[Fans of bacon should read this version instead.]
Do a quick search on Twitter or Google and you’ll instantly find 412 653 ways to encourage people to engage more with your product. Reply to people, ask questions, use polls, give a call to action, request videos and photos, give them user accounts. The list goes on and on.
Why do we do this? Because research says that when users are more engaged with something, they spend more money on it. And we all like money.
But wait. Something i paid little attention to in my introductory statistics class is nagging me. It’s telling me not to leap to assumptions. It’s telling me that just because someone spends more time on something does not mean they will consequently spend more money on something. It’s telling me that correlation does not equal causation.
You see, people who are more engaged with something, a website, a shoe company, a kitchen supply shop are already invested in it, more than people who are less engaged with something. These people are more engaged because they like the company. They buy the product because they like the company. They do not buy the product because they are engaged with the company.
It’s very easy to forget the direction of relationships among variables. Sure, you can convince a bunch of people to become more engaged, and sure some of them will grow to like the company, and sure some of them will make a purchase. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you can get a bunch of vegetarians to eat bacon by convincing them to create a user profile on your bacon website and share bacon recipes with them. The common denominator isn’t engagement. It’s the bacon. It’s always the bacon.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A Decade of Netnography #Eso3D #esomar (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- How Far is Too Far by Bernie Malinoff #Eso3D #esomar (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- The Researchification of Games by Peter Harrison #Eso3D #esomar (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Facial Imaging #Eso3D #esomar (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Why Women Rule the Web, Yahoo and TNS #Eso3D #esomar (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Keynote by Philip Sheldrake #Eso3D #esomar (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Digital Trends by Dominic Harrison #Eso3D #esomar (lovestats.wordpress.com)
Carrie Longton co-founded Mumsnet in 2000 with Justine Roberts after the pair met in antenatal classes. The site, designed as a way for parents to share knowledge and support, quickly took on a life of its own. It now gets more than 30 million page impressions every month from more than 1.5 million unique visitors, and its influence has been felt by politicians and businesses through its high-profile campaigns and boycotts. Among Longton’s responsibilities is leading Mumsnet’s insight team, which includes running a research panel and organising product tests for manufacturers. Before starting Mumsnet she worked as a TV producer, working with the likes of Clive James and Cilla Black.
Carrie Longton, Co-Founder, Mumsnet.com
- Mumsnet – By parents, for parents. Peer to peer online advice.
- They learned that people didn’t necessarily value advice from experts, but advice from other people in their shoes – moms.
- It grew by word of mouth, mumsnetters was what users called themselves
- Now they have a panel of moms and grandparents
- Average user session is 15 minutes and they visit 11 pages. They are high income, high-educated, wide age spread, and they take holidays. They are women, not ‘just’ moms.
- Research as a way of marketing to people. [That’s a big no no for researchers but they aren’t a research company and so aren’t bound by research rules]
- What moms want? Make lives easier, save time and effort, transparent, don’t stereotype, listen to opinions. I’m not a slummy mummy or yummy mummy, i’m a real unique person.
- 90% of traffic heads to talk boards. “Am i being unreasonable” is the most popular topic and it’s not kids related. Chat is popular. Relationships is popular. Style and beauty is popular. 79% have bought a product after a recommendation from mumsnet.
- This is the power of targeted advice. Many think this site is better than google.
- Tools of engagement – Bespoke advertising. surveys, groups, tests. Bloggers network. Events. User videos. Webchats.
- Online communication – DO respect, consult early, target serial networkers, think user-generated, engage, enfranchise, empathize, endear, entertain
- DON’T think celebrity equals success, expect people to do something you wouldn’t do, try to force viral buzz, be afraid of criticism or debate
- Bernard Matthews – change your meat not your menu. Mumsnet told people it was for Bernard. They invited moms to watch him cook. Process convined people to change their minds about turkey.
- Pizza Express – want family friendly restaurant of future. Started with an unbranded survey. Worked with mumsnet to ask what did they really want from a family restaurant. Created a service charter to help the staff better understand how to serve food to kids.
- Ford – Invited whole family to test drive. Sent them to the drive in theatre. Took moms to the race track which they loved because they weren’t being stereotyped.
- Community Approach by Bester and Dunn, #SoMeMR #li #mrx (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- No way? Way! The LoveStats Book! #MRX (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Will Communities Kill the 6 Group Project by Nick Priestley #SoMeMR #li #mrx (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Mum knows best by Child and Boreham, #SoMeMR #li #mrx (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Brand Together by Meyassed and Koch, #SoMeMR #MRX #li (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Ethical Framework for SMR, Panel #SoMeMR #MRX #li (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- The Gap between brands and consumers by Adams and Hallums #SoMeMR #li #mrx (lovestats.wordpress.com)
- Mumsnet Engagement #SoMeMR #li #mrx (lovestats.wordpress.com)
Let me start by reminding people that I LOVE surveys. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. I love the amazing amount of data you can get in such a small space, the unending types of statistics you can run that reveal an unending number of ways to interpret the results. Bring on the reliability tests, factor and cluster analysis, regression, it’s all great stuff. But, many people, including myself, complain about the design of surveys. In many cases, they look horrible. Among other things, the grids make it difficult and annoying for participants to complete.
So WHY do we set up surveys like this anyways? There’s one huge reason – that’s the way we’ve always done it. In the good old days, surveys were written on paper. You had only so much space to ask so many questions. You used your space wisely because every additional sheet of paper cost money to print and mail out and mail back and do data entry. Every single question was money. Enter the online world. It was soooo simple to transfer your paper survey over to an online survey. Twelve years ago, online page design worked about the same way as paper design. Basic HTML made it possible to set up grids. Click and drag images, and other fancy things, were pretty much out of the question, but no one had even contemplated them at that point. Even better, if you wanted to add a question to your survey now, you just did it. You didn’t have to print another page or pay more postage or pay for more data entry. Online was the be all and end all answer. If you want to be terribly bored about comparing the quality of offline and online data from ten years ago, just read my dissertation here. I did the HTML programming of all the horribly long grids myself. 😀
Part 2 of story. So ten years have passed. Surveys have grown to be ridiculously longer, and they still look the same as they did ten years ago. Once again, though, there is a very important reason for doing this. For some strange reason, the way you present or design a survey question has a scientifically substantiated impact on survey results. Let’s consider a grid question. If you design a grid question with the answer options going horizontally, you WILL get different results than if you ran the answers vertically. For example, if you always used to have top 2 box scores of 30%, you might get 20% or 40% using the other design. Now, change up the format of your grid question even more, perhaps bring it into 2009 and use some images, some click and drag, some easier to read fonts. Surprise, surprise, your results WILL be different than if you had run your survey using the tried and true grid format. It’s just fact.
How do you get around this? Easy. Well, not easy, but certainly doable. Just refer to my previous post called How to Transition a Survey. Different application, exact same concept. We simply have to take the plunge. Decide on a new method that gives the quality of data needed, run the parallel tests, and leap into transition.