A New Era For Marketing Research


Ann_girls__2A fav blogging divo, Michael Bawden - Much Ado About Marketing is running a series on the value of marketing research. How I wish Michael had been in the room with me today when a client said, "Why do we need to spend the money on the research? We know what our customers want." <grr!>  Interestingly, it was the VP of Ops who convenienced the guy that what he thought he knew about his customers might just not be the reality of the situation.

The marketing research profession is entering an exciting (and some may find frightening) phase in its development of data collection and analysis. The field (literally!) has gone from (when my dad Lou Bloomberg, was in the biz) asking questions in door-to-door interviewing to listening to virtual conversations. Granted, the use of consumer generated media as a credible research tool is in its infancy (researchers move slowly...look how long it took for firms to embrace online research); however, consumer generated media is too rich to overlook. Some companies are beginning to explore CGM (consumer generated media) as a supplement to traditional research for information about:

  • Brand buzz -who.what.where
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Product development and improvement
  • Pre launch buzz
  • Early warning crisis management
  • Advertising effectiveness
  • Voice of the customer

I understand that Chrysler is using CGM to track trends. They've gone from mining data at a high level - sensibilities about specific models to a more granular level of information about features and attributes. The next step is better understanding the influencers and how the information flows.

Marketing research professionals are challenged to:

  • Incorporate CGM information into the findings from traditional methodologies
  • Develop a standard of credibility that is acceptable by practitioners and, I should also add, academics
  • Understand what is white noise and what is significant information without sanitizing the data

Here's one to ponder...courtesy of divo market researcher, Greg Rathjen - Marketecture, from Gregory Batson -

Information is any difference that makes a difference.

Read More About Consumer Generated Media
WSJ - Marketers Scan Blogs For Insights

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Hey Toby,

For some strange reason, this post didn't show up in my Technorati account, so my apologies for the delayed "thank you." This is a great post about research.

You may want to check out what 1000 Heads (www.1000heads.com) is doing to collect information on consumer-generated buzz around products and brands. It's a very cool company based in Oxford, UK. I met one of their principles when I was at a PR conference in Poland last October.

Thanks again for the plug.

Best Regards,

Mike Bawden
Brand Central Station

Posted by: Mike Bawden on Jan 12, 2006 11:48:04 AM

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