Virtual Reality Headset

Do you know how to assess innovations in market research and insights?

Posted by Ray Poynter, 1 November 2018 We are surrounded by new approaches to understanding customers and markets, for example: behavioural economics, automated facial coding, neuroscience, chatbots, passive tracking, Artificial Intelligence, and of course big data. However, evaluating these new options is becoming ever harder, because there are so many of them, and because they make claims that are based on technologies that are hard for non-experts to understand. In this post, I want to share some of the techniques I use to assess innovations in market research and insight. In essence, I look at the following issues: Can it be provided by multiple suppliers? If an innovation can only be utilised via one supplier, it is much less likely to be successful, and I am much less likely to recommend it. Good innovations benefit from competition, prices come down when there is competition, and the diffusion into a market is accelerated if several solutions are available. When online surveys burst on the scene, we could use several different platforms to write the surveys, and choose between several difference panel companies for the sample – this promoted adoption, and cost reductions. Does it increase speed and/or reduce net price? In […]

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 […]

Keyboard with New Skills

Courses and Workshop with NewMR – 2018

Posted by NewMR, 17 October, 2018 Sue York and Ray Poynter are widely involved in a wide range of training initiatives and consultancy, with NewMR and a variety of organisations including trade bodies, client-side companies and research suppliers. In this post, we highlight some of the courses we are currently offering to your company or organisation. Using Social Media to Build Your Brand Australian-based Sue York, who is one of the most connected insights professionals in the APAC region (see here and here), will show you how you can use Twitter and LinkedIn to build your brand. The workshop covers: Creating an impactful and memorable profile; How to find the relevant discourses; Finding your voice; and, using tools to increase the impact and reduce the workload. The workshop can be delivered as a half or full-day session at your offices (in Australia or within the APAC region), as a series of online lectures, as an e-learning course, or as consultancy. For more information about this course, or to find out about availability and costs, email admin@newmr.org.   Five Courses for Insight Professionals UK-based Ray Poynter, has selected the five courses/workshops that are currently the most requested: Find and Communicate the Story […]

Clapper Board with Building a Personal Brand as its message

Hints for Building a Personal Brand

To read the Japanese version of this post (from Mr Ryota Sano) click here. Post by Ray Poynter, 31 January 2018 On Friday, 9 February 2018, Sue York and I are presented a webinar on how to build a personal brand in the market research and insights space, click here to find out more. In the run-up to this webinar I posted a series of tips (on LinkedIn) for people wanting to develop a brand. This post is the collection of posts and some news about a course that Sue York and I are running on this topic. Hint 1 – Research Your Field Before you start creating a brand it is important to understand what other people are doing. For this hint I am simply going to point you to a great post by a new face Ella Beaumont, showing how she systematically researched the MR scene and set about creating her plan. Hint 2 – Be positive and supportive Most people who have created a successful personal brand in the market research space are almost all positive and supportive people, people like Leonard Murphy and Kristin Luck. In the F2F world, make a positive comment when something is […]

Social Media Banner

Social Media in 2017, Not much change, but lots of progress

Last week I attended the MRS Social Media Summit in London, and was struck by something that at first seems to be a contradiction – not much change over the last seven years, but lots of progress. Not much change! Back in 2010, I published The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research. Nothing presented at the Summit was fundamentally different from the picture in 2010, in terms of the aims of the tools, the range of approaches adopted etc. Lots of progress! Compared with 2010, researchers and research users are much better at using social media in a research context, in particular using blended techniques that use social media in conjunction with other approaches. Social media hasn’t changed, it has simply got better. Key Themes from the Summit The one day MRS Summit, well curated and chaired by Marc Brenner, provided several interesting themes and lessons for research providers and users alike, including: Blended research is often the key to success Social media is more than just Twitter WOM is more than just Social Media The human element is still essential Blended Research The main theme of the day was the benefit of blending social media research with other […]

Blue sky and parachute

How did my predictions for 2016 fare?

I have just published Five Market Research Trends for 2017, covering issues that I think will be important over the next year. So, it seemed only fair to look back to this time last year to see how my previous predictions performed. A year ago I published “My Predictions for 2016”, which contained nine predictions. Here is an assessment of how I think those predictions performed. 1) Bigger Legal Problems for Facebook and Google. This has been true in the sense that they have faced a growing number of court cases, especially in Europe, along with investigations into their poor records in terms of paying tax. However, the problems they have faced have not markedly impacted their ability to grow or make money. 2) Automation. We saw lots of movement on Automation in 2016 and that trend looks likely to continue into 2017 (check out the NewMR Debate on Automation being held as part of the Festival of NewMR). 3) Surveys will continue to suffer. This is a slightly tricky one to judge. Each year for the last few years (according to the EOSMAR Global Market Research Report) surveys have become a smaller part of the total research mix, but […]

Koi banners

Five Market Research Trends for 2017

At this time of year our thoughts turn to what will excite and challenge us in 2017. Here are my five top picks. Automation This has been one of the key trends for the last couple of years, although much of the action has been out of sight; taking place in the operational backrooms of clients and agencies. Earlier this year, Lenny Murphy and I published a report on Automation, and I see little reason to change our view on the scale and direction of change. Automation is going to underpin most success stories over the next few years. At its best it will reduce costs, increase speed, and provide an opportunity to provide more evidence-based decision making. In some cases automation will result in a less good product, but in may cases the standardisation will enhance quality, as will the ability to provide relevant answers at the speed and cost needed and the ability to scale things up. Insight Finding Data is getting cheaper and more abundant, but techniques for finding the story in the data have barely moved forward in the last thirty years. That is beginning to change, as evidenced by the popularity of our series on […]

Ray Poynter

My Predictions for 2016

Despite Nobel prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr’s advice that ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future’, here are my predictions for 2016. 1) Bigger Legal Problems for Google and Facebook This year has shown an escalation in problems for Google, Facebook and other major players. European Governments seem to be getting into their stride, Governments as diverse (and repressive) as Turkey, Russia, and China are putting obstacles in the way of the hegemony that has been created by the major platforms. One judge in Brazil took WhatsApp away from 90 million users for 48 hours with a bang of his gavel. I think this will get more common in 2016, firstly with more fines, secondly with more restrictions, and possibly with jail sentences. These altercations will have implications for people using cloud services, the free flow of data internationally, and probably on the options for marketing to and speaking with people. 2) Automation The big push is (and always has been) for Cheaper, Faster, Better, but in most cases the real winners are cheaper and faster and good enough (to borrow a phrase from Zappistore’s Stephen Phillips). How do you achieve cheaper, faster and good enough? Automation! Expect to see […]