Monthly Archives: July 2012

“7 Revolutions” by 2030

2030 will usher in a much more interdependent, less secure world dominated by Asian economies.

This is the “sound-bite” conclusion I draw from an article titled, “7 Revolutions Ahead” that appeared in the Farm Journal’s March issue. The article is summarized from a presentation made by Johanna Nesseth Tuttle, VP of Strategic Planning for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Here are the “7 Revolutions.”

  1. Population growth and shift. The developing world will grow with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Plus, continued urbanization worldwide.
  2. Resource Management. Food and water will become more scarce and unevenly distributed. We are headed toward a “global water crisis.”
  3. Technology. 6 BILLION mobile phones in 2012. Technology advances are driving progress at an ever-accelerating rate.
  4. Information. Through the Internet and mobile devices, virtually any information is available virtually anywhere. Information changes lives, perspectives and economies.
  5. Economic shifts. Asia is emerging as the world’s economic force as their economies grow and the “developed world” accumulates ever-greater debt burdens.
  6. Security. The world becomes less secure as threats move from conventional wars to terrorism, Internet hackers, diseases and even individuals.
  7. Governance. As the world is more interdependent and complex, governments have to understand how to govern in an interdependent world of free information flow.

As a company that innovates, we think about these issues.  The implications for market research are huge.  These “7 Revolutions” explain a lot about our own “Revolution” in research and in the evolutions yet to come.  There are many implications.  Here are 3:

  1. Online research and mobile research will become ever more prevalent.
  2. The emergence of the consuming class in Asia will drive significant market research.
  3. Data security will only grow in importance.

The next few years are going to be fun.  Enjoy the ride!

MRMW and the Role of Associations in Emerging Mobile Methods

This week is the Mobile Research in the Mobile World conference in Cincinnati.  I don’t know when I have heard as much buzz about a conference.  I hope it lives up to its hype.  I will not be there but my colleague and friend Isaac Rogers, 20|20 CIO, is attending.

Foster Winter, MD of Sigma Research, is also on the QRCA Board of Directors.  In that role, he is participating in a panel discussion of the associations’ roles in the emerging mobile market research world.  Foster asked me to weigh in on a discussion on the QRCA Members Forum on this topic.  There are some very good posts by tremendous industry leaders.  While I’m not at liberty to share those, I did copy my comments to re-post here.   They are below.

 

I’m finding the “mobile” research generally falls into two categories.

1. Mobile Access. In other words, every platform very soon MUST have a way to access it from a smartphone or it will be deemed unusable. Mobile will be the “price of entry” for digital platforms. The biggest hurdle right now seems to be the fragmentation of the Android op system.

2. New capabilities. From a qual perspective, we are just scratching the surface of what we can do with mobile. First, we had to get over the hurdle of using a limited input device (140 characters SMS) for qualitative. Now we have a whole new paradigm to work with….a portable, ever-present device that captures video, pictures, voice and text. The ramp-up for online qual was long because we looked at bulletin boards as a poor substitute for focus groups. When we began to realize that bulletin boards brought whole new capabilities and opportunities to qualitative research, they began to be embraced by the qual community. Mobile is in the early stages. We don’t yet know what capabilities are coming because mobile changes the paradigm again by adding capabilities never before available to us. The ramp-up will be much faster than bulletin boards, but it will take some time to blossom.

What are the associations’ roles? I think
1. Define the guardrails. Betsy mentioned several of them. The associations are the industry’s governing bodies.
2. Embrace new capabilities, not because all are good but because it exposes them to the membership and assists in the penetration of new capabilities. In turn, this becomes a major member benefit.
3. Celebrate innovation. Associations can’t be an incubation center, but they can be a hotbox of thinking. Why not develop a capability to nuture qualitative innovation, a qualitative greenhouse so to speak.

NBCs Olympic-Sized Risk

I love companies that recognize the world is changing and are willing to take risks to meet that change head on.

In 13 days the Summer Olympics will open.  Since 1964, NBC has been the lead network in broadcasting these Games.  Dick Ebersol is a legend in sports broadcasting and has been the brains behind NBCs Olympic coverage for years.

Recently Comcast bought NBC and purchased the rights to the Olympics.  Their pitch?  “We will broadcast every event, live.”  Every event will be streamed live over the Internet, a total of 5535 hours.  The 1996 Atlanta Games had a total of 171 hours.  Four years ago, the Beijing Olympics had a total of 3100 hours.  NBC will broadcast nearly double that amount this year.

So, whats the risk?  To be financially successful, NBC has to capture viewership in prime time, long after the London events have finished.  Will people want to watch re-runs when they already know the outcome?  NBC/Comcast has made a multi-billion dollar bet on the integration of the Internet and Broadcast media.  They are betting that providing more CONTENT and giving people more CHOICES will be a winning strategy.  MORE content and MORE choices are a key business model of the 21st century.  But it is risky, especially when you are an old line company that has been profitable doing things the old way for a very long time.  The legend, Dick Ebersol, resigned over this decision.  The stakes are huge.

You may rise early and catch your favorite events live via the Internet.  You may wait until the evening broadcast of the most popular events and best stories of the day.  Either way, you will not only be watching sports history, but broadcast history.  If NBC can make this successful, the implications for media will be enormous.  Stay tuned.

Kudos to Comcast/NBC for recognizing and embracing the new normal and taking a risk to move into a new age.  For more information, check out the article in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Mobile Qualitative Finally Hits Its Stride

Mobile is hot!  Everyone in research is talking about the possibilities of using mobile phones for marketing research purposes.  Actually, we have been for quite a while.  After all, we qualitative researchers are dying to be close to our respondents at the point of purchase or when using our product or just simply to understand their environment more intimately.

Unfortunately, the mobile research applications have not generally lived up to the hype and expectations.  Finally, they are catching up and mobile research designs are entering the mainstream.  Quirks Marketing Research Review dedicated their July issue to mobile research.  I was fortunate enough to have an article in this issue titled, “Qualitatively Speaking:  Mobile Qualitative Finally Hits its Stride.” It includes applications and case studies.  The first couple of paragraphs are below.

 

Qualitatively Speaking:  Mobile Qualitative Finally Hits Its Stride

Mobile has long been a buzzword among market researchers – and for good reasons. For starters, mobile phones are ubiquitous: At the end of 2011, there were nearly six billion mobile subscribers worldwide, according to the International Telecommunication Union. That is a huge pool that actually dwarfs the number of computer users in the developed and developing world.

Next, consider the fact that most people are within arm’s reach of these devices the majority of the day, meaning engagement could be possible morning, noon or night, wherever those subscribers might be. Like shopping for baby food at the grocery store. Or at the county fair. Maybe they’re cheering on the home team at the baseball field. Or exploring a new city on a family vacation. Or simply sitting at home in front of the TV, about to tune in to a new show.

All of these scenarios offer the potential for gathering what every researcher dreams of: in-the-moment insights.

To continue the article, click here.

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