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Odds and Ends

Due to being at the CASRO Tech Conference last week (which was great by the way!) interesting news piled up! Here is a quick summary of my take on the “Best of the web” through today.

  • Over at eMarketer, there

Due to being at the CASRO Tech Conference last week (which was great by the way!) interesting news piled up! Here is a quick summary of my take on the “Best of the web” through today.

“B2B participation in social media marketing is steadily increasing, and marketers are beginning to see opportunities to generate quality leads and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries,” said eMarketer’s Evelyn Jung, author of the new report “B2B Social Media Marketing Heats Up.”

Outsell estimates that marketing on social networks will grow 43.3% in 2010. Forrester Research predicts that B2B firms will spend $54 million on social media marketing in 2014, up from just $11 million in 2009.

There are lots of other great stats and ideas here regarding the expansion of social media to the B2B space. It will be curious to see what MR firms do in response to this trend.

  • ESOMAR is looking for MR professionals to share  their views on the state of the global research industry as part of their 2010 edition of the Global Market Research report. The dialogue has been started on the ESOMAR LinkedIn Group and new topics will be introduced in the coming weeks. Be forewarned; If you’re not a member of the Group you won’t be able to participate.
  • Adweek joins the social media debate with an article on Using Social Media to Sound Off About Brands. Regular readers of this blog know by now that I think the integration of social media monitoring is a vital development in the evolution of MR, and this article yields even more evidence on why this is true:

In between posting updates about their lives, fascinating or otherwise, users of social media seem to have plenty of time to opine about brands. In a Harris Poll released this week, 34 percent of adults who use social media said they have employed them “as an outlet to rant or rave about a company, brand or product.”

Happily for marketers, the polling (conducted in April) found near parity between the number of social-media users who employ those venues to express “my dissatisfaction with a company, brand or product” (26 percent) and those who use them to hold forth about “the companies, brands or products I like” (23 percent).

We’ve progressed over the years and have built much more solid and reliable tools since then, but, even so, those tools aren’t accurate in the same way that a weight scale or height scale is accurate. And, our MR tools aren’t measuring factors which are stable from day to day or even second to second.

The field of marketing research relies not on the science of assigning numbers to truths, but on the science of assigning numbers to thoughts, ideas, and memories. These are things with no truths, just trends and tendencies.

As MR evolves, the lines between our rigid methodological structures will blur and morph into all new techniques that combine the best of both approaches.

The reality is that listening platforms require a significant human touch in order to sift through mountains of data and extract golden nuggets of insight. I truly believe that it’s not too much of a stretch for market researchers to get comfortable with the methodological challenges of this kind of research, such as the fact that you never know the true demographics of the sample. Instead, what’s holding market researchers back is that it’s hard to do this research in an efficient and meaningful (read: insightful) way using just a platform alone.

….The current interest in listening among market researchers represents a significant opportunity for market research agencies to build up their services in this arena — and for technology vendors to seek out partnerships with agencies. I can tell you that I’ll also be keeping my eye on companies that have a value proposition specifically for market researchers, such as NetBase Solutions, Wise Window, and the SocialVoice offering from Conversition Strategies and Peanut Labs.

  • Last but not least, Morgan Stanley has released their Internet Trends 2010 report. The report is chock-full of great data that we’d be wise to pay attention to. No surprise on the findings: mobile, social media, and converged communications are the hot topics that will define the next few years of technological adoption. We can debate all we want about methodologies and sample frames, but the bottom line seems to be this: consumers on a global level are flocking to social media and soon the dominant means of accessing any online content will be via mobile devices. Those two developments are going to make all of our other debates irrelevant; in order to survive, MR will have to develop new techniques based on these technologies.

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