If you missed the recent CMB webinar on The Marketing Performance Advantage conducted with our friends at CMG Partners, one of the top challenges facing marketers we discussed was a perceived lack of the right data or processes to make informed key decisions.

In fact, 40% of the 400+ businesses we interviewed saw getting the right data as a challenge that needed addressing:
"We don't really have a formal insight gathering process"
"We're not sure what the right data is and the data gathered is not trusted"Furthermore, many marketers struggle to connect the data they do have from market research and internal systems to their current decision making process or to the rest of the organization:
"We don't often tie the results of surveys to action plans"
"We don't have senior level buy-in due to the lack of hard data results against programs"
"It is difficult to find talent who can think strategically and manipulate data"

Olympic Research: Sponsors and Non-Sponsors Seeing Success

I love the Winter Olympics - from curling to hockey to freestyle skiing to the biathlon. And of course, I am always fascinated by the sponsors and the fees those sponsors pay to be involved.

When we looked at the impact of Super Bowl ads on people's propensity to go online and learn more, big ticket sports advertising didn't seem worth it. But this week's research on the Olympics told a different story as not only were people aware of the sponsorships, they saw significant brand benefits (read more in the article at MediaPost).

The other interesting note was that many competing brands were also getting lifted by sponsorships. Maybe its a side effect of the fact that Verizon and AT&T (for example) are so embedded in one another's commercials but certainly everyone is benefiting from perceived Olympic affiliation.

How Twitter Can Save You Customers

Today on the Research Brief Blog, Genesys, with Greenfield Online and Datamonitor/Ovum analysts, estimated that U.S. companies lose an estimated $83 billion each year due to defections and abandoned purchases as a direct result of a poor experience.

More and more often customer experiences are not a face to face or even face to phone interaction. Often times it is web-based or through social media. Making sure these interactions are in alignment with your brand has never been more important. And it has never more important to measure social media within your customer satisfaction and loyalty research programs.

When conducting customer satisfaction research we have always spent a lot of time putting the customer experience in context of the brand and making sure the two are aligned. More and more this involves understanding alignment and use of social media from both a marketing perspective (what most companies are doing) and a customer service perspective (what smart service organizatio…

1 Topic, 5 Blogs: Why Market Research Professionals Should Embrace DIY Tools

Welcome to this month's issue of 1 topic, 5 blogs. Todays topic is DIY surveys. Links to my fellow bloggers Bernie Malinoff, Joel Rubinson, Annie Petit and Brandon Bertelsen can be found below.

Since the day I joined the market research industry a decade ago (and much longer I assume), researchers have been yearning for wider use of market research within organizations and the proverbial "seat at the table." And while I fully understand and recognize the concerns that MR professionals have about Do IT Yourself surveys like Survey Monkey and Zoomerang, these tools present the much sought after opportunity for research to be more widely adopted and valued in large companies and more widely used in smaller organizations. Why are these tools attractive to clients?
One of the driving forces I have seen behind the use of DIY surveys are frustrations with internal and external research organizations. So before shuddering at the thought of someone who has not been trained as a res…

What the Twitterverse is saying about the Super Bowl

Here in Boston it has become tough to digest a Super Bowl week without our beloved Patriots involved. Given my love for the food and music of New Orleans and the fact that CMB's President, Anne Bailey Berman is from Louisiana, I'll be wearing black and gold when big event arrives. But what are other people thinking and tweeting about as the "big event" approaches?Using Voxtrot Opinion (a cool way to monitor and analyze online conversations from our friends at Crimson Hexagon) I looked at what people in the Twitterverse (Twitter users) are talking about this week. The first finding, "the big event" isn't necessarily the game itself. In fact, just 38% of tweets related to the game and the two teams involved (24% in favor of the Saints, 14% in favor of the Colts).
So what else is on the table? From discussions of who is (Focus on the Family featuring Tim Tebow) and who isn't (Pepsi) advertising this year to planning and attending parties to questions a…

Why Domino’s new ads are good for the market research industry

I love Domino's new ads as both a consumer and someone who works in the market research industry. And before research purists jump down my throat, I know that Domino's new Focus group centric ads seem to show a single focus group, that the information used is merely directional and we'd like to assume that this research is probably part of a bigger study or perhaps even faked for the purposes of the advertising. I also don't know what other techniques were used, nor do I really care that much. What I do care about is the impact of the ads on the "brand" of the industry.

In recent years the industry has come under fire and mocked continuously on televisions (see the office's brilliant customer satisfaction scores episode), so I am excited to see a positive portrayal of what we do and how company's use information to better serve their customers. In addition to the fact that Domino's has done an excellent job being self-deprecating and recognizing c…

1 Topic, 5 Blogs: Mobile Surveys in Market Research

Originally posted at:

The question posed to the group of 5 Bloggers this month was: "Mobile surveys - For/Against, Pros/Cons, Right Situations/Wrong Situations?" Links to my fellow bloggers Annie Pettit, Joel Rubinson, Bernie Malinoff and Brandon Bertelsen can be found below.

Mobile devices are changing the way people interact with brands, each other, and market research. From the reduction of land lines among younger consumers to the prevalence of internet usage via smart phones and the proliferation of text messaging as an option. Below I have laid out some of the factors contributing to the research industry understanding and adopting mobile research as a concept.

1. "Guys, where are we?" - Charlie on ABC's Lost
Three or four years ago there were a plethora of SMS (text-message) based survey tools developed and launched in the market. Many were self serve but simple, others tried to simulate the full traditional survey experience with skip patte…