Tag Archives: communities

Five steps towards consumer centric thinking – consumer collaboration and beyond by Tom deRuyck #Qual360 #QRCA

Live blogging from the Qual360 conference in Toronto, Canada. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.qual360

Five steps towards consumer centric thinking – consumer collaboration and beyond 
Tom deRuyck, Head of Consumer Consulting Boards, Insites Consulting
  • you need to talk with consumers every single day and you can do that through consumer consulting boards, 150 people every day
  • you don’t have to do everything consumer’s ask
  • you must have a strategy
  • you cannot fake it, it needs to be transparent
  • it’s not enough to learn things quickly, it’s the speed of execution that counts
  • you need to make consumers an integral part of everything you do
  • how do you create consumer centric company?
  • you need a chief consumer officer, the person in the company who knows most about the customers of the company needs to be there when decisions are being made
  • Consumer collaboration initiative – don’t tackle everything at once, start small but think big, start with one brand or one team and add more later, need to be reactive and proactive, bring down the silos of
  • Create a wall of fame with all the community accomplishments like new products they’ve created, the advertising campaigns they improved
  • Activate internal stakeholders to take relevant actions – forget online, offline, report multiple times with old ways and new ways and even in person when that’s right, inspire them, share your presentations, tell the insights but let them feel the insights through an experience, turn insights into actions
  • Inspire and empower employees at all levels – executives, management, frontline, staff, activate the movers and shakers, motivate not the sales person but the consumer directly
  • Leverage results and culture externally – talk about this in your marketing and make it tangible, tell them the product was co-created, surf the wave of enthusiasm – have community members who helped co-create tell the story
  • Research the impact – measure culture performance and communication, you need a chief consumer officer – consumer coach, people engagers, ecosystem builder, action heros

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Consumer Consulting Boards by Tom de Ruyck #NetGain8 #MRX

Live blogging from MRIA’s #NetGain8 conference in Toronto. Any errors or stupid jokes are my own.


Tom de Ruyck, Head of Research Communities, Insites, Belgium

Consumer Consulting Boards (MROCs):
Integrating the Voice-of-the-Customer across the Entire Enterprise

  • consumers have the power to make or break a brand
  • brands don’t have full control over what is being said about your brand
  • fans want to have a say in the future of their brand
  • consumers expect better, faster, stronger every single day
  • being open and agile is what consumers need to be, but most companies are not here
  • most companies think they have two way dialogues with consumers but most don’t, they are faking it or not really doing it, they are afraid of starting a dialogue
  • it can take 18 months to bring a new “ketchup” into a shop – that is not agile! There is too much passing between departments. Need to stop ad hoc projects and we need to work on teams not departments.
  • customers are the best consultants a company can hire. obviously customers know more than someone whose only been the brand manager for a year or two. The brand manager knows the marketing, consumers know the product.
  • your brand fans might be the toughest audience ever, they become angry when the brand team do something wrong
  • consumers consulting boards are closed long term communities – you can have clashes of ideas which can spark great ideas
  • it’s one piece of the puzzle to be a more open company, a community doesn’t necessarily mean you are more agile though
  • to succeed, you need the right people on board – find people who are TRULY fans of the brand who are interested and interesting, you don’t need a “rep” brand. instead of the 2 out of 8 people in your focus group who are interesting, why not just do the research with those 2 – plus more of those 2.
  • to succeed, you need the right number of people – 50 intense participants is enough, 150 or more is when they start to interact less and it’s more difficult for the moderator to probe
  • to succeed, you need engagement – tell them about the research and the incentive which is feedback and maybe a small gift, maybe a basket of products they have worked on. they like to show it off to their family and friends.
  • “i was part of a global team that redesigned the Heinz ketchup bottle” – that kind of incentive works, it doesn’t always have to be dollars
  • people tell you more if one of the moderators is joe-participant, they may not ask the research questions but they know what buttons to press
  • why would you NOT have a 16 year old girl help you analyze data from 16 year old girls [darn right!]
  • [communities sound like gamification of surveys if you do them right]
  • give people a different hat to release them from social or cultural issues – “You are now the boss”  “You must tell us all the bad things you see”

How to Engage Consumers in Multinational Communities by Austin and Lerman #Eso3D #MRX

This is a live blog posting from the Esomar 3D conference in Miami. Written, summarized, and posted just minutes after the speaker has finished. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side-notes are mine as well.

***                                                                                                                   ***

Lessons from the front lines
How to engage BRIC consumers in multinational online communities
Manila Austin & Katrina Lerman, Communispace, USA

  • BRIC consumers are very socially connected even though internet penetration is lower than most western countries (Brazil, India, Russia, China)
  • 300-500 people is viewed as a small community. 🙂 [Hey survey fans, I thought 10 meant small]
  • BRIC are more likely to read than post but everyone posted at least a couple times a week.
  • Youth want to talk with other youth around the world about their shared experiences. A recognizable brand involved makes them feel exclusive and in the know. Keep the tone fun, frequent, and flexible.
  • China and India posts more often, more lurking, more words, more contributions.
  • Lessons
  • Leverage the diversity, it is a draw, not a barrier. Youth from other countries want to know what it’s like to drive on a highway with no speed limit. [Buzzword!: leverage]
  • Know why you’re there: Have a commonality, life-stage, brand passion, professional affiliation.
  • Beware the western lens: ignore your assumptions, keep it simple, don’t get lost in translation, be culturally aware.  [i need to be reminded of this all the time. i forget that other people aren’t addicted to dessert like I am.]
  • Allow consumers to show, not just tell: get unfiltered emotions that get lost in writing, particularly if people aren’t proficient. Use videos, photos from home, work, shopping.
  • Facilitators must play an active role: Must be part of community, interact with members, probe for follow-up, write with care, take the time. You’ll get more out of the community if you put a lot into it.

Will Communities Kill the 6 Group Project by Nick Priestley #SoMeMR #li #mrx

15.30 PANEL: Will communities kill the 6 group project?

  • The future for research communities in generating insight
  • How online communities fit into the overall market research mix
  • Evaluating cost efficiencies and quality trade-offs

Nick Priestley, Managing Director, Tuned In

  • Are communities mainstream now? We are approaching mass market in terms of awareness. People still have concerns about blurring boundaries but there are more and more success stories. Barrier is internal stake holders.
  • Is it research? should we call it research? It’s more about collaboration and getting input in at the beginning. Forward thinking clients are open to it. Does it replace traditional focus group?
  • is 6 group project under threat? It will never die. It is still relevant. But there are many benefits to online approach. Start with hypotheses, develop over time. You can do this in two hour. Vast geography, you can’t do focus groups in hard to reach areas.
  • What kind of people work best in communities? 1% are super users, 9% are active, 90% don’t do anything. We want more people to be active. Now, people are more familiar with the idea. We need to show the process more to interest more people.
  • Segment communities so you can identify the creative people and the strict people and use each group to their strengths. Find tasks that are creative as possible to encourage people. People often don’t realize they were capable of expressing themselves in that way.
  • Audience – it’s important to listen to people who know nothing and these people aren’ t in communities.
  • Online doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper. You get more value from community. More people, less geography issues, less time of day issues, more natural setting, technology gives you more creative options.
  • Is it the shiny object effect? Do groups need a fresh spark? There is absolutely room for both. [Ah yes, the dichotomy must always be there, qual vs quant, online vs offline, MY favourite must always win. Can we just all use one big tool box with all the shiny tools in it?]
  • Are communities a safe haven with fewer ethics issues? Are communities fake social media? Communities are no different from people in real life.
  • Audience – Will facebook put an end to parties? Same as will communities put an end to groups. The two must work together. [ha, yeah. no more parties for me.]
  • Communities when used properly will replace parts of panel and parts of focus groups. [Because it is a better tool for various objectives. Use the RIGHT tool from your toolbox.]
  • Audience – Are focus groups more boring than they need to be? Can we incorporate fun of communities back into focus group.
  • Audience – What about finding pre-existing communities, that aren’t created by MR. This area is littered with huge fails because of lack of transparency, researchers failing to identify themselves. Perhaps use those areas for recruitment. [remember patientslikeme]
  • Audience – 6 groups aren’t under threat, the creative brainstorming groups are under threat. Communities let you do it over a longer period of time.
  • Audience – Are communities at risk because anyone can do them, even if you aren’t trained? Well, the client can read the entire transcript and confirm it all.

Co-Creation: The Researcher’s Solution for Cognitive Dissonance #MRX

Broadwater Focus Group

Image by Nebraska Library Commission via Flickr

Co-creation is a beautiful idea. Companies working together, in cooperation, with the common woman and man on an equal footing to create new and better products and services.

But are they really on an equal footing, each one contributing and benefiting the same amount from the team effort? Let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no equality in the relationship. There is a researcher and there is a opinion provider. There is a client giving serious cash to a research company and an opinion provider who is hopefully getting a sense of contribution and perhaps a couple bucks.

Is it co-creation? No. Co-creation is an idealistic term, a Pollyanna word, a term we use to describe a utopia, a term we use to make ourselves feel better about an unequal relationship, a term to deal with the cognitive dissonance we feel around our inability to pay opinion providers more than a couple of bucks. It makes us feel better about the imbalance of power that permeates our work.

Don’t get me wrong here. The lead researcher may very well feel very strongly that they are engaging in a well-rounded team-based relationship. And, maybe the senior management of the company feels that way too. But wanting doesn’t make it so. Until that ideation has percolated down to everyone on the team, the junior analysts who’ve only been told to monitor the system for swear words, the portal programmers who haven’t internalized the importance of privacy, until everyone internalizes the concept of team effort, until the opinion providers have just as much say and benefits in return as the clients and researchers, it’s just not co-creation.

Research groups, or DROCs, or MROCs, or whatever you like to use when you’re busy with co-creation, are a great idea for everyone involved. All parties get something desirable for their efforts.

But in the market research space, where transparency has turned into one of the biggest buzz words out there, let’s be transparent about this and just call a spade a spade. Or in this case, a research group a research group.

Other popular links

An Acceptable Use of Pie Charts: Van Gogh Color Distributions #MRX
3 Reasons Why Researchers Hate Focus Groups #MRX
Pie-Packing by Mario Klingemann: More fascinating pie chart art
Can a Cup of Coffee Prevent a Suicide?
My Tastebuds are Leptokurtic, How About Yours? #MRX

Monique Morden: Online Communities, MROC #netgain

Image representing Vision Critical as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

President, Global Partner Program, Vision Critical
What follows are some my silly musings and key take-aways of the session.
– Community panels or MROCs are not a panacea, they will not replace everything
– Communispace and Vovici mentioned as other providers of MROCs (woo hoo!)
– Community component is the member to member interaction, unlike surveys where it is a one-way researcher to participants direction.
– Tricky aspect – Branded vs Blind, We need to embrace branded approach.
– Need to be authentic, client can’t hide issues, cut to the chase and be honest with members. It’s a philosphical change to research.
– Recruit challenges especially if you don’t have a client list. Have to use websites, social media, point of sale, on-site, any method you can think of.
– Size matters! It can be ten people, it can be a thousand people, you have the flexibility depending on whether you need qual or quant, and which model you are using.
– Remember these are PEOPLE not SAMPLE. This is not a one night stand, it is an ongoing relationship. (yeah, baby!)
– Representative of what? It’s rep of the people you’ve recruited. Recruit carefully. These are not genpop panels.
– Create a destination, make them feel a part of something, connected to the topic, engaging portals to engage with
– Portal challenges – design, everyone is an expert, new content, updating content, multi-lingual.
– Engagement is important – give variety of ways for people to participate, public, private, make it easy to agree or disgree (bingo on the word “leverage” 🙂
– Leverage photos and videos to engage and personalize (bing, bing, bing! on “leverage” 🙂
– Use discussion forums, get 10% to 20% of people participating, have moderator probe responses to build knowledge, don’t let it turn into a teenagers party where you don’t know what the hell is happening
– Analysis challenges – soooooo much information, how do you analyze open ends? (conversition would be happy to do this for you :), quant and qual collide, how do you analyze videos and photos and wordclouds?
– Member retention – consider extrinic and intrinsic methods, most important thing is WELL DESIGNED SURVEYS, not incentives
– You can’t do a 20 minute survey, cut out the fluff, drop the want to know, cut to the chase
– Incentive challenges – points or draws, cash or product, cost and fulfillment. Some panels have no incentives because the topic is self-fullfilling. Insurance had darn well better use incentives. Reward for good postings, special tasks.
– Communicate – You don’t need to send reports but little nuggets are good, let them know who has won incentives. Share insights via newsletters or nuggets in the emails.
– Recruit from your community panel to do focus groups. Moms get to get away from their kids, see new products. (What moms need time for themselves?)
– Global challenges – translation into 30+ languages, context of brand and market in different cultures/regions/politics. Forums are great training grounds for new researchers because you can think before you speak.
– Trends – GenY are mostly on their smart phone so you had better communicate with them in way that is meaningful to them.
– International community doesn’t mean english focus groups around the world. It means being part of the language and culture around the world.

Related Links
#Netgain5 Keynote Roundup: Last Thoughts
Brian Levine: Neuroscience and Marketing Research
Brian Singh: Insights from the Nenshi Campaign
Monique Morden: Online Communities, MROCs
Ray Poynter – Overview of Online Research Trends
Tom Anderson: Web Analytics
Will Goodhand: Social Media Research and Digividuals

How to be unfollowed and other twetiquette

Tweeting bird, derived from the initial 't' of...

Image via Wikipedia

I guess I’ve been a tweeter for about a year now. Does that mean I should have a few words of wisdom to share? Well, if we’re all going to play in the same sandbox, I ought to do my part to make it a good sandbox.

  1. If you’re going to say something horribly mean, don’t name names. First, that’s just not nice and your gramma would wash your mouth out with soap. Second, it makes you look just as bad as the person you’re being nasty to.
  2. It’s ok to critique. Just make sure any negative comments are helpful and respectful.
  3. Don’t auto DM. Unless you’re spam. Then do auto DM so we can all block you.
  4. It’s ok to not follow everyone who follows you. We’re big boys and girls so if this sort of thing hurts your feelings, you might want to spend some time soul searching.

5) It’s ok to stop following someone if you are offended by their tweets. It’s just like putting a book back on the shelf because you thought you were getting romance but you were actually getting porn.
7) Try not to tweet every 5 minutes particularly if you say the same thing every time. You fill up people’s twitter stream and and it makes their experience very boring. (Take note research person who has the best you know what in all of you know where.)
8) The internet is permanent. Imagine that whatever you write will come up in your next interview. And I may not be all that forgiving.
9) Ignore all the rules about what topics are allowed on twitter. It’s not just for conversations and relationships and what you had for breakfast. It’s for whatever you enjoy tweeting about.

Read these too

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  • Wussup 2010!

    You may have noticed my failed attempt to sound really cool with that title. My apologies to those who know I’m not.

    To start the new year, I thought I’d put aside the chocolate mountain for a few minutes and chat about what I expect to see in the upcoming year for market research.

    1) Social media research increases exponentially – it’s been hot all year and now there is finally some infrastructure to support a quality offering. Watch out!
    2) Privacy upheaval over social media research – Everyone wants to know demos and geos of the contributors. Not only will that NOT happen, but contributors will start to realize what’s going on and pull back even more. Watch out Esomar, ARF, MRA, MRIA – this ball will soon be in your court!
    3) Resurgence in qualitative research techniques – a long lost skill that is suddenly invaluable. Those linguists and sociologists who didn’t listen to their moms advice about a useful degree will now have great jobs at their fingertips.
    4) Cell phone research finally gains a standing – though still not as huge as expected, people will start to figure out how to use it properly, and I do not mean 20 minute surveys
    5) Communities will become the next panels – great uptake followed by great downtake, some innovation and some rescue for the research industry

    And now its your turn. What are your psychic premonitions?

    Happy 2010
    Happy 2010‘ by teapotqueen via Flickr
    Image is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution licence

    Read these too


  • Ray Poynter – Overview of Online Research Trends #netgain5
  • An Acceptable Use of Pie Charts: Van Gogh Color Distributions #MRX
  • The Lost Art of Qualitative Research
  • #MRA_FOC #MRX Keynote on Social Media Monitoring
  • What do goats, frogs, and hedgehogs have in common with surveys?
  • Esomar Chicago: Day 1

    Well, day 1 of this conference has been unlike any conference I’ve ever attended before. Instead of case studies and new statistics and plugging under the guise of presenting, the focus today was almost 100% on one single topic: research using social media data. You might think the marketing research world went through the same transition when we moved from offline to online methods, but no way hosee! This transition seems to be on a totally different plane.
    Of course, there are still skeptics about the feasibility or usefulness of SM research, as one might have noticed with the gentleman who so easily admitted he just didn’t get twitter and why wouldn’t you just text what you ate for lunch to your three friends instead of tweeting it. Clearly, this is someone who tested out twitter by following his mom and three teenagers who get their kicks by tweeting every swearword they’ve ever heard. Sure, I’m being harsh. It took me a couple weeks to warm up to twitter and to find the right people to follow. Once that happened, I was hooked. Now, i completely get the twitter thing and I completely get why researchers should care about the twitter thing.
    So on that note, there certainly was lots of interest in social media research. Swarovski showed a website they used for a watch and jewelry design contest. Looked so interesting i wanted to design something myself. Then we learned how X-factor, a Belgium style American Idol show, used social media to identify issues that each contestant needed to work on in order to do their best on the show. I quite enjoyed seeing the webvideo presentation by McNarry and Bower as it showed how easy it is to attain a level of cultural diversity that is so frequently lacking in some methodologies. I loved hearing from Brainjuicer about how Starbucks has implemented over 300 user generated suggestions to improve their business. Also loved how Austin showed that the use of emoticons can be a cultural difference. Finally, loved the pecha kucha session! I’ve never seen that before, basically 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide, both features fully enforced. Forced the presenters to get creative, be concise, and make the point quickly. I may not do one of those presentations but the theory is so intriguing, I just might try to implement it in some way.
    So, my suggestions to presenters tomorrow, as if any of them have time to read this or even care to read this… 🙂
    PLEASE, go overboard on data. You can never present too much data. i’d rather see piles of data than piles of fluff. Please give me tidbits of knowledge that i can take home and use. I got lots of inspiration today, and a few tidbits of learnings. Tomorrow, overload me with actionable learnings. And more dessert.

    Some of my ipsos buddies, Alina, Renee, Deb and Efrain. Hi guys!


    The rest of my pictures seem to be stuck in zannel, you can see them here: http://www.zannel.com/LoveStats

    Beautiful setting

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  • What’s Your Twitter Segment?

    On several occasions now, I’ve come across a comment like, “Everyone on Twitter is smarter/funnier/more dedicated/better than I am.” I even saw a tweet from someone who said something like, “I go to Store ABC because the people on Twitter make me feel dumb.”

    Well, if you stop and think about it, the only people you CHOOSE to follow (ignoring courtesy follows) on Twitter are the people you either:

    1. admire,
    2. want to learn from,
    3. want to laugh from,
    4. have similar interests, or
    5. have some commonality with you that prevents you from turning off the follow.

    Also think about this, do you follow people who bore you, have a stupid sense of humour, say stupid things? I doubt it. You tune those people out as fast as you can. This means you end up with a finely tuned group of people who make you happy, people who choose the best of their witty remarks, the best of their smart remarks, and the best of all the random junk that’s passing through their brain. It’s a very personalized self-determined segmentation. In my case, it means I follow:

    1. researchers,
    2. gardeners,
    3. birders,
    4. bakers,
    5. online icons, and
    6. a bit of random silliness.

    Those are my segments. In the end, these leaves you with a very skewed representation of who is on Twitter. You’re only seeing what you want to see, and it’s dang hard to see what you can’t see. Again, in my case, it seems like everyone on Twitter loves research and works in a professional setting. So, forget that nonsense about how much better or worse people on Twitter are and enjoy what it offers you.

    And if you’re interested, here’s what my Twitter interest profile looks like, thanks to Wordle. (Hi Tom!)



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