Tag Archives: storytelling

I Wear Your Shirt: Life as a market research consultant #MRX #NewMR

I can hardly believe I’ve been an independent consultant for a year and a half. The new lifestyle comes with pros and cons.

Cons: If I wake up early, it doesn’t mean I finish my day early. If the printer runs out of paper, I can’t ‘accidentally’ leave it for the next person to fill. I will have to find the lost, squished grape on the floor myself.

Fortunately, there are pros.

Pros: This is the best commute I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I work with clients whose standards and ethics match mine. My lunchtime walks are through treed neighbourhoods not industrial parks. My dress code has loosened up drastically to include a wide range of ultra casual, industry billboards.


I wear your shirt.

Over the years, I’ve received many marketing research t-shirts at conferences. When I don’t feel a kinship to those shirts, I always find a happy taker in a client or colleague. The t-shirts you see in this image, however, made the cut and landed in my closet. I love the bright colours, the witty remarks, the nonblack options. A few are women’s sizes and I like those the most.

What else do they have in common? Except for one, you don’t see logos or brand names. All of these shirts actually do have logos either on the back or the sleeve but none of them are simply logos or brand names or [your unoriginal and actually uninspiring] tag lines. In other words, don’t waste your money creating a t-shirt that is a blinkin’ billboard. [Side note… unless your company name is Irrational in which case you’d get bonus marks for having a brand name that is also a witty comment.]

You’ll also notice that none of these shirts incorporate odd brand colours. I’ve gotten many shirts that were exact on-brand cousins of puce and turquoise that looked weird even with blue or black jeans – out the door!

Basically, if you’re pondering new t-shirt designs, choose colours that fall within the range of human perception, and then go witty or go home.

In case you’re not sure, the companies that are finalists in this extremely tight t-shirt branding competition are…

Jibunu, Qualtrics, Confirmit, iModerate, Bayasoft, Sentient Decision Science, AYTM, Conversition [my previous company, acquired and disbanded], SeekResearch, Sentient Prime, Zappi.

Congratulations ūüôā


The next generation of market research and insights creation #IIeX 

Live note taking at the #IIeX conference in Atlanta. Any errors are my own.

Panel: The Next Generation of Market Research & Insights Creation
Moderated by Leonard Murphy (GreenBook) with panelists Chris Enger (Periscope by McKinsey), Tamara Char (Periscope by McKinsey), & Simon Chadwick (Cambiar)

  • Periscope by McKinsey is a suite of tools for collecting learnings, analytics
  • Our entire industry is fragmented, over half of companies that source data did not exist ten years ago and they may not exist ten years form now
  • Technology is not the driver of change, client needs and circumstances are the drivers of change, they are being asked to do far more with budgets lower than they used to be, they much get creative
  • Behavioural data and analytics techniques to analyze that data is suddenly easily available and analyzable, this changes everything about being able to identify insights and work in an agile way, can get to 80/20 answers more quickly, we don’t need the 100% answer, we need to make progress on problem solving
  • Are analytics pushing the business forward, are the ‘researchers’ falling behind and failing to get seat at the table?
  • Need to elevate the quality and consistency of data so that the leadership is never getting three answers to the same question nor are employees hearing diverging answers
  • You must have a c-suite leader and hopefully the chief financial officer who has a longer tenure in a company, not the chief marketing officer
  • The CMO needs to spend time developing strategies not waiting to get data, let the machines do the heavy lifting so the team can spend their time strategizing
  • What is the role of the methodologist, understanding fit for purpose of all the tools, this is why we’re seeing so much fragmentation, 
  • In the USA, people are attracted by tools. In the EU, they are more focused on ideas and creativity, and try to be creative all through the entire process. Need to be less technologically focused in the USA. 
  • Try assigning various people on th c-suite to BE a person in a segment, have them go shopping for her, experience her, all to get them to empathize more clearly, because c-suite lives are so completely different from their segments
  • Is automation a dirty word? Machine learning templates and speeds everything up, may eliminate bias of an individual person although it will perpetuate bias that exists within the data
  • We need to present data for ten minutes and then discuss the oilers and solutions for the remaining 50 minutes

Panel: The GRIT Report & Future Impacts
; Moderated by Leonard Murphy (GreenBook) with panelists Aaron Reid, Ph.D (Sentient Decision Science), Patricia Chapin-Bayley (Toluna), Rick Kelly (Fuel Cycle) & Isaac Rogers (20|20 Research)

  • Automation is mostly used for analysis of surveys data, charting and infographics, analysis of text data, analysis of social media, sampling
  • “My clients aren’t asking me for social media data” no they aren’t, they’re asking someone else
  • Automation frees up time to expand capacity and do more, many things will soon be automated. We must adapt to this or fall by the wayside.
  • Buyers are slow to adopt automation, automation is a dirty word because they think it is DIY and it will be more work. It will actually free up resources and allow you to do more once you are trained and moving forward.
  • Do you want to be at a data collection conference in five years or at an insights conferences? Your business must adopt automation.
  • People don’t CARE if you automate, they want better research insights and thinking. You must have automation to get there.
  • Automation may not cut your budget but it allows you to move your budget into higher value endeavours.
  • What should samplers do? Advise on representativity, enforce length of interview limits, consult on questionnaire design, restrict to mobile only, forbid mobile-unfriendly. it is an absutive relationship – clients don’t want to pay for consumer friendly and respectful questionnaires.
  • There is no such thing as a non-mobile study. Every device must work and work well. You cannot run a survey without mobile respondents or you are guaranteed a nonrepresentative sample. Why is this even a conversation?
  • If you aren’t thinking mobile first, you are being stupid. We spend half of our time on our devices.  It is a data quality issue. [Cannot agree with this comment enough]
  • Educating the researcher of the future – they need critical thinking and storytelling skills. We all need to be critical thinking experts, you shouldn’t in the business without that.  We need to train the current workforce on how to do this. We’ve trained people on how to run cross-tabs but they need training on storytelling and turning insights into action.
  • Quick research doesn’t have to be quick and dirty or poor quality
  • The technology doesn’t matter, the platform doesn’t matter, we need to stop talking about the technology and focus on consultation, understanding the problem 

IFF showcase: 5 presentation summaries #IIeX #MRX 

Live note taking at #IIeX in amsterdam. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles by Stan Knoops

  • Scent goes directly to the limbic system in the brain, the only sense to do that, hits the emotions directlyfr
  • Fragrance is hard to shut down because you must breathe, it’s hard to not smell something but you can not see or not hear something
  • Companies that have the sense of smell right make a difference [i do buy shampoo by smell, kids shampoos are the best!]
  • M&Ms don’t smell so they need to use other emotions
  • Consumers need scent but this changes over time, it’s not a change of needs but rather a stacking of needs, we don’t talk about the old needs, the table stakes, but they still need to be there
  • Think about laundry detergent, conumsers touch the fragrance at multiple point from shopping to hanging up to sleeping on; this is all very different for hand soap; its not a strong clean now, its a care for hands
  • Think about how the fragrance is released, eg the sun releaseing scent from drying laundry or fragrance released with high temperature of iron or only released during active body ovements [when you sweat?]
  • Three parts – gather data, analyze data, impact with data
  • Used to spend 95% of time gathering, 5% analyzing, 1% impact (the debrief)
  • We need to change this balance to 40/30/30 – how do we do this build a new S curve
  • Affinity for action, need to collaborate with consumers partners and internal team, need to to deep need discovery, need to story tell and visualize

Storytelling and forward looking orientation by Hans Lingeman (Winkle)

  • Need to use bold imagination, simple stories, and step outside of your world
  • For 5000 years, we were horse riders, it made a lot of sense to work in the horse business, you know what happened after that
  • Think of a world without electricity, we would be chopping wood within a week, you’d be walking everywhere (I’m good then!), but we don’t even think about it
  • Why does shampoo smell like fear to me, shy do we use shampoo every day since it was only invited in the 50s, shampoo will collapse someday
  • Science says its not great to wash your hair everyday, about half wash their hair every other day
  • What is the outsider’s perspective, what if there iesn’t electricity or shampoo
  • Let’s consider that the unthinkable is inevitable [i love this idea, how often do you do this?]
  • We must  pick up on the signals, if kids are wearing masks because of pollution what should the detergent companies do? Focus on freshness, teh grandparents know what nature smells like but the boy does not, he would change his clothes a lot because they smell, companies can share fragrances with him that he doesn’t know
  • Be prepared and know where to look
  • Technology lets us travel around the world physically and digitally, we have a fascinating future because of technology

Innovation by emotion by Steven Fokkinga, Emotion/Studio

  • When products and services collide with human behaviour
  • Micro emotions, emotional granularity, and emotions as the gateways to relevance
  • Products evoke more emotions than we realize
  • Top of mind products are the tip of the iceberg, unconsciously they influence our preferences
  • A Fitbit make syou feel curious, then you learn all of the things it can do, then you wonder can it help your health, then you realize how bad your health is, so many emotions along the way, how many emotions do you have about one product
  • Holistic experience scan, a panel of people who understand all the detailed emotions and know how to map them and score them
  • Emotional life is diverse, worry, confusion, anger, contempt, guilt, disgust, hate, sadness, anxiety, reluctance, doubt, etc
  • Researchers are often interested only in the positive emotions
  • Created formulates to generate specific emotions for flight attendants about to go in the air, showtime curtain to create anticipation, nature section to encourage care
  • Emotions reveal our deepest needs and values
  • Can you ask and receive or should you instead focus on values and aspirations, learn about their deep needs
  • Used the method with viewers and a news show, learned that the content of the news item need to guide the presentation of the format, let the newscaster be the guide not the teacher, other news shows are now following suit 
  • they have a list of 24 positive emotions

Storytelling and the power of data visualization by Mike Page, Blueocean Market intelligence 

  • Can you choose pretty visualization or functional visualizations, can you have both
  • Is the purpose of the chart to look pretty or communicate the insights
  • [oh, first use of Alexa] ALexa responded to the research question, we can interact with data via voice [oh, imagine giving your client an Alexa instead of a dataset!]
  • [i look forward to the day when live demonstrations just work and you dont question it ever]

Video beyond storytelling by Carl Wong, LivingLens

  • Video will soon be the vast majority of internet content and in many ways its inaccessible
  • How do we get from massive video content to shorter accessible video
  • How do you beat one very articulate and passionate consumer so why don’s we use video more? Because it’s painful to gather and curate
  • Half of executives would rather watch video than read text
  • If you use video just to answer an open end question then you’re missing something
  • Video is more than a 2 minute highlight reel or talking head
  • How much time have you spent collecting data and how little time have you spend Rudly analyzing it, we can automate the collection part so we can spend more time on the analyzing part
  • Analyze layers of data including speech or sentiment, facial emotional recognition, tone of voice recognition, Extremely useful at scale
  • Use video to understand how long different cultures brush their teeth, how different they brush their teeth
  • How people feel about preparing dinner, conversations during dinner, and treat these as datasets
  • Understand emotional spikes by demographic groups
  • What happens to social media listening when we switch over to video?

Into the woods: how stories work and why we tell them by John Yorke #MRSlive @TweetMRS #MRX 

Live blogged at MRS in London. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Why do stories work? Lets us understand what it is like to be someone else. 
  • Stories are what make us human
  • Why do people tell stories? We want to communicate with other people. We don’t want to live in perfect isolation.
  • Poweropints and numbers are fine but we don’t get an emotional response from that 
  • Stories reduce chaos to order, seek order shape and balance, sense of ending and world is okay
  • Stories don’t have to be nice but you form an emotional bond and you have to care
  • Jaws – sharks goes into public beach an eats person. Now that’s boring but a story turns it into a problem to be solved. 
  • Every story is fundamentally the same – go on quest, overcome problem, meet romantic partner, all is well.
  • Why do we want to see more stories if they are basically all the same? Well, we don’t know that, plus it’s the power of curiousity of what happens next
  • It’s all driven by curiousity, also happens in advertising, in politics.
  • We cannot cope with chaos and randomness, we have to wrap it in a narrative
  • Stories are how we learn
  • Tragedy – I expected good but got bad
  • Heroic story – I expected bad but got good
  • First half of story is you get the information, second half is you respond to the information, halfway through is when everything changes
  • Best writers didn’t study structure and yet they all use perfect structure
  • Ronald Reagan was good at making a large group of people empathize with him and delineating an enemy
  • Politics is the power of story, people get elected based on their story, it can be a very simple story
  • People don’t respond to logic, they respond to story
  • AirBNB, two guys with nothing and nobody believed in them but they went after their dream – it’s the Cinderella story
  • Narrative advertising is amazing when you don’t even have to name the brand
  • Google commercial of man missing an old friend who is then found by daughter who searches Google, implication is they have reunited a continent ūüôā
  • Most powerful stories are when the audience infers the story, more emotional involvement, show not tell
  • Never give the answer until you obsolutely have to
  • Politicians need a goal and lots of people who will sympathize with the goal. Bernie has a great story, Hillary doesn’t seem to have a story
  • [John is a fun speaker! Lots of good tweets, head over to the #MRSlive twitter stream]

Lead with a story by Paul Smith #MRIA15 #MRX

MRIA15,MRIA2015Live blogged from the 2015 MRIA National Conference in Toronto. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Lead with a Story, by Paul Smith

  • Paul Andrew SmithHe doesn’t mean just tell a story to start your presentation
  • They asked jurys how to improve the deliberation process. It had nothing to do with the food. It was all about the shape of the table.¬†Rectangle tables led to quicker but less fair deliberation because whoever was at the end of the table ended up speaking the most.¬†It was a very easy thing to fix and cheap. They asked to change all rectangle tables to round tables. However, the judge asked for all round tables to be changed for rectangle tables because that made the deliberation faster. He didn’t care that round tables led to better deliberation. Researchers regretted being part of this because it didn’t make the world a better place.
  • Why tell stories?
  • Simple – everyone can do it, timeless, demographic proof – no one is immune to a good story, contagious – if you tell a great story it will travel all around the world on its own without being pushed, easy to remember though you won’t remember this list of six things are tomorrow morning, inspirational stories but slides aren’t so inspirational
  • Make fewer powerpoint slides and tell more stories
  • Storytelling isn’t a great management tool for financial analysis or business plans, but it is great for leadership. If you feel like you are leading people, then you need to be telling stories.
  • In 1983, market saturation of diapers occurred. Completely changed the high relationship between sales and profit – sell more diapers and profits will happen. But that all stopped in 1983. He used two slides to show this relationship and he never need recommendations or conclusions slides. He let the audience figure out the reason and then the audience decided on their recommendations. Those recommendations were implemented almost immediately because they discovered the recommendations themselves. He stopped right before the big aha and gave the gift of the visceral moment to them.
  • What does a story look like? Beginning, middle, end is what a kid would say. A filmmaker would say six stages – set up, catalyst, turning point, climax, final confrontation, resolution. Cognitive psychiatrist would add more stages.
  • In business world, you have three minutes to deliver your story. You need the shortest structure that works for you. The ten year old kid was right.
  • Context, action, result are the beginning, middle, end.
  • We usually skip or butcher the where, when, who is the hero, what does hero want, who is in the way. We miss credibility, relatable, worthy, relevant.
  • Audience needs to see themselves in the hero. It shouldn’t be a story about superman or a football hero because people can’t relate to him. It’s entertaining but I can’t fly and I can’t throw a football like that. You need a villain your audience can relate to, a worthy objective, a relevant change.
  • Appeal to emotion – humans make subconscious.¬†A story is fact plus emotion.
  • Most stories go untold because people don’t realize the value in them. When you feel something happening, a great story is about to be born or last forever.
  • Element of surprise – at the beginning, it gets the audience to pay attention. At the end, it seals the lesson in your memory.
  • People always remember the facts differently. You need to take facts¬†with a grain of salt.
  • Example of a relevant surprise

  • Example of a not relevant surprise – what does releasing wolves on a marching band have to do with computer parts?

  • you can create relevant surprises. without one vital piece of information from the beginning of the story and move it to the end.

Analyze, Synthesize, Storyize, Consumers you have organized by Annie Pettit #MRIA14 #MRX

Live blogging from the #MRIA national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.saskatoon

Annie Pettit, Chief Research Officer, Peanut Labs

My #MRIA14 presentation in just 5 minutes…


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The Future of Research Storytelling: Ethnographic Animation by Kate Ertmann #CASRO #MRX

Live blogging from the #CASRO tech conference in Chicago. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

The Future of Research Storytelling: Ethnographic Animation by Kate Ertmann, President, Animation Dynamic, Inc.

  • grew up in film and tv, in front and behind screen
  • is animation just cartoons and ¬†moving things? it’s not just steamboat willie
  • in snow white, everyone can related to at least one of the characters because it is such a great story
  • “The Don” changes everything, he is a digital native, he is an animator at her company, he looks at all types of media on any screen, doesn’t care what kind of screen tv theatre mobile tablet, doesn’t matter if it’s live action or cartoon
  • animation can be more engaging for the brain than real actors
  • animation generates¬†significantly higher conceptual understanding
  • comprehension is higher for students who used computer animation – not just storytelling but comprehending
  • animation can show what your eye can’t see, present something that doesn’t exist, convey complex information, exist in time, allow you to feel an experience [the movie “UP” makes me cry and how fake is that!]
  • ethnography is the study of people today, from how people shop, at a certain, how do they clean their house, with this specific product; could be writing or videos, but how do you find meaning in that data, animation can be another tool for this
  • marble answering machine – 1992 Durrell Bishop’s visualization of a machine; get a visual and you experienced it for yourself, if it’s only in writing or a list, you wouldn’t experience the timing, the texture, the sound, can critique both good and bad of the system – what happens when my 3 year old gets ahold of the marbles? ¬†the machine was never built which saved a lot of time and money
  • when people watch other people, they unconsciously look at the specific people – she’s too young/old, is she american, look at her shirt, i want her shoes – but if it’s just a blue outline of a person, you focus on what they’re doing not what they might be like
  • video of opening a package, for a left handed or right handed person, now test if your hands are wet from something else
  • test new products or processes out using an animation
  • scale the assets – ethnographic animation, ideation, new product visualization, virtual prototyping, working simulation, user testing, market introduction
  • people eventually get attached to the characters, name them, and talk about them as if they’re real, a visual can bring people together
  • it allows developers to see and feel what needs to happen, not just put a requirement to start building something, actually gives the beginning of the specs that engineers need to build it
  • Video connects real people in real situations, testimonials, talking heads, but animation means you can’t temporarily ignore demographics, nationality, gender. it’s not to manipulate the data, it’s to focus the data.
  • show off a new product with video but animations let you show it off before it exists
  • video lets your capture a moment like surprise and delight, but animation lets your iterate, change, customize and do it again
  • animation is not funny cartoons anymore, it’s a business tool
  • ethnographic animation captures people’s experiences – weight, children’s products
  • it does indeed scale
  • don’t be afraid of failing, don’t freak out about solving a problem perfectly right away

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Minority Report: Collaborative Insight Synthesis and Immersive Storytelling by Mark Kershisnik #CASRO #MRX

Live blogging from the #CASRO tech conference in Chicago. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Minority Report: Collaborative Insight Synthesis and Immersive Storytelling by Mark Kershisnik, Senior Director Global Market Research & Operations, Eli Lilly and Company

  • from choppy understanding to uniform action – insights need to be really put into play, no point unless you use it
    when we have an issue of not selling – we go off and say we need this new and that new all of which costs a lot of money
  • let’s move from a bunch of people with a bunch of ideas to one uniform message
  • eli lilly is a big pharma company with a big research component, lots of tech in all phases of the research work
  • how can we speed up these insights
  • we need to massively leverage technology, we need cross functional team member engagement, we need quantitative MRX and social media analysis and clinical data
  • Ask: please develop the capability to aid the creation and capture of evolved human thought, and make it real time collaborative and virtual, and immersive would be really good too, and we only have this much money
  • do you still use white boards and cameras to share information among employees? why aren’t you using massive high res touch display systems?
  • explorer room – bring your FRIENDS into the room via technology, extensible, immersive, virtual; real time knowledge synthesis with contributor and participants knowledge; cloud connected, super computing enabled, product studio
  • English: The logo of Eli Lilly and Company.they record all the stories with customers, patients, physicians, payers, employees, you have a movie of what happens over the entire experience
  • being in a room feels like like you can hear about it, see pictures, read about it , but you have to feel the emotion and experience the impact
  • allows you to put a human face and human emotion
  • everything comes together, all data, in one place
  • The CLUE center is a window into the world, 7 to 10 projects per day, watching focus groups and IDIs around the world from this room, sometimes 30 or 40 people from every functional discipline watching
  • try to do everything in the first person, don’t want to translate it into a powerpoint slide
  • when people hear it directly from the person with the problem, it creates new perspective
  • immersion environments let people see things, it occupies their entire field of vision
  • Embedded image permalinkenjoying a live feed from the CLUE explorer room right right now ¬†[think of all the CSI TV shows that flick the screens all over the place, yeah, like that, and more] See this Vine video
  • collectively truly understand what people are going through by allowing everyone in the production chain to truly see what’s happening and how people feel
  • saves millions in dollars in travel by so many people all around the world
  • we’ll get to play with the tech over lunch time [people are going to love that. imagine all your social media outlets on a giant screen covering the¬†entire wall. yeah, drooling ūüôā ¬†]
  • have converted to phonetically searchable [stunning!!!]

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The Art of Storytelling by Julie Knox #ACEI_CO #InvestigAction2013 #MRX

… Live blogging from the Colombian Association for Marketing and Public Opinion Research in Bogoto, Colombia, any errors are my own, any comments in [] are my own…

ACEI Bogoto Colombia

Para leer esto en espa√Īol, por favor, copie pegarlo en Google. Una mala traducci√≥n es mejor que ninguna traducci√≥n. ¬†http://translate.google.com

  • “death by powerpoint”
  • how do bring clients closer to customer and engage them with our work
  • there has always been distance between company and customer
  • traditional approaches are losing their ability engage… focus are a good example. we try to get marketers to come and watch focus groups to decrease the distance. But, the backroom is more often the backoffice – people arrive late, check their email, talk amongst themselves and enjoy the food and beverages. Fewer and fewer people are observing as more focus groups take place. The more groups a client sees, the less engaged they are.
  • presentations don’t always engage the audience, they’re too long, too rambling, too many charts. but we’re competing with more distractions – the phone, their email. imagine working from home where the dog is at your feet while you’re trying to watch a webex.
  • alternative approaches are many
  • tell clients better stories, use video to bring it alive, use customer immerision rooms
  • how to create a better narrative?
  • use classic story structures –
    • describe the problem and set the challenge to create a dramatic need to listen
    • describe the world and benefits if we can fix the probelm
    • take them on the journey
    • provide direction to make it happen
  • like journalists, use headlines to move the story along
  • provided a detailed analysis in the report but only show the story in the presentation. perhaps 1 slide is represents a full chapter
  • base the story around individuals we care about, not faceless numbers
  • strong headlines at the beginning and the end
  • optimize video, adds engagement to the audience, and engages with the findings, seeing people voice their opinions is more meaningful than reading their verbatims, consider video in situ – at the store, at the gas station. Use techniques from film makers but this does come at a price.
  • museum theory – immerse your clients/employees in experiences, set aside rooms and equip them with posters, charts, computers, interactive presentations. helps reach a wide internal audience, works best to create noise among employees. the employees set the pace themselves, browse the information at their leisure. you can bring in competitive data, secondary data, internal data means a 3d view from the consumers view.
  • how to make clients part of the story?
  • Swap shops – clients take the role of real customers in a focus group. Recruit the target audience, and give each client a biography and picture of a consumer. Give client time to ‘become’ the consumer. Now employees role-play that consumer. After the pretend group is finished, re-run the focus group with the real target group. Let’s clients see how their perceptions differed. It’s fun, engaging, eye opening, insightful. these are logistically complex. Only need to do it once with any client, element of surprise and power is gone by second time. [never heard of this before, anyone have experience with it?]
  • dragon’s den – clients explain propositions to consumers in pith elevator style pitches. customers then critique the pitches.
  • close encounters – have consumers help design the discussion guide, help run interviews, help analyze the data, help present the data. ¬†its good for new product design, customer understanding. good for building ownership of results. be careful clients don’t run away with insights that aren’t generalizable.
  • concept nursery – best ideas are killed during research. recruit optimistic and articulate people from the target audience. educate them on how to be perfect responders – constructivism, anti-cynicism, understand the possibilities. Use breakout tasks and Q&A sessions to get clients to participate more. Good for development stages of ads/products. Good for engaging research allergic audiences. it nurtures creativity and is fun.¬†be careful clients don’t run away with insights that aren’t generalizable.
  • benefits: all provide inspiration and trigger creativity. outcomes have more staying power with clients, more ‘sticky.’ generate a stronger sense of ownership among clients who are more energized to take the findings forward internally. provide eye opening moments of true insight.
  • limitations: clients’ misinterpretation of the overall findings and getting attached to their own findings, high energy and momentum ¬†creates a lot of noise and then nothing happens, perhaps moving too much towards fun and entertainment and too far from research, devaluing research.
  • market research is the voice of the consumer and helps clients get closer to them, develop more empathy to the consumer
  • it sustains our expertise and credibility, utilizes our understanding of consumers, complementary tools in our portfolio
  • no one else is better placed to do this than market researchers

Storytelling Through Digital Analytics by Scott Vanderbilt, NPR #MRA_National #MRX

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

Storytelling Through Digital Analytics

Scott Vanderbilt, Digital Research Manager, NPR; Sarah Withrow, Senior Research Analyst, NPR


  • NPR is a news media organization “National Public Radio”
  • Afternoon show “All Things Considered”, how does a radio show translate to digital
  • Key issues
    • What is doing well or not in their content, need it real-time, there are dips on certain days and certain hours, as well as certain shows
    • How to better engage with afternoon listeners and increase the stickiness of the content?
  • Digital metrics of audience behaviour gives us the what- when do they tune in and out, which stories do they tune in and out of, amount of time listening
  • Diary studies gives us the how – archetypes of current listeners, grouped by listening setting, importance of the stories,where they listen to the show whether at home or car or work, what platform they listen on, find out what they’re looking for, what they turn to after the show
  • Focus groups gives us the why – motivations and perceptions, they like particular hosts for particular stories
  • English: The logo of National Public Radio's A...Why do they tune out? ¬†it’s not length as long as the story appeals to them.
  • Are they expecting something different? they expect eclectic stories, they love not knowing what the stories will be
  • Does the flow of the show match their needs? ¬†i.e., the order of segment. changing the flow is fine if it’s done gradually
  • [this show sounds like “Sunday Morning” which I love]
  • What would increase the stickiness? Provide the full show or pieces of the show digitally
  • Does the tone match what they want? do they want shorter, snappier news?
  • Which shows draw the largest audience, which content kept them on the website longer?
  • Use voting buttons to see which shows viewers like on their website
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