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At the end of October I hosted a Consumer Market Research Track Session at the Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago, and one of the speakers was Gian Fulgoni, CEO from Comscore.
For years, a debate has raged in the online space about the merits of panel-centric versus site-centric measurement, and with companies now trying to get a grip on the behavior of consumers across multiple channels, measurement complexity will only increase. Gian showed a slide that nicely summarizes the debate between site measurement (Web analytics) and audience measurement (panel based):
Seventy-seven percent of online consumers have Internet, TV, and phone services. Data from our North American Technographics Mobile And Telecom Online Survey, Q3 2009 shows that of this group, about a third receive all three services within a bundle. Consumers who have a triple-play contract have a higher household income and are more likely to have children.
Recently I did some interviews with consumer market researchers to better understand what’s on their minds. One of the issues that kept coming up in the conversations was around the lack of influence on the follow-up on research results. One person summed it up quite nicely: “We’ve done this great project, got valuable insights, delivered the results, discussed conclusions and possible actions, got lots of praise and then … nothing happens”. It was the biggest frustration across all researchers I've talked to: how can you make people act upon the research results?
Payment preferences still vary widely across European countries. Data from our European Technographics Retail, Customer Experience, And Travel Online Survey, Q3 2009 shows that payment patterns are partly determined by whether domestic debit cards can be used to shop online. In markets where debit cards work online, they are the most popular online payment method. In markets where debit cards don’t work online, online shoppers seek alternatives. Online payment services like PayPal are on the rise in Europe: 36% of online buyers regularly used PayPal in 2009 compared with 26% in 2006, while cash on delivery is used less.
Last week I co-hosted a session at Forrester's Consumer Forum on innovative research. John Kearon, CEO of Brainjuicer, lead a discussion with panel members Sion Agami from Procter and Gamble, Jan Angel from Altria and Bob Pankauskas from Allstate.
These three market researchers shared how introducing innovations to the research mix lead to additional insights and increased commitment from senior management. But it's not always easy. Some best practices they've shared with the audience:
Social networking, watching user-created video, and listening to user-created audio online are at the top of social media activities that youth engage in at least monthly. Data from our Technographics online US Youth survey shows that boys and girls use social media in different ways.
Girls favor communication activities, such as posting comments on other people’s profiles, commenting on blogs, and contributing to online discussion groups and they are also more active at maintaining their own blogs and Web pages.
For a new report I'm writing I'm looking into knowledge management and what this means for Market Research. Currently, in most market research department each survey is a standalone project and it's close to non-existent that results are analyzed across surveys or data sources for gathering insights and trends. On the other side of the house there are colleagues analyzing web statistics, DM and email marketing data, brand trackers, and CRM outcomes.
However, this set-up will no longer be acceptable in the future. Consumers connect with companies through different channels and leave their feedback about the company in different places. They expect companies to understand that and they dont want to be asked about things they already shared.