Bringing Qualitative Research Expertise To Forrester’s Market Insights Team

As the newest addition to the Market Insights team, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lindsey Colella, and I recently joined Forrester as a Senior Community Manager.

It is a pleasure to “meet” all of you, and I look forward to many future interactions and discussions regarding market research. My background is in qualitative research and, in particular, cultivating insights through online community management. I take great pleasure in showing clients the value of qualitative and online community research and bringing them to a new level in understanding consumer behavior.

As some of you may know, Forrester runs its own online research community for two purposes — to conduct proprietary research as well as to run custom client research projects, both of which I manage. Our proprietary research is a monthly document called Community Speaks that discusses trends in consumer behavior. This product provides a unique offering because I work closely with expert analysts who provide additional insight around the findings.

As an example, I published a document last month covering how brands should engage consumers via social networking sites. A key finding from this report is that for a brand, earning a “like” is in fact the easy part but keeping that “like” is even harder. The key to maintaining a “like” from consumers is to provide information and promotional offers that relate to their interests. As one of our community members shares:

“I have unliked a lot of brands lately. There are just too many on Facebook to like. I try to limit liking brands that I actually use and interact with often and would benefit from learning more about that brand.”

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The Data Digest: Consumers' Attitude Towards Online Privacy And Security

Over the weekend, one of the most reputable online retailers in the US, Zappos, broke the news that its database was hacked and that the information for about 24 million user accounts was breached.

How do stories like this affect consumers’ attitude toward online privacy? In our August 2011 Community Speaks Qualitative Insights report, “Consumer And Online Privacy: How Much Information Is Too Much?” (available for Community Speaks subscribers only), we found that online privacy is one of the most concerning topics in online users’ minds. Two-thirds of US online consumers report being very concerned about the recording and collection of their personal details by websites. 

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Hello Mobile Market Research. Where Have You Been? What Took You So Long?

My colleague Reineke Reitsma and I have been championing mobile market research for quite some time. In fact, we published the first Forrester report on this emerging and innovative methodology back in 2009. In the report, Reineke wrote about the value of its mobility and flexibility to gather insights into consumers’ behavior anytime and anywhere. And for mainstream adoption to occur, hurdles such as cost, technology, privacy, and representation must be addressed.

At that time, I thought the growth of mobile market research was soon upon us. I was off by about 2 years. But 2011 was a turning point for mobile market research. We started 2011 with seeing the number of global shipments of smartphones and tablets surpassing the global shipment of desktop and notebook PCs. Blog posts and Twitter chatter under the #mobilemr hashtag increased significantly. In July 2011 there was the first formal debate about the merits of this new technology. And also in July there was a conference completely dedicated to how early adopters have leveraged mobile market research.

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The Data Digest: Understanding The Changing Needs Of Online Consumers In Asia Pacific

Recently, my colleague Olesia Klevchuk published a report about the behaviors of consumers in India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, called 'Understanding The Changing Needs Of Online Consumers In Asia Pacific'. Forrester has been tracking consumer online behavior in Asia Pacific for six years now. In 2011, we polled Asia Pacific consumers in two separate surveys to find out about their use of the Internet for media, entertainment, shopping, communications, and social computing.

This year's Asia Pacific data shows continuous growth in the amount of time consumers spend with online media, including widespread adoption of social activities, as well as growing importance of the mobile phone. For consumers in Asia Pacific, PCs at home and high-speed Internet connections are becoming the norm.

In metropolitan China and Japan, at least nine in 10 adults have access to a computer at home, and almost eight in 10 are already online. In metropolitan India, the numbers are much lower, with only 27% regularly going online. But India is a populous country, and there are currently around 100 million online users, which puts it in third place after China and the US.

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Global Social Technographics Update 2011: US And EU Mature, Emerging Markets Show Lots Of Activity

Last month George Colony, CEO of Forrester, talked about a “Social Thunderstorm” at the LeWeb conference in Paris. He argued that social is running out of hours and running out of people. What does that mean? Well, the second one is easy: The vast majority of consumers around the world who have access to a computer use social media. And the first one? George goes on to say that Americans are spending more time on social media than volunteering, praying, talking on the phone, emailing, or even exercising.

With so many people spending so much time on social media, it is crucial for companies to understand how their customers use social media. We just released our newest report, Social Media Adoption In 2011, which reveals the latest trends.

The report illustrates how consumers are using social media by applying our Social Technographics® global classification system. The graphic below illustrates this framework. We classify consumers into seven groups based on online activities, and consumers can fall into several different groups. Only Inactives are an exclusive group.

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