Conversations on the Future of Ad Agencies

As technology has taken a bite out of the creative work that ad agencies did for so many years, there has been a lot of discussion as to whether agencies are headed for extinction or what the new role of the ad agency is.

Recently, I was interviewed for an article in Advertising Age — where I talked about the DIY Marketing trend and how it has taken a slice of the traditional ad agency pie.  I later had to come back and add the REST of my comment that didn’t make it into the article — that agencies have tremendous opportunities in this new world of marketing.  You’ll want to check out the comments just to see how emotional some of the responses are.

Now, check out this article over at Research Access where our resident expert, Steven Salta from Ascentium Corporation, The Experience Agency™, gives us his thoughts on the future of advertising and agencies.

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Are We Practicing “Infographics” Like the Cavemen?

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the new Research Access Blog,  I encourage you to visit.

There, you’ll find brain massaging articles, essays and information on research from some different perspectives.

Last week, Alex Gofman, Vice President of Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. wrote an interesting essay on early graphic “infographics” a visual representation of information.

After reading this article, I found it interesting that we seem to be evolving somewhat full circle as we strive to take quantitative data and make it more consumable by the use of presentations, video, slides and other visual “infographics”.

Read more about infographics at Research Access…

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ResearchAccess – Online Resource for Market Research and Customer Intelligence

I am very excited to invite you to the launch of ResearchAccess – An online resource for to discuss, learn and share ideas and thoughts on Market Research, Customer Intelligence and in general the science of feedback. You are receiving this email because you’ve signed up or expressed interest in one of our core products and services  –  Survey Analytics.

As part of the launch, we are giving away a free book – Online Surveys for Dummies to the first 500 subscribers to the site.

We also have a Free iPad for you!  –

Forward Thinking Content:
We’ve lined up a great group of writers, thinkers and practitioners to contribute to the site:

  • Alex Gofman — Author the best-selling book “Selling Blue Elephants” and Pace University professor.
  • Andrew Jeavons — Managing Director of Nebu — Contributing writer for ESOMAR Research World
  • Steven Salta — President of Ascentium
  • Mike Pitchard – President of 5 Circles Research

Research TV:
An online Video only channel focused on online research, its future, tips and tricks that make it work. We will be conducting a series of interviews as well as showcasing great tutorials on different aspects of Customer feedback, market research and analytics. Here’s what is playing currently:

Contributing to Research Access (and getting free PR):
We realize the success of ResearcAccess is fundamentally dependent on you (well – ok on traffic but you get the point) – To that end, we are making a few channels of visibility available to everyone:

Contributing Writers – We plan on regularly inviting guest authors, thinkers and practitioners to post on ResearchAccess – If you’d like to contribute regularly please see this link:

Industry Voices –  We plan on introduce another section on the site that is dedicated to CEO’s of companies in the Market Research and Customer Intelligence business. More information here:

Research TV Interviews – We plan on getting a series of interviews of rock-stars in the MR and Customer Feedback business. Please see this link below to be considered interviewed.

Thanks for listening. If you’d like to subscribe to updates to ResearchAccess:

Twitter: @researchaccess

You’ve Had the Ask. Now Here’s the Listen!

A Google search on your company or brand is elementary in this digital era and finding a mention on a blog or a re-tweet on Twitter is still pretty simple. Point is: finding and counting brand mentions are easy – the next step is something researchers have not quite harnessed yet, until now.

Social Voice, recently devised by the social media market research experts at Peanut Labs and Conversation Strategies, represents the next generation of market research. A product designed for researchers by researchers, Social Voice allows researchers to scientifically measure opinions registered in social media.

While there are many programs available to monitor customer sentiment, Social Voice provides the necessary variables to transform unstructured social media conversations into data that mirrors traditional survey research data. Grounded on scientific fundamentals, Social Voice empowers researchers to:

  • Now easily access social media data…
    • Gather millions of records from thousands of website sources.
    • Take advantage of Social Voice data quality processes that identify only quality data.
    • Obtain continuous sentiment scoring for every record.
    • Utilize over 1200 predefined constructs as well as custom constructs tailored to meet each client’s needs.
    • Apply unique processes…
      • Choose the quantity and diversity of data that meets specific needs.
      • Use the same statistical programs applied to survey data.
      • Apply similar modeling to all data sources.
      • Produce data tables that match desired outputs.
      • Standardize box scores to exact specifications.

A call to all researchers out there, Social Voice speaks the same language as traditional market research. What is the difference, you ask? It uses social media conversations as its source of information – going beyond social media monitoring, researchers can now conduct fundamentally sound “social media market research” by both asking and listening.

About the Author: Sean Case leads the market research division of Peanut Labs, Inc. This includes managing the company’s client services, sales and marketing team. He has over 15 years of experience in sales, management and operational development both inside and outside the market research industry and brings over six years of experience within online market research.

WEBINAR: Effective Use of Online Survey Tools in the Innovation Process

Webinar Presentation
Thursday June 17th, 2010
9:00AM PST

Looking for ways to bring innovation to your company without going over budget?

It’s been proven that customer-driven innovation requires a steady flow of real insight from real customers. However, to be successful, the right questions and techniques must be used for each stage of innovation. If used correctly, cost-effective online survey methods can become an essential tool to consistently deliver new, valuable products and services.

Join Survey Analytics and Planning Innovations for this one-hour webinar on how cost-effective online tools can be used throughout the innovation process to identify needs, explore solutions, and validate concepts.

1)       How can online surveys be used in the discovery process to fuel innovation?

2)       How should your survey techniques change throughout the innovation process?

3)       What kind of questions can actually limit your ability to innovate?

This webinar will answer these questions and more as well as provide a forum to discuss specific challenges.


About the Presenters:

Dorian Simpson founded Planning Innovations in 2002 to help technology-driven companies launch successful products and services through focused innovation management and planning. He has significant experience in both engineering and marketing to help build the bridge between these two critical innovation functions.

Esther LaVielle is a Senior Account Manager at QuestionPro and Survey Analytics, which was started in 2002 inSeattle and is now one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to her adventure at QuestionPro she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager at the Gilmore Research Group.

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DIY Research: Has Self-Service Killed Traditional Market Research?

By Nancy Pekala Director of Online Content Editor, Marketing Researchers

Today’s market researchers are finding themselves in the middle of a do-it-yourself world. A variety of low-cost research tools and services are now available and are becoming increasingly attractive to clients, product managers and service delivery professionals alike. A shift away from full project outsourcing to self-service seems to be now underway. To understand how this paradigm shift will be affecting market research professionals in the present and future, Marketing Researchers spoke exclusively with two thought leaders in the industry:

Vivek Bhaskaran, Founding Member and CEO of Survey Analytics, one of the industry’s leading providers of web-based research technologies. As Chief Executive Officer, he plays a key role in defining the company strategy and using technology and innovation continuously to maintain its leadership in the industry.

Dr. Sanja Licina, Senior Director of Talent Intelligence and Consulting with She is leading Personified’s cutting edge talent management consulting efforts and is responsible for building progressive thought leadership models that provide insight into the current workplace, talent market, recruitment, diversity and employment branding.

Below is a full transcript of the discussion, which also is available in podcast form at To hear more insights from Vivek Bhaskaran and Dr. Sanja Licina, register for the AMA’s free Virtual Event, “Unveiling Marketing Research’s Future Online”.

Link to Podcast Page

Link to Full Transcript

Link to Marketing Researchers newsletter article

Link to Full Marketing Researchers newsletter

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Research TV: Trends and Challenges in Research

Guy Currier runs Market Research for Ziff Davis Enterprise.   Vivek Bhaskaran and Guy discuss some of the biggest trends and challenges in market research today.

To see the video and read more interesting articles and essays on market research click over to Research Access.

Max-Diff Scaling is a Great New Way to Really Measure Importance

One of my favorite types of questions is the “importance” question.  Questions like: “How important is it that your car makes a statement about you?”

Rating how important an attribute is to your audience is critical when developing marketing messages.  But the way we analyze these attributes always seems to fall short.   This is where Max-Diff scaling comes in.  Think of it as a conjoint “lite” for when you want to measure preference and trade-off without the hassles of pricing, features and benefits.

Want to know more?  Check out the video featured on our new space Research Access….

Additional Links:
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May 2010 Consumer Trends Focus on the New Expression of Status

One of my favorite resources for overall trend information is Trendwatching.

Although they focus on consumer trends, we are all consumers and the trends they feature here are a precursor to how purchasers and buying centers within the industrial world will be seeing the world.

This quarter’s trends are:

  1. Bigger and Better: Consuming the most and the most expensive.  No middle of the road with these consumers.  If they have it, they will flaunt it.  Don’t forget about the global marketplace.  China and India like to consume as much as the West.  This is a terrific niche opportunity for those companies that are in the luxury business.
  2. Generosity:  Humans are a funny animal.  If the economy is down and you can’t flaunt your cash with cars, furs and gold – then be generous and flaunt THAT.
  3. Greener and less consumption: Green is still in and, following in its footsteps is the idea of unconsumption — consuming less.  Focus your new product and service development in areas where consumers can feel like they will get many uses out of what you offer.
  4. Being in the know and having skills is hot and trendy.  This trend gives whole new meaning to “who you know” being more important than what you know.  The idea is to be included in the inner circle of trends, tools and resources and then lead other people to the goodies.  Another extension of this trend is brands, products and services that help your audience build their skills and expertise.
  5. Connectivity as a trend is on the heels of being in the know, being part of the inner circle.  Relationships and knowledge is built and shared between communities.  Products and brands that help people connect and build their relationships will do well in the coming months.

Read more on these and other trends in Trendwatching’s latest report.

Source: One of the world’s leading trend firms, sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.

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