June 28th, 2012
Having recently joined Latitude Insights and the market research industry as a whole, I was quite interested to hear about something called an “online community”. I had never learned about “online communities” at uni (certainly not in enough depth for me to remember learning about them anyway!).
Nonetheless, as I learnt more about them, one of the things that stood out to me was this concept that “engagement” and other intrinsic rewards can be much more valuable to members than monetary rewards.
I’ll admit that I was a little sceptical at first to think that people could truly appreciate intrinsic rewards, especially in an increasingly price-conscious world… that was, until I actually experienced an online community for myself! As I began to invite individuals to various communities, I expected every second person to ask me, “sooo….what are the ‘rewards’ for this research?” (A polite way of saying “show me the money PA-LEASE!!”). Whilst this is an essential question for some, overall, this question is rarely asked. It is more common to get comments such as, “I’m really looking forward to this discussion, I think it will be very interesting!”
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June 28th, 2012
Personally, I would say a bit of both. It just depends on who I’m talking to and what I want to say. I don’t mind sending out the odd tweet and text message, but if I’m going to ask my husband to pick up some milk on the way home, then a phone call might be better.
So why is that marketers think that they have to have a marketing strategy for digital and a separate marketing strategy for ‘traditional’ forms of communicating with their consumers?
This is what Steve Sammartino from Grey advertising talked about at a breakfast seminar I recently attended. One of things that rang true the most for me was his comment that “We need to get rid of the word ‘digital’. There’s just humans and communications.”
His comment was aimed mainly at marketers who think they need to have a digital presence by setting up Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. So they employ a Digital Marketing Manager to do the job. Similarly ad agencies will have two departments – ‘Digital’ and ‘Traditional’ advertising. Research agencies also seem to suffer a similar malaise with agencies who seem to favour just digital or traditional approaches.
The bottom line however, is that it shouldn’t be about the technology that is or is not used to communicate to consumers or clients. It’s about recognising and embracing that as human beings, we use a lot of different ways to communicate with each other. The latest social media revolution is just another one of the tools at our disposal. And we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that ultimately it’s about communicating in the most efficient and logical way.
Typically, this will mean a combination of both digital and traditional approaches – a clear integration of the ways and means to get the message across. And this applies to marketers communicating with their consumers, businesses communicating with their clients and humans communicating with one another.
On that note, I better text, tweet and phone my husband to ask him to pick up that milk on the way home!
October 21st, 2011
My grandfather-in-law, who lives in England, recently turned 100. I was very excited for him, greatly anticipating the obligatory telegram from the Queen.
“No”, my father-in-law said. “We have to write to them to request one.”
My local video store knows my date of birth, along with my local pharmacist, my local library, my hairdresser, my beautician and just about all the major retailers with whom I have a loyalty card. But the Queen’s Anniversaries Office, can’t find out when I turn 100? I thought digital technology was making it easier to find out such information!
OK. So we get over that hurdle and request a telegram.
“No”, my father-in-law said. “He got a birthday card.”
A BIRTHDAY CARD?!
I was disappointed. It’s not the quaint, old fashioned telegram that I was expecting and I’d never seen a real telegram before so I was looking forward to checking out this traditional form of communication. But neither was it a new and innovative way to send your wishes like a tweet or a Facebook message (don’t you just love it when your Facebook page gets filled with birthday messages? – but I digress). No, it’s somewhere in that grey area of being almost – dare I say it – common.
I wonder if when it’s my time to turn 100, I’ll be receiving a tweet from King William? Or perhaps that will be considered too “quaint”, “old fashioned”, “traditional” or “common” by then. I can just hear my daughter now…. “Oh Mum, tweeting is so yesterday!”
June 24th, 2011
News.com.au has launched a visual map, Cabinet Confidential, which charts the political relationships within the Labor government. Interactive journalism at its best, this venture captures a wider audience – one that may not be partial to reading long political articles. Essentially, it’s a snapshot of major players, positions held, and powers of “Labor’s top ranks”.
Digital has made data visualisation progressively more interactive. In the NewMR’s ‘New approaches to presenting data’ webinar, Peter Harris introduced a range of data visualisation tools that allow researchers to take advantage of the digital sphere. Gradually, these tools will become commonplace for information industries, where the ‘entertainment factor’ in presenting data will deliver the highest impact.
News.com.au’s editor, Paul Colgan initiated the Cabinet Confidential project saying, “One of the things that the news media rightly gets accused of is not harnessing new technology enough to improve storytelling”. Are there lessons here for market research?
June 10th, 2011
Intel’s ‘Museum of Me’ application creates a visual showcase of your Facebook life – exhibiting your friends, photos, status updates, likes and networks in your personal virtual museum. From a visual perspective it is a pretty nifty app, but fails to convey the narrative of a user. The app merely collects random data from the user’s profile, and maps it in no particular order.
I think there are some clear parallels here for market researchers, reminding me of Nick Palmer’s call to the industry – “how we move from being collectors of information to curators of insights”. We are living in a world abundant with information. Collecting data will no longer be the lifeblood of market research; instead, the industry will rely on making sense of the profuse amount of information available.
The role of the museum curator is to help stories be told. Through considered navigation, connections are made, leaving the viewer with a different perspective. ‘Museum of Me’ has shown that simply collecting data is meaningless. Without a narrative, information doesn’t turn into insight.
March 25th, 2011
Marketing is such a young profession and Australia is such a young country it’s easy to forget what history can teach us about these things.
When I think of the earliest examples of great branding I tend to think of mass produced products such as Coca-Cola. But the reality is branding was around long before the Industrial Revolution and mass production.
In fact the word brand is derived from the North Germanic language brandr meaning “to burn.” It refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products. This type of branding we typically associate with branding livestock. But branding has also been around in many formats for centuries.
In fact, an example I recently came across while travelling Europe was, Louis XIV – the Sun King. His branding can be seen all over Versailles and Paris. He left his mark on buildings and so forth, just so we remembered who was responsible for creating them.
I’m sure there are thousands of other examples of branding throughout history that we can learn from.
March 4th, 2011
Remember the movie called Six Degrees of Separation starring Stockard Channing (you know Rizzo from Grease?). O.K. so I’m showing my age now. It also starred a young Will Smith and Donald Sutherland, but enough of that! I had the pleasure of recently reading the script of the play upon which the movie is based. It was written by John Guare in 1990 and it raised this fantastic concept that we are separated at most by only six other people from every other person on this planet. The line itself is said by one of the main characters in the play, Ouisa, and she says…..
“I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation. Between us and everybody else on this planet. The President of the United States. A gondolier in Venice. Fill in the names. I find that A) tremendously comforting we’re so close and B) like Chinese water torture that we’re so close. Because you have to find the right six people to make the connection. It’s not just big names. It’s anyone. A native in a rainforest. A Tierra del Fuegan. An Eskimo. I am bound to everyone on this planet by a trail of six people. It’s a profound thought.”
You can watch the movie trailer where this line is repeated (more or less) or find out more about the history of the theory which apparently came from Nobel Peace Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi who attempted to find out the number of radio relays he would need to cover the earth.
Either way, it sure is a profound thought. There was even a game that someone dreamed up called “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game…… you had to figure out how you were connected to the movie actor, Kevin Bacon (again, it’s an age thing).
But that was back in 1990 (or ’93 for the movie). It’s now 2011 and with social media being the “connection mecca” that it is, I started to wonder how many degrees of separation there are now between me and every other person on this planet. Surely it has to be less than 6……. 4?……. 3?…… who knows? And is it still comforting that we’re now even closer or is it even more torturous because we’re so close. Am I really that bothered about not being connected to an Eskimo or a gondolier in Venice or even Kevin Bacon? I have to admit that I like using Facebook and LinkedIn as a way of connecting with people I might not otherwise have had the chance to. But there are also times when people have tried to connect with me and I’ve thought “I wish it hadn’t been quite so easy for them to find me!” So maybe it’s not about how many degrees of separation there are but how quickly we now can make those connections. Finding “the right six people” (as Ouisa put it) is easier and faster than it’s ever been.
Perhaps John Guare needs to write a sequel to this much loved play and movie to bring it into the 21st century. If he did, what do you think the title of the play would be today? Would it be “Three Degrees of Separation” or would it be “Six Degrees of Separation at the Speed of Light”? Or perhaps you’ve got a better idea?
October 8th, 2010
Latitude Insights has outgrown its office and we are gearing up to move to our new home later this month. Our larger team brings fresh perspectives and different ways of thinking. At the same time, we are also aware of maintaining Latitude’s close-knit collaborative culture, whilst harnessing ideas within a larger number of people.
Creativity is pivotal for progressive thinking. At Latitude we have tried to adapt a culture to reflect this…
Knowledge sharing is key to our creative process, and ideas can come from anyone. Internally, the titles on our business cards do not mean much. We have access to everyone’s ‘knowledge bank’ and thus ideas are discovered, nurtured and swiftly shared. Thought exchange is encouraged, and we all have the option to formally present our ideas to the rest of the team. The simple act of eating lunch together triggers insight, as we compare notes on how we are doing things, and how things could be done better. There is a 360-degree flow of information, from all levels of the business.
Whilst these everyday practices appear to be insignificant, their role in inventiveness is crucial. After all, it takes only a small seed of inspiration for creativity to flourish.