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?
You may not know the name Michael Greene, but if you're a Forrester client or you read this blog regularly then you've certainly seen his work. As a researcher on our team, Michael produces some great research -- most notably on the topics of sponsorships and video advertising. Below, Michael shares his thoughts on one of our latest research topics, sourcing video creative:
We analysts always tend to want to be the first on the stage with impending news and blogs are a perfect medium for getting information out as quickly as possible. In fact, blogs can even sometimes be just a little ahead of the news it is predicting, and are sometimes held responsible for the said event. That is why financial analysts, when they blog, always disclose their portfolios in relation to the companies mentioned in the blog.
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.
About ten years ago, when Forrester was writing some of our early research on effective Web design, we noticed a pattern among leading companies. They told us they were finding it very helpful to use design personas - models of customers based on qualitative research into real customers, but presented as vivid stories about individuals (not segment descriptions). These tools enabled them to stay focused on the needs of their most important customers when designing online experiences.
Since then, design personas have become fairly mainstream design tools in North American companies, and increasingly common in Europe and Japan - not only for Web design, but across all channels. However, the quality of personas varies enormously from company to company. For example, I'm evaluating personas from UK interactive agencies at the moment and although some are clearly well researched, engaging, helpful to designers and believable, others seem to be mere stereotypes.
Some recent events make me hopeful that major moves are afoot with enhancing panel quality.
Since the beginning of online surveys, there have been questions about how clean the online panels that enable them are. Questions abounded about representativeness, fraud, professional survey takers, inattentive survey takers and the like. The response from panel vendors has been that they have strong measures in place, and that the problems were overstated. Naysayers have claimed bad sample numbers that range from 20-30%. Buyer's of sample were largely in a "trust me" position, since most of the quality measures were in the hands of the panel vendor. Associations (such as ESOMAR and ARF), have come up with protocols that all good panels should follow, and many have.
Marketers don't think they're very good at measuring social media.
When my colleague Emily Riley asked marketers to
rate their ability to measure the impact of their social media
initiatives, the average grade they gave themselves was 4.5 out of 10.
Not a great score -- especially given that accountability is one of the
key selling points of interactive marketing. So I've spent a lot of
time this year trying to understand why marketers aren't good at
measuring social media -- and how they can do better.