Tag Archives: somemr

What is Proper Research? #MRX

5 test tubes with different concentrations of ...

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Proper English, proper attire, proper format. Everything needs to be proper. At the recent Research Live social media research conference in London, I kept hearing a phrase that sounded something like this: “we didn’t do proper research.”

So what is proper research? Is it test and control groups? Large sample sizes? Quantitative data and probability based statistics? Surveys and randomized groups? It made me wonder what was improper about the research, why their research was so bad that it needed special caveats.

Research isn’t test-tubes and skinner boxes. Research is a living, breathing process by which people discover relationships among variables. Research comes in all forms from qual to quant, from covert to overt, from 1 group to 51 groups, from surveys to n=1 case studies, from exploratory to confirmatory.

The only form of proper research I know is this: a scientific approach to discovering answers to questions. This process involves knowing the risks, the pros and cons, the biases and skews of the method you’ve chosen. It involves knowing how to handle the resulting data properly, without preconceived biases, without expectancy effects. Proper research isn’t a specific type of research. It’s simply smart research.

A Sampling of London Chocolate Bars

london chocolate bars

What are holidays for? Holidays are your chance to experience life from an entirely new perspective. As a market researcher, it means I get to combine a couple of things that are extremely important to me: research and chocolate.

So, in this n=1 research (I am only a sample of 1), my recent trip to speak on a panel at the Research Live social media research conference in London meant that I had an additional important task ahead of me. I took the opportunity to carefully evaluate a number of chocolate bars found in London with which I am unfamiliar. From nougat to nuts, and grastolicious to gross, I hope these ratings will help you in your future chocolate decisions.

For each of the following brands of candy bars, please indicate your overall level of satisfaction on a scale from 1 (Very Dissatisfied) to 5 (Very Satisfied).

Brand Very Dissatisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied Neutral Somewhat Satisfied Very Satisfied
Boost X
Caramac  X
Cote X
Daim X
Double Decker X
Flyte X
Galaxy Caramel X
Galaxy Chocolate X
Galaxy Cookie X
Galaxy Orange X
Milka X
Milky Bar X
Munchies X
My Purple Bar X
Riesen X
Ripple X
Snack X
Starbar X
Toffee Crisp X
Topic Melted goo
Vanilla Fudge X
Wispa X

The Gap between brands and consumers by Adams and Hallums #SoMeMR #li #mrx

A Wispa bar in a wrapper from 2007.

Image via Wikipedia

16.00 Harnessing the power of social media, bridging the gap between brands and consumers

  • How to harness the power of social media platforms for research
  • Best practice for recruiting and retaining customers to an online community
  • How to get the most out of your online panel community and show ROI
  • The power of the panel community compared to other research methodologies

Rachel Adams, Marketing Director, Toluna
Mark Hallums, Director of Product Technology, Toluna

  • [Harness the power! I’m already having fun. 🙂 ]
  • “Bring back Wispa” campaign caused Cadbury to bring back a brand. [I bought one. Watch for my chocolate bar rating blog post.]
  • Gap logo was changed, and then changed back due to social media chatter. Gap admitted they failed to engage the online community to redo the logo correctly.
  • Dell IdeaStorm was an online commuity of 12 000 members, 84 000 comments, 900 000 votes, 1-5% of ideas were usable. Research, sales, marketing teams all used the data.
  • They have a research social network which was a challenge to low response rates and recruitment challenges. Aimed to increase engagement with memers. Included profiles, polls, results, rating and following, external polls to twitter or facebook.
  • Benefits to brands – brand advocacy, co-creation, pre-screen customers, engaged product testers, reduce new product development cycle
  • Panel allows for DIY online surveys, up to 15 questions, launched immediately, with real-time results [Not gen pop but we know how to handle that]
  • [What I’ve learned – always describe the brand you’re talking about because there will be people in your audience who don’t know what it is. i am missing ALL the jokes today. 🙂 ]
  • Next – Turn facebook fans into fully profiled respondents, facebook likes don’t come with demographic profiles, use the opt-in process

Community Approach by Bester and Dunn, #SoMeMR #li #mrx

Flag of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Image via Wikipedia

14.30 Using a Community Approach to Inspire Creative Development

How communities can play a role in each stage of the creative development process
How we can overcome many of the issues with traditional creative development research
Explaining the power of iterative development
Doug Dunn, CEO, Tuned In
Debi Bester, Director of Creativity & Innovation, The Reinvention Works

  • Research is the creative and the creative is the research.
  • RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Association) – Youth who had never heard of them now knew them because of mystery packages sent to influential youth bloggers. got 1 million responses/comments/videos/views. #1 most viewed in numerous countries. Reached 15% of youth in Britain. “supporters of tomorrow”
  • Where did it come from?
  • Strategy – generate insights; Create – inspire ideas: Crafting = generate content; Evaluate – refine and validate.
  • The brief – get young people to lead the word in adopting a sustainable lifestyle by creating a longterm generational behaviour changing campaign.
  • Projective technique – Imagine it’s 2050, climate change is halted, rainforests have regrown, ice caps have reformed. Now, imagine who caused this, how did it happen. Answer – Older people won’t do anything, I need to do something. We don’t need us and them campaigns.
  • Role playing – How did you start your movement? How did you inspire others to join in? Researchers learned a series of small changes better than big stunts and gestures.
  • Use social game theory and make the serious part fun. Make recycling fun to interactive with.
  • Make it financially rewarding to participate. Like Volkswagon, fine people who speed to pay people who don’t.
  • Create a measurement tool to show people how green their lifestyle is.
  • Use the visual language of the generation. Maybe originality is over-rated. Familiar is effective.
  • Give the participants special offers, discounts, freebies when they choose eco-friendly. Let them preview, test, and try new products.

Mum knows best by Child and Boreham, #SoMeMR #li #mrx

Charity by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Image via Wikipedia

14.00 Mum knows best: How a community approach helped Mothercare connect with mums and mums-to-be

  • How Mothercare used a community approach to extract personal and emotional insights into motherhood in 2011
  • How to optimise long-term engagement to encourage respondents to share their innermost tensions and trepidations
  • Building a strong sense of community with a clear purpose to get the most out of interactions
  • Sharing key learnings from managing and running a community
  • Using insights to understand how Mothercare can respond and cater to the changing needs of mums

Paul Child, Associate Director, Join the Dots
John Boreham, Group Insights and Planning Manager, Mothercare

  • Real people telling real stories is the best part of the community approach
  • Mothercare catalogue study – 150 moms, 5000 comments, 12 months
  • Pramrage – like road rage, but with baby buggies 🙂
  • Wanted to take people to safe place for sharing and collaboration, where mom’s can benefit as well. Moms like the closed circle, not having to give the ‘right’ answer.
  • Brave and patient – Try things and see what works and doesn’t work. It was experimental development of the tool.
  • Hard working – For clients to get buy-in, and moderating/responding/developing relationships/becoming friends. Don’t still stick to ask and answer, become friends.
  • Bite sized – If you don’t get it right, you can always go back. Start with a question or a task and gradually get to a bigger picture.
  • In your hands – It’s in your control. set the agenda, what’s important, where it goes, who you respond to. Or go with what people want to talk about.
  • Techniques – community newsletter with new births and actioned results, match mom to baby photo games, share videos
  • How do you get business stakeholders excited in the business? Most clients haven’t had children. Tell them stories about individual mothers. “Let’s go and ask Julie” was code for we need to ask a real mom. Why is this photo of a pregnant mom showing her NOT wearing our pregnancy clothing but rather a plus sized dress?
  • Get people interested doing “day in the life of”. Gives design team an idea of everything that happens during day and what products might be needed.
  • Let community members post their own question.
  • Members wanted team to celebrate with her, reassure her, advise her
  • Replicate the role of friend and trusted advisor


Behavioural Economics by Ken Parker, #SoMeMR #Li #fb

Cover of "Predictably Irrational: The Hid...

Cover via Amazon

11.45 Behavioural Economics & Online Qual – Made for each other?

  • Moving behavioural economics from the theoretical to the practical
  • Illustrating how the pillars of BE can be addressed by different qual research data collection techniques
  • Highlighting the benefits of online qual research techniques to evaluate many of the BE heuristics
  • Recognising the benefits of traditional qual techniques to address many of the BE biases

Ken Parker, Chairman, Discovery

  • 50% of US qual as an online component
  • Tor Norretranders – we process 16 of 11 millions bits of information our senses pass to our brain. The conscious part receives much less info than the unconscious part.
  • John Wanamaker – half the money i spend on advertising is wasted but i don’t know which half
  • AIDA – awareness, interest, desire, action
  • Now – behavioural economics, Read “Predictably Irrational
  • We do not consciously consider all the the possible options. We only consider from those perceived to be available. But people think they have the full choice.
  • Antonio Damasio – “I have emotions, therefore I am rational”
  • Rory Sutherland – MR asks the wrong questions and money is spend investigating hair splitting distinctions that have little relation to context in which people actually make choices
  • Behavioural economics – Behaviour is King. Forget intentions, attitudes and focus on what people actually do. [The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour]
  • Pillars of BE are Heuristics and Biases. Heuristics are shortcuts you use, rules of thumb, educated guesses, common sense, it’s rare that we buy the best product. We buy something that’s good enough, that does the job, but this one is pretty good. Biases are usually based on unfair negatives. (All turnips are gross.)
  • We can answer who, how, where, what when, but we can’t really answer why. We can make up answers but they may not be the right answer. We are poor witnesses of our own behaviour. We are excellent witness of our emotions though.
    Qual gives us the here and now. Don’t like how it relies on recall though.  [what is chivvying?]
  • Heuristics good for online qual. Biases good for traditional qual.
  • Watch for authority bias, effort bias, fairness bias, anchoring, social proof, badwagon, herding, framing, brand heuristic (Campbell’s means quality as opposed to beans). [These heuristics and biases aren’t limited to HE. These are generic human behaviour.]

Leading a Social Revolution by Christina Goodman, Linkedin #SoMeMR #MRX #li

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

09.15 How social media is leading a social revolution

  • How is social media changing how we make and understand people and relationships online and offline
  • What does it mean to be a researcher in a “connected” digital world?
  • How brands can use emerging behavioural insights to promote their products and values

Christina Goodman, Research & Insights Manager, EMEA, LinkedIn

  • Web 1.0 is search and get data
  • Web 2.0 is real identities and real relationships
  • Web 3.0 is real identities and massive amounts of data
  • Not all data is created equally. What is the right data to answer the right question.
  • 70% of UK are active social media users
  • 1 billion people use social networks
  • 1 out of every 6 minutes online is spent on social networking
  • Facebook – who I am as a person, friends and family, photos and gaiming
  • Twitter – who i am as an opinion leader, followers, real-time micro blogging
  • Linkedin – who i am as a professional, colleagues and alumni, connections and profiles
  • 60% of marketers still use clickthrough as the main measure of performance; ROI is only 32%; What are the right metrics, are there comparable traditional metrics
  • 82% of Linkedin users use it for business news, far more than forbes 15%, businessweek 8%, WSJ 3%. (I’m curious what these numbers are for non-linkedin users)
  • First, have a presence. Be where your consumers are. Second, engage in the discussion. Listen to what consumers say. Third, gather insights from the tools.
  • Look for “signal” search feature on Linkedin to see what people are saying about various topics
  • Visit http://www.brandyousurvey.com
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