Tag Archives: engagement

Marketing and consumer engagement in a connect world by Michael Becker #CASRO #MRX

Live blogged in Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– AIDA – create awareness, create interest, create desire, create action. this concept is 100 years old. [jeepers how irrelevant is that !]
– marketers chum – we throw stuff out there and hope consumption happens and we’re surprised when we catch someone
– once an individual shows up, we don’t know what to say to those people
– eras of marketing – manufacturing, distribution, information, consumers. Consumer marketers are facebook. IBM, Best Buy, Apple.
– reality today was the science fiction of yesterday
– the entire internet will change in five years [will APIs still be around?]
– the iPhone changed everything about phones – look at 2005 and 2013 when two popes were elected. remember those photographs? One pic no phones, and one pic all phones being help up.
– mobility causes and enables irrevocable behavioural change
– newspaper have been decimated, especially in 2010
– children don’t look at phones and see a telephone – they see a tv and a radio and a recorder
– girl scouts take credit card purchases of cookies now
– we are in a participatory economy, people vote on what they want brands to do, we share and tweet and rate publicly. this is the age of the consumer. people are in control
– nomophobia – fear of being without a phone
– mobile is the 7th mass media
– you can buy a living headstone at the cemetery – scan a code and get photos and audio and video of that person
– there is no longer one media path, there are ten
– the average person is carrying a supercomputer in their hands
– media is owned, paid, shared, or earned
– traditional path to purchase used to be one to many, but now it is one to one to many because of mobile and social
– marketers have thousands of tools to choose from now, messaging, media, advertising, mobile enablers
– advertising does work even if you think it doesn’t
– native advertising can put a flight purchase into someone’s Instagram picture feed of a sporting event in another country
– in Germany, there is a billboard that lets them check into facebook and spits out a treat for your dog
– digital displays in walgreens – up to 70% of people interact with those screens
– imagine getting a text message with a countdown of 99 seconds on it. the time it takes you to run to the store from a competitors store is the discount you will get. You’d better take only ten seconds to run between stores if you want 90% off your purchase.
– estimated that beacons will influence 1% of purchases this year
– download the taco bell app so that when you walk near a store, it asks if you want them to make your tacos now
– scan a virtual grocery aisle at the subway station and the food is delivered by the time you get home
– scan a beverage and it will tell you what snacks go with it and where they are [ok, thats the ultimate in stupid. i know what snack i want]

Engagement is so 2014. Here’s what I’m doing in 2015.

When I look back at the last couple of years, one firm trend comes to mind. Engagement was huge. Reach out to consumers, engage with audiences, push and pull opinions and thoughts from the brains of everyone around you.

This new theory of engagement led to many tweets like these:

“Thanks for engaging with me!”
“Thanks for engaging with us!”
“Thanks for engaging with our content!”
“Thanks for your input!”
“Thanks for the follow. How would you describe your brand?”
“I look forward to engaging with you!”

These tweets are nice and polite and every last one of them has landed in my direct messages or been sent as a tweet on its own. These tweets demonstrate a commitment to the theory of engagement – creating conversations, friendships, linkages between people.

But they are missing one major component. Everyone one of these tweets is completely lacking genuineness. Open response templates, insert option 7.

Think about every conversation you’ve had with your friends. Friendly, specific, personal. Have you ever thanked your friends for engaging with you? For enjoying your content? For contacting you? If so, you need to rethink your friendships.

These engagement thanks yous are not friendly conversations. They are “following the rules” conversations. They are non-genuine, click-baiting, build the follower count conversations.

These thank yous mix up the THEORY of engagement with the PRACTICE of engagement.

So what should you be saying to people? Well, I can’t give you many specifics. Every conversation is unique. Every tweet is unique. Every reply should reflect that uniqueness. Every reply should be a genuine practical personal and friendly comment.

Thank me for chatting with you about response rates.
Say you’re glad that I liked your infographic.
Say you’re glad I mentioned margin of error.
Say you’ll think of me when a question about probability samples comes up.

Leave the theoretical discussions to your blog entries and white papers. Practice the theory when you’re chatting online.

Thanks for perusing this post. I hope you liked it. I’d be happy to chat with you about it. Not we. Me. Annie. 🙂

It’s finally about the people who participate in our research #IIeXap14 #IIeX #MRX

iiexbannerGood night Sydney!

It’s been a long day full of short presentations, and a few things come to mind.

  1. I’ve advocated on behalf of people who participate in our surveys for so long that I sometimes feel like a broken record. But today, on numerous occasions, speakers specifically demanded that we treat people like human beings. We might think we’re already doing that but the percentage of people who don’t know what being screened out means says differently. We still write really long surveys and we still write them as if we’re Charles Dickens not J. K. Rowlings. What I heard today is that more and more researchers are starting to think about and talk to research participants as if they are actual human beings. Strange concept. I look forward to seeing this theory become reality.
  2. ikabezier_flower_peopleThe age of marketing products has ended. We are now listening to what people want and trying to respond to those needs. Brands that want to remain relevant and in demand also need to treat people like people. (Is this strange concept a trend?) Let’s remember that most people don’t want a relationship with most of the brands they use. Hey, I don’t even KNOW most of the brands I use. Out of the thousands of brands I use, I only have space to remember a few of them by name. Sorry carpets, tiles, shingles, shelving and more. Just because you want your brand to be everyone’s best friend doesn’t mean they want to.
  3. Did you know that “Garbage in, garbage out” comes from our good friend Charles Babbage who lived in the 1800s? He actually said something closer to “to put in the wrong data and expect the right answers is absurd.” Well, is YOUR survey/focus group/big data putting in the wrong data? And are you still expecting the right answers? We’re so used to the “garbage in, garbage out” phrase that we automatically discard it as not being relevant to US. But is it? Maybe it’s time to think about it again.
  4. Can’t say, won’t say is a fun little problem for most surveys and traditional research methods. I would never say I’m racist or sexist or homophobic because I know those things are bad. I also can’t tell you why I like the colour pink and hate the colour black. I can’t and I won’t. These few words are a good reminder that the absolute best methodology is the multi-mode methodology. What can’t be measured with one method will be measureable with another. And don’t think otherwise.
  5. nailed itPlease explain this to me. Why do we keep on saying that innovation isn’t coming from market research. Of course it is. If you are in the business of understanding consumer behaviour, you work in market research. I don’t care if you call yourself a techie or a programmer or some funky weird fad title. What is the real problem? Well, people who are in traditional market research paths have defined market research far too narrowly and can’t see the light for their blinders. Is a doctor someone who is skilled in the ancient art of bloodletting, or is it someone who is skilled in healing people? It’s no different with market research. Market researchers focus on consumer behaviour HOWEVER that is measured.
  6. I learned today that panel companies offer no value because anyone can go online and use DIY services. Well, if panel companies were simply DIY companies, I wouldn’t be interested in them either. In fact, I’d run very quickly from them. You see, I’ve worked on the panel side of full service research companies for quite a few years. I’m the person behind the scenes running data quality processes to evaluate individual responders and determine who is and isn’t earning their keep with engaged and honest answers. I’m the person figuring out new algorithms for generating more representative samples. I’m the person making sure your dataset isn’t a big pile of crap. DIY sampling? I’m all for it. But only if it’s DIY sampling of good quality panelists.
  7. Lastly, the best conference sales pitch is a great presentation. And a great presentation includes ZERO mentions of your company name. ZERO mentions like “Our companies works hard to….” And ZERO videos about your great products. Great presentations DO include engaging, entertaining, personable research experts. Try it. You’ll like it.iiexap14 self with Lisa and Mike

Other Posts

Interesting Infographic: How top brands are using Twitter

Even though this infographic is out of date, having first been published in January 2014, the points it lays out are still relevant today. Jade Furubayashi from Simply Measured describes the Twitter practices of the top brands including how many times they tweet every day and how engagement is affected by the number of followers. But don’t misinterpret that correlation by buying yourself 100,000 followers. Paid followers won’t add to your engagement and they won’t love and adore your brand by sharing, tweeting, and retweeting. Only genuine brand love creates engagement.

Are you Guilty of Engagement Speak?

Over the years, we’ve learned to identify survey speak. You know, those words and acronyms that only get used in back rooms and boardrooms but then suddenly end up as foreign words in a survey for consumers. We are getting better at dropping them from surveys and I’m glad to see the acronym SKU appearing on surveys less and less often.

willy wonka genuine engagementBut social media has made us create a brand new problem. Engagement speak.

We’ve learned that the best websites use engagement tactics to increase the level of engagement they have with their readers. Thousands of social media experts now advise brands to encourage conversations with Engagement Speak, that short little call to action at the end of every blog post.

Tell me more.
What is your opinion.
What would you do.
Have you encountered this before.

Sure, they’re great and it’s nice that you want to encourage engagement. But it’s gotten to the point where it’s easy to see that you’ve read the free ebook and drunk the koolaid.

Write blog post, insert call to action.

But when I see the call to engagement, here’s what I really see.

Write blog post, insert call to action, check blog statistics.

Now is the time to stop. Now is the time to put the ebook down and have a genuine conversation with your readers. DON’T say tell me more if you only need to say thanks. DON’T probe if you don’t genuinely have a question. DON’T ask for my opinion if you’re just trying to increase your comment count.

You know what? Don’t end with a call to action. If your point was strong, genuine, and worthy of a comment, you won’t need to ask for it. An open (moderated to prevent spam) comment box is all people need.

When is a relationship not a relationship? #MRX

With university two decades behind me, I figured it was time to trade a broken, crooked, and poor quality reading chair for one I could sit in without fearing for my life.

I skipped on over to lazy-boy and picked up one of those surprisingly nice looking chairs with the foot rests. Since I don’t have a car, I provided my phone number and address to get home delivery. A few days later, the delivery company called me and arranged the pickup time. Now, yeah baby, the feeties are comfy!

However, a few weeks after that, I got another phone call. This call was from the folks at lazy-boy inviting me to an event at the store. Where, I assume, lovely products would be priced at a wonderful discount for me. And this event was only for their loyal fans. Apparently, I have a relationship with this brand now.

– I haven’t friended them on Facebook.
– I have never bought anything other than one single chair from them.
– They would not have my address if I hadn’t needed delivery.
– I wasn’t asked if they could take my information from their delivery schedule and add it to their marketing list.

I do believe I’ve been forced into an ongoing interaction I never asked for. I think I’m in a relationship I didn’t know I was in. Is that how brands make people happy now?

3 Reasons why I’m breaking up with Twitter

I’m on Twitter a lot. I tweet a lot, I read it a lot. But I seem to be gravitating more and more to Facebook even though the powers that be tell me Facebook is about to implode. But I’ll tell you why I’m dating Twitter less than I used to.

  1. It’s getting harder and harder to talk to a person. As people realize the value of branding, more and more Twitter accounts are being named after companies and brands. They tweet endlessly all day long and attempt to engage in conversation. But I really can’t remember the last time I picked up a box of Cheerios and had a fun and interesting conversation with it. I talk to people, not brands. Even though I deliberately follow people over brands, my Twitterstream is an endless list of brands and companies, as if every human has stopped tweeting. Why not sign each tweet with -Annie, or put -Annie in your user bio. Yup, change your user bio every day depending on who’s tweeting.
  2. More and more people are begging to be followed. Outright asking for people to follow up them. No, they aren’t buying followers and I do appreciate that. But I don’t appreciate tweets along the lines of “Hey LoveStats, I love your tweets. Please follow us.” You see, if you tweeted with me even a couple of times, I would have reviewed your tweets and determined for myself whether your tweets were of interest to me. In other words, if you’ve tweeted with me and I’m not following you, it’s likely because I don’t want to follow you.
  3. Fewer and fewer tweets are personal. As I already said, I prefer to talk to people. And have lunch and play with their kids and do embarrassing things. It’s fun to read these things because first of all, well, they’re fun. And second of all, it helps me get to know you as a person, you as someone I’d like to talk to. I firmly believe there is a healthy balance between professional and serious, and fun and friendly. As a market research community, we are losing the right balance.

In conclusion, please treat me like a person wearing pink socks and eating chocolate, not a robot that might open a wallet for you.

New Era of Engaging Qual by Steve August, Revelation #MRA_National #MRX

… Live blogging from Disney Orlando, any errors are my own…

The New Era of Engaging Qual in the Mobile-Social Era

Steve August, Founder, CEO, Revelation


  • Mobile has surpassed the desktop, primary way of interacting with the internet, Crossed the line in 2013
  • Forrester says 84% of people with smartphones are within 3 meters of their phone all day
  • Use a phone 150 times per day
  • In third world countries, they’re skipping the landline and going right to wireless because of infrastructure issues
  • 80% of time spend on devices is on apps, 20% on browsers
  • Pinterest, instagram, phenomenal growth around visual and interacting socially
  • People expect things to work on the desktop and on the mobile, across all devices, we don’t expect it to be the same but it needs to feel like you’re in the same space
  • Create a system that looks like popular sites, like pinterest or instagram; make sure it is easy with minimal learning curve
  • Activity design is key, technology gives us the opportunity, it isn’t the research layer, the research equation is still important
  • On Location Ground Truth – nothing better than mobile, shop alongs, bathroom routines, cars/trains/buses, airports/offices
  • choose activities that use mobile to its best – trend hunting, diary/journal, retail adventure, inventory, process, out of box experience
  • Photos – efficient, people know how to do it, fast to analyze but there is no audio
  • Video – efficient, great material for presentations, but it’s time consuming, and they’re hard to watch because of bouncy movement
  • Be spontaneous – phones are lightweight, can pull them out at anytime
  • capture behaviours, don’t disrupt them – don’t make them answer ten questions while they’re trying be spontaneous, do probes later on, put them on the web later
  • When NOT to use mobile? When you need deeper engagement. letter writing isn’t great for the phone, full keyboards let you be more expressive
  • Help Mabel is a good way to have participants teach you how to do things, a full size keyboard is the way to do this
  • Posting 20 pictures at once is better on a real computer not a mobile phone
  • Latina hair care case study – rapidly growing market, haircare is numer 2 top hispanic product category after dried vegetables
  • Day 1 – product retail adventure, in store moment, people talked about choosing fragances, why they bought 5 bottles
  • Day 2 – 5 senses, if your hair could talk, beauty award, bad hair is like XXX, good hair is like YYY, people pretend to be their own hair and transfer their opinions to their hair, people really get into “being their hair” [steve is acting like ‘cool’ hair now 🙂 ], choose 5 pictures that mean good hair and bad hair
  • Day 3 – Co-creation – design your dream product
  • Some of it was mobile, some web, but the audience had a lot of people who were more mobile than desktop

What is this thing we all seek called engagement? #SocialMedia

English: Three stone engagement ring - in yell...

Any good blogger knows that at the end of your post, you must leave your readers with a statement like the following:

“Do you agree with this?”
“What is your opinion on this?”
“How do you respond in situations like this?”

The theory is that by inviting commentary from your readers, you will create engagement and that is something we all want. But that isn’t engagement. That is prompted conversation and elicited opinions. Everyone knows about the comment boxes on blogs and that they can write a comment if they so desire so why must we remind them? Because we wrote such a sucky post that they didn’t didn’t want to engage.

True engagement is unprompted. It requires no solicitation and no encouragement. People simply feel the urge to put fingers to keyboard and share their reactions to your words. True engagement shows up when people search all over the page to find a comment box that isn’t immediately obvious.

So how do you “get” someone to engage with you? It’s quite simple. Write an intriguing post straight from the heart that solves or addresses a real problem head on. Forget the fluffy big words, drop the buzzwords, and get right to the point. Stop asking for engagement and start deserving it.

Engaging the high tech consumer: Bob Fawson #Netgain6 #MRIA

netgain mria

Welcome to my #Netgain6 MRIA live blogs. What happens at St. Andrews Conference Centre, gets blogged for all to read about. Each posting is published immediately after the speaker finishes. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any silly comments in [ ] are my own. Enjoy!


Bob Fawson, Chief Access, Supply and Engagement Officer at SSI

bob fawson ssi

  • Mark Twain – “reports of my death were exaggerated” – it seems to be the same for MR
  • In the US, a smartphone is a phone with internet access, texting is still increasing
  • Where do we keep our phone at night? In bed with me is actually a
    A portrait of the American writer Mark Twain t...

    popular answer, most people at least have it in their bedroom

  • Who are the avid users? 5+ hours per week which is 25% of users globally. Avids are in every age bracket though it is age related.
  • Avids are engaged in social fabric offline – restaurants, brick and mortar shopping, they aren’t just staring at screens
  • Avids buy based on quality not price, and they find that information in social networks
  • Half of avids have recommended a product or service online, they care more about recommendations from people they know
  • People want broad platforms but specific access to small network of friends
  • Mobile phones are part of the shopping experience where you check prices and reviews while you’re in the store
  • 40% of mobile owners are willing to participate in research and that percent is much higher among tablet owners [such keeners! they just love their pretty little tablet and need a reason to use it. 🙂 ]
  • Text message is the number one preferred method to participate in a survey but only a tiny sliver of our research is via mobile phones
  • How to reach avid users – invite through social network is most popular, then comes a simple post on a SN; Occasional users would prefer a telephone call [what? a phone call? people still use those things?]
  • Avids prefer non-panel sources, they’re already on other non-panel communities and don’t need yet another one full of people they don’t already know and share interests with
  • Who takes mobile surveys – the breakdown looks like a panel web survey, younger, high income, employed, more educated. SMS survey leans young. IVR leans older. Give people the opportunity to participate in whichever method best suits them. Choice is key.
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