First, a big “THANK YOU!” to all of our readers! We began this blog in May and since then have seen our traffic grow and grow. Monday we had over 260 visitors to the blog, and we appreciate you giving us your valuable time. Our goal is to serve the needs of our readers, so please let us know what we can do to continue to earn your “share of mind”!
You’ve probably also noticed that we’re expanding our author pool, with Ron Sellers, COLLOQUY, InsightsNow and Navin Williams joining us. Look for more thought leaders in MR to come on board in the coming weeks!
Now, on to the Best of the Web so far this week! As usual, click on the quotes to go the original source.
On the Social Media front, we have a trio of articles that should make researchers sit-up and take notice due to the broad implications of how this increasingly dominant channel should be used to gain insights.
First, the always reliable WARC has more details about the explosion of social media in Asia Pac.
When it comes to disapproval of brands and their owners, however, the Chinese are not slow to make their feelings known, displaying the greatest willingness to write a negative product review on the net.
Social media is also having an increasing impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions, with user-generated commentary on the internet the third most trusted source of information in China. While online buzz still fell behind the views of family and friends, it had a particular resonance in certain categories, such as electronics, cosmetics and cars.
On a related note, we go to WARC once again for an article about the boom of online retail in Asia Pac. How is this related to social media? Is anyone watching Lockerz? The era of social retailing is upon us!
Wrapping up the SM news, SocialMediaToday has an excellent peice on the convergence of research and social media from a slightly different angle in their article “10 Reasons Market Research is Critical to Social Media”. It’s well worth a read for a unique perspective on the role of MR in the social media era.
I continue to be surprised at how many companies keep the Market Research department in some back hall closet collecting dust and reams of paper reports. It happens in all industries, but lately I’ve seen retail companies keep their “Consumer Insight” group focused on traditional insight like mall traffic patterns and planograms. Consumer segmentation models are typically owned in these groups, and often they are leveraged for behavioral patterns that help with the proverbial 4 Ps – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. That stuff is important to the business, no doubt. But those same companies need to leverage, not ignore, that insight available when fusing social media into the marketing mix they already have.
Next, some really great blog posts have been published this week on topics ranging from the ISO debate to Charles Dickens as the Grandfather of Research. Here is the cream of the current crop!
Kicking things off, Reg Baker (The Survey Geek) discusses how the industry has been “Hoisted on their own petard” when it comes to the online sample quality debate.
How can it be that there is anyone left in MR who believes that response rates from online panels have anything to do with quality or representivity? When you’re working with a probability sample competently drawn from a high quality frame lower response rates immediately cause you to worry that representivity has been compromised. But with a panel, where representivity was sacrificed long ago, response rate is meaningless as a measure of quality. In fact, most sampling statisticians argue that you should not even bother to calculate it. If you do choose to calculate it then you need to do it at both the recruitment stage and the individual survey stage. When you do that, the numbers get really scary
I am a big fan of ISOs for products that can be defined clearly and especially in cases where the buyer is not in a position to make an informed choice. For example, I want to know that the plug on my washing machine won’t catch fire, will switch on and off, is made of the right material, and won’t electrocute me.
In terms of business processes, and I do not mean just market research, the case for ISOs is harder to make. In many cases the ISO simply relates to process control, but process control is not sufficient to make a good product, and in some cases it is not even necessary.
Kitty Brigham of Porter Research gives us her take on the ever popular topic of “What’s the Future of Market Research? It May be Simpler Than You Think.”. It’s a good read and echos many of the points we and others have been making for a while
There is much discussion of new market research methodologies using social media to gain insights within user communities. The thought is that these online networks, with a more open forum, will allow participants to bring up the ideas and issues on their minds – they will control the agenda. In addition, marketers are turning to observational research – including everything from videography to eye tracking to functional MRIs – to study habits, buying patterns and decision-making.
Following up on two previous posts on the importance of people in MR is another stellar blog entry from the Harvard Business Review: “Do You Have Their Backs? Or Just Your Own?”. As our industry transforms before our eyes, it’s good to be reminded that the basic principles of integrity and loyalty are not just good ethical standards, they are core to good business.
One of the defining, and most crucial, features of effective bosses is that they shield their followers — whether from political maneuvering or resource grabbing or just the innumerable distractions, indignities, time suckers, lame rules, and local idiots that go with organizational life — and create the space for them to succeed. (The best bosses even have the self-awareness to know when they themselves are the source of any of that, and need to shelter people from their own worst tendencies.)
Concluding the blog news, Cambiar Consulting launched their new website and blog this week, and Simon Chadwick’s inaugural post was on “Charles Dickens, Researcher”. As usual, Simon makes some good points on the state of the industry and issues a bit of a challenge to us all.
Research has the power to have a very high impact! So why does it persist in under-performing? And why does it have such low self-esteem? Jim Collins regards researchers as the unsung heroes of Good to Great and Built to Last companies! Why unsung? What is that we need to do to consistently deliver impact and become “sung”?
We’ll end with three pieces of news:
MRWeb reports that “Caution Returns for UK Marketers”, but overall the outlook remained guardedly optimistic.
UK marketing budgets were down a fraction in Q2 amid uncertainty regarding the economic outlook, according to the latest IPA/BDO Bellwether survey published today. Budgets for Internet marketing were however revised upwards.
The march of progress continues, and as usual it involves another of our favorite topics: our converged mobile future. WARC reports that Unilever is focused on mobile as the channel to engage the “next billion” web users.
“In fast-growing markets like India and China, it’s the mobile penetration that will transform the way companies engage with consumers,” he said. I believe the next billion online users will come from the mobile market.”
Last but not least, Information Services Monthly has a brief article on the increase of mobile internet usage among low income populations in the U.S. This is further evidence that a shift towards mobile research has to occur in order to engage consumers effectively.
The Pew Research Center ran the study of about 2,200 people and found that over 46 per cent of homes that earn less than $30,000 are mobile internet users. In other words, the lowest income group in the study was the fastest growing, up 11 per cent from last year.
The Pew study also noted that African Americans and Hispanic Americans use text messaging more than White Americans. The same percentage of African and Hispanic Americans own a mobile phone and (87 per cent), whilst White Americans that own a mobile phone is about 80 per cent.
That about covers everything that stuck out to us this week!
One last thing; please take a moment to participate in the GreenBook Taxonomy study going on ow; we’re redefining the industry in order to serve you, and your input is vital to our ability to do so! Click on the link below for our brief stud. Thanks!