“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.

20|20’s Newest Innovation: Virtual Intercepts

One thing I love about working at 20|20 is that we are always working on something new for the marketing research community.  Its really fun!!!

Tuesday, 20|20 introduced “Virtual Intercepts.”  Very simply, its a method for moving respondents from one online space (think about social media such as Facebook, a survey, or any other place) to a screener where those who pass the screener can be invited to participate in a live webcam interview with a moderator.  Like mall intercepts, there is even a waiting room where they can hang out if the moderator is busy.  A technician/host moves them from the virtual waiting room to the interview room for their interview so the moderator stays busy with one interview after another.

Here are some ways researchers can use Virtual Intercepts that are very fast and extremely cost effective.

Interview Facebook followers.  Now researchers can utilize the pool of fans that flow through a brand’s Facebook page.   20|20’s proprietary technology makes the process simple:  (1) Embed a link on a brand’s Facebook page, (2) Screen the participants for specific attributes, (3) Participants opt-in and are allowed to wait in a virtual lobby for an available researcher (4) Researcher conducts live webcam interviews with eager, qualified participants.

Go Deep with Survey Participants.  20|20 has patent pending technology that allows researchers to interface with virtually any survey so only respondents providing specific responses are invited to participate in a webcam interview.  For instance, if a researcher only wants to talk to dissatisfied males between 18-34, those are the only respondents who are intercepted and invited to participate in the webcam interview.  No longer do researchers have to depend on a third-party or on text-baed chat techniques; the researcher controls the interview and conducts the analysis.

Interview Employees or other High Involvement Groups. An embed a directional link to a screener or to an opt-in invitation can be provided in a simple email.  The respondents click on the link, opt in, and presto!, they are in the virtual lobby ready for the moderator’s interview.  Its so easy.

Virtual Intercepts allow the researcher to gather depth from quantitative or otherwise difficult to access sources.  The researcher is in complete control of the live interview and each interview is recorded for analysis.  20|20 can even provide a video clipping service if desired.

In the past 3 months, 20|20 has introduced QualMeeting 2.0, Mobile In-Home Ethnography and Virtual Intercepts.  The ideas in the hopper are even more exciting.  We hope you are able to use our innovations to create better research leading to better products that enhance people’s lives.

 

Current and Emerging Trends in Qualitative Market Research

One of my passions is to ponder the future to understand industry trends and where the industry will be in the years to come.  The following guest contribution by Willie Pena of Insights in Marketing provides his take on trends in qualitative.  Willie Pena writes about qualitative market research and other popular forms of market research for IIM. Connect with him on Google+LinkedIn.

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Current and Emerging Trends in Qualitative Market Research

Just as marketing is changing in recent years, technologies are also changing the way that market research is conducted. Traditional qualitative research methods, like study groups, polls and observational studies, are going digital and expanding the ability for researchers and businesses to target participants and collect information. Successful businesses expect innovative research solutions that offer more than just data.

Adapting Qualitative Research Methods to Social Media and Mobile

Focus groups, observational studies and other traditional tools still have functional uses and are relevant in the digital world, however their costs are substantially higher than many of the emerging and maturing research methods available today. Deliberative and participative research methods are gaining popularity due to their increased ability to discover information on a larger scale.

However, the largest growth is found in social media and mobile market research. Across the globe, the Internet and mobile technologies are providing unprecedented access to markets and individuals. This provides a wealth of information that can be obtained without the need to secure a facility or spend months qualifying participants.

From high-definition video conferencing and instant communication around the world to the ability to reach participants on their mobile devices and access to demographics that are traditionally hard to reach, the Internet is providing technology based  research methods like the kinds seen here by IIM the likes of which has never been seen before.

Five Trends Gaining Traction in Digital Qualitative Research

  1. Market Research Online CommunitiesMROCs combine a mixture of social media, online discussion and qualitative research to provide long-term benefits, in-depth insight and an unparalleled level of access to program participants. The format is flexible enough to suit nearly any audience, through gamification, live chat, bulletin boards or other methods, to provide a powerful tool for researchers at a fraction of the cost that hosting in-person events and similar studies would cost.
  2. Social Media and Qualitative Research Social media is one of the driving forces in new methods of technology based qualitative research. From qualifying study participants to conducting research on the plethora of platforms available, there are near-endless options for optimizing your research methods, reaching new audiences and gathering mass quantities of data quickly and efficiently. However, these platforms are also ideal for long-term research due to their low-cost, easy management and instant communication features.
  3. Mobile Ethnography Ethnography was once a research method reserved for large projects and businesses with big budgets. With the penetration and instant-access characteristics of mobile research, mobile ethnography allows for ethnographic studies with lower costs and compressed timelines. Through video chat, mobile polls and other tools, it is possible to conduct contextual and immersion studies without the need for constant on-site supervision and many of the other characteristics that make traditional ethnography daunting and expensive.
  4. Increased Automation and Accelerated Speed to Market As the amount of data available to researchers increases, artificial intelligence, data mining tools, trends analysis algorithms and other research software are improving the ability to uncover trends, collate data and achieve results. This, in turn, is reducing the overall time need to conduct thorough research and produce results for clients. Both are fueling a surge in research-related spending within businesses and creating an ideal market for researchers in the years ahead.
  5. Increased Emphasis on the Customer ExperienceStudy reports including interactive elements, such as word clouds, video clips and storytelling, help to provide information with increased insight. Geo-location targeting, mobile surveys and other tools help to conduct studies in the moment as experiences are occurring to capture a truer sense of the study participant. The result is that traditional question-and-answer and static report formats of qualitative research are losing ground to new technologies at a rapid pace.

Qualitative research is evolving from rigid, complex structures to dynamic, real-time studies. With the help of mobile technologies, social media and other advances, qualitative researchers are enjoying a period of research advancement where greater market penetration, increased consumer willingness and skyrocketing business demand are pushing research to previously unseen heights. These current and emerging trends are likely to influence qualitative research and market research as a whole for years to come.

Nuggets from Best Practices, LLC’s Innovation Report

Research Business Report’s latest issue highlights a study from Best Practices, LLC titled, “Consumer Marketing Research Innovation: Assessing New Tools, Technologies and Approaches to Understand and Communicate with Consumers.” With a title that long, I was a bit scared to try to read it. So, I was glad Bob Lederer at RBR provided some summary points. A few of those stood out to me since I’m a qual guy and we do technology.

While only 8% of client companies believe a lack of innovation is a major obstacle, pharma companies reported it as an obstacle in 40% of the cases. Apparently, a lot of pharma researchers believe they are simply not getting it done with current practices and their companies are loathe to change things. If you do what you’ve always done…

“Having quantitative and qualitative researchers work as a team on select project can reduce study timelines.” Faster research is only one of the benefits of the yin and yang of quant and qual. Many times, such teamwork is simply better research. In today’s world of similar online formats for quant and qual, the benefits are easier to access than ever before. Unfortunately, most research firms built the Great Wall of China between quant and qual functions. Often, researchers in one function so not even know their counterparts in the other function. Going forward this has to change.

“Online qualitative research offers advantages over traditional qualitative studies (because) the online format removes the geographical boundaries that can make the creation of a representative sample so challenging in focus groups. Online qual (also) makes it easier to do asynchronous studies. It gives participants more of a feeling of anonymity and thus makes them more likely to talk about how they really feel.” True, yet only part of the story. The Best Practices report might add saving time and money and giving researchers additional tools to do better research through the use of longitudinal, ethnographic or diversity research methods.  Online qualitative has exploded the researcher’s toolset.  An expanded toolset challenges researchers to be smarter and more knowledgeable.  It also enables them to produce better research with more and deeper insights than ever before.

Announcing QualMeeting 2.0: Easier, Better and More Options than Ever

Sometimes innovation is a disruptive breakthrough.

Sometimes innovation simply makes existing technology easier and more practical.

Last week, 20|20 announced the release of QualMeeting 2.0.  Though not as “disruptive” as some of our other software, is is a dramatic step forward for the research industry since webcam interviewing will be easier, more reliable and have more interviewing options than ever before.  qualmeeting-2.0

Here is some info:

Overall, webcam interviewing is a fast-growing qualitative research methodology because it allows the researcher to interview people without geographic restrictions and it is very cost-effective, particularly since travel is eliminated.  It is a real-time use of technology that relies on the coordination of recruiting, project management and four technology nodes:  QualMeeting technology, participant’s webcam, moderator’s webcam and the audio conferencing system.  20|20 has developed new technology and processes to eliminate glitches and provide a stress-free user experience for researchers and clients.

Here are some of the updates that make QualMeeting 2.0 the industry’s best video interviewing platform.

Advanced Interviewing Toolset.  New interviewing tools such as drag-and-drop card sorting, polling questions and storyboarding bring added  richness to interviews.  Results can be aggregated across interviews or groups giving the researcher powerful new analytical tools.

Virtual Lobby.  20|20 developed a separate room, like the waiting room in a focus group facility, for respondents to await their interview time.  While waiting, a 20|20 technician checks their video and audio to ensure a good interviewing experience for the moderator and clients.  New transition technology ensures a smooth transition to the interviewing room.

“Behind the Glass” Client Audio.  Clients can watch and listen to interviews from multiple locations.  They can even hold discussions during the interview without worrying that respondents will hear their conversations.  This feature can also be used for real-time translations.

Real-Time Transcriptions.  Provides a simultaneous text record of the interview. Though not perfect, this feature can dramatically speed analysis by allowing the researcher to search key terms and play the video from that point.  Reporting, and even video editing, becomes much faster and easier.  Of course, post-interview full transcriptions are always available.

Video Clip Editing.  The researcher provides direction; the QualMeeting team creates the video clips for analysis or a montage you can use as a video report.

QualMeeting+Plus Service.  You take care of the Study Design, Moderating and Analysis.  20|20 QualMeeting experts take care of the rest.  Period.

For more information on the new QualMeeting 2.0 platform, click here to go to the 20|20 website page.  Or you can email [email protected] or call us at 1.615.777.2020.

Passing of an Industry Icon: Bill Weylock

Today I learned that a friend and research industry icon, Bill Weylock, has passed away.  Lenny Murphy did a very good obituary on the GreenBook blog that gives a detailed outline of Bill’s legacy.  Here are a few of my recollections meant as a tribute to a leader and a friend.

Bill was brilliant and an industry pioneer.  He was a founding member of the Qualitative Research Consultant’s Association (QRCA) and served as its President.  When I first came to know him, he was trying to get QRCA members to participate in a QRCA interactive forum using CompuServe.  He was leading the adoption of the online forum and having a difficult time finding followers.  That was then.  Now, QRCA has a widely used and read forum.  LinkedIn and other websites utilize thousands of forums for discussions of various topics.  Plus, a major qualitative research methodology, including 20|20‘s own QualBoard, has been built on the threaded forum technology.  Bill saw the power of the Internet before the Internet was cool.  He led the way for all of us.

When I was President of QRCA, Bill took me under his wing.  He helped me to understand the history and the dynamics of the organization.  He helped me to see the importance of planning for the future and creating a QRCA that would lead the industry.  Bill had strong opinions and was not afraid of a little disagreement.  He encouraged me to live with the power of my convictions, even when some members disagreed.  He liberally shared his experience and wisdom, but always expected me to go my own way.  He was fiercely independent and expected others to be so too.  He was a mentor then and became a friend.

Bill Weylock had a tremendous influence on our industry and a tremendous influence on many people.  Miss you already, Bill.

Isaac Rogers: A Researcher You Need to Know

Here at 20|20 we are proud that Isaac Rogers has been selected by Survey Magazine as “A Researcher You Need to Know.”Isaac Rogers

Isaac has been Chief Innovation Officer for 20|20 since 2008.  We may be a little biased but we truly believe he is a rockstar in the application of technology to market research.  Isaac is the chief architect for QualBoard(R) the industry’s leading global online qualitative discussion platform.  His most recent innovation was to conceive and manage the development of QualTranslate virtually instant translation for global QualBoard projects.  You need to know Isaac because he is changing the way we all do qualitative research online.  Keep an eye out since he has more innovations in the pipeline.

Congratulations Isaac.  An honor well-deserved.

Using Technology for Virtual Shop-Alongs

I am honored to have co-authored an article with Jessica Ritzo of Insights in Marketing that appears in the July issue of Quirk’s Marketing Research magazine.  I’m not sure how I was listed first as author as Jessica did most of the heavy lifting.  The article is titled, “Be There Now.  Leveraging mobile and online qualitative to get inside shopper’s heads.”

Quirks

Here is a quick abstract of the article and a link where you can read it in full.

Consumers’ use of technology and researchers’ understanding of how to use that technology have opened new frontiers for all types of research, including shopper research.  When planned and executed carefully, the technology boom can eliminate the need for a researcher to be physically present with the shopper for some shopper research while gathering rich, in-the-moment data.  The article outlined a three-phase methodology that includes a text-based online discussion platform  combined with a mobile in-store phase and ends with an online discussion follow-up.

  1. Phase 1 — Pre-Shopping Discussion.  Questions help the researcher understand pre-shopping opinions, expectations and ideas.  Respondents answer questions individually or as a group at the researcher’s discretion.  This format also gives the researcher and opportunity to set the stage and expectations for Phase 2.
  2. Phase 2 — In-Store Mobile Methodology — Researchers give shoppers a streamlined list of tasks to accomplish while shopping.  Shoppers often take pictures and add commentary related to their preferences, observations and reactions.  Data can be rich with visuals accompanied by shopper insights.
  3. Phase 3 — Post-Shopping Engagement — Using a discussion platform, the researcher has the opportunity to probe issues related to the shopping data collected during Phase 2.  As with Phase 1, these discussions can be private, one-on-one discussions, or be a discussion among groups of shoppers.  Because the respondent provides thoughtful, post-shopping feedback on actual shopping behavior, the learning from this phase can be richly insightful.

The article concluded with a case study from the beverage industry to highlight the methods and a use case.  To access the entire article click here.

This entire project can be conducted on the20|20 QualBoard(R) Discussion Platform utilizing its online discussion and mobile capabilities.

“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.

Topline Report from ESOMAR 3D Conference

The ESOMAR 3D Conference was held in Boston this week.  20|20 CIO Isaac Rogers attended and provided some key take-aways.  Here is his post-conference report.

Major themes were Big Data, the Problem with Researchers, and the Reality of Mobile.

Big Data:

1.  Still a lot of debate on exactly what this term means for the industry; both in a literal sense and what its long term impact on research will be.  ATT mobile did a case study using mostly CRM data sources mixed with survey responses and even qual.  Good example of how to use big data as a “third step” in the process; (1) Qual to uncover insights; (2) Quant to verify them and size them; (3) Big Data to double-check your hypothesis.

2.  Even in the ATT example, I didn’t see anyone present a direct way to use Big Data to generate insight independently.  But it’s clear researchers are seeking a way to turn Big Data into a new resource for insight and innovation.  How best to apply these principles is still a mystery to most.

3.  By the end of the first day, people were groaning about the fact that everyone’s talking about big data, few people are really doing it.  In fact, when you really get down to it— outside of social media resources, most market researchers don’t seem to even know where to find big data.  I was part of a lively discussion about the most obvious source we can tap— point of sale data.  But weren’t we ALREADY using POS data?  So what’s “new” about this whole Big Data idea?  Most people are still scratching their heads (outside of seeing social media as a source).

Problem with “Researchers”

1.  Over and over we heard about how MR agencies have to change.  The clients claim to be “done” with 600 page research reports nobody reads.  They want a strategic partner, delivering real advice and being an expert on the voice of their customers.  But, when you start to ask about how MR firms can build a business around that… the room gets quiet.  Nobody wants to pay a research to be another voice at the table— they pay them to do research.  So MR firms are ill suited for the task today, and it’s not clear that Clients will begin to pony up the $$$ required to pull in a real strategic partner.  So the MR firms hear what clients are saying (more strategic partnerships), but they only win business today by delivering traditional research results.  Somebody has to be willing to change the paradigm.

2.  MR firms agree they’re poorly staffed for tomorrow.  Lots of discussion about how they will need to hire “techies, IT people, and data wizards” to be relevant in the future.  They don’t have those people on staff now, and don’t even know how to begin the transition.

3.  Clients want “storytellers” who craft the story about their consumers.  I heard that over and over the last two days.  They’re tired of boring research and want Agencies to deliver insight they can sink their teeth in to.

Reality of Mobile

1.  Mobile is still a hot property, but the flames have tempered somewhat.  Now that researchers are starting to actually use mobile, they see it’s not the “holy grail” that makes all other methods obsolete.  Great presentation from Vision Critical on some real-world testing they’ve done with AOL.  They found that participants tend to dislike doing mobile surveys (Vision Critical expects that mobile cooperation will only get worse as the novelty wears off); that 80+ percent will choose to do surveys from a PC vs mobile when given a chance; and that it take participants 50% longer to complete online surveys from phones.  They feel the data is valid coming from mobile, and that it correlates nearly perfectly with traditional data (so no bias, etc), but that it’s more difficult to do surveys from mobiles and that the “halo effect” of neat mobile surveys will die off and participants will actually engage in mobile surveys less.

2.  QR codes came up a few times.  Pretty much dismissed as novelties.  Consumers don’t get them.  There’s not standards.  Funny— 2 years ago everyone thought QR codes were the future, and I remember one firm printing their business card ONLY as a QR code… woops!

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