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Social Media

Live from #TMRE13 - Billion Member Focus Group: Using Social Media Analysis to Understand Today's Real-Time Customer

Live from #TMRE13 - Billion Member Focus Group: Using Social Media Analysis to Understand Today's Real-Time Customer

Social media has become a part of daily life, and in today's world, it's hard to find someone who does not have either a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account. Consumers are constantly on their computers, tablets, and mobile devices, posting and tweeting their thoughts and opinions. 

When you think of the number of people on these social media sites, it's difficult to even comprehend the magnitude of data that is generated on a daily basis. In fact, according to Wayne St. Amand, Vice President of Marketing at Crimson Hexagon, there are 1 billion posts that go up every 48 hours! 

Social media is the single largest source of unsolicited consumer opinions, and very few companies are doing a good job capturing and analyzing this data. All of this data is already readily available at your fingertips, and there is much opportunity to utilize it to uncover meaningful insights.

St. Amand provided an example of a large automotive brand that sought to decode this social media data by initially categorizing the comments and posts into positive, negative, and neutral segments. But simply looking at the data in these segments did not provide the level of insight desired because the WHY piece was missing. It is not as powerful to know WHAT consumers are saying if you don't know the reasoning behind it. Once the brand dug deeper into this data to figure out WHY the customer comments were positive, negative or neutral, the company was able to uncover the detailed insights necessary to successfully complete their rebranding efforts.

The large amount of information being created on social media still might be hard to wrap your head around, but what is clear is that this data is already being captured, and it's up to you how you want to use it!

Mayuri Joshi isResearch Magician at April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at

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!

The Skinny on Facebook

The Skinny on Facebook

Well, I am here for the first session kick-off at The Market Research Event in Las Vegas. What a great first session to blog about: Facebook. Meg Sloan, research lead at Facebook and Brant Cruz of Chadwick Martin Bailey shared a little glimpse of what life inside Facebook is like.

Currently, Facebook has 300 million users worldwide and at least 1/2 of their users go to the site daily! Wow! How do they do it? Here's a tidbit....

Their guiding principles include:

  1. Proactive
  2. Scalable
  3. Expertise
  4. New School
  5. Synthesis & Story-telling

Meg also gave us insight into how they view their small marketing research team:

  1. Try our best to act like the rest of the org
  2. Radical focus on the roadmap and prioritization
  3. Making sure we all are doing things we feel strong at each day (staying motivated)
  4. Supporting each other/sharing information/work etc.
  5. Be nimble and use our resources and relationships to their fullest
  6. And last but not least: Ruthless Prioritization as well as Have Fun and create an awesome workplace. Their Q3 planning meeting involved pedicures--sign me up!

You can see more about life inside the marketing research team at Facebook. Check out this video about

"life at facebook." Oh, and by the way, they currently have a marketing research position open for anyone who is interested..I'm now a little more motivated to spend time on my facebook page


Insight into Social Media Users

Insight into Social Media Users

Step right up folks! It’s the social media bandwagon. I’m on it, you’re on it, and with the recent study from Anderson Analytics, marketers better be on it. At this point in the game, most marketers are, but this study reveals some interesting findings on what your preferred social network says about you.

Apparently, I’m all about the business or the benjamins, because I prefer LinkedIn over other social networking sites. I’m also more likely to own top of the line electronic gadgets, like HD televisions, blu ray players and digital cameras.

The study found 60% of Americans are social network users, but the study defined a user as someone who had uses a social network at least once a month. The average user collectively spends about an hour each day on social networking sites.

So what does your social networking site say about you? Or more importantly, what will this study tell marketers, specifically online marketers? Here are some findings that really jumped out at me:

  • 52% of social networkers had friended or become a fan of at least one brand on Facebook. Getting individual endorsements on Facebook can be a HUGE marketing accomplishment, because when someone becomes a fan of a brand on Facebook, he or she is saying “Brand X is apart of who I am and I want everyone to know about it.” The brand has not only produced brand loyalty in said-user, but that brand is also reaping the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising. When asked their feelings on seeing a brand on a social network, 17% felt positive and 19% said negative.
  • When asked if they want more communication from brands 20% said yes. I think this percentage would be higher if it’s the right kind of communication. If brands communicate the message their target consumers want to hear and in a way they want to hear it, then they will want to hear from the brand.
  • Social media users are four times more vocal than non-users online, such as commenting on discussion boards, forums, blogs, etc., which means they would be more likely to be vocal about announcing on the World Wide Web their feelings, both positive and negative, about a brand experience.
  • Out of the four user groups defined by the study, Anderson said social media mavens are the key group for marketers not only because of their high incomes and decision making power, but also their large social media footprints can make them excellent brand allies or evangelists.
  • Users preferring Twitter are big into pop culture.. movies, music, TV and reading and their buying habits mirror that. They are more likely to buy movies, books, shoes and cosmetics online than other network users. So marketers, take the hint and get on Twitter.
  • LinkedIn users have the highest income averaging at $89,000, and they are also more interested in high-tech gadgets, as well as the gym, yoga, spa treatments, golf and tennis. Hello luxury and travel brand marketers.

I’d love to hear others take on these findings listed in more detail on Advertising Age.

Listening to the New Consumer

Listening to the New Consumer

As we all know, consumers today have a smorgasbord of products, messages and images hitting them every single day. The average American is hit with over 3,000 ads per day! No wonder it's hard for brands to attain brand loyalty. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with the next big thing that's going to solve all their problems and is a "must have"...there's so many choices, how do they choose?

And the more important question for brands is: how do you get them to choose you? A recent article published on says the key is to focus on building meaningful brand relationships by listening and actively engaging the consumer as they deal with major changes in society and their lives.

One thing that marketers are learning is that not only are no two consumers the same, but in today's fast-paced, changing society, each consumer has several different identities that change depending on the context. For example, a marketer monitoring social media outlets may find a person who represents himself one way on Twitter or LinkedIn, may represent himself completely different on Facebook.

Most people have several different have work persona, social or entertainer persona, homemaker persona, super mom persona. So brands must hone in and listen to their consumers.

So how do we do this? Traditional research alone is not enough. says effective listening for marketers is an art and with enough detailed attention can deliver unexpected insights.

So more than just research and monitoring social media, but through private online communities where brands can get a grasp on how consumers handle change in their lives. Online communities also allow brands to walk with a consumer over time and see what really matters to them.

Along with listening, giving them a voice or a platform to express their concerns, and then ultimately seeing that in your product will give them a sense of empowerment that what they say matters. Remember, people want to be understood, and feel important.

Bottomline, mastering the art of listening and then engaging the consumer is when he starts to hear his voice and sees himself in your brand. And that's when your brand becomes his brand.

Twitter 101: 5 Reasons Marketers should use Twitter

Twitter 101: 5 Reasons Marketers should use Twitter

Twitter is all the rage right now, and is proving more and more to be the cutting edge way to market. Even though a recent Twitter user behavior survey, claims that only 15% use it for marketing purposes. The majority 28% is still using it as a social tool. But I think we should see this 15% go up, and here's why:

1. It's a Learning Tool. The mother ship of Twitter research is Twitter Search, where over 3 million messages are posted a day. It works much like a google search engine, except picks up peoples Tweets. This will allow you to see what people are saying about a particular brand or product. For example, if you want to see what people are saying about M&Ms, you can search the word, M&Ms, and it will pull up everyone who has twittered about M&Ms in realtime. And if a brand wants to get really brave, they can do like Skittles, and integrate the brand's twitter stream into their Website or blog.

2. Gives Professional Credibility. Although Twitter has been around for a few years now, it has yet to become a marketing norm, and people that are successfully using Twitter are still considered ahead of the curve. With Twitter, you can post interesting articles or videos that you find on the Internet, and the better your posts, the more relative followers you get. And the more relative followers you get, the more credible you become.

3. It creates Exposure. Twitter allows people from all over to see you, what you're doing, what you're into and what you're twittering about. It's an opportunity to get a message out to the masses to promote yourself and your business; whether it's a brand or a service.

4. A Chance to Connect to your Consumer. Not only does Twitter let you view what your consumers are into, but it can take customer service to another level, allowing you to personally connect with the consumer. For example, the other night my friend, Holly, was at a Mexican restaurant, where they give all the customers numbered tokens for a chance to win free queso dip on the "Wheel of Taco". Holly's token won, and she twittered about it. Then she immediately gets a message on Twitter from Eric Michaelson, the owner of the large restaurant group, congratulating her for winning on the "Wheel of Taco".

5. It's all about networking, networking, networking! We all know that in this biz, it's all about who you know, making those connections and being the first to know about the next big thing. Twitter is yet another way to network with other marketing professionals from across the globe. You can participate in online discussions with other professionals. You can see on Twitter Search live updates of the trendiest discussion topics at the moment and join the conversation if you'd like. Topics always have the "#" sign, like #markettrends, and you must use that in all your tweets for it to show up in the Twitter stream. It's like modern day chat room, but it's Twitter.

I'll admit, I've been slow to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, and am still learning the ins and outs, and the more I learn, the more I see what a valuable and essential tool it is becoming for marketing. And the more I learn, the more I'll follow me on Twitter at

Charmin and SitorSquat: nontraditional marketing at its finest

Charmin and SitorSquat: nontraditional marketing at its finest

Ever find yourself on a road trip in the middle of nowheresville and needing a bathroom so bad that your teeth hurt? And let's face it (especially the ladies), we don't want just any bathroom, we want a clean bathroom. Well, no need to look futher than your phone, because the marketing geniuses at Charmin have signed on to sponsor a new app called SitorSquat that locates and records restrooms across the globe.

This is social networking at its finest...hunting for your hiney. SitorSquat greets you on the homepage with Charmin's brand image of a cute animated red Charmin bear wagging his behind that will make you laugh out loud. The app is a free download for iPhone and the BlackBerry, and allows users to locate bathrooms and also depends on users to post bathrooms and rate them.

So far, SitorSquat has logged more than 50,000 toilets in 10 countries, more than half a million unique visitors and 1,600 downloads of its mobile app. Charmin is capitalizing on the social media craze, and believes the continued growth of SitorSquat will bring growth to the brand.

According to the Charmin press release, this is the first time a toilet-paper brand has partnered with a downloadable mobile application. My prediction? Looks like Charmin is not only selling TP, they're TP'ing all over the market.



Go to I promise it will throw you for a creative loop. Tagline is “Interweb the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow.” This line makes sense when you see the site, because it’s not really a Website, but a social media smorgasbord. Initially, you’ll think you’ve landed on a Wikipedia page, because their Wikipedia page is the background of the Site!

To even get permission to view the Site, you have to give them your birth date. Marketing genius! First of all, 90% of people navigate away from a Website within a minute. So if someone takes the time and effort to enter their birth date, their level of interest in learning more about Skittles must be fairly high. Second, by requiring people to enter their birth date, Skittles can determine what age demographic their products reach.

As you surf the Skittles site, it uses various online social marketing tools to pull up information about Skittles. For example, when you click on the Media tab, it pulls up videos via the YouTube site, and photos via Flickr. When you click on the products tab, it takes you to the product description on their Wikipedia page. Again, marketing genius.

This bold move is risky, because by turning their Website into a social media hub for skittles, they lose a lot of control. For example, whenever someone twitters about skittles, its shows up in their twitter stream. That means if someone twitters something negative, that’s right-it shows up in its Twitter stream. But this site is causing buzz, and buzz, aka word-of-mouth, is marketing heaven. Looks like the Skittles rainbow is on its way to a pot of gold.