What about the first-mover disadvantage?

This week’s Economist has an interesting article about the founders of Napster (Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker) and the difficulty they have had in coming up with a successful second presence in the market. Towards the end of the article the Economist refers to one of my favourite terms in the area of new business, “First-mover disadvantage”. First-mover advantage? Whenever I meet start-ups, or people back from the latest hi-tech innovation fest, the talk is often about first-mover advantage. The idea is that a company gets in first and secures a long-term advantage. However, although there are examples of first-mover advantage (e.g. when a first mover can tie-up the market for scarce materials), it is much more common to see first-mover disadvantages. First-mover disadvantage Examples of first-mover disadvantage go back at least as far as the printing press, noting that in the 16 Century Gutenberg died bankrupt). The economist article quotes Motorola and the mobile phone along with Netscape and the browser. To this list we could add: Alta Vista had first mover status in search engines, but was overtaken by Yahoo! and then Google. When personal computers first appeared the early advantage was with companies like Commordore, then Apple, […]

In defence of business jargon

Lots of people seem to have a big down on jargon, but is that fair or useful? In Research-Live, Lucy Hoang of Northstar asks whether jargon is a necessary evil? In her post, Lucy pointed out some of the downsides, highlighted the uses of jargon, and shared some good points about helping newcomers get to grips with key terms, for example the use of COB for close of business. Some of the comments on her post reiterated the view that all jargon was bad. However, I think some jargon is both necessary and indeed helpful. In terms of definitions my starting point is the Oxford English Dictionary (the OED to its fans) which defined jargon as “words or expressions used by a particular profession or group that are difficult for others to understand.” Jargon is also of relevance to sociolinguistics where it is one of the terms that can indicate a speech community, where the use of language is different from the wider community, but facilitates communication within the group, where the group can be as broad as a profession, or as narrow as a family or group or friends. Facilitating communication The starting point for any aspect of communication […]

The McGurk effect and why it matters to market researchers

We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures and we like to think we can trust our ears. However, watch the video below and be ready to change your mind. The Mckurk effect , the understanding of which dates back to 1976, shows how hearing and vision interact with each other. One of the interesting things about this effect is that even once you are aware of it you still experience it. From a marketing and market research point of view key messages are: Changing the sound can change the perception, which means that the real sound should be tested as part of the research. More generally, the behavioural sciences, such as behavioural economics and neuromarketing are changing the our understanding of how marketing works and how it should be evaluated. Perception is not reality, which in terms of persuasion means that reality is not always relevant. People exposed to this sort of effect may be tricked, but if they are they are likely to be angry once they are aware – so include checking to post purchase remorse as part of the research. Can you suggest other similar effects that help remind marketers and market researchers that they […]

Asking the wrong questions gives you the wrong answers!

A very large part of market research is based on asking people questions, for example in surveys, focus groups, depth interviews, and online discussions. In general, people are very willing to answer our questions, but the problem is that they will do it even when they can’t give us the right answer. At IIeX last week Jan Hofmeyr shared the results of some research where respondents had been asked about which brand they buy most often and he compared it to their last 3 and last 6 purchases from audit data. He found that in the last 3 purchases 68% of people had not bought the product they claimed to buy ‘most often’, and in the last 6 purchases 58% of people had not bought their ‘most often’ brand. The video below is designed for entertainment, but it illustrates the bogus answer problem really well: There are two key reasons why asking questions can produce bogus answers: Social desirability bias. People are inclined to try to show themselves in the best possible light. Ask them how often they clean their teeth and they are going to want to give an answer that makes them look good, or at least does […]

When and why does the wrong sample give you the right answer?

Most samples used by market research are in some sense the ‘wrong’ sample. They are the wrong sample because of one or more of the following: They miss people who don’t have access to the internet. They miss people who don’t have a smartphone. Not representing the 80%, 90%, or 99% who decline to take part. They miss busy people. Samples that suffer these problems include: Central location miss the people who don’t come into central locations. Face-to-face, door-to-door struggles with people who tend not to be home or who do not open the door to unknown visitors. RDD/telephone misses people who decline to be involved. Online access panels miss the 95%+ who are not members of panels. RIWI and Google Consumer Surveys – misses the people who decline to be involved, and under-represents people who use the internet less. Mobile research – typically misses people who do not have a modern phone and who do not have a reliable internet package/connection. But, it usually works! If we look at what AAPOR call non-probability samples with an academic eye we might expect the research to usually be ‘wrong’. In this case ‘wrong’ means gives misleading or harmful advice. Similarly, ‘right’ […]

University of Winchester offers a Masters in Insight Management

On July 16 Steve Wills will be giving a NewMR lecture on Insight Management and various initiatives to make it a recognised professions – click here to access the slides and recording. One of those initiatives is the creation of a MSc Insight Management degree by the University of Winchester, in the UK (to the South-West of London). Below you can read more about the course. MSc Insight Management The University of Winchester’s MSc Insight Management is designed for working managers, delivered on a part-time weekend basis. It will appeal to managers from diverse business support organisations such as market research, data analytics and competitor and market intelligence. The degree will give students an understanding of the Insight Management function and equips them with key skills in insight generation and delivery for business decision-making. The degree develops students’ ability to critically evaluate the information needs of an organisation and the potential value it can generate. It explores ways in which organisations make sense of the information they generate, examining consumer decision and business decision processes. It examines the barriers to getting that information used when decision makers are swamped in diverse and often conflicting data and reviews approaches to generating […]

My take on social media – Gaelle Bertrand

Guest post from Gaelle Bertrand, Client Director, Brand Insight, Precise, UK. This post is based on material Gaelle contributed to the #IPASocialWorks ‘Measuring Not Counting’ project – and is slightly different to most of the other posts in this series (click here to see a list of the posts in the series) but it provides a good overview of using social media to evaluate media campaigns. Using social media to measure traditional media campaigns Introduction Measuring the effectiveness of communication campaigns through traditional media such as TV advertising has long been the remit of quantitative researchers across the globe. Representative sample surveys aimed at measuring the public’s awareness of a campaign, recall of its messages and more importantly whether it has shifted the needle in terms of brand awareness and perceptions are the norm. However, the advent of social media and the unprompted brand mentions it yields means that researchers now have a unique opportunity to get a read on most campaigns’ effectiveness. So what does social media analysis bring to the equation? Strengths and weaknesses One of the key strengths of social media is its immediacy, so it is an excellent way to get an early read on what […]

Dialling in to the MRIA Conference – the shape of things to come?

Today I had the pleasure of taking part in a panel discussion with Lenny Murphy and Simon Chadwick, ably chaired by P&G’s Greg Rogers, as part of the Canadian MRIA’s annual Conference in Saskatoon. Only one of us, Greg, was actually in the room, or indeed in the country. Simon, Lenny and I all joined via webcams (Simon and Lenny from the USA, and me from the UK). I look forward to hearing from the audience what they thought, but I really enjoyed it (find out more about the Conference via Annie Pettit’s blog). Virtual events are not unusual, indeed NewMR was perhaps the first to pioneer them in the market research space. And, I have dialled into events in the past, typically when something has gone wrong with the plans (for example clouds of ash grounding planes). But this was the first time where I joined a panel where all the guests joined by webcam, intentionally. I hope that face-to-face conferences will remain a core part of how the MR industry goes about its sharing, learning, and networking – but I think remote speakers and panels could be a growing part of the picture, especially as the technology gets […]

My take on Social Media – Kristin Luck

Guest post from Kristin Luck, President and CMO at Decipher, USA. Click here to see a list of the other posts in this series. After spending my childhood on a farm in rural Oregon without television or even a touch tone phone, I was determined to spend my early adult/post University years as an ‘early adopter’. I spent much of the late 90’s proudly sporting a Palm Pilot (then a Blackberry, then an iPhone) and becoming the go-to person in my circle of friends and colleagues for information about all things tech related. I mastered LinkedIn. I thought I had this whole social media thing nailed. And then there was Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. And Pinterest. If you’ve ever tried to use all six (and these are just the six I’m active on) for personal use…or business use….or (even more challenging) both, what I’m going to say next may resonate with you- I absolutely flailed. My social media presence was a disorganized time suck and I backed away from the whole mess of it. When colleagues asked why I wasn’t active on Twitter and Facebook I said I didn’t have the time. Or that I just wasn’t interested. Or […]

What’s your take on social media?

We at NewMR are keen to hear the different ways that market researchers approach social media. We are interested in the private use, the brand building use, and the research use. We have invited a variety of people to share their thoughts and you can read them by accessing the links below. ‘What social media means to me’ Click on the names below to visit other posts in the series. Betty Adamou Mary Aviles Sue Bell Gaelle Bertrand Sue Cardwell Peter Harris Dr Nasir Khan Kristin Luck Maya Middlemiss Tara Lyons Damian Vanderwolf Would you like to share your take on social media via a blog post on NewMR? We are happy to review suggested posts, ideally about 300 to 600 words. Send you suggested copy to admin@thefutureplace.com. Would you like to share your take on social media? If so, please email your suggested contribution (perhaps 300 to 800 words) to admin@newmr.org. Please also include your name, photo, and description.