Photo of Ray Poynter trail running

Does Running Damage Your Heart? Another example of the problems of using observational data to infer cause and effect.

Back in 2012, there were several research papers that suggested that running for more than about 20 miles a week was either not giving any benefit, or, worse still, it could be damaging hearts and making death more likely. The key sources were a piece of research by Dr Duck-chul Lee with 50,000 patients (presented at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 59th Annual Meeting 2012, see The Not-So-Long Run: Mortality Benefit of Running Less Than 20 Miles per Week) and heart findings from Dr James O’Keefe that looked at issues such as fibrosis, calcified arteries, and arrhythmias. This was picked up by a joyful media, with stories about how running was bad for you, and that anything other than a small amount of exercise was either useless or damaging. However, as is often the case with observational data (as opposed to control and test experiments), there were several problems with the conclusions. The key problem with Lee’s study was identified in 2013 by Dr Thomas Weber. In the sample of 50,000 people there were some long distance runners, for example, marathon runners. Lee wanted to assess these people against the non-runners and the occasional runners. However, he needed […]

Chart showing ice cream sales

What is the Counterfactual? – Why do we need to assess it?

Posted by Ray Poynter 19 October 2018 If we are told that a before a marketing campaign the sales were at 10,000 units a month, and after the campaign sales are 20,000 units a month, then it is easy to assume that the campaign has increased sales by 10,000 units a month, or by 100%. However, this is an example of the classic fallacy “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (which is Latin for ‘after this, therefore because of this’. Consider the chart below, an edited and anonymised version of a presentation I saw at a conference last year. The chart was presented by the head of social media to the head of insight in a company selling ice cream. The head of social media protested that the spend on social media advertising should be maintained at a high level. He pointed out that when social media advertising was increased sales, increased, and when the advertising budget was cut, the sales dropped. Therefore, the advertising budget should be increased, so that the advertising could be maintained at the higher level. However, the head of insight took out her pen and scribbled onto the chart three words and images, as in the […]

Ray Poynter working in Cafe

The Difference Between Customer Focused and Customer Centricity?

To read the Japanese version of this post (from Mr Ryota Sano) click here. Posted by Ray Poynter, 6 April 2018 Last week I was asked about the difference between customer focused and customer centric. For many people, these two terms are almost interchangeable, but if you dig into the literature and advice there are some subtle but important differences. This post looks at the differences between customer focused and customer centricity – and identifies where customer centricity is taking centre stage. The trend in customer centricity, compared with customer focused, is illustrated by the data from Google Trends shown below. The key change to keep in mind is that markets have moved from product centricity to customer centricity. Companies used to focus on design, on manufacturing, and logistics. In the days when products and services could achieve a clear product/service difference that was clear, sustainable, and beneficial – a product-centric approach made sense. Today, we have informed consumers, competitive markets, and few tangible product/service benefits – which has resulted in the focus shifting to customers. So, what is the difference in customer centricity and customer focused, and why might you favour customer centricity? Here are my five key differences. 1 […]

Image of a Temple Gate

Hints for Presenting at International Conference

Earlier this week I attended the IIeX APAC Conference in Thailand and it was a fantastic event – I strongly recommend it for next year. Although most of the presentations were great, there were occasional reminders about things that presenters need to be aware of when presenting at conferences, and in particular at international events. Make your first couple of sentences clear, welcoming, and redundant. When you first start to speak, the audience needs to tune in to your voice, to assess your speed and volume, and get used to your accent. If you have a truly international audience, there is a good chance that 50% of the room will not really understand your first couple of sentences – that is why they should be redundant. For example, I might start a presentation about the ESOMAR Pricing Study with something like “Good morning, my name is Ray Poynter, and I am based in the UK. Today, I am going to be exciting you with five important messages from the ESOMAR Pricing Study”. This sets the tone, is polite, is redundant, and allows the audience to tune in to my voice and pronunciation. Avoid words, examples and metaphors that might be […]

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Why you should subscribe to NewMR’s newsletter?

Every week NewMR sends out one or two newsletters/updates that we think you will find useful. You can subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here. Last week’s mailing included: How to access the slides and recordings from our recent webinar on Artificial Intelligence and Market Research (8 great presentations). How to become a speaker at NewMR’s Festival of NewMR, to be held in February 2018. Three new webinars to be held this year: Maximising Mobile, New! But Not Tech, and Beyond Market Research. So if you want to be aware of all the new resources, of the chances to speak at events, and hear about new blog posts, subscribe to NewMR’s mailing. You can access last week’s newsletter by clicking here.

104 Facts You Don’t Know About Mobile Marketing

Guest blog by Megan Arevalo, WebsiteBuilder.org As well as the post below, Megan has contributed a really useful infographic about Mobile Marketing, click on the image to see all 104 facts. 5 Expert Tips on Maximizing your Mobile Marketing Strategy Before anything else, it is important to point out the fact that right now, mobile marketing represents one of the newest forms of marketing available, yet regardless of this, it has also grown to be one of the most popular methods being used all around the world. Some of the main benefits associated with mobile marketing include the fact that marketers can send location, but also time-sensitive pieces of information to users, via numerous channels including SMS, push-notifications, MMS, Bluetooth, QR codes, in-app advertising and more. Therefore, marketers can promote products and services, while also encouraging people to purchase, establishing a form of brand loyalty and increasing brand awareness. In a recent brief, published by the folks behind Website Builder, they have shed some light on the history of mobile marketing, its future and what some of the wisest tips for maximizing your mobile marketing strategy are. Without further ado, here are five expert tips that will surely boost your […]

iq.com

Having a look at 1Q.com – a mobile-based survey service

Last week I had was invited to have a play with the 1Q.com system, an innovative and new alternative for market researchers and marketers. 1Q.com is a panel, currently with a North American focus, that operates via consumer’s phones. Like a growing number of new survey and micro-survey options the 1Q.com platform is very DIY. You can log in, specify the sample, the questions you want to ask, pay with a credit card and launch a survey, all within a few minutes. The system also allows geo targeting. One feature of the platform is that it pushes clients, strongly, to use very short surveys in two ways: 1. The pricing model is per question, per participant. So, 1 question to 1000 people costs the same 2 questions to 500 people. This is likely to make people think hard about how many questions they need. Further questions can be asked in the future to people who take part in surveys, via the DIY platform – this can be done in a way that creates a virtual panel of your own. Market Research And Marketers? For a few years now I have been predicting that marketing and market research will become more […]