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A Market Research Thanksgiving

Posted by Isaiah Adams

November 25, 2014

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Thanksgiving is a great time of year. Most of us, unless you work in retail, take the time off to be with family and share a good meal. Inspired by BrainJuicer’s “Research Christmas Carol” from last year, we decided to have a little holiday fun and give our fellow researchers what we’ve all dreamed about – a Market Research Thanksgiving. We took a stab at matching up some of the market research staples with the most common items on the Thanksgiving menu.
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Topics: Marketing Research

What is Stimulus Response Measurement?

Posted by Isaiah Adams

November 20, 2014

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Stimulus response is a measuring technique that traces all the way back to experiments done in the late 1800’s by Ivan Pavlov. Stimulus response is all about testing and measuring the response. The classic example is the stand-up comedian. A comedian doesn’t come on stage and say, “I’m very funny.” A comedian knows how funny they are by how the crowd reacts to their jokes. When a comedian tells a new joke they measure how the crowd responds. The next time the comedian tells that joke they might switch how they deliver the joke. They might change how long they pause before the punchline, etc. All of these variations of the joke are stimuli. Each time the comedian tells the joke they are measuring the crowd reaction in hopes that they might find the way to deliver the joke that yields the largest amount of laughter.
 
This same type of testing is very common in marketing research. Instead of measuring a joke, businesses are measuring how consumers respond to different marketing stimuli. This type of testing is very useful in communications. The idea here is, “What can we say that will maximize the chance of our desired response?” For example, “What can we say that will maximize the interest in purchasing our product?”
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Topics: Idea Optimization

12 Things We’ve Helped Clients With Lately

Posted by Isaiah Adams

November 7, 2014

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In our previous blog we touched on the most important thing in market research – answering specific business questions. Today we’ll keep the same theme and look at a list of business questions that Optimization Group has helped clients with lately. We hope this list will give you insight into what questions other businesses are trying to answer and how they articulate these questions.
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Topics: OG News

The Most Important Thing in Market Research

Posted by Isaiah Adams

November 5, 2014

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If you’ve spent any time in market research or are a buyer of research, then you’re fully aware of the perceived friction between “traditional” methods and newer approaches. We recently highlighted how the rapid technology changes in market research have brought a feeling of negativity over the industry. We found that many people believe that if companies don’t switch to the new methods they will become extinct or fail to execute research effectively. In other words, people view the two sides of this argument as an “either or” situation. Either companies have traditional methods or they switch to the new methods.
 
A recent study by UK-based agency, RSM, helps us realize we are looking at this situation all wrong. The study was among research professionals and showed that 93% of respondents used “traditional” methods in the past 12 months vs. only 18% for non-traditional methods.
 
This study helps reaffirm that the most important thing in market research has been and will always be, answering specific business questions. All too often we get caught up arguing over traditional vs. non-traditional methods. In reality, it doesn’t matter which method we use as long as the business question is being answered.
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Topics: Marketing Research

ROMI: Why Isn’t Everyone Doing It?

Posted by Isaiah Adams

October 28, 2014

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The funny thing about obvious solutions is that they’re only obvious after they’ve been pointed out. We had a call last week with a company who was interested in learning about our capabilities. After some back and forth, one of their company’s business problems began to be put into words for the first time. They are beginning to ramp up the marketing for one of their brands but they’re unclear on how they’ll be able to track ROI, especially with some of the more tricky variables. After expressing some of their concerns and objectives they came with the simple question, “do you know how we can do this?”
 
After quickly wiping away the tears of joy in our eyes (because we can talk about this until the cows come home) we quickly responded, “Yes, let us show you how.”
 
After we spent 5 minutes explaining how the process works and what they can get out of it, they responded with a simple, but profound question…. “Why isn’t EVERYONE doing this?!”
 
Although the question was rather humorous at the time, and as a company we love to hear responses like this after sharing about what we do, they bring up a really good question. Why isn’t everyone doing a ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) analysis?
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Topics: Return On Marketing Investment

Messaging Research for Improving Employee Recruitment

Posted by Isaiah Adams

October 24, 2014

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Messaging research is most commonly used in advertising – where the goal is to understand what messages would maximize interest in taking a certain action (e.g. buying a product, etc.). We’ve had the pleasure of applying this same process to things like military recruiting and increasing donations for the American Heart Association. Both of these had the same goal, just different wording. For the military recruiting project, our client’s goal was to understand what they could say to increase interest in enlisting in the military. For the American Heart Association, they wanted to know what message, when given to the right person and the right time, would increase the donation rate as well as the size of the donation.
 
In this case study, our client (a large home products manufacturer) wanted to better understand how current and prospective candidates/employees understand and value employment with their company. Their ultimate goal was to develop clear and consistent messaging for the attraction and retention of top talent. To put it another way, “What can we say that would motivate the top talent to consider employment with our company and stay with us long-term?”
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Topics: Messaging, Case Studies

Neuromarketing Without Wires

Posted by Jon Griffin

October 16, 2014

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A recent article on Fast Company discussed the trends in neuromarketing, a new area of market research that utilizes electro-chemical technology such as EEG’s to read and measure the brain’s response to marketing stimuli. The article addresses the rush to adopt this new methodology as a means to “strike gold” in marketing campaigns.
 
The article written by Douglas van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding, How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, recommends a holistic approach to neuromarketing.
 
“The emergent field of neuromarketing is being reduced and defined as the “the study of neurological responses to marketing messages. This new view of who we are deep inside can become a watershed moment in cultural evolution. But only if we begin by asking bigger questions than: Which storyboard, jingle, or tagline engages our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex?...I’m not suggesting we ignore the possibilities of testing marketing material, but they should be approached with guarded optimism. There is indeed a treasure-trove of insights that can remarkably improve communication. And there’s no putting this genie back into the bottle. But the value is in the insights into people more so than the tests of ads.”
 
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Topics: Marketing Research

Dissecting the Negative Culture in Market Research

Posted by Isaiah Adams

October 15, 2014

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I’m still relatively new to market research compared to my colleagues and most of the industry folks I interact with. As a result, I often have a different perspective. Part of my job is to stay tapped into the pulse of market research. This involves reading a lot of blogs and industry news and reports. One thing that I’ve struggled to understand is the negativity surrounding the industry. I swear every other post I read is negative. Here are a few of my most recent favorites (all I had to do was scroll though some of the most popular Linkedin groups to find these).
 
  • “Surveys are dead!”
  • “Focus groups are dead!”
  • “Why Market Research is failing at innovation”
  • “Corporate Procurement is Killing Market Research”
  • “Market research needs to adapt or die!!!”
 
Ok I made that last one up but you get the point. I figured the best way to understand this issue was to directly ask people. Surprisingly, the people I asked jumped at the opportunity to weigh in on this topic. It felt like they were releasing weight off their shoulders.
 
To protect the people who gave me their honest opinion on this potentially controversial topic, I will not mention anyone’s name. However, I will say that I talked with some of the most influential people in the industry.
 
The following is not a collection of my own opinions on this topic, but rather I did my best to categorize the opinions of some of our industry’s most esteemed voices. So what's the reason behind all this negativity in market research?
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Topics: Marketing Research

Linkedin’s Trash is Google’s Treasure

Posted by Isaiah Adams

October 10, 2014

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Social networks like Linkedin and Facebook once offered polling features. Within the past 2 years, both social networks have removed polls. Linkedin’s was a slower death. The Linkedin Polls app was first retired on June 30th, 2013. Linkedin waited until May 15, 2014 to retire a similar polling feature from Linkedin Groups. Why then, with social media polling features seemingly in decline, would Google+ release a new polling feature?
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Topics: Social Media

Optimizing the Appeal of Your Product Portfolio

Posted by Isaiah Adams

October 9, 2014

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Editor’s note: As a research company, we could easily tell you we’re the best and we know what we’re doing, but you would just be taking our word for it. Instead, we’d rather show you, through examples, that we know how to structure a research strategy that delivers actionable information to your business.

  
Do you have a product or product line but don’t know which offer or bundle of products optimizes the appeal (reach) of the brand? What exactly is moving the needle and how do you get the most out of your portfolio? One of our client’s had a similar set of questions. Let’s take a look at how we answered these questions. As a bonus, I’ve included an illustration that involves cake frosting. Who doesn’t like frosting, right?
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Topics: Case Studies

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