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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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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