NewMR Update – All about social media

This post is an online version of the NewMR mailing from w/c 26 April – plus some extra nuggets. This week our NewMR mailing is focusing on social media, including upcoming events and social media resources. But first a couple of announcements: The recording of Mark Earls’ webinar is available from our Play Again page, see We have started a series of blog posts in conjunction with companies supporting NewMR and the first one “What’s special about MESH” is available at Social Media This week we are focusing on social media, covering a range of events and resources. Upcoming Events In terms of upcoming events, NewMR has three events focusing on social media: Measuring Not Counting – Webinar, 15 May (11am London time), Fran Cassidy explains how to measure the ROI of social media campaigns, drawing on the #IPASOCIALWORKS case studies, looking at examples such as O2, IKEA, Philippines Tourist Board, and the New Zealand bank ASB. Fran will also cover the recently published Guide to evaluating social media campaigns – produced by a joint group that included advertisers, marketers, researchers, Facebook, and Twitter. Click here to register Social Media Research in 2015 – Webinar, 28 May […]

Keen as Mustard

What’s special about Keen as Mustard?

The post below is the result of a discussion between Ray Poynter from NewMR and Lucy Davison from Keen as Mustard. Q: Can you describe Keen as Mustard for me in 140 characters? A: Keen as Mustard is the only full service marketing agency that specialises in the market research industry. Let us tell your story. Q: What sorts of things do you do for your clients? A: We run the full gamut of marketing and PR activities for our clients. From branding and website design to media relations and PR, and the development of content that really tells the story of the client and raises their profile inside and outside of the industry. Building that narrative is where we excel. If you take a look at some of our clients, such as MaritzCX, Research Now, PRS, and end-clients like CPW, Sony and Lucozade, we’re telling stories with data. Whether that’s a press article, infographic, conference presentation, or a dashboard; we’re experts in communicating insights and getting the right, engaging content in front of the right audiences But the key to our work is strategy. A website, an email campaign or collection of content means nothing if the strategy isn’t […]

John Griffiths

98% Pure Potato a book about pioneers of Account Planning

A guest blog by John Griffiths, talking about his exciting new project to crowdfund and launch a book looking at the early years of account planning. Judie Lannon gives me a cool look and says there was no way that the research department she set up in 1968 in J Walter Thompson was ever going to be called the Motivational Research department. Roddy Glenn tells me about a breakthrough at 3am in the agency when he first understood how brands talk a different dialect in packaging than they do in advertising years before semiotics was known in market research. He goes on to talk about what it was like working in a shadow agency running groups for the Labour party in 3 successive elections working directly to first Robin Cook then Peter Mandelson until the landslide of 1997. And then there are the stories of research innovation as TV commercials are put onto video as key frames set to a voice over and first in depth interviews but then in groups, researchers who later came to be called planners travelled all over the country at least one in a Ferrari! to show them to people who had never been researched […]

What’s special about MESH, the Experience Agency?

The post below is the result of a discussion between Ray Poynter from NewMR and Fiona Blades, President and Chief Experience Officer at MESH. Q: Can you describe MESH for me in 140 characters? A: Brand growth is driven by all experiences people have with brands, yet half or more typically go unmeasured. MESH uniquely addresses this gap. Q: What sort of brand experiences are going unmeasured? A: Three that come to mind are: Retailer advertising, advertising by retailers such as Best Buy, Tesco, or Walmart. We have seen many cases where being featured in retailer advertising has had major impacts on brands, but it is not usually picked up by traditional Share of Voice measures. Peer observation, seeing other people use a product, e.g. a mobile phone, impacts brand consideration, but is rarely measured by most brands. We have seen cases where ‘Seen others using it’ was actually the lead driver of purchase. Experiential touchpoints, for example for Gatorade in Mexico this meant understanding how people interacted with the brand and its messages in gyms, fitness centres, and parks. People experiencing these touchpoints were twice as likely to endorse the brand. Q: Why do you think so many brand […]

Collaborative Review of Social Media Research – The Spec

News Update! Lenny Murphy and GreenBook have joined the project, which means the contributors to the project will be able to reach even more people with the results and it means Lenny Murphy will be involved in steering the project and will co-author the final summary. This page sets out the specification for the NewMR/GreenBook Collaborative Review of Social Media Research. Project aim: “To illustrate the benefits and strengths of social media research” What do we mean by social media research? For the purposes of this project we are taking a relatively narrow definition of social media research. We are looking at the examination of naturally occurring social media activity in order to learn about markets, brands, services, and people. Some participants in the project will probably use large-scale social media listening and analytics to create their solutions. Others may choose to adopt a netnographic approach and analyse a limited number of online activities, in depth, qualitatively. Method: In order to highlight the opportunities and benefits of social media research we are going to use a dummy project. Each collaborator will use their take on the dummy project in order to highlight the way they approach social media research. The […]

Lottery Cartoon

What does communicating results mean?

Over the last 20 years the understanding of what communicating market research results means has changed. It used to be something that described what the researcher delivered. Today, the focus is on what is understood and what actions result from it. The old view of communicating results Communicating market research results used to mean producing something that: Was clearly written Had all the relevant information Had clear recommendations Communicating was viewed as an output. Indeed market researchers often used the term ‘deliverables’ to describe this output. When the communication was delivered, the job was done. However, that has changed. Communication is about what is heard, not what is said! Consider the cartoon below. The researcher in the cartoon might feel she had communicated the findings quite clearly. However, the reaction to the report was not the outcome the researcher hoped for – which means the communication failed. Evaluating communication Communication must be evaluated in terms of the message that has been received by the recipient, and ideally by the actions the recipient then takes. In the lottery example above, the minimum goal for the researcher is for the client to understand that the research says playing the lottery is foolish. […]


MRMW in APAC – Summary by Stephen Paton

This is a guest blog post from Stephen Paton, Manager Insights AGL, who attended the recent MRMW Conference in Singapore. I was lucky enough to attend and present at the recent Merlien Institute’s Mobile Research Mobile World (MRMW) Asia Pacific conference in Singapore on March 10 -12 March. Singapore is a nice central place for an Asian conference and the venue at Grand Park City Hall was not only comfortable but close enough for me to do all the shopping I needed to do to keep the family happy on my return. The chance to visit Singapore is always attractive and obviously others agree with a large Aussie representation amongst the 17 countries represented from as far away as Europe, the UK and the USA. This being my first MRMW and not being very familiar with the format I arrived in the Lion City with no real expectations but hopeful of making new contacts, enjoying myself and learning something new. Let’s face it in this day and age we have so many options to learn at our desks when we make the commitment to attend a conference we need more than just the information. You come to a conference to […]


Why did the penny-farthing have a large front wheel – Illustrating insight from data

Posted by Ray Poynter, 6 April 2015 ‘What is an insight?’ and ‘What’s the difference between a finding and an insight?’ are two questions I am often asked. Typical definitions of insight in the context of marketing and market research tend to include concepts like: Novel, does it tell you something you did not see before? Why/how, does it provide an explanation of how something works, not just a description of what it does? Capable of being actioned, in particular in ways that create impact. Generalisable; is it specific to the case under investigation, or can it be applied elsewhere? However, it may make it clearer if I share an example of something I think is an insight, all about Victorian bicycles. Why did a penny-farthing bicycle have such a big wheel? Penny-farthing bicycles (or high wheelers), like the one in the image, were very fashionable in countries such as UK and USA from the mid-1870s, for just under 20 years. These bicycles were hard to mount, tricky to ride, and resulted in many injuries (the term ‘header’ was used for people who fell forward off the bike). With all of these limitations, why did this this type of bicycle […]


Copy Copy Copy: asking “What kinda?” questions rather than “how big/small/loud/quiet?”

Guest blog by Mark Earls, who will be presenting a webinar on this topic on Thursday April 16 – click here to register. Boom time The last decade has been boom-time for insights professionals who embrace innovation. Whereas back in the 2000s, many in our community were still angst-ing about the impact of doing online surveys and groups on the quality of the data; today, we are awash with new techniques and new frameworks (from neuroscience to semantic analysis, from agent-based modelling to emotional response). Just look at the changing agendas of any of the many insights conferences around the world to see how far we’ve come. Some of this flourishing is down to the continuous outpouring of new insights into our specialist subject (human behaviour) from the cognitive and behavioural sciences which has called into question many of the assumptions behind established research practices. Equally, changes in available technology are also driving innovation (some of it, it must be said, seem more like technology in search of a solution, than market-led innovation). And of course demand-side pressures continue to draw out new practice: the need to provide more powerful techniques to “get behind” the consumer and their unreliability as […]

Brave Researchers? Help us to celebrate their stories.

Guest Post by Fiona Blades & John Griffiths When was the last time you described a market researcher as brave? We are not firefighters, soldiers, or disaster relief workers. Yet, market researchers are performing acts of bravery that also deserve recognition. Virginia Valentine was a pioneering woman who brought semiotics to the market research industry through persistence and dedication. Though she won many awards in market research, the one that meant the most to her was the one she received for being a research revolutionary from her peers at the Research Liberation Front event in 2007. When Ginny died, it seemed fitting to commemorate her achievements and honor her tremendous spirit. Thus, in 2012, the Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Award was established. Since then, the many stories that have come to light have been inspiring. For example, many clients and market research agencies are ignorant to the dangers that can be faced by fieldworkers on the front line. In 2012, ESOMAR nominated ORCA, a market research agency based in Afghanistan, which works to collect unbiased data out of this country. In doing so, two of ORCA’s employees were killed on suspicion of being American spies. In 2014, a fieldworker […]