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Live from #TMRE13:  How CareerBuilder Builds Research Advocates Internally

Live from #TMRE13: How CareerBuilder Builds Research Advocates Internally

Kassandra Barnes, Research and Content Manager at CareerBuilder began her presentation giving us her definition of "viral" --

"The art of making something popular and shareable with minimum effort (or at least making something look like it's minimum effort)."

Her "viral" goal was to create an internal buzz for research at CareerBuilder.  As a single researcher in a sales organization, it was not the easiest thing to do.  Because, she said, "In a sales organization, the typical research timeline doesn't fly!  You have to be extremely agile!"

She gave us 6 steps to create internal advocates in an organization which needed extremely quick information:

1.  Do research "they" care about:

Create the purpose before the research: 

What's the headline, So What?, Who Cares?

2.  Build a Braintrust:

 (from cross-functional departments…including sales!)  This creates a group of brand ambassadors before the research even starts!

3.  Create Content:

 Using "The Four A's" (Audience, Assets, Assess, Advertise)

4.  Be Your Best Salesperson

5.  Train People on Research

6.  Build Partnerships

Live at #TMRE13:  Synthesizing Multiple Data sources at Panera Leads to New Insight

Live at #TMRE13: Synthesizing Multiple Data sources at Panera Leads to New Insight

Yesterday, I enjoyed listening to the presentation give by Shawn Utke, VP, Brand Insights & Research, Panera Brand.

He discussed how marrying attitudinal segmentation data with behavioral data revealed interesting insights.

At Panera, they originally identified a singular target through their segmentation research:  The "EFI" (female oriented, higher income target) who had a propensity to fall in love with Panera and acted like brand advocates.

Panera wanted to do something different than what many in the category call "food porn."  So, they targeted their messaging and called it, "Make Today Better" which was about leaving Panera better than when you came in.  They also added some of the yummy items I love (I guess I'm an EFI:)…Strawberry Poppyseed dressing and Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, Egg White sandwiches.  Yummy!!

However, after collecting and analyzing behavioral data along with their segmentation data, it suggested their customer target might not as valuable as they originally thought.  

"Once you have 'big data", he said, "it's a blessing and a curse because you start learning what you don't know." 

The next question became "why the gap?"

Is the former target still the right target?

Is there a secondary target we should be directly serving?

This gave them the opportunity as an organization to strategically search for a solution based on their most important dimensions:  media buying, time of day, specific menu items.  And ultimately, led them to a more focused strategy.

Good "food" for thought regarding segmentation, big data, and bringing it together for greater insight!

April Bell is Principal and Founder of April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at