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Dallas focus groups

Live from #TMRE13 Fast Future: The Rise of Millennials

Live from #TMRE13 Fast Future: The Rise of Millennials

I had the pleasure of listening to David D. Burstein talk about his book, Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping our World. Our generation is the largest one to date and the first to have a globally connected culture and set of ideas, not confined by borders.

With 96% of our generation having daily and regular access to the internet, our possibilities are limitless. We are coming together with a sense of community all over the globe and are becoming empowered to push the limits and affect global culture.

60 years ago, our grandparents were most likely married by age 21, buying homes and starting families. Very strange for someone like me, 25 years old in 2013 and focused solely on my career, with no plans for marriage or a family in the near future. Women especially are changing society norms by questioning what truly makes them happy and becoming familiar with what they really want out of life. 

In the next five years, 100% of our generation will own a smart phone. With technological advances and a rapidly changing society, the future will rely heavily on keeping consumers more engaged than ever before. 

Live from #TMRE13 Consumer Behavior & Consumption Across Media: The Digital State of Play

Live from #TMRE13 Consumer Behavior & Consumption Across Media: The Digital State of Play

Remember the days when you put down your pen and paper, turned off the TV and enjoyed what you called "computer time"? Listening to that dial up internet static was something I looked forward to all day because it meant I got to explore and "play" on the computer. I'm sure you remember the AOL running man icon right? Classic.

Fast forward to 2013 and you'll find that there is no such thing as "computer time" anymore, because computer time is ALL the time. Your phone is not just a phone anymore, its become your life - its your email, your calendar, your notebook and your entertainment. Everything you need in one small portable device and the world at your fingertips.

We are constantly connected and usually in several different ways. Have you ever found yourself walking through a store, shopping for groceries while talking to your mom on the phone while browsing your phone's calendar to let her know if you are free for dinner tomorrow night? I have. 

According to Yahoo's Tony Marlow in his presentation on Consumer Behavior & Consumption Across Media: The Digital State of Play, our brains are re-wiring themselves in order to help us navigate our digital lives, which is why younger people are significantly better at multi-tasking. This explains why my grandmother can't seem to figure out what a "tweet" is or how to "tag" someone on Facebook. She wasn't wired for this kind of activity.

I won't hesitate to admit I would be LOST without my phone and I get anxious when I don't have it right next to me. Makes me wonder how we ever functioned before cell phones and the internet. And I certainly don't know how we ever survived without iPhone's handy navigation!

Live from #TMRE13 Putting a Finger on the Fans' Pulse

Live from #TMRE13 Putting a Finger on the Fans' Pulse

 If you didn't notice all the buzz about Miley Cyrus's VMA performance this year, you might be living under a rock. My Facebook and Twitter feeds were littered with comments about her performance for days after the awards were over. Whether it's good attention or bad, it gets you talked about. So is this really just annoying newsfeed junk or marketing gold?

Christopher Chen and Stephanie Gomez from Universal Music Group shared with us how and why they track these comments in Putting a Finger on the Fans' Pulse.

Universal Music Group takes on the task of tracking this buzz - whether positive, negative or neutral. They track more than 3 million social conversations on a given day, between Facebook, blogs, forums, Twitter, you name it. Anything from a risqué performance to a funny YouTube video could trigger chatter like this. Not only does this gossip get you noticed, it has the potential to put your company on the map.

Earlier this year, Jay-Z and Samsung teamed up for an exclusive pre-release opportunity for Samsung Galaxy users ONLY. His new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail was available for free to those users 72 hours before it was set to release to the public. He announced it during the NBA finals in a 3 minute commercial - guess what my newsfeed blew up with that day? I don't know about you, but as an iPhone loving Jay-Z fan, I was quite tempted to switch to Samsung! Here's the story: Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail lands today for Samsung Galaxy owners

Live from #TMRE Social Media and Nascar: Driving Product Sales Together

Live from #TMRE Social Media and Nascar: Driving Product Sales Together

What images come to mind when you think of Nascar? Fast cars, screaming fans, cold beer and a good ol' burger are a few of the essentials that make up a perfect day at the track. It just wouldn't be the same with a glass of wine and a salad - buzz kill. Kevin Thomas, VP of Strategic Marketing for Roush Fenway Racing gave an exciting presentation on how performance of their cars can increase sponsors ROI over time.

Roush Fenway Racing knows just how to draw in the fans and give them what they want, which is why they are one of the top companies to sponsor. It's not about the price, its about performance. Their creative approaches to PR have proven to not only justify a company's sponsorship of their own hot rod, but the ROI usually exceeds expectations.

Take Cargill for example - a new sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing and looking for a unique approach to market their brand. In addition to increasingly good performance of their car, they went a step further to engage fans at the track - good ol' cookout at the track, offering burgers to fans using their new finely textured beef. Not to mention, the opportunity to meet Ricky Steinhouse Jr.!  

The results they saw showed that Cargill was more than just "paint on a fast car". Not only did they see spikes in beef sales after races, they saw increased sales over time as racing performance increased. All while having a great time at the track, enjoying some great food and meeting famous drivers. Not too shabby for a hard days work!

April's Attic has Arrived!

April's Attic has Arrived!

After hours of getting space design help, trips to Ikea in search of creative, bargain furnishings and lots of elbow grease painting and building furniture, April’s Attic is complete and ready for some focus group action!

The Attic is located on the third floor of a cozy, renovated Dallas home. With the visual guidance of a talented designer, April’s Attic captures the spirit of my business: to creatively discover and deliver quality results and have fun while I’m doing it! The Attic is designed to create a fun and relaxing environment where members of focus groups feel welcome and comfortable opening up.

In addition to focus groups and one-on-one interviews, I am excited about having a few Dallas-based clients use the Attic as a place for team meetings and brainstorming sessions. It offers a great escape from the daily monotony of the office to help cultivate good ideas or solutions.

You’ll notice I’ve chosen green as the signature color of April Bell Consulting. According to Wikipedia, green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, which means “to grow”. It’s also associated with regeneration, fertility and rebirth. Through my services, that is exactly what I want to produce for my clients-GROWTH.

All of this would not be possible without the help of McCall Keahey, who is an impeccable stylist/designer, as well as my friend and assistant, Suzanne Foote who made numerous trips to Ikea, spent countless hours building the furniture and setting up the printer, phone, etc.. And, of course, my friend from Frito, Steven Pulido, helped me transform the space into a true focus group setting by advising me on the latest and greatest A/V equipment for capturing focus group learnings.

Thanks to these guys, April’s Attic is officially up and running!

If you’re in Dallas and interested in using April’s Attic, let’s chat! Call me at 972.352.8075 or shoot me an email at