Ben Blatt's book

Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve – a book market researchers should read

To read the Japanese version of this post (from Mr Ryota Sano) click here. Post by Ray Poynter, 28 March 2018 Ben Blatt’s book, Nabokov’s Favourite Word Is Mauve is a good read, and a read I would recommend to any market researcher who wanted to widen his or her horizons in ways that challenged their ‘within-the-box thinking’. The book is, on the face of it, a quantitative review of different characteristics of literature. But do not panic, Blatt’s work does not reduce great literature to a set of soulless and unfeeling numbers. The success of the book is that it makes the reader think about authors like Hemingway and Austen, Rowling and Joyce in new and interesting ways. The book explores several characteristics of writing to provide additional perspectives on things we already know. For example, Blatt devotes his first chapter to exploring whether the advice to use adverbs sparingly is supported by success or otherwise of authors and books. In his analysis, he quickly homes in on ‘ly’ adverbs, such as ‘suddenly’ and ‘quickly’. He starts his analysis by looking at a list of successful authors and contrasting their use of adverbs, for example Ernest Hemmingway and Mark Twain […]

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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 […]

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 […]

Social Media, Curation and a Personal Brand – 3 hot topics for 2016

In November our thoughts stray to 2016 as we try to guess the key topics we should be following next year. Here are three topics that I think will be big in 2016. Curation As data becomes ever more plentiful the need to organise that data becomes greater. Curation is what turns a junk shop into a collection, it turns random scribblings into an anthology, and it terms disparate strands of data into a resource to help organisations make better decisions. 2016 is going to be a big year for curation. Insight is the flashy and useful product, but curation is the hard work that facilitates insight. Curation is going to be covered further by Martina Olbertova in the NewMR Webinar ‘Embracing the Future’ Social Media Social media as tool for insight has had a bad couple of years, a direct consequence of excessive hype from some vendors and the frequent misconception that listening to social is a) cheap and b) a replacement for most other forms of insight gathering. However, the pendulum is swinging back in favour of social media as an insight tool and 2016 looks set to be a sort of ‘Social Media 2.0’. There are several […]

Eleven Things Research Pros Should Know about Sentiment Analysis

Guest post by Seth Grimes. Seth Grimes is an analytics strategy consultant with Washington DC based Alta Plana Corporation. He is founding chair of the Text Analytics Summit (2005-13), the Sentiment Analysis Symposium (next event July 15-16, 2015 in New York), and the LT-Accelerate conference (November 25-26, 2015 in Brussels). Sentiment analysis has been portrayed, variously, as a linchpin of the New MR and as snake oil that produces pseudo-insights that are little better than divination. Who’s right? Me, I’m with the first camp. Automated sentiment analysis, powered by text analytics, infuses explanatory power into stale Likert-reliant methodologies and allows researchers to stay on top of fast emerging trends, and to tap the unprompted voice of the customer, via social listening. I suspect that most in the second, nay-sayer camp have distorted ideas of sentiment analysis capabilities and limitations. These ideas have perhaps been engendered by extravagant and unsupported claims made by less-than-capable solution providers. Whatever their source, I’ve take it on myself to debunk them, to give a truer sense of the technology. We aim to encourage appropriate use of sentiment technologies and to discourage their misuse. Call the effort market education. I do a lot of it, via […]

What’s hot in market research?

One of the questions I get asked most often is “What’s hot in market research?”. The updated was broadcasted on Wednesday 20 August. Access the slides and recordings from our Play Again page. But here is a sneak peek into what is hot, still hot, bubbling under the surface, and not so hot. Still Hot It is important when looking at the ‘new stuff’ not to ignore stuff that has been around for a while, but which is still growing in market share, importance, and usage: Mobiles in traditional research. Mobile is a big and growing part of CATI, online surveys, and F2F – this trend has a long way to go yet. Communities. Communities (including Insight Communities and MROCs) have been the fastest growing major new research approach for a few years now, and this is going to continue. DIY. We hear less about DIY these days, that is probably because it has become normal, this sector is growing, both in terms of part of being a key part of existing MR and partly because it is growing the scope of market research. Hot! These are three of the items that I think are the hottest topics in MR, in […]

Why social media mining and monitoring have met with limited success in Market Research?

OK, let’s get one thing clear from the outset; I am not saying social media mining and monitoring (the collection and automated analysis of quantitative amounts of naturally occurring text from social media) has met with no success. But, I am saying that in market research the success has been limited. In this post I will highlight a couple of examples of success, but I will then illustrate why, IMHO, it has not had the scale of success in market research that many people had predicted, and finally share a few thoughts on where the quantitative use of social media mining and monitoring might go next. Some successes There have been some successes and a couple of examples are: Assessing campaign or message break through. Measuring social media can be a great way to see if anybody is talking about a campaign or not, and of checking whether they are talking about the salient elements. However, because of some of the measurement challenges (more on these below) the measurement often ends up producing a three level result, a) very few mentions, b) plenty of mentions, c) masses of mentions. In terms of content the measures tend to be X mentions […]

Opportunities and Threats for Market Research

To help celebrate the Festival of NewMR we are posting a series of blogs from market research thinkers and leaders from around the globe. These posts will be from some of the most senior figures in the industry to some of the newest entrants into the research world. A number of people have already agreed to post their thoughts, and the first will be posted later today. But, if you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to submit a post. To submit a post, email a picture, bio, and 300 – 600 words on the theme of “Opportunities and Threats faced by Market Research” to Posts in this series The following posts have been received and posted: MR – growing…growing…going…? – Nasir Khan MR Threats and Opportunities from a People Perspective – Liz Norman Opportunities and threats facing the market research industry – David Smith It’s the Behavior, Stupid: What is the single biggest threat to market research? – Neil Gains Opportunities and Threats in Market Research – Hannah Mumby Threats and opportunities for Market Research: Market research, communicated… – Lucy Davison Opportunities and Threats in a Brave New Market Research World – Edward Appleton Opportunities […]