When Time is Short and Money is Tight

I attended another interesting workshop last week at The Market Research Event. Speakers, Tina Bronkhorst, Vice President Digitas and Jennifer Drolet, Vice President, iModerate gave a compelling story for the benefits of a hybrid research approach.

"Current consumer demands and expectations for 'real time' dialogue are changing the way we, as marketers, need to think about research", say Tina and Jen. Below is a bulleted summary of their reasoning:

  • It’s harder to be heard : 20 years ago, just 3 exposures created awareness, now it takes 150
  • Consumers have an amazing ability to multitask
  • Consumers aren’t as overwhelmed by information as they used to be
  • They trust their peers more than they trust marketers
  • Real time dialogue is everywhere (myspace, facebook, blogger)
  • They are coming together with common interests. One example of this is the Starbucks gossip site, which lets those who have a similar feeling toward the brand chat together.
  • And there are a host of others: blog, microblog, online chat, RSS, widgets, social networks, social bookmarks, message boards, podcasts, video sharing sites, photo sharing sites, virtual worlds, wikis...and the list will be greater as we move forward.
  • So, marketing doesn’t own the brand completely anymore
  • And, consumers trust their ability to make smart choices and they aren’t afraid to trust their instincts (Yankelovich Monitor 2004/2005)
  • Instead, they prefer to take a chance with a personal experience, instead of playing it safe
  • Thus, we need to focus on listening more instead of shouting louder (active branding)
  • Stop push marketing and start pull marketing

They gave practical examples of how to develop hybrid approaches, where qual and quant data are collected at the same time. These include conducting:

  • Online survey with IM-like chat intercept (iModerate)
  • Online focus group with closed ended, open ended, IM-like chat and redirects (invoke)
  • Online communities (communispace, passenger)

April Bell