Marketing

“7 Deadly Sins” Key to Brand Building

I had the opportunity to go to the ESOMAR Qualitative Conference in Valencia Spain this week.  They put on a good conference.  Kudos to ESOMAR and the Conference Committee for an excellent conference.  I also discovered a wonderful city in Valencia.  If you ever get a chance to visit, do it.

One of my favorite presentations was, “The Power of the Dark Side” by Shobha Prosad.  Congratulations to Shobha as she was awarded “Best Paper” for the conference.  

Essentially her premise was that the seven deadly sins are the key to brand building.  Since branding is essentially emotional and personal, these emotional characteristics are central to the brand.  Indeed, a central theme running throughout the conference was the need to capture emotional as well as rational content when conducting qualitative research.

The seven sins can be divided into two categories:

  1. Psychological:  Pride, Greed and Envy
  2. Physical:  Lust, Gluttony, Anger and Sloth

She believes that these are the 7 “sins” that drive brand building.  However, she also stated, “For every behavior there is an equal and opposite expiratory behavior.”  Therefore, she identifies opposite motivators or needs.   She distinguishes the two types by the descriptors “Devil” and “Angel.”

Devil
Angel
Pride
Humility
Envy
Compassion
Greed
Generosity
Lust
Chastity
Gluttony
Abstinence
Anger
Peace
Sloth
Alacrity/Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

Shobha states that successful brands stand strongly in one or more spaces.  In fact, in each of her examples, brands occupied at least two spaces a “Devil” space and an “Angel” space.  This is consistent with the notion that brands often have a core driver that is most often self-serving to consumers (Devil motivator) and a secondary driver (Angel motivator) that is often used to rationalize purchase.

Though there was nothing ground-breaking in her overview of the “7 Deadly Sins” and their corresponding “Angel” motivators, the clarity of the concepts and admonition to keep these in mind during our brand research was a strong and needed reminder.

In summary, the presentation encouraged me in several ways:

  1. Remember to consider emotional and behavioral feedback at least as strongly as rational results in qualitative research.
  2. When confronted with an altruistic or “Angel” motivator behind a brand or action, look a little deeper for one of the more self-serving “Devil” motivations that might be the actual driver while the “Angel” is the outward rationalization.
  3. How are the various brands that I am responsible for represented here?  Time for a little self-analysis.

“How Brands Grow” Challenges Conventional Marketing

I just read a very thought-provoking marketing book and needed to share.  It calls into question many of the accepted notions of marketing and, therefore, marketing research.  Here are a few highlights from my notes.  If you find these interesting, I highly recommend you read the book.

Kotler is wrong!  

So says Byron Sharp and the researchers at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute who pull no punches in taking on the established marketing thinkers of today.  In their book How Brands Grow: what marketers don’t know, they boldly call out the common method of product differentiation and target marketing.  They use market studies to support their claim that growing brands are the brands that focus on reaching all the buyers in a particular category, not just a segment as many brand managers are trained to do.

These researchers maintain that it is the light users, not the heavy users that drive most growth in a brand simply because there are so many of them.  For example, if 60% of a brand’s users are light users and each one used just one more time, total brand purchase rises dramatically.   Therefore, the authors maintain that loyalty programs are misplaced and millions, even billions, of dollars have been wasted on them because loyalty programs target those who are already buying.

Sharp and his colleagues maintain that it is a brand’s distinctives that make a brand easy to recognize and easy to buy that truly driver brand growth.  Since consumers use branding as mental shortcuts for making purchasing decisions, the brand that has the most memorable distinctives (logo, colors, etc.) that get it noticed and remembered are the brands that win.

The book is thought-provoking and insightful.  Its a good read simply because the authors are not afraid to call out Kotler and others who they believe are simply wrong (and have been wrong for decades).  Their book also provides marketers with practical “recipes” for successful marketing and advertising programs.  If you are serious about marketing and willing to have an open mind that challenges traditional thinking, this book is for you.

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.

Focus groups review the classics

For those of you who watched the Oscars Sunday night, I hope you saw the skit spoofing a focus group for “The Wizard of Oz.”

Without giving the good jokes away, the crowd is underwhelmed and confused by this classic movie. The advice for how to improve the movie is hilariously off-key. The one part of the movie that is lauded, again and again, by one focus group participant: the flying monkeys.

It is a clever skit and makes one think of how entertaining it would be to see focus group feedback on classic movies from the past. Think “Casablanca.” A focus group would say there is no way he’s letting her fly away. Or “Old Yeller.” Is it necessary for the dog to die?

It also makes one wonder how movies like “Ishtar” or “Showgirls” get made. Certainly there wasn’t a focus group involved, was there?

Mobile surveys, mobile qual look to explode in 2012: GRIT report

A sneak peek at the 2012 Greenbook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) report reveals an anticipation in the rise of mobile surveys this year.

That’s one of the highlights of a fascinating examination of what research firms anticipate and what clients see as the techniques that will drive market research budgets this year. The GRIT report, which will be published in the next few weeks, supports the idea that online communities and social media analytics will become a prominent and “mainstream” research technique, and research firms and clients both concur with that forecast.

Mobile surveys look to be at a tipping point. While actual use of mobile surveys in 2011 were around 20 percent (17 percent as reported by clients, and 24 percent as reported by research firms), expectations are much higher for usage in 2012. Fifty-three percent of clients expect to use mobile survey techniques, and 64 percent of research firms expect to do so.

Mobile survey usage may actually be underreported, according to the GRIT report, with budget that is actually going toward mobile being attributed to Computer Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI) and Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI).

Mobile qualitative looks to undergo a big jump, as part of the shift toward mobile. With actual use somewhere around 13 percent in 2011, that number looks to accelerate upward in 2012. According to the report, 31 percent of clients, and 46 percent of research firms, expect to use mobile qualitative in 2012. 20|20 is at the forefront of this rise in mobile qualitative with the recent introduction of its second mobile qualitative application, QualBoard Mobile. QualBoard Mobile includes both a fully featured bulletin board access capability and an innovative new journaling application.

Focus Group Fingers All Over Super Bowl Commercials

Super Bowl commercials generate more conversation in Monday morning meetings today than almost anything else. With social media, the conversation following a Super Bowl ad is immediate. Last year, you may remember Groupon’s commercial about the troubles in Tibet resulted in a backlash on Twitter, and a formal apology. It will be studied in business schools as a marketing misstep.

One of the lessons from that failed 2011 commercial was the alleged lack of testing that preceded its airing. Marketers weren’t going to make that mistake with 2012 Super Bowl commercials. According to a Wall Street Journal article, focus group feedback resulted in the adjustment of creative for one Hyundai commercial, removing sexist comments from the older man in the commercial and replacing them with comments about how to be successful in business.

A Chevy Sonic commercial from yesterday’s Super Bowl was met with skepticism from focus groups, who didn’t believe the stunts to be real. Chevy’s spot ended up with a text treatment at the beginning of the ad noting “100% Real Stunts. Don’t Attempt. Please.”

Of course, focus groups don’t always predict success, or what may get a marketer in trouble. Some commercials were released ahead of time, or the trailers were so extensive. Marketers weren’t willing to risk something blowing up in their face. Marvel released trailers of its Super Bowl commercial to gather input from social media viewers.

Many groups are doing in-game focus group testing, like USAToday/Facebook’s AdMeter. Groups, and events like this were held around the country.

What were the results of your Monday Morning Focus Group’s judgment on this year’s crop of commercials?

Learning from Social’s Influence on Mobile: Applications for Qualitative Research

As we discussed in a QualBlog post earlier this month, mobile qualitative research methods are becoming a necessary component of market research. With mobile’s ability to reach a diverse, global sample of participants in their real-time context, market researchers are avidly seeking ways to best use its capabilities to their advantage.

A recent TechJournal article, Social and Mobile Interplay a Major Consumer Trend, cites a Pivot Conference study that may provide a new way to approach mobile qualitative research efforts. According to the research, smartphone users are spending a large amount of their mobile-focused time on social media apps. Specifically, 30% of the apps accessed on an Android are social, while iPhone users devote a whopping 44% of their mobile access to social apps. Of all the apps available, Facebook Mobile dominates consumers’ time, with 83% using it. And the most commonly shared information among all social app consumers is music and video, with location check-ins as a close second.

What does this mean for market researchers? Consumers have now made it clear that they want their mobile space to revolve around engaging their social network, learning from others’ content and interacting directly with brands through a social exchange. And what’s more, they have proven that they will devote time to apps that meet this criteria.

Transferring these needs to qualitative market research could be the key to more successful mobile research. By creating an app that engages a participant’s social network, encourages the sharing of related content and gives incentives directly from the brands that the participant discusses and evaluates, market researchers may be able to position mobile users in their preferred mobile environment. The resulting app could provide a more interactive message board to keep participants actively engaged in the research studies in a way that would provide more valuable data and insights.

What else could we learn from to enhance mobile qualitative research’s capabilities?

Mobile’s Trajectory is Undeniable

Although traditional qualitative research methods remain highly useful and well received, constant technological innovations and trends are creating a new ground to adapt traditional methodologies and technology uses. In this new space, mobile trends are consistently reaching the forefront and are causing a pretty big stir within the industry.

In a recent Research Access article that transcribed a Market Research Trends 2012 webinar, panelists Leonard Murphy of the Greenbook Blog and Romi Mahajan of Metavana agreed that mobile will be a necessary market research component in the future. “Within the next two to three years, a device similar to– probably somewhat bigger than a iPhone, smaller than an iPad, will be the primary means of communication for our entire species, globally, period… So the impact of global cannot be underestimated, in particular in the emerging markets, because they will leapfrog the PC experience in almost it’s entirety. The growth of broadband and PC penetration in Africa, Latin America, and Asia Pacific is effectively already stopped. So there’s whole generations that will grow up that will look at a PC like we would look at a typewriter and just think it’s just an antiquated piece of technology. So their experience with communicating with each other and the world around them will be via this mobile device,” Murphy said.

Murphy believes that mobile’s true benefit lies in its ability to reach a large sample of research participants all around the world and at any time of the day or week. He anticipates that the future of participant sampling lies in a mobile app that allows users to opt into a virtual research panel and give their permission to send and receive certain amount of information. “That opens the door for an amazing opportunity to be able to engage with consumers 24/7/365, in most any situation that you can imagine, and to gain real feedback at the point of experience, whether that be at an event or while shopping or making purchases in a retail environment, whatever the case may be,” Murphy said. “We have the opportunity to engage them, if we make it a fun and rewarding and meaningful experience for them.”

Although the sampling capabilities are impressive, Mahajan, on the other hand, focuses on mobile’s ability to capture a participant within his or her context. He believes mobile’s best feature is its attachment to the consumer during the entire consumer experience. “For instance, if I leave a movie and I get on a mobile app to say if I like it or not, I’m right in the midst of that experience,” he said. “I’m in situ, as it were. And so when I think about mobile, I think about the fact that people are interacting on their mobile devices in a time and space in which their context is more profound, which is actually itself the benefit here.”

At 20/20, we agree wholeheartedly. If the goal of qualitative research is to gain access to the human emotional profile and how it affects our choices and behaviors, then this trend is an undeniable step in the right direction. And with our mobile research platform QualAnywhere, researchers can embrace consumers within their individual contexts to gain insights from real-time data.

How have you effectively used mobile in your qualitative research methods?

Year in Review: Most visited 20|20 research content of 2011

In addition to our three very popular eBooks published in 2012, 20|20 has been compiling a learning center full of white papers, case studies, a glossary and articles that are designed to provide research professionals resources to do better research. Here are the five most-visited links in our Learning Center in 2011. Beginner tips, a glossary of terms and case studies providing examples of other professionals doing research were at the top.

1. Qualitative Research Glossary
Our glossary is updated constantly and includes key qualitative research terms, from Interactive Voice Response (IVR) research to open-ended questions to chat room focus groups.

2. Case Study: GfK Healthcare and 20|20 Partner on Online Diary to Gauge Patients’ Feelings About Medication
To gain qualitative insights on why certain patients take their medication regularly and others do not, GfK Healthcare and 20|20 needed to develop a space where patients could honestly reveal their reasoning on their own terms. They used 20|20’s bulletin board focus group product QualBoard where each patient could express him or herself with a Flip video camera in an intimate, online diary setting. The project results were highly successful. Read on for a more in-depth look.

3. Using Online Qualitative Research Tools for Co-Creation
20|20’s online products QualBoard and QualLaborate can improve the co-creation process of developing new products with consumer input. By allowing you the space online to reach across cities and states to reach key consumers, the entire research process has better and more affordable access to your target consumer market. Check out the rest of 20|20’s break down to understand how online tools can aid your qualitative research initiatives.

4. Beginner Tips for Online Qualitative Research
It’s not always easy to transition from traditional qualitative research methods to online tools, but the benefits of merging the two can be enormous. Follow Betsy Hoag and Katerina Makatouni’s tips to excel at online qualitative research like a pro.

5. Case Study: Country Music Association Gleans Real-Time Event Feedback with Mobile Qualitative Research
The Country Music Association (CMA) Music Festival wanted qualitative research insights from the attendees, so they used 20|20’s mobile qualitative research platform QualAnywhere for a multi-day mobile focus group. The group was moderated through text messages and was able to record the attendees’ experiences as they occurred during the event. Read on for a look at the successful results!

What Client-Side Researchers Are Looking for

Client-side researchers have a lot of choices when it comes to deciding which market research firm to work with. Some go with what they know, no matter how old-school or overpriced it may be. Others, like Tiffany McNeil, strategy and insights manager at Del Monte Foods, have a checklist. Earlier this month, she shared her criteria with Ray Poynter on Radio NewMR. (Credit goes to Dana Stanley of Research Access for first posting about this informative segment—and doing the dirty work of transcribing McNeil’s tips.)

At the top of McNeil’s list is innovation, which she defines as “just a general willingness to be flexible and try things,” even if it means using a tool not currently in the researcher’s toolbox. She also says it’s important for research firms to be fast, efficient and engaged throughout the entire process—not “really engaged when you’re trying to win the work and they disappear once you get it.”

She also has a sales tip for research firms trying to get on a client-side researcher’s radar: Don’t leave a voicemail and don’t send scripted emails. She says she relies heavily on word of mouth. Does that mean your best sales strategy should be to just continue doing good work for your other clients?

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